If you are planning a trip on the Megabus then you probably have questions about luggage. And sometimes it can be difficult to find out exactly what the luggage limits are from websites, mobile apps, or even customer service numbers.
In this article I am going to try and explain in as simply as possible just what the Megabus luggage limits are, as well as talk about the types of bags I recommend you bring with you on your trip. So let’s get started.
Megabus’ Official Luggage Policy
Megabus allows you to bring one (1) piece of luggage per customer reservation. That means each passenger is allowed one ‘checked’ bag to be stored in the baggage compartment. If you know you are going to be travelling with more than one piece of luggage that will need to go in the baggage compartment then you need to buy another ticket.
This is straight from the Megabus official website. In fact I’ll quote it here for you: ‘If you wish to take an extra piece of luggage, you should purchase an additional travel ticket in advance of travel. This guarantees your luggage space on the bus, which is limited.’
So what happens if you show up to get on the bus with more than one checked bag? Well, according to the website your extra bag will be refused. You and your first bag will be allowed on the bus, but unless you have an additional ticket your second bag will be left on the curb.
This is important to know because unlike other bus companies like Greyhound, you can only buy Megabus tickets online. So if you show up with too many bags you can’t just pay cash for an additional ticket to solve the problem. I’m not sure if you would be able to jump on your phone and buy an additional ticket before the bus pulls off but I wouldn’t risk it.
And in case you are wondering if Megabus drivers really enforce this rule, I came across an article when I was researching this topic about a passenger who ended up having to leave a bag on the sidewalk.
The driver refused to take the second bag the passenger brought with them and almost refused to let the passenger on board because they kept arguing with him. In the end the passenger, desperate to catch a flight to Europe, ended up stuffing as many of his things in the first suitcase as he could and then leaving the other bag on the sidewalk.
He phoned some friends to come pick it up for him, but by the time they arrived the bag was gone. No surprise there. The funny thing is the passenger admits that he knew that he was only allowed one checked bag. Don’t be like this guy and think you can get around the luggage limits. You are allowed one bag in the baggage compartment! And the drivers will enforce that rule.
Megabus Luggage Weight and Size Limits
Megabus does have a weight limit for you checked bag. It cannot exceed 50lbs. And if you are boarding the bus from a Megabus station they will weigh your bag. You don’t want to run into overweight bag issues the day of your trip. So I recommend weighing your bag on a household scale if you have one. If you don’t have access to a scale pack your bag a day early and take it up to the Megabus station and have them weigh it to make sure it’s underweight.
Your bag also cannot exceed 62 inches when you add up all the dimensions. What does that mean? It means that if you add the width+height+length the total shouldn’t come up to more than 62 inches.
Now before you start hunting for the tape measure keep in mind that most normal sized suitcases and luggage are under 62 inches. Unless you show up with a suitcase the size of a coffin or something you should be OK. If you are going to be buying new luggage the dimensions will probably be listed on the tag or in the item description somewhere.
So to recap: 50lbs or under, 62 inches or less. Anything over than and you won’t be able to take the bag on the bus.
Now I do think that some bus drivers might bend these rules a little from time to time especially if the bus isn’t packed or if the baggage compartment isn’t full. However, I wouldn’t risk my luggage or my bus trip on this theory. Follow the rules and save yourself the worry.
Megabus’ Carry-On Bag Policy
Megabus also allows you one (1) small carry-on bag. Once again I want to emphasize the number one. Not two, not three, not one and a half. Just one carry-on. And I also want to point out the word ‘small’.
If you are planning on taking a standard size airplane carry-on bag on the Megabus you may run into a problem. Your carry-on bag must fit into the overhead bin or under your seat and neither of these compartments can accommodate an industry standard carry-on bag.
Megabus recommends a bag about the size of a briefcase or smaller. When I travel on the Megabus I usually take a 30L backpack or daypack as my carry-on and I’ve never had any issues. Anything bigger than that might present a problem and the drivers will let you know if the bag you intended to use as a carry-on is too big.
If it is it will be considered a checked bag and it will have to go in the baggage compartment. And we already know what happens next if you already have another checked bag.
So when planning your Megabus trip make sure that your carry-on bag is fairly small. This will ensure that you have no issues, and you won’t have to argue with any drivers or leave any bags on the curb.
Luggage Limits: Megabus vs. Greyhound
Checked Bags Allowed
Carry-On Bags Allowed
One checked bag allowed. Any additional bags require purchase of another ticket
One small carry-on allowed.
Greyhound Bus Lines
Up to two checked bags allowed. 2nd bag is $15 extra
Official policy is one carry-on bag, however enforcement of this policy is rare. As long as bags can fit in overhead bin or under seat they are usually allowed.
Additional Megabus Luggage Restrictions
I get asked this question a lot on my Frugal Travel Guru Youtube channel so I’m just going to go ahead and answer it here, bicycles are not permitted on the Megabus.
Neither is anything deemed dangerous or a hazardous material. And weapons are definitely not allowed. You bags are subject to search on the Megabus so just keep that in mind when you are packing your bags.
And finally I want to point out the that maximum liability amount for loss or damaged luggage is $250. And this will only be paid out if it’s proven that there was negligence on the part of Megabus. And that could take awhile to prove.
So if you have any valuables that might exceed $250 that you can’t afford to live without then you probably should take them with you on the bus in your carry-on if possible. Your luggage is probably way less likely to get lost on the Megabus than on other forms of transportation but it can happen so keep that in mind when you are packing.
Damage to bags is a fact of life when you travel so try and pack in a way that keeps your possessions from getting damaged if your bag is jostled, dropped, or handled improperly. $250 isn’t really that much money once you start adding up damage to clothes, electronics, jewelry, etc.
Lock Your Luggage!
This isn’t really doesn’t have anything to do with luggage limits, but I wanted to include it in this article anyway. It amazes me the amount of people who bring luggage not just on buses but also on airplanes, trains, etc and do not lock their bags.
You never know who might be messing with your bags while you aren’t looking. You can buy some good quality TSA approved luggage locks for under $20. And you can use these same locks for years. That’s a small price to pay to ensure that no one tampers with your things.
This is not to say that Megabus employees tamper with passengers bags, but why risk it. Any time your luggage is going to be out of sight, put a lock on it.
Megabus is a great bus service that provides an alternative to other bus lines and other methods of travel. If you follow the luggage limits when preparing for your trip you should have no issues and will be able to get on the bus unhassled and ready to enjoy the ride!