Sometimes you may not always want to drive or fly. You may want to take the bus. Some cities may have a lot of commuter or inter-city bus services. Greyhound, by far, is the most popular. You may be asking yourself if you should book a Greyhound bus ticket you your next travel destination. A couple of years ago, I rode the Greyhound bus for the 1st time in over ten years. I needed to get to a conference in another city and didn’t want to worry about driving, so I decided I should try Greyhound. The trip was from Atlanta to Charlotte, so the bus route was a straight shot. Overall, the experience was a good one. There were a few things that were different from what I remember.
Let’s start with the basics. Customers can check one bag for free when they book a Greyhound bus ticket. If the customer needs to check a 2nd bag, it would only cost $20. That’s cheaper than most airlines when it comes to extra baggage. You are also allowed one carry-on item. You’re good if the item fits under your seat or in the top bin. Check out the link below if you are considering a new bag.
Greyhound does not have assigned seating. I’d get to the bus station an hour before your departure time. They do offer priority boarding for an additional cost. Priority boarding allows a rider to board the bus before the other customers. Some folks may want to do that, but I’ll get to the Greyhound terminal early. Next, I’m going to discuss the pros of Greyhound.
I was able to book a Greyhound bus ticket from Atlanta to Charlotte for a $45 round trip. That’s a hell of a deal. I purchased my bus tickets online. The bus fare was cheaper than getting a rental car or using Amtrak. Before booking with Greyhound, I checked the price on the Megabus website. The ticket was about $20 more on there. I also checked different bus routes and times. It also didn’t hurt that I booked my ticket a month before my trip either. The earlier you buy your bus ticket, the cheaper that it will be.
The seats were much bigger on the Greyhound bus than I remembered. I always rode the bus back and forth between Savannah and Atlanta when I was in college. The seats were not as nice back then as they are now. They were smaller and rougher. The seats on the two buses I rode felt good and were much more spacious than they used to be. They had a good amount of legroom. Passengers will enjoy having bigger seats on the bus.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were power outlets on the buses. This is something that Greyhound has added to its fleet within the last few years. The power outlets come in handy. They allow you to charge your devices, such as a phone or laptop, during your trip. So if you have electronics and want to bring them to help you get through your trip, feel free to do so. Speaking of laptops, let’s move on to the next thing.
Greyhound now offers free Wi-Fi on their buses. To me, that was a big deal. Let me say that again. Greyhound now has free Wi-Fi. You don’t have to pay for it like you do when you are flying. I could work on blog posts and check e-mails when going to and from Charlotte. That was clutch for me. Overall, the Wi-Fi worked pretty well. It was faster when we were near bigger cities, but the good thing is that it worked. It’s good to see that Greyhound is keeping up with the times.
Both of the buses that I rode on were surprisingly very clean. In the past, I’ve seen gum and stains on the floors and the windows. I didn’t see any of that this time. The seat, the aisles, and the windows were clean. Greyhound has stepped their game up, and that’s a good thing.
There were only three cons that I had about the trip.
The temperature on the bus was cold as hell for most of the trip. If you ever decide to ride the Greyhound bus, please bring a jacket, hoodie, or blanket. You will need it. If I didn’t have my hoodie, I would have been freezing my butt off during most of the trip. It was that cold. Make sure that you are prepared. Jeans and a jacket should be fine.
In a perfect world, people should know not to have loud conversations on their phones. The world is not perfect, though. Most people were respectful enough not to be on their cell phones for too long. A few rows behind me, one lady was on her cell for damn near an hour. Thankfully, I had headphones and could block her out. I feel sorry for the people who were sitting directly beside her. If you do book a Greyhound bus ticket, there is a chance that some people may be on their phones. I just want to warn you.
When traveling, you don’t always make it to your destination on time. That was the case for me on the first leg of this trip. The bus arrived in Charlotte an hour later than it was supposed to. I’m glad I didn’t have anything planned because I would have been pissed. I can’t even lie, I was a little worried about my return trip. The good thing is that my return trip got us back to Atlanta on time.
Besides those three cons, my Greyhound trip was a success. Would I book a Greyhound bus again? I would if I were going somewhere less than 6 hours from me. If it were a longer trip, I’d probably fly unless I wanted to document a cross-country trip via bus or something. It also seems like the competition with Megabus has helped Greyhound for the better. The competition is good. It helps businesses get their act together.
The whole experience was good. If you want to take a bus trip, make sure that you check out Greyhound and its itineraries.
Below are a few things you should bring for your bus trip.
Make sure that you bring some kind of snacks. Chips, fruit, or candy should suffice.
If you get cold easily, bring a small blanket. Nine times out of ten, you will be glad that you did.
This will keep you comfortable if you’re trying to get some sleep during the bus ride.
This consists of your laptop, tablet, books, etc. Make sure you have some headphones as well.
You want always to stay hydrated. Make sure that you bring a water bottle.
Do you ride Greyhound? Would you book a Greyhound bus ticket?
Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.