The average cost of a domestic flight in the US is $514.
At that price, flying within the US is out of reach for many people. So how do you get around when your budget doesn’t allow for expensive airline tickets?
One way is to travel by bus in the USA. With a number of large companies as well as the option of renting your own bus, bussing around the country is an affordable alternative option.
Keep reading to find out all about bus travel in the USA.
There are a number of reasons you may consider travel by bus in the USA. These include:
Buses are an option for people who don’t drive or own a vehicle. And for those who don’t like to drive in big and/or new cities, they can get you to the heart of the action with none of the stress of driving.
There are 2 main ways to travel by bus in the USA. The first is to travel by major bus company. The second is to rent a charter bus.
We detail both options below.
There are 4 long-distance bus travel companies for you to choose from.
Greyhound is the largest and most well-known bus company in the US. The route to over 3700 locations throughout the US. In Canada, they travel to over 1300 locations.
Greyhound has competitive prices with even better deals found online. But they’re best for long distance traveling to major destinations. Greyhound doesn’t help you get to more rural or out-of-the-way places.
Across the US, there are over 75 Trailway franchises. This is essentially a network of regional bus companies. Spanning the entire country and founded in 1936, it’s the oldest bus network in the US.
Trailways is an excellent option for traveling to smaller cities. These places aren’t usually available through larger bus companies. And Trailways customer service is really good at helping you plan your route.
Trailways is especially good for site-seeing. They don’t usually travel on highways, so you get great scenic views of the countryside.
On the downside, long distance tours require changeovers. Although fares are cost-effective, this network isn’t ideal for traveling major distances.
Megabus only has service in the Midwest and on the East Coast. They also offer services between some college towns and minimal coverage on the West Coast.
It’s best to book ahead with Megabus. This ensures you get the best deal. Though their prices are already decent.
They offer free wifi and attract a young demographic because of their prices and routes. Make sure your bag is the proper size though – Megabus personnel are sticklers for bag sizes and additional costs.
This company calls themselves a premium bus line. In reality, their buses are just newer than companies like Megabus or buses running on Trailways.
Primarily based on the East and West coasts, they travel to major coastal cities. They offer free movies but don’t give you a lot of option for destinations.
There are a number of other bus companies in the US, including:
These are smaller, regional buses are helpful in specific geographic areas. If you’re looking for long distance buses, these won’t be too helpful.
If you prefer to hop from city to city on your trip across the US, then booking with a big company might be an option. That’s especially true if you’re planning to stay in a specific region, such as the West or East Coast.
However, if you want to see cities as well as country towns and rural roads, then the big companies won’t get you there. If you want to see National Parks, that’s also true. The big companies tend to take the highway route to the biggest cities without time for anything in-between.
Greyhound and the other major companies might be able to get you to a big city, but from there you’ll need to transfer to local or county bus systems. And if you’re trying to get to a destination without public bus service, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money on taxis or shuttles.
So how do you travel the US beyond the major population centers? You book a charter bus.
Renting a charter bus may cost a bit more than taking a Greyhound or a Megabus, but you can have them take you wherever you’d like to visit. Those costs can be split between the more than 50 people that can fit on a charter.
Renting a charter bus to travel the US long distance offers the following benefits:
When you book a charter, you make the schedule and the route. Renting your own bus through a reputable company gives you complete control over your travel without the hassle of driving. They have all the comforts of the major bus companies with none of the limitations.
If you want to see the country in the most affordable way, then you should travel by bus in the USA. When you want to see major destinations and cities, the big bus companies offer cost-effective ways of getting there.
But when you have more specific destinations in mind, hiring a charter bus and choosing your schedule is your best bet.
To book your charter, contact us today.