Cheap Bus Tickets Starting at $1 in 4 Easy Steps

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Wanderu allows you to compare travel options from all of the best bus and train companies to find the cheapest tickets. You can search through Greyhound, Megabus, Boltbus and many others and, by using Wanderu, you are guaranteed that the fares you get are the lowest ones available anywhere.

However, if you’re looking to get a really good deal, there are certain factors you should consider when you’re planning your trip. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research and we’re happy to share the wisdom.

Here’s what you need to do, so you can travel more and pay less:

1. Travel at off-peak times

We’re sure you’ve heard this before – avoid rush hour and travel at off-peak times to get cheap bus tickets. What people normally fail to mention, though, is what exactly are off-peak times?

To answer this question, we congregated a week of ticket pricing for trips conducted by Megabus for outbound trips from Albany to New York.

Megabus’ ticket prices are usually cheaper compared to other companies and the variation in price doesn’t seem to be a lot. Their pricing trends are a great sample to analyze for the best time to book cheap bus tickets.

You will notice many pricing trends here but we will briefly summarize them for you:

Don’t travel on Sunday afternoon!

The afternoon before the work week starts is a very popular time for travelers and a bad time for landing a cheap bus ticket. Many people travel short distances over the weekend and go back home on Sunday afternoon. If you want to save money, travel a little earlier on Sunday and, if possible, pick a late morning departure time to score cheap bus tickets.

Morning hour commute tickets always cost more!

Traveling before 10 am and earlier on work days usually yields the most expensive ticket results. Avoid the commuting rush and pick a later trip. It allows you to bypass the crowd and, at the same time, score the best bus ticket deals.

Travel tides die down during mid-week.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually the off-peak days, so traveling on one of those days is a sure-fire way to get some cheap bus tickets.

2. Book your trip in advance

This is another classic travel hack—book your trip in advance to score a cheap ticket. You certainly know this is true for plane tickets and it works the same way to bus and train travel.

We analyzed the pricing trends for some of the most popular routes in the United States and, as you can see below, it certainly pays to plan ahead.

Boston, MA to New York, NY

Based on historic trends, the lowest average bus fare from Boston to New York has been $21. By booking 22 days in advance, tickets are typically $12 cheaper than those booked at the last minute.

Washington, DC to Philadelphia, PA

According to historic trends, the lowest average bus fare from Washington to Philadelphia has been $14. By booking 20 days in advance, tickets are typically $10 cheaper than those booked at the last minute.

Los Angeles, CA to San Francisco, CA

Based on historic trends, the lowest average bus fare from Los Angeles to San Francisco has been $24. By booking 27 days in advance, tickets are typically $14 cheaper than those booked at the last minute.


Best Deals Recently Found on Wanderu


RouteAverage Price
Best Travel
Boston – New York$18.31ThursdaySee more
Washington, DC – New York$17.01SaturdaySee more
Philadelphia – New York$9.77TuesdaySee more
Baltimore – New York$17.12TuesdaySee more
Providence – New York$26.60TuesdaySee more
Washington, DC – Philadelphia$13.55ThursdaySee more
Las Vegas – Los Angeles$18.42FridaySee more
Miami – Orlando$18.45FridaySee more
New York – Toronto$47.89MondaySee more
San Diego – Los Angeles$18.42WednesdaySee more
Binghamton – New York$19.92TuesdaySee more
Montreal – New York$77.77MondaySee more
Vancouver – Seattle$27.54ThursdaySee more
New York – Albany$16.78ThursdaySee more
Boston – Hartford$5SaturdaySee more
St. Louis – Chicago$12.52WednesdaySee more
Portland – Seattle$17.28ThursdaySee more
Los Angeles – San Francisco$22.54MondaySee more
Washington, DC – Newark$20.82TuesdaySee more
Atlanta – New York$45.62MondaySee more

*Average price for a one-way bus trip on this route found on Wanderu within the last 30 days.
**Best day to travel to score cheap tickets.

3. Keep an eye out for $1 tickets

Many bus companies offer special tickets, including Megabus, Boltbus, and many others. For example, Megabus is famous for its $1 bus tickets. Check out this post to find these $1 Megabus tickets and Megabus promo code.

The routes for which you can find those $1 deals include the following:

Boston, MA – New York, NY
Baltimore, MD – New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA – New York, NY
Washington, DC – New York, NY
Wilmington, DE – New York, NY
Hartford, CT – New York, NY
Hartford, CT – Boston, MA

Companies like Megabus offer very limited quantities of $1 tickets but they do exist. You can even find cheap bus tickets on the West Coast now in Seattle and Portland through BoltBus deals.

For the best way to discover the cheapest fares from your hometown, including $1 and $5 bus tickets, check out Explore by Wanderu, our explorer search tool that allows you to find the best bus and train deals based on your location and budget.

4. Use an integrated bus search engine to find the cheapest tickets in one place is a Kayak-like travel booking site that integrates all bus and train ticket information. With just a few clicks, you can compare all bus tickets across hundreds of companies and book the cheapest ticket.

Wanderu’s routes and networks are spread out all over North America and Europe and allow people to book tickets for traveling between any two points in those regions.

Keep checking our blog to stay updated on bus deals and destination travel guides.

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About the author
Staffo Dobrev

Staffo Dobrev

Having lived in some of the greatest cities in the world, Staffo has always had a soft spot for travel and adventures. Instead of hitting the usual tourist attractions, though, Staffo prefers to make friends with local people and check out fun places and activities that are not in the travel books.