Whether you are a young professional, a student, or a world traveler roaming the globe in search of great adventure, you definitely don’t want to overpay when booking bus and train transportation between two cities. Booking bus tickets online can be the easiest and cheapest way to snag yourself a great deal. Below, I answer a few questions about bus ticket prices to ensure that you are spending less on travel when you book bus tickets online and more on enjoying yourself at your final destination!
Will booking bus tickets online help me get a better price?
Booking your bus tickets at the station is typically the most expensive way to book because bus companies charge a premium for same-day booking. If you plan in advance, booking your bus tickets online is the best way to travel! Not only can you snag a deal weeks before your departure date, but you can also compare prices and routes from different carriers.
On Wanderu, you can compare bus ticket prices from popular and less-known carriers to find the most affordable and quickest way to get to your next destination. Whether you’re traveling from New York to Boston, Orlando to Miami, or Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
In fact, I was just talking to some Airbnb guests that I have staying with me right now, and they couldn’t believe that they booked bus tickets from New York to DC for $11 for the two of them. I think they had their doubts about it being a scam right up until they told me about it. NYC to DC for 11 bucks is totally possible though, I assure you as I did them! (They booked a month in advance, by the way.)
How do you make sure you are finding the best bus ticket prices?
Plan your travel ahead of time. Believe it or not, most people end up booking their bus tickets either the day of or the night before the trip. It’s great that bus travel provides that flexibility, and at the end of the day even if you pay $20 – $30 for a bus ticket maybe it’s not such a big deal. But, if you’re anything like me, you love the feeling of boarding your bus knowing you only paid $3 for that Boston to New York bus ride. That $3 ticket is about three times less than what you would spend on tolls alone if you drive!
How much should a bus ticket cost?
I dedicate this question to my wonderful Airbnb-ers. Without you, I would have never thought to answer it.
Bus ticket prices for companies like BoltBus and Megabus start off lower and get higher as the date of travel approaches. Thus, planning ahead is rewarded, so make sure to use my tips hereto get yourself some cheap bus tickets. If you do that you can expect to pay $1-$10 per person one way between two major cities such as New York City to Philadelphia. For those of you used to paying much more, I swear it is not a scam!
If you are not a planner, expect to pay $15 – $25 for a same or next day ticket and if you are traveling on a holiday weekend, be prepared to shell out $35 – $45. It really pays to book in advance for holiday travel, as buses sell out for the biggest American holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and others. For holiday travel, you definitely have to plan ahead or you are not going to get very far.
Which companies have the best bus ticket prices?
As I mentioned, some bus companies have variable pricing, while other companies have semi-variable or completely stable prices. If you are searching well in advance, it pays to check out the bus companies that start off their bus ticket prices low. Luckily, you can look on Wanderu and filter by price to see all your best-priced options. You can also find $1 tickets from certain bus companies – search Wanderu now so you don’t miss those dollar seats!
Here is a list of some of the biggest bus companies and their pricing model:
Greyhound Bus Lines – Semi-variable
Greyhound Express – Semi-variable (offer $1 tickets)
Megabus – Variable (offer $1 tickets)
BoltBus – Variable (offer $1 tickets)
Peter Pan – Semi-variable (offer $1 tickets)
Trailways New York – Semi-variable
Tips to snag those tickets
-Book tickets at least a few weeks in advance. If you can make plans even earlier, bus carriers put up bus ticket prices and schedules about 5 to 6 weeks ahead of time, so check early and you’ll have the best chance of grabbing a $1 Megabus ticket or Greyhound discounted tickets.
-Don’t take the popular and packed Friday 5:30 pm bus. Instead, try to take a bus that is in the middle of the day, or even better, leave on Thursday or the middle of the week if school or work permits.
-If you can’t decide which weekend to go until closer to departure, take a look a month out and buy tickets for several weekends in a row. Chances are that will still be cheaper than the bus ticket prices for a next day trip.
The tips above should help you find the cheapest bus tickets online but if you’re interested in browsing all of your potential options, Wanderu also helps you easily compare train tickets for route.