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Buses are a great way to travel, with thousands of cities connected by bus routes. It is one of the most popular ways to travel, alongside driving, flying, and taking a train.
Whether you're planning your next vacation or a regular commute, Wanderu will help you find the best deals. Wanderu partners with hundreds of bus companies, including the most popular bus lines in North America and Europe, so you can see and compare your options all in one place.
Is it safe to travel by bus right now?
We stand behind CDC guidelines that caution passengers against non-essential travel during the coronavirus outbreak. That said, we recognize not everyone is in a position to completely abstain. Whether it’s for work, to take care of family or to get back home, some circumstances inevitably require travel. If you’re one of those individuals who still needs to book a bus trip, you can continue to do so on Wanderu.
Know that most bus companies are still running at this time, though some have limited service. To review the safety protocols and service updates for bus routes, visit our COVID-19 Travel Alert.
What is an intercity bus?
A bus or coach is any large motor vehicle that transports passengers along a route. Intercity buses, also known as long-distance buses, specifically transport passengers from one city to another, as opposed to public buses that transport passengers within the same city or town. Greyhound, Megabus, FlixBus, and Peter Pan are examples of popular bus companies with intercity service.
Why take the bus instead of flying or driving?
According to the Department of Transportation, roughly 40 million people ride intercity buses each year. Traveling by bus is one of the most efficient, inexpensive, and eco-friendly ways to get around. It takes roughly the same amount of time as driving yourself, but allows you to relax and enjoy the road trip instead of focusing on the road. Plus, taking a bus means you save the hassle of having to find parking in your destination city.
Bus travel is generally a much simpler ordeal than flying - there’s no need to get to the airport hours ahead of time, no TSA, and no complicated boarding process. Subjectively, a bus ride is more enjoyable than flying for travelers who prefer to be on the ground rather than in the air.
Buses are way more affordable than flights; a bus ticket often costs a small fraction of the price of a flight on the same route. Of course, the main downside is that it usually takes longer to get there.
How much does a bus ticket cost?
Bus ticket prices vary by route and carrier, but the average price of a bus ticket on popular routes tends to be between $20 and $50. Of course, tickets can be much cheaper or much more expensive in certain cases.
Are there discounts on bus tickets?
Yes, many bus companies offer discounts for different fare classes. The most common discounts apply to seniors, children, students, and military veterans. Some carriers also have their own rewards programs.
Each bus company has its own discount policies. For example, while Megabus discounts are hard to come by, Greyhound offers discounts on its tickets for children (20%), seniors (5%), students (10%), and military veterans (10%).
Where can you book bus tickets?
You have a few options when it comes to purchasing bus tickets. Some traditional bus companies, such as Greyhound, sell tickets at bus stations. Others, like Megabus, allow passengers to purchase a standby ticket last-minute if open seats are available.
The best way to buy bus tickets is by booking them online with a search comparison site like Wanderu. The advantage of doing so is that you can see all fares from different bus companies at once, making it easy to compare the available options side-by-side.
This streamlines the purchasing process and saves time from parsing through individual bus websites one by one. It also makes it easy to find the highest-rated, fastest, and cheapest bus tickets.
Booking tickets online
If you’re still not sure how to find the best fare, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top 5 tips for finding cheap bus tickets online:
1. Book Early — It’s never too early to book your bus tickets online. By purchasing in advance, you’ll be able to secure the best price on a seat with your favorite bus company. We recommend booking five to six weeks in advance in order to lock down the lowest price on bus tickets from all major carriers.
2. Travel During Off-Peak Times — Planning your itinerary so that you’re traveling at off-peak times is a great way to reduce your transportation costs. Because weekends are so popular for bus travel, Sunday afternoon tickets tend to be the most expensive. To save, consider departing in the mid-morning on Sunday, or perhaps on a different day altogether. If your schedule is flexible then plan to travel mid-week, after the early morning commute. Mid-week tickets are frequently a cheaper option than riding on a Monday or Friday. Instead, start the weekend early with a Wednesday or Thursday departure.
3. Search for Nearby Bus Stations — If you’re traveling to a major city, you have different stations or local bus stops to choose from for your drop-off. Expand your bus ticket search to “include nearby locations” in order to find the lowest price. For example, if arriving in the most popular station is more expensive, look for an alternative bus stop near public transportation or a comfortable walking distance from a taxi stand.
4. Search Multiple Bus Companies — Whether you prefer the affordability of Megabus or the comfort of LimoLiner, everyone has a preferred bus company. Even so, expanding your search to multiple bus companies is a terrific way to land a deal on your next vacation. Wanderu allows you to compare fares from different carriers side-by-side in a single search, and even lets you book your return trip with a separate carrier to score a better price.
5. Follow for Special Deals — At Wanderu, we take pride in unearthing epic bus deals for travelers. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to hear about fantastic sales, promo codes and deals.