Traveling by Greyhound Bus

Millions of passengers are busy traveling by Greyhound Bus every year. Greyhound Bus lines is the largest bus transportation company in the country and has the widest route network of any bus provider.

Although taking a bus is similar to other forms of transportation, there are some aspects of bus travel that are different from flying on a plane or riding the train. Here are some tips for traveling by Greyhound Bus any time during the year.

Traveling By Greyhound Bus

Arrive at the Bus Terminal Early

The most important tip is to arrive at the Greyhound Bus terminal early for any scheduled departure. The listed departure time on your Greyhound ticket is the time when the bus will actually pull out from the parking area. Passengers not seated on the bus with their luggage already in the baggage compartment will be left behind. Most bus drivers start the boarding process 15 minutes prior to departure and lines often form as early as 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Know Your Luggage

There is a firm Greyhound baggage policy when it comes to the baggage allowance for bus trips. Since you are buying a cheap bus ticket as opposed to an expensive airline fare, don’t expect anyone to assist you with your bags. Pack light (see: tips for packing for a Greyhound Bus ride) and be sure you are able to carry all of your bags without any assistance. Passengers are responsible for loading and unloading all of their belongings so make each bag light enough so that you can lift it if necessary.

Keep Your Bus Ticket Available

Since there is often a line waiting to board a Greyhound Bus, be sure to keep your bus ticket readily available the entire time. If your ticket is not available when the bus employee checks tickets, you will be forced to return to the back of the line or wait on the side as other passengers board ahead of you. This is particularly important if you are not taking a round trip since your one-way Greyhound bus ticket is harder to keep track of and will be your only proof that you have paid for your bus journey.

Return Early From Rest Stops

Greyhound Bus drivers make infrequent rest stops during long trips. Although drivers are supposed to account for all passengers before leaving a rest stop, even paying passengers who are not back on the bus at the announced time may be left behind with no recourse. Pay attention to the driver’s announcement regarding the duration of the rest stop and make sure that you return early from every rest stop so you are not left behind.

Plan Your Bathroom Visits

All Greyhound Buses have basic restroom facilities aboard. However since the restrooms are not cleaned during the trip, bus bathrooms can get quite dirty. The facilities available at rest stops are cleaner and more spacious. Knowledgeable bus passengers try to plan their bathroom visits around rest stops rather than relying upon using the often dirty Greyhound bus bathrooms.

Watch Your Belongings

One of the most important tips when traveling is to watch your belongings at all times. Greyhound is not responsible for loss or damage to your belongings on the journey. This includes not only your luggage, but also wallets, phones, purses, and computers. While few items will be lost or stolen when the bus is in motion, many high value items are vulnerable during rest stops. With no security on any buses, anyone can board a Greyhound Bus at a rest stop and leave with any personal items. Be sure to secure or at least hide valuable items if you are leaving the bus during rest stops.

Listen For the Driver’s Food and Drink Policy

The official policy of Greyhound Lines is that there is absolutely no eating or drinking on any bus. However this policy is seldom followed by any of the bus drivers. Rather, drivers often create their own ad hoc policies for each bus ride. Most don’t care if passengers eat or drink so long as trash is properly disposed of in garbage bags and as long as no other passengers complain. The Greyhound website (also where you can buy online Greyhound bus tickets) has the official policy clearly listed so do not assume you can eat or drink on the bus until you hear anything from the bus driver.