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– Ray Bradbury

5 Tips for Riding Greyhound

5 Tips for Riding Greyhound

Whenever I travel alone to Nashville I take the Greyhound. Typically, a one-way ticket runs about $35-$40. I've made this trip at least 5 times over the past couple of years as I don't have a car and flying would be too expensive. 

You may want to just take a long nap on a short trip like this one (about 6 hours). This isn't really an option for me as I still need to work remotely when I travel. Luckily, I can offer a few tips to make this easier.

1. Get to the station 20 minutes before boarding time and pick your seat wisely.

Often times, there is a line to the boarding gate at the station. It might be tempting to hang out on bench until it's time to go but since there aren't assigned seats the first to board get's the best  pick. 

I personally prefer the very back seat which I lovingly call the "VIP seating". This is mostly because this seat is three across instead of two. Even if the bus is crowded, someone will likely keep the empty seat between you. If it's not crowded then you have plenty of room to stretch out. If you're looking to recline though, pick a row or two ahead as the back row doesn't allow for this.

This seat is also next to the bathroom which may seem like negative. If you're worried about leaving all your stuff though this makes it less likely anyone will mess with it in the short time you're not watching it.

Tip: get small locks for your bag to make sure your wallet, laptop, etc is protected.

2. Don't take anything in the bathroom with you.

Basically, the bathrooms on Greyhound are a metal hole with a seat. If you drop your phone, keys, or wallet into the void they'll be gone forever. Just leave it in your bag.

3. There are outlets below every window and free wi-fi, yay!

While these things are both great, make sure to have everything charged to 100 before you leave. One trip I learned the hard way that occasionally the outlets just don't work. The wi-fi can be a little spotty as well, especially when you're in the middle-of-nowhere Kentucky. 

If you plan on listening to podcasts, music, etc. try to download them ahead of time in case there's issues with the wi-fi. You don't want to blow all your data for the month on a boring bus ride.

Even if everything is working ok, you might just not want to share with your weirdo neighbor in the event of a crowded bus with an aisle seat. You'll be grateful for those fully charged devices.

4. Look up the route's break stops in advance.

Sometimes your route might stop for 15 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes. While some routes might stop at a McDonald's or a relatively alright gas station this isn't always the case. It may also be stop that has two questionable vending machines. 

I also prefer to stay on the bus at stops so I don't have to haul my usually overpacked backpack with me or risk losing my VIP seating in the back of the bus. This means I plan ahead and bring my own snacks or lunch.

5. Greyhound has a rewards program.

Maybe you're taking a single bus ride but can we predict the future? It doesn't hurt to sign up for the Greyhound rewards program which you can read about here.

It's free and you get 10% off when you sign up. I used the points I had collected for a discount on my last trip. I had booked a little last minute and was glad for the extra help.

Greyhound might not be my first choice in travel but it's a great way to go if you're on a budget.

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