Guest post by Karina Barriga Albring of Wanderu
It’s a broad belief among many that people living on a budget cannot afford to go on adventures because it would mean breaking the bank. Well, here’s the good news, friends: this isn’t true. To prove that, we want to share with you our 6 expert tips on how to efficiently book cheap bus tickets to travel to multiple destinations across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Believe it or not, bus travel can be incredibly cheap and, of course, super exciting!
1. Plan your trip and book your tickets in advance
Spontaneous travel can be particularly thrilling and fun, but to get the most bang for your buck, you should plan your getaway ahead of time. Like airfare, prices for bus and train tickets are flexible and tend to go up as demand increases. If you book in advance, chances are less people are looking at the same trip you are, and if the demand is lower, the prices will be too.
2. Always compare prices and itineraries
Using an integrated bus search engine to find the cheapest tickets in one place can make all the difference in the world if you’re looking for travel deals. Not only will it save you lots of time and the hassle of doing research and visiting many different company websites, but it will make your booking seamless and efficient. Wanderu is the best bus and train travel booking site out there, as it integrates the itineraries of hundreds of carriers. With a few clicks, travelers can compare all available tickets from different bus and train companies and book the one that best fits their needs in terms of price, trip duration and departure time.
3. Book online, it’s much cheaper!
You can certainly purchase bus tickets at the stations like our grandparents used to do back in the day. However, this isn’t the smartest thing to do if you’re looking for cheap tickets. Tickets purchased on-site are more expensive than online, no exceptions. Let’s say that you’re looking for a bus ticket from New York to Washington, DC. At the station, you can purchase this for around $25-$30, but if you book online you can snag a ticket for as low as $1- $5.
4. Be flexible with your travel dates
Weekend travel is generally more expensive than Monday-Thursday. Do your best to target departure days mid-week such as Tuesday and Wednesday, which are proven to be the two days when bus tickets are the cheapest. Bus carrier Megabus, for example, very often has $1 tickets available on Wednesdays from Boston to Portland, ME and back from Portland, ME to Boston. Avoid traveling on Sundays as much as you can as tickets are always more expensive. However, if you absolutely need to, mid-morning is the best time of the day to get reasonably priced tickets.
5. Hunt down those $1 bad boys
It’s no myth that you can travel from city to city paying only $1 (plus tax and carrier fees, of course). There are a few bus companies that offer really cheap tickets (like Megabus and BoltBus) ranging between $1-$10 for a number of routes. These tickets, though, tend to get more expensive as the date of travel approaches. If you book around a month ahead, you could snag $1, $3, $5 one-way tickets between major cities, such as New York to Boston, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and Washington, DC to New York.
6. Look for nearby stations close to main transportation hubs
A good idea to maximize your saving is to look for trips arriving at nearby destinations that aren’t very well-known but are still very close to the heart of the city and easily reachable via public transit. Some examples include booking tickets to Chelsea, MA instead of Boston and to Secaucus, NJ instead of NYC. You can easily take the commuter rail train into the city for just a couple of dollars.
Whether you are living on a budget or not, nobody likes to overpay for their bus tickets. Follow the tips above and make sure you always get the best deal possible for your next adventure! Bon voyage!
About Karina Barriga Albring: Karina is a writer and editor for Wanderu. Wanderlust keeps her up at night and the more she travels, the further she needs to go. Born and bred in the mighty Andes, she found herself in NYC and left her heart in New England. Her favorite travel destination is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – and not only for the ‘futebol’!