Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tips for surviving a Greyhound bus journey

I think I covered some good ground while in North America, given the size of it and the time it can take to get from place to place. I did this by hopping on internal flights, which are generally pretty good value and easy because you only have to check in about an hour before departure.

However, I needed to take a couple of Greyhound buses for convenience. The longest was only 9.5 hours, but they can take up to three days if you really want to clock up some miles. Here are some things I learned; hopefully they will help any of you who are planning to travel this way in the future!

1. The buses stop in the middle of nowhere and the driver doesn't really care if you are back on board on time. Here is a picture of the inaccurately named King City in California where I spent/wasted 30 minutes of my life.


2. Lots of people on the bus are total weirdos. No pictorial evidence of this because I was scared one of them would knife me.

3. Some of the routes are actually a great way to see some gorgeous scenery. I can think of worse things to look at for nine hours than the Californian coast.

4. Make sure your iPod is fully charged before you go.

5. Sit near the front to avoid being anywhere near the toilet, which will otherwise assault all of your five senses and make you want to shoot yourself in the face before the journey is over.

6. Take appropriate snacks. All layovers are in places with fast food outlets, so if like me you're trying not to return home twice the size you were, you'll need to plan ahead. I took fruit, nuts and M&Ms. Drink water, but not too much, otherwise you'll have to use the loo (see point five for why this is absolutely the worst idea ever).

7. Make sure you know how you're getting from the station to your destination. The stops are usually in the arse end of nowhere and doorways to hell.



  1. All very, very good points that are so easily overlooked! I did the whole of east coast Australia on a Greyhound pass and did the long stretches (14 hours was the longest) over night. Saves on paying for a hostel and there were usually fewer weirdos/people using the toilet!

    PS. More than 20,000 miles already! You're definitely clocking them up!x

  2. Hey Shelley! Yeah I probably should have pointed out that my experiences were on US Greyhounds, which I hear are significantly different to the ones in Oz! But still...