Last year I spent three months in the USA, travelling from Austin, Texas, all the way up to Chicago, Illinois, by bus and train. I took 7 Greyhound buses, 4 Megabuses and 2 Amtrak trains in that time.
I didn’t hire a car because I was worried about driving by myself, and, seeing as it was just me, it seemed too expensive for such a long amount of time. Travelling by public transport in the USA meant that I could enjoy the views as they unfolded rather than trying to work out my route.
It also meant that once I’d got to the station, it was up to someone else to get me to my next destination.
If you’re trying to work out how to get around the USA by public transport, here are a few pointers to start you off…
Travelling by Public Transport in the USA
1. Find the best route at the best price
Use GoTicket to work out the best route for you. You can choose any city in the USA to start and finish at and they’ll tell you how long it’ll take, give you an approximate cost and tell you the best company to go with. You can see the route on a map and if there’s a better option in a close town, it’ll tell you that too.
2. Double check the times
It’s not a good idea to show up to lesser-populated US cities late at night or early in the morning. For your safety I’d recommend you choose times that arrive and depart when there are lots of people around.
3. Choose your seat wisely
Word of warning – some of the toilets on the trains and buses absolutely stink. I’d advise booking your seat as far away from the back of the bus as possible. Also, if you get on a bus and haven’t prebooked a seat, choose someone to sit next to… before someone chooses you.
4. Know your stops
Once you’ve found the ticket you’d like to book, find out where it stops along the way and for how long. Some of the Greyhound and Megabus routes will require you to change at the station, make sure you’re ready for it.
5. Plan your food
Once you know your stops you can plan your food, especially if you’re going to be travelling all day. Many of the train and bus stations only serve junk food, if they have any, and it won’t make you feel good. Oh, and Subway salads will be your best friend.
6. Enjoy yourself!
Travelling by public transport in the USA means that you have the time to kick back and relax and admire the scenery. Get your Spotify playlists on and enjoy the experience!