6 Tips for Travelling by Bus Across the USA

Travelling by bus can be an effective way to see the sights or simply get to your preferred destination in a timely and affordable manner. However, as with any other mode of transportation, you’ll need to have a plan in place to ensure that you get to your destination safely and with all your belongings. 

Keep Luggage to a Minimum

Ideally, you will pack as light as possible to avoid losing items or having them stolen while on your trip. Packing as light as possible can also help to minimize luggage fees or other burdens associated with lugging around multiple suitcases.

Before booking your bus tickets online take inventory of everything you intend to bring on the trip. If possible, try to bring only what will fit into a single rolling suitcase or backpack. If necessary, you can bring a backpack onto the bus that has items that you’ll need for the ride such as your medication, a laptop or other devices that you’ll need by your side.

Keep Yourself Entertained

It’s not uncommon for a trip to take several hours to complete. Therefore, you will need something to keep you occupied while stuck in your seat. Many people choose to download a full season of their favourite television show or a collection of movies that will last them for most of the journey. 

However, if you’re concerned about too much screen time, you can also bring a book or a music player to keep your mind off of how many miles are left until reaching your destination. 

Avoid Drinking Alcohol Before Travelling

As with plane or train operators, bus companies will typically refuse service to people who are under the influence of alcohol. However, it’s generally not a good idea to drink any type of liquid prior to getting on a bus. This is because it increases your risk of needing to use the bathroom early on during your trip, and while most buses have restrooms aboard they aren’t the most comfortable to use. If necessary, bring a bottle of water on the bus that you can sip slowly if you are feeling thirsty or if you need to take medication with water. 

Don’t Forget a Comfort Item

A bus can be an uncomfortable place to sleep unless you come prepared. You should consider bringing a traditional pillow, neck pillow or anything else that is soft and can help you fall asleep. You may also want to consider bringing a mask to keep the light out if you plan on sleeping during a day trip. It’s also in your best interest to bring a sweatshirt or other items that you can put on if it gets cold at night or if you’re traveling from a warm climate to a cooler one. 

If You’re Traveling with Kids

While you may have no problem spending several hours on a bus, your kids may not share your enthusiasm. Therefore, it’s important to have snacks, games or anything else that can keep them occupied for the duration of your journey. You should also make sure that you get to the station early to find seats near each other since seats are first-come first-serve. If you’re traveling with babies or toddlers, you’ll also want to pack a diaper bag, a change of clothes or anything else they would need while away from home. 

Consider Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance may help you if your trip is canceled or rerouted for any reason. For instance, you may be able to get a new bus ticket without having to pay anything out of your own pocket. You may also be able to get refunds for hotel rooms or other amenities that you weren’t able to use because you weren’t able to get to your destination on time. Finally, travel insurance may pay for a hotel room, rental car, or other expenses that you incurred because you were stranded away from home. 


Traveling across the United States by bus can be ideal for tourists or those who simply don’t have a good sense of direction. Instead of having to navigate busy city roads or long stretches of rural highways, you can sit back, relax and feel good that you’ll get to your destination in a timely manner.