Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

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HappyGarret
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:35 am

Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by HappyGarret »

Right, so, I bought my early ticket from Greyhound a few hours ago (I stated I'd pay with cash, which means I can still cancel the trip by not going to the 7/11 to pay for the bus ticket), and the trip will be about a day and 14 hours, with 3 bus exchanges. I then, by concerned curiosity, looked up what people thought about Greyhound trips, and there seemed to many less-than-pleasant experiences, particularly with lost luggage, theft, shady bus stations, freaky passengers, sporadic incidents of murder/cannibalism, etc etc.

Are these people blowing hot air, or should I just pay the premium and get myself to the nearest flight on CheapFlights.com?

This is for the trip from Miami, FL to Amherst, MA; also, in case I manage not to get stabbed or robbed, what would be some quality tips to follow?

DutchGirl
Posts: 1223
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by DutchGirl »

I did some greyhound trips from New York to Pittsburgh and from Pittsburgh to Boston (holiday travel). They were normal bus trips, nothing wrong with them. My fellow passengers didn't eat anyone (at least not while on the bus), one was clearly a soldier moving, and others were families with small kids (who were actually fairly quiet). The most impressive event was a guy (NOT from our bus) getting an epileptic insult at a fast food restaurant where we had stopped as well, and I was really impressed by the speed and skill of the food manager handling that emergency - an ambulance was also present within minutes.

HappyGarret
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:35 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by HappyGarret »

Alternatively, I could book a flight on cheap flights for around $220 from Miami International Airport to Bradley International in Hartford, Connecticut; then Greyhound it the rest of the way to Amherst, MA for an additional $13.50.

The cross-country Greyhound ticket cost $141.

Hm.

Chad
Posts: 3848
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by Chad »

I doubt the bus is as bad as those reviews. Though, I have never ridden it. For $80 I would do the flight and get any entire day and a half back in my life, but that's just me. I'm not as extreme as the others on here.

bibacula
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:56 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by bibacula »

I've been riding Greyhound twice every year for the last 12 years.

Almost all of the people on the bus are totally normal. You'll see people from the military, students, waiters, etc. Don't worry.

The three bus changes will be a hassle, because you'll have to "break camp" on one bus, wait forever in the bus station, then "make camp" on the next bus again.

Treat this as an experience. You'll have a chance to meet some pretty cool people. If you want to become a writer, then prepare for some first-class people watching.

dash
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:27 pm
Location: UK

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by dash »

Worth a look at the Amtrak prices?

I went from NY to Seattle in May, and there was very little difference in price between Amtrak and Greyhound, but the train is a much more comfortable place to spend a couple of days.

secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by secretwealth »

I agree with Chad--a day and 14hrs. of travel versus 3 hours and an extra $90. Regardless of how pleasant your fellow travelers are (or aren't), that time differential is massive. Fly.

mikeBOS
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Contact:

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by mikeBOS »

Probably too late for this, but I use credit card reward points to travel cross country on Amtrak in a private room, including a private bathroom, with all meals in the dining car included. You could get a Miami to New England ticket completely free (not even any little fees or anything) for the hassle of opening one credit card, using the bonus points, and then closing the card.

Chad
Posts: 3848
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by Chad »

Amtrak is great.

secretwealth
Posts: 1948
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:31 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by secretwealth »

mikeBOS--how many bonus points and on what card? This idea is very appealing to me.

riparian
Posts: 650
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:00 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by riparian »

What card is that?

I prefer the Amtrak or megabus, but there's nothing wrong with greyhound.

HappyGarret
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:35 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by HappyGarret »

Well, the end result is not pretty.

Turns out I need to be at the school the 25th, not earlier or later, otherwise I can't get the keys to the dorm or I miss out on half of orientation.

The flights for the 25th just so happen to be the most expensive, so I had to shell out $276 for the plane ticket, plus $25 for a bag, and $45 for the shuttle to take me to the school. A total of $346.

For $200 extra, Greyhound better have been hell.

...Awell, I suppose it could be worse, at least I owned a bike for an entire year before this.

(I tried Amtrak going through NY, then Amherst, but the prices end up being ~the same as the plane/shuttle if I expect to get there on the 25th)
Last edited by HappyGarret on Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CS
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by CS »

Good call. I have heard some horror stories about Grey Hound. Don't check your luggage for one thing.

I think they are owned by some people out of the country.

dot_com_vet
Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by dot_com_vet »

I've taken greyhound, and it was fine, don't worry. 14 hours isn't crazy.

Amtrak is fantastic and a very relaxing way to travel, if it's an option.

bibacula
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:56 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by bibacula »

Huh. I've never known that Greyhound had such a bad reputation.

I've been riding the bus for years without a single problem. I just read and sleep.

vivacious
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:29 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by vivacious »

Ya. Some of you guys are weird. I've done stuff like this all over the world. Usually the worst thing that happens is the bus/train/etc is filled to capacity and then you might be squished in a little. If anyone wants more info send a PM or something.

CS
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by CS »

bibacula wrote:Huh. I've never known that Greyhound had such a bad reputation.

I've been riding the bus for years without a single problem. I just read and sleep.
Friend's luggage got lost on his way from Canada to IL. He had absolutely no recourse and as far as I know he never got it back. Sounded weird to me too, but that is what happened.

YMMV

bibacula
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:56 am

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by bibacula »

CS wrote:
bibacula wrote:Huh. I've never known that Greyhound had such a bad reputation.

I've been riding the bus for years without a single problem. I just read and sleep.
Friend's luggage got lost on his way from Canada to IL. He had absolutely no recourse and as far as I know he never got it back. Sounded weird to me too, but that is what happened.

YMMV
Freak accident.

Whenever you leave the house, something could go wrong. I choose to live life anyway.

Travel is a hobby of mine. I've taken buses, trains and airplanes in many different countries and on several different continents. Train travel is the best, bus travel is usually second, and airplane travel is almost always the worst.

Greyhound offers decent service.

CS
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by CS »

bibacula wrote:
CS wrote:
bibacula wrote:Huh. I've never known that Greyhound had such a bad reputation.

I've been riding the bus for years without a single problem. I just read and sleep.
Friend's luggage got lost on his way from Canada to IL. He had absolutely no recourse and as far as I know he never got it back. Sounded weird to me too, but that is what happened.

YMMV
Freak accident.

Whenever you leave the house, something could go wrong. I choose to live life anyway.

Travel is a hobby of mine. I've taken buses, trains and airplanes in many different countries and on several different continents. Train travel is the best, bus travel is usually second, and airplane travel is almost always the worst.

Greyhound offers decent service.
Perhaps on Greyhound. I've found that avoiding providers that have caused problems in the past does the most to improve my quality of life. Time after time, I have seen if I write it off as someone's else mistake or bad luck, I find out that no, it applies to me too. Best just to avoid the possibility.

Scott 2
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.

Post by Scott 2 »

These are the two credit cards I've used to get amtrak points, about 40,000 between them:

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-ca ... rcard.aspx
http://www.offers.com/americanexpress/s ... 82-2425134

The starwood card has a $65 fee after the first year, so I'd cancel it just before that renewal date. Starwood points convert to amtrak points in 5000 point blocks.

Redemption is covered here:

https://amtrakguestrewards.com/redeem

The roomette is pretty sweet, extremely comfortable way to travel. IMO business class is relatively comfortable, probably sleepable. Coach is fine, but I wouldn't plan on sleeping much.

I've done 44 hours on the Amtrak, via the little room. It was fine, but I have no intention of sleeping on a train ever again. I'd rather go coach, and get off the train once or twice to visit a small town and rest in a hotel. Enjoy the journey, so to speak.

Never took the Greyhound. Everyone I see waiting at the station looks poor, people I never encounter in my typical suburban upper-middle class bubble. I doubt there's much problem with crime, because really, if you want to prey on somebody, there needs to be something worth taking.

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