Author Topic: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.  (Read 15696 times)

Zalo

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Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« on: August 01, 2013, 11:40:54 PM »
Right, so, I just bought an early bus ticket from Greyhound a few hours ago to take me from Miami, Florida to Amherst, Massachusetts. I then, by concerned curiosity, looked up what people thought about Greyhound trips, and there seemed to be many less-than-pleasant experiences, particularly with lost luggage, theft, shady bus stations, freaky passengers, sporadic incidents of murder/cannibalism, and other assorted goodies.

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

The trip would be about a day and 14 hours, with 3 bus exchanges. Also, I stated I'd pay by cash, which means that I can simply cancel the bus ride by not going to the 7/11 today to pay for the ticket.


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

This substitute trip would cost a total of ~$240.00

The cross-country Greyhound ticket would cost $141.00.

Hm.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 11:49:45 PM by Zalo »

Donovan

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 05:12:40 AM »
I have no experience with Greyhound, but I use a service called Megabus all the time and have seen no particularly bad events beyond late bus arrivals.  Take some basic precautions against theft while you're asleep and everything should be fine. If you can deal with the slow speed of travel, I would say go for it and save the money.

frompa

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 05:25:16 AM »
I take a greyhound bus from time to time, mostly between where I live (northeast Pa) and the nearby cities of NY, PHila, Boston.  No problems.  I kind of prefer train travel, because it allows for more mobility which I appreciate on the longer trips, but you could do a train up the NE corrider to Boston, and then hop a quick bus across Massachusetts to Amherst (only two hours to the west).  An advantage of bus or train travel, is that given it's slower pace, you get more people watching.  IF that's tiresome to you, though, take the flight.  Good luck... whichever way you go, you'll probably be fine.

starbuck

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 06:08:41 AM »
Oh geez, I would definitely fly for the extra $100. A few hours on a plane, versus THIRTY EIGHT hours on a bus? I just don't think I could be that sedentary for that long. Have you ever done an extra long flight overseas? You'd probably find the first half okay, but then the 2nd half could become torturous. I think the crazy stories are generally over inflated, and instances of crazy are pretty rare. Although frankly, 38 hrs on a bus would probably lead me to kill someone. I think a train would be different - more personal space, and more space to move around and go for walks and stretch my legs.

Don't forget if you do the bus route, you'll need to get food for the two days of travel.

jrhampt

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 07:24:33 AM »
I've had good and bad experiences traveling on Greyhound.  When I was younger, creepy passengers would try to pick me up, but I suspect that would no longer be as much of an issue :-)  I had no problems with theft, but there was one memorable trip on winter out to Minnesota from the east coast where the bus broke down in the snow on the way back.  That sucked.  On the plus side, they were an inexpensive option, and it was very easy to reschedule your tickets if travel plans changed. 

Now that I am a woman of slightly more means than in the old days, I prefer the train where I have that option.

Dee18

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 07:39:23 AM »
When I was 19 I rode Greyhound (and its Mexican partner) from Louisville KY to Mexico City....58 hours.  the day after I arrived, I cashed in my return ticket and borrowed money so I could fly home after my 4 weeks touring Mexico.  You will be fine if you do take the bus, but most of it won't be much fun.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 07:48:03 AM »
I do greyhound on occaision for regional trips Philly to NYC but that is about it.  Any distance greater is too time consuming.

The trip would be about a day and 14 hours, with 3 bus exchanges. Also, I stated I'd pay by cash, which means that I can simply cancel the bus ride by not going to the 7/11 today to pay for the ticket.

This substitute trip would cost a total of ~$240.00

The cross-country Greyhound ticket would cost $141.00.

Hm.

Honestly, to save $100 with option A being two days of an extremely uncomfortable existence or 6-7 hours by air with maybe a 3 hours of it being an extremely uncomfortable existence is a no brainer decision.  The only way I would choose the bus is if I was down to my last $141 or had all the time in the world AND a strong desire to travel by bus. 


Russ

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 08:01:18 AM »
I ride greyhound all the time and have never had a problem. Riding cross-country sounds like a hell of a ride, both in a "this will be an interesting life experience" way and a "holy shit that's a lot of time to just sit" way. I might do it once for the lulz, but it seems impractical. I am generally not able to work on anything on bus/plane/train rides, so If the flight is only $100 more and you get 30 hours of your life back, that's a good deal IMO. If I were you I'd fly. Of course you might have different values (e.g. if you can work, maybe that's not lost time) so you'll have to make your own decision.

On Greyhound in general though, I think they're a great deal for drives less than 12 hours or so, especially overnight because I'm able to sleep through it. Again, never had a problem (except a few late departures, but that'll happen anywhere)

olivia

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 08:20:03 AM »
I do greyhound on occaision for regional trips Philly to NYC but that is about it.  Any distance greater is too time consuming.

The trip would be about a day and 14 hours, with 3 bus exchanges. Also, I stated I'd pay by cash, which means that I can simply cancel the bus ride by not going to the 7/11 today to pay for the ticket.

This substitute trip would cost a total of ~$240.00

The cross-country Greyhound ticket would cost $141.00.

Hm.

Honestly, to save $100 with option A being two days of an extremely uncomfortable existence or 6-7 hours by air with maybe a 3 hours of it being an extremely uncomfortable existence is a no brainer decision.  The only way I would choose the bus is if I was down to my last $141 or had all the time in the world AND a strong desire to travel by bus.

Ditto, pay the extra $100 and fly.  You couldn't pay me enough to sit in a bus for 2 days.  Your time is worth something, and that something is probably more than $100.

minimalist

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 08:26:01 AM »
A direct flight from MIA to BDL is 3 hours. I can't believe you're asking if 35 hours of time in discomfort is worth $100. Also, I searched for flights on various days in August and September and you can fly from MIA to BDL direct for $97-$150.

Zalo

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 09:08:51 AM »
A direct flight from MIA to BDL is 3 hours. I can't believe you're asking if 35 hours of time in discomfort is worth $100. Also, I searched for flights on various days in August and September and you can fly from MIA to BDL direct for $97-$150.

Please link me them, I'd definitely appreciate it; the $97 dollar one would be fantastic. (: (I have to be there on the 25th of Aug)

As for the bus, my initial idea was to see part of the country/people I don't usually see; it sounded fun to do at least once.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 09:44:24 AM by Zalo »

DCUrbanMM

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 09:54:59 AM »
I used to take a 24 hour long greyhound bus from Worcester MA to South Bend IN pretty frequently throughout college.  It's definitely not the most comfortable ride and around holidays it's much worse (slower, more people) but that being said, it is often the best value.  I was on tight budget throughout college so $100 really mattered to me. 

It's not much of a cultural experience (unless you have never seen America's working class). 

If you have a surplus of time, plenty of reading material, and good threshold for sitting in one place, I'd say go for it. 

minimalist

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 10:05:57 AM »
A direct flight from MIA to BDL is 3 hours. I can't believe you're asking if 35 hours of time in discomfort is worth $100. Also, I searched for flights on various days in August and September and you can fly from MIA to BDL direct for $97-$150.

Please link me them, I'd definitely appreciate it; the $97 dollar one would be fantastic. (: (I have to be there on the 25th of Aug)

As for the bus, my initial idea was to see part of the country/people I don't usually see; it sounded fun to do at least once.

Here you go: http://www.kayak.com/flights#/MIA-BDL/2013-08-28-flexible

bogart

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 10:15:51 AM »
As for the bus, my initial idea was to see part of the country/people I don't usually see; it sounded fun to do at least once.

I'm a fan of the basic idea but not sure this is the best way to do it.  You're about to start college at a fancy school; many of your classmates will have cars and some will have free time.  Word on the street is that college students sometimes enjoy visits to Florida and have been known to take crazy road trips (I know, I know).  Why don't you fly up there and anticipate that you'll make friends and have opportunities to explore the east coast (or wherever) by car with them during your college years?  If for some reason that doesn't work out it seems likely you'll also have later opportunities to take the bus if you want to.

Zalo

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2013, 10:28:16 AM »
Thanks for the flight, now I need to find a form of transportation to take me from BDL to Amherst, MA. I don't think the Greyhound Bus will work since the Hartford station is ~15 mi away.

jambongris

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2013, 10:45:27 AM »
I took Greyhound buses back to Ottawa from New Orleans a few years ago, about 48hrs in total. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Not sure I would do it again though.

As the buses headed further north there seemed to be an inverse correlation between the cleanliness of the buses and the friendliness of the drivers. The buses, and some of the bus stations, on the more southern legs tended to be older and dirtier while the drivers were friendly and helpful. As I got closer to home the buses got nicer (working toilets, electrical outlets, wifi, etc.) but the drivers got grumpier and grumpier. It was a fascinating transition.

Zalo

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2013, 11:56:20 AM »
I found a shuttle service to take me to Amherst; it'll cost $45, and I won't have to find transport to the greyhound station. Combined with one of the cheaper flights, it should be a good combo.

DanBrewMan

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2013, 12:00:03 PM »
To me, flying for $100 extra is WAY worth it.

jrhampt

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 12:05:13 PM »
After my last experience, I swore I would never go greyhound again if I could avoid it, but it was a cheap way to get places in my broke twenties.  Now I am Amtrak all the way.

Zalo

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 03:18:40 PM »
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 Edit: August 02, 2013, 03:25:30 PM by Zalo »

MrsPete

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »
For all the reasons that've been mentioned, fly.

Russ

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2013, 07:58:10 PM »
Hey ya win some ya lose some. If you decide that in the end the airfare might not have been worth it, don't feel bad just try and learn something for next time.

kimmarg

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2013, 09:28:11 PM »
Sounds like you got it figured out for this time but a few hints for the future.

Boston Logan airport is not as physically close to Amherst as Hartford, but there are much better flight deals and much better connecting buses. Check BOS over BDL (depends in the day)

Greyhound is not at all the largest bus line in the Northeast, although it is the only one that will get you all the way to Florida. Try Peter Pan bus ($35 Boston Logan airport to Amherst 5+ times a day  www.peterpanbus.com

Lastly check Amtrak for cross country. They are much more comfortable than the bus for about the same price.

Emg03063

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2013, 08:50:33 PM »
For future reference, check out southwest flights from ft. Lauderdale, also flying into Albany.

oceanbreeze

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2013, 09:09:07 PM »
Peter Pan Bus offers a college express bus from Boston logan Airport to Amherst during the school year. Here's a link to the Bus fares. On August 25th it would have been 35.00 bus fare. usually it's pretty competitive to fly into Boston and convenient. You'd be traveling on the bus with many college students.

dragoncar

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Re: Cross-Country Greyhound Bus Trip, Kinda Freaking Out.
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2013, 10:41:57 AM »
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)

You could have slept in a cheap motel / couch surfed / airbnb, or straight up slept at the termnial.  I'd take a nap at the terminal over the bus any day.