We just got back from one our favorite quick getaway destinations – New Orleans. But rather than flying or driving, we opted for a new mode of transportation that we’ve been itching to try for a while.
We took the Megabus.
For those who aren’t familiar, Megabus is a low-cost bus service with city-to-city routes in the United States and parts of Canada. You can purchase one-way fares for as low as $1!
We weren’t that lucky, but we did manage to book a roundtrip bus ticket to New Orleans for about $40. That was a steal to us and far less than the cost of gas if we drove or even a plane ticket if we flew.
In true 2 Girls Who Travel fashion, we wanted to impart some wisdom…basically we want to give you tips we learned so you can have the best Megabus trip ever!
So keep reading for our tips for first-time Megabus travelers.
- Be on time. This is first for a reason. We definitely learned this the hard way. Morning rush hour traffic and poor time management literally had us pulling up to the Megabus lot as it was driving off. By the grace of God, the driver stopped to let us on. Drivers have a time to keep and honestly, they won’t be able to do so if they wait around for people. So arrive on time – better yet, arrive 10-15 minutes prior to departure.
- Reserve a seat. Some of the seats on each Megabus are able to be reserved. The cost ranges from a couple of dollars to about $10, depending on the seat. If you’re prone to being late (ahem – points finger at ourselves), this helps ensure you have a seat…the seat you want. Now, you may be able to get a coveted reserve seat without actually reserving one. This happens if the seats are empty after the bus has departed — and if nobody has booked the seat at any of the other stops along the way. But if you want a sure thing, just reserve.
- Know the baggage rules. Each passenger is allowed one bag (up to 50 pounds) and one carry-on. That’s it. Prior to boarding, passengers with bags line up to get their bags stowed for the trip. Keep in mind, space can be a bit tight on the bus, so the more minimalist you can be, the better.
- The bathrooms are kinda gross. Look, we’re happy there is a place to use the restroom as not everybody can hold it until the designated stops. But don’t expect much. Essentially it’s a porta potty the same size as the bathrooms on a plane. Long story short, just bring Lysol spray!
- Look up the Megabus lots ahead of time. Some of the lots are quite small, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the area so you don’t waste time the day of departure trying to locate it. For example, the Houston area has three Megabus lots (one downtown, one in Katy and one in Northwest Houston). We departed from the one downtown and there’s nowhere to park (just pick-up and drop-offs), so it’s best to catch a ride there.
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful as a first-time Megabus traveler. We know we’ll definitely plan on using the Megabus again!