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Greyhound Bus Travel, Canada - USA
Travel by bus made cheaper

This section will outline some great ways to save, but before the bus passes and discounted fares are discussed, please make a promise.

You must remember that rest is the basis of activity. The professor has paid his dues—he knows the importance of what he asks. Dr. Voyageur has travelled many times across North America by car and by train. And, he has journeyed thousands of miles by bus using passes and regular tickets.

You should not attempt to sleep too many nights on coaches or trains in order to save money and time. In addition, you must promise not to try to sleep on buses or trains more than one or two nights in a row. If not, you will surely become one of the zombie-like travellers who populate coach terminal benches at nearly every destination, too tired to enjoy what they have come to experience.

You also have to promise to read Dr. Voyageur's "Greyhound pros and cons" page, which will help you decide whether or not to travel by bus in North America.

Special fares and passes

For the zombie or non-zombie-like international visitor, Greyhound Canada and Greyhound USA (They are owned by the same Canadian company, but operate independently) offer a variety of passes, some of which must be purchased prior to arrival in Canada or the U.S. Note, however, that Greyhound USA may allow international visitors to purchase its international passes by paying a little extra at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

Note that all of this information is subject to change. Dr. Voyageur will not list all of these passes here, as rates and rules change frequently. Check out the Greyhound Canada and Greyhound USA Internet pages for specials on both lines and for some coach travel tips.

In the U.S., student-oriented travel cards offer small discounts on both Amtrak and Greyhound USA tickets, but better bargains are usually found in Internet specials. Greyhound Canada and Via Rail Canada have student specials for those holding the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), and these may be better deals in an environment of fewer Internet-type specials.

You may be better off not buying a pass

Frequently, Greyhound USA offers "knock-your-socks-off" fares like its $59 Winter or $69 Summer go anywhere advance purchase specials that are much better deals than its passes. Beware that these may not allow you to break journey (stopover) at places along the way. Check out the rules before you purchase.

Specials sometimes include two for one price fares. These types of bargains, which change often, are posted on the Greyhound USA site. Almost always, these require advance purchase.

Also, be sure to check out the low fares from points such as El Paso on or near the Mexico - USA border that can be purchased at any time. Study the Amtrak site too, as it often has super Internet only specials such as a recent $59 fare from Chicago to Los Angeles. Amtrak Internet prices apply between and two towns on the special route. Consequently, you could pay the same price to travel from Kansas City to Flagstaff, also a super deal.

Passes may be a better deal for travellers in Canada. Greyhound Canada offers both regional and nationwide passes.

Because Greyhound Canada does not operate east of Montreal, some Greyhound passes include transportation on other lines.

Especially good deals for international visitors are Greyhound Canada's regular and deluxe New York City to Seattle (or vice versa) passes "Coach Pass" and "Coach Pass Plus", which include some of the most outstanding scenery in North America. These include transportation on other lines between New York City and Toronto and between Vancouver and Seattle.

The deluxe version "Coach Pass Plus" includes the stunningly beautiful Brewster Transportation route between Jasper National Park and Banff National Park via Lake Louise, a must see for any traveller.

With this pass, you can travel by Greyhound Canada and other lines from New York City and Toronto and onward to Jasper National Park, take Brewster from Jasper to Banff National Park, travel Greyhound Canada from Banff to Vancouver, and then take Greyhound USA from Vancouver to Seattle.

"Coach Pass Plus" also allows travel in eastern Canada, from Ottawa and Montreal to Halifax on other coach lines.

An advantage of a Greyhound Canada NYC to Seattle pass may be that you can often obtain a cheaper international fare into (or out of) New York City and out of (or into) the West Coast of the U.S. than you could get to or from Canadian points. Remember that many air fares do not require you to arrive and depart from the same place. Thus you may wish to fly into the west coast and depart from the east coast or vice-versa to save time. Your choice.

Check out the excellent Greyhound Canada Internet pages for the most current information on pass use across Canada and to or from New York City and Seattle. Note that your pass on Brewster Transportation applies to its express coaches, not to its tour buses that stop frequently for photos between Banff and Jasper.

If you plan to use this pass, keep in mine that you need a visa that allows two entries into the United States.

Compare to budget airfares

Travelling by coach lets you enjoy places like the Canadian and Colorado Rockies, but there may be times you want only to reach some place quickly.

You may find some single (one-way) airfares are cheaper than Greyhound, especially when purchased in advance.

Check sites such as Westjet, Southwest, and JetBlue to compare prices.

Dr. Voyageur has a Canadian information page with helpful links to tourist offices, etc., as well as a mostly U.S. one. His home page links to additional information, including many cultural tips for international visitors.


Finding budget accommodation while travelling on Greyhound

Finding good budget motels and hotels near coach stations in the U.S. can be a problem. Sadly, budget motel chains in the U.S. are often located far from coach and rail terminals. In larger cities, terminals are often in terribly deteriorated and possibly unsafe neighbourhoods. Other than in Vancouver, this is not a problem in Canada.

Two very helpful budget accommodation guides are Hostels Canada and Hostels USA , as they rate the quality of the hostels, which are often near coach terminals. The U.S. version includes hostels in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Montreal, Canada, but not much elsewhere in Canada.

For inexpensive hotels, try services that do not tell you where you will stay until you pay. You pick the neighbourhood, you pick the quality, you pick the price, but you do not pick a specific place. This really saves money.

The two best are Hotwire.com (no bidding) and Priceline.com Hotels (bidding).

Go To >> Greyhound - Travelling scenic coach routes

Go To >> Greyhound - Planning an itinerary: Using schedules

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