Hey, you — the procrastinator sitting there, scrolling the afternoon away instead of planning that weekend getaway you keep meaning to take. It feels like the more time passes, the less likely you are to pull this trip off. Plus, with stricter air travel security and heightened health measures put in place during the pandemic, spontaneous travel seems like a relic of the distant past.
But it’s definitely not. With low fares from Greyhound across the US, right now is the perfect time to start planning this weekend’s ramble. And with this guide, you’ll have some solid tips to make sure your spur-of-the-moment trip goes according to plan — or lack thereof. So, you’re free this weekend? Great. You’ve got a couple days to get everything in order. Here’s how.
BEFORE YOU BOOK
Go on and procrastinate.
No, for real. Greyhound’s low fares are a travel-procrastinator’s dream come true. With prices starting at $10, you can afford to put off planning your weekend of casino-hopping in Atlantic City or soaking your quarantine blues away in Desert Hot Springs. There are always affordable fares available within the next week, making Greyhound your getaway go-to, whenever you get around to that decision-making.
But if you see an unreal deal, grab it.
It’s cheaper to book online than at the kiosk, so if you see a good deal, don’t hesitate. Snatch it up before someone else does.
That being said — if you happen to be a procrastinator who also panics at the idea of booking a trip on impulse, look at Greyhound’s ticket flexibility options. It offers refundable fares, free same-day exchange, and the ability to make changes with no additional fees as long as you’re doing so before your scheduled departure day. No catch, no strings attached.
Tip: You’ll save even more dough if you can travel midweek, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Can’t decide where to travel? Just go where you can #AffordToExplore.
Greyhound has the most extensive bus network around, serving thousands of destinations across the United States. Whether your bucket list includes learning how to toss a fish at Seattle’s Pike Place Market or rediscovering your love of ragtime tunes in Texarkana, Greyhound can get you there.
Too many options to choose from and need to narrow it down by tomorrow? Check out Greyhound’s Instagram for inspo on the best destinations you can #AffordToExplore.
Nab that inexpensive hotel room.
Greyhound customers receive discounted rates on hotels booked through their site — yet another way you can afford to explore. Plus, all your travel planning can be done in one place this way. Consider this another procrastinator perk since, otherwise, booking a hotel room would probably stay on that never-ending “I’ll do it tomorrow” list.
AFTER YOU BOOK
Start planning the fun stuff.
No shame, but if you’ve waited this long to book your trip, chances are you probably don’t have much of an itinerary for when you arrive. You can keep an eye out for events in the area that spark your joy, or you can just click back to Instagram. Consider Greyhound’s ‘gram your personal guide for finding things to do and places to eat, from the best hikes to sweat out your hangover in Vegas to the tastiest food-truck po’ boys in Baton Rouge.
Keep tabs on your bus and scheduled stops.
BusTracker keeps you in the loop with live updates and approximate arrival times for your ride. You can also see expected stops with scheduled times to plan your leg-stretches and snack-foraging accordingly.
Just be sure not to wait until the last minute to round up some spare change — some of the shops and food stalls at rest stops en route only accept cash, so definitely plan ahead on this one.
Juice up and download your watch list.
All good procrastinators forget to charge devices ahead of time — and Greyhound has you covered. Buses come with free WiFi and a power outlet at every seat to ensure your HBO binge goes uninterrupted. They’ve got their own library of movies and TV shows, too.
Snag the best seat for your travel style.
Maybe you’re the type of person who enjoys slow travel, watching the landscapes shifting and changing across the country with your nose pressed against the glass. Or perhaps you prefer a spot along the aisle and a chance to stretch out a bit more. In either case, you’re in luck — there are no middle seats on Greyhound buses. Just remember that boarding begins up to 20 minutes before departure time, so arrive at the station early to snag your happy seat.
Keep in mind that you’re allowed to bring one carry-on bag with you and store up to three bags under the bus. And while Greyhound buses try to keep the temperatures at a happy medium, you may want to play it safe and pack a blanket or cozy sweater in your carry-on. Make your ride even more comfortable by plugging in your headphones to serenade your journey.
But seriously — have you started packing yet?