Choosing a bus ticket

Deciding where to go and how to get there is the first step in planning a trip, and the next important task is to buy a ticket. Although tickets are normally still available only minutes before a bus leaves, it is a good idea to take advantage of the benefits advance planning can give.

Most bus lines recognize the varied needs of the travellers in need of their services. Greyhound, for example, offers a variety of tickets, most of which allow a great deal of flexibility. For people who wish to travel around and see the country, the Discovery Pass is well suited to their needs. This ticket is the most flexible of all, allowing passengers to travel around the country with unlimited stopovers and transfers as long as the pass lasts. Most other tickets do not allow for stopovers other than scheduled stops and transfers, but because they are valid for a range of dates, they still allow passengers to choose their own timetable. Buying a ticket a week or two in advance can cut the price by up to half, and there are various discounts for students, seniors, and others. The compassionate discount will help those who must travel unexpectedly to be with their families. Other last-minute travellers need not worry, however; even full-price tickets are rarely more expensive than plane fare, and few buses are so full that they cannot accommodate one more person.

Cancellation fees for air travel can be prohibitive, but bus travel allows passengers greater freedom to change their plans. While tickets are non-refundable, they are valid for up to forty-four days after the date stamped on the ticket. Advance-purchase tickets may not be valid on weekends or holidays, but there are no restrictions on the time of day passengers can travel. With this flexibility, passengers can decide how best to use travel time to fit in with their needs. Schedules change often, and it is a good idea to check on a specific route a day or two beforehand.

Flexibility and low price make buying bus tickets a painless experience.

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