An Attractive Alternative
The airline industry has been more turbulent than usual with multiple carriers dealing with widespread flight cancellations, potential pilot strikes, and volatile ticket prices. Given the circumstances, taking the bus has become a popular alternative for Americans looking to travel for less.
According to the owner of Greyhound and Flixbus, over the Fourth of July weekend, bus ridership jumped 63% annually, while air travel increased just 11%. Notably, a similar spike occurred over Memorial Day Weekend.
Unless you’re traveling across the country and driving isn’t a realistic option, taking the bus tends to be much cheaper than flying.
According to travel site Wanderu, the average cost for a bus ticket for popular routes between major cities falls somewhere between $20 and $50. Plus, most bus companies will let you bring your luggage on for free — and they won’t confiscate your drink for being over 3.4 ounces.
If you don’t mind spending a little more time in transit, taking the bus can be an easy alternative to save money on travel.
Unexpected Bus Benefits
In addition to saving some cash, taking the bus offers the benefit of avoiding the hassle associated with the airport.
Even though you travel faster in the sky, the average flight can require a lot of additional steps, such as an Uber (UBER) to the airport, early arrival, security procedures, and a wait in the terminal. Plus, there’s always the risk of getting delayed or canceled. The bus, on the other hand, has a much easier boarding process: show up 20-30 minutes beforehand and you’re good to go.
With that said, taking the bus isn’t without disruptions of its own. Like planes, buses can have cancellations at the last minute and longer trips may require long delays to transfer buses.
No method of transportation is 100% seamless. But, the next time you’re staring down steep flight prices, it might be worth considering a bus ticket.
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