Travel America - Greyhound Bus Pass
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jul 1, 2013 10:22 AM Last Post By: ouahfmlt00
Apr 27, 2013 5:20 AM
Travel America - Greyhound Bus PassI'm new to Lonely Planet and was wondering if anyone would be able to help with an idea for a trip I have in mind...
So my idea is to travel America using the Greyhound bus pass for 2 months. I've got the obvious places in mind to visit on my travels, grand canyon, capital, las vegas, new york city but I know I'm just scratching the surface.
I'd especially appreciate any hints or tips from anyone that has done this kind of trip before and has an idea of the kind of budget required for an adventure like this.
Apr 27, 2013 6:50 AM
Apr 27, 2013 7:05 AM
2Like carracar, consider a mix of bus travel and AMTRAK train travelling, maybe even a domestic flight or two depending on your destinations. I've ridden the "old grey dog" (Greyhound) in the past, and it's OK for short-term travel, but not my first choice.
Also, to access National Parks especially in the west, you'll need to find local transportation beyond Greyhound/Trailways as these busses don't go to most national parks. Not sure about Grand Canyon, but you could arrange a tour from Las Vegas which is served by Greyhound.
As far as budget, you need to tell us you limits and describe your interests in more detail. Include your travel style (camping, hostels, luxury suites)?
Apr 27, 2013 7:31 AM
3There is one problem. Greyhound no longer offers passes. See this thread from last November.No more Discovery Pass.
If you try to go to the Discover Pass web site, you are redirected to the regular Greyhound site.
Greyhound also does not have a decent up-to-date route map. This rather hard to read map is the best I have found. This map which you will find all over the place, is old. It shows towns that Greyhound no longer serves.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Apr 27, 2013 11:14 AM
4Thanks for the responses so far. So as far as interests go, I'd love to bike around quite a few of the national parks if at all possible and camp as much as I can in these locations. I think the idea of doing a couple of flights here and there is a valid one....I've been to america about 5 times but not seen the "real america"...I've seen the grand canyon but only standing on the rim, I haven't actually been down into the canyon itself and would love to do so...I think my limit on budget in total would be 4-5k as I want to experience everything to the full.
Apr 27, 2013 2:20 PM
5National parks, for the most part, as set up to visit with a car, or by hiking off road. A few have shuttle busses. If you are an experienced biker and can handle long rides and steep roads, you might be able to do this. Do you intend to take a bike or rent one? Few parks have rentals available. Greyhound does not serve national parks.
Apr 27, 2013 3:54 PM
Apr 28, 2013 5:44 AM
7As bjookaj notes, $5K for two months (60 days) = a budget of $83/day.
That's doable, but pretty tight if you plan to travel around very much. It would be much more doable if you picked a region of the country and limited your travels to local excursions within it (the west or east coast for example). Also, such a low budget will probably exclude things like domestic flights, rental cars, partying, attending events like concerts, and expensive destinations like New York, San Francisco or Washington DC. It's a bare bones travel budget and no more.
As for biking around national parks, the problem is getting you and your bike to the parks. Very few national parks have bicycle rentals.
To access some of the parks, you can get to nearby towns or cities on the bus then you'll have to arrange for local transportation to them (e.g. Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone or Grand Canyon from Las Vegas), but, many other national parks particularly in the west require a car to reach (i.e. canyonland and desert parks in the southwest, Death Valley, most of the Sierra Nevada). Once inside, some parks (like Glacier or Yosemite) have van or bus shuttles to various parts of the parks, but many parks don't have such service. It will cost about $15 to enter the parks and another $15 - $25 per night to camp inside of them in campgrounds. Food and groceries inside of national parks are notoriously expensive and limited as they are sold from small stores operated by private concessioners. It's far cheaper to bring your own food with you. Overall, national parks aren't as cheap as many people think.
Finally, are you prepared for camping in the outback (primitive campsites or backpacking into the wilderness instead of staying in developed campsites)? Got your gear? Have experience?
Apr 28, 2013 7:30 AM
8Is the 4-5K dollars or sterling? £5000 is about US$7700. That's almost $130 per day, which would make a big difference.
Outside of large cities, don't expect to find many hostels. When you find one, a dorm bed will cost US$20-40, plus tax, per night.
In the US, camping is seen as a way to experience nature, not as a cheap lodging alternative. So you will not find many camping places in or near large cities. When you find them, then are often geared more for RVs than tents, and may have no transit available.
So-called "wild" or "free" camping, where you just set at a likely looking spot by the side of the road or in a pasture, is generally not tolerated unless you have prior permission of the landowner. You could find yourself having an interesting conversation with a police officer or an irate landowner.
There are some public lands, especially in the west, that allow what they call "dispersed camping," meaning you can camp anywhere, with some restrictions. Those restrictions usually mean you can't get to a place to camp without a car or a long hike.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Apr 28, 2013 2:31 PM
9And... As the West , where most of the public lands allowing "dispersed" or "wild" camping is in the midst of a prolonged drought ... Such camping will soon be disallowed in all but designated sites and all campfires banned or at the least to the avove sites... This will make back country bike touring difficult with out a real plan... carracar
Apr 29, 2013 6:21 AM
Jul 1, 2013 10:22 AM
11I've done a Amtrak and Greyhound with my children. They are both different experience. Greyhound pass for teens and city travel. But a bit smell or somehow will have somehow some funny culture people.But in all, is okie for cheap to go unlimited place.
Amtrak is very long but see long distant landscape but can't see much at night. IT's fantastic to Pass Through Gran Canon or Seaside Cost line. Other than that, Beware of some phone or camera or belongings. Occassional some border check on both transport. But in general. It's not too bad and good experience for family travel. Bless.+
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