View Full Version : Greyhound from Western Canada

04-21-2004, 08:12 PM
Since the cost of air travel is so high, I am actually considering taking the Greyhound. Anyone ever done it? It's almost 3 days, but it's only $200/person right now. Can't beat that!!
What do you think? Am I nuts?

04-21-2004, 08:58 PM
Where are you going?

04-21-2004, 09:19 PM
Edmonton to Orlando

04-21-2004, 09:39 PM
I would! If you love to travel, you'll get to see a whole lot of country on the bus. We often drive to Florida and we take 3 days to do it.

04-21-2004, 09:45 PM
It's not worth it. TRUST me. I've travelled from Toronto to Orlando by Greyhound (36 hours) and I'm scarred for life. This is going to be a LONG post....

The only Pro's is the money. Here is my list of Things to consider:

- US bus service is not like Canadian - the theory of calling on a new bus when one is full isn't always there so consider how many transfers you'll have (for 3 days, I bet plenty). If you don't have at least 2 hours to spare you may either miss your connection or be at the end of the line and need to wait for the next bus. I saw a near riot in Cleveland over the bus to Chicago. If there is anyway to have fewer connections, even if it's a longer route you'd be better off. Also, you may not get to sit with others in your party - you may get stuck with a stranger for 12 hours.

-The bus only goes for about 5 hours at a time before it stops for maintenance. This happens EVERY 5 hours regardless of the time and you are FORCED to leave the bus for approx. an hour. (Reason why a 21 hour trip turns into 36) Some bus stations are nice - I found most to lack seating and we ended up standing around for the full hour. Not fun at 2:00 am in the morning - not fun again when it happens at 7:00 am etc. etc.... Remember that bus stations are usually in the bad parts of town. In Atlanta we were left off outside of the bus station at 2:30 am and were left standing on a sidewalk across the street from a strip club where cops were arresting people and putting them in a paddy wagon (sp?). Scarrrrry.

- You don't get to see much. You see the highway and then you drive into the backend of the City to a bus station. It's not seeing the country it's seeing the inside of a Greyhound bus and then the inside of a Greyhound station. When you're driving at night (which you will be, ALL night) you don't see anything.

-It's not comfortable. 3 days is a long time to sit in one position and aside from the time spent in the stations, that's ALL you're doing. It's okay at first but then you crave the comfort of laying down and you can't.

- You can't control the people on your bus and they will make or break the ride. We had a state trooper board our bus as part of a man hunt, a man had a seizure in one of the terminals and turned blue, there was a drunk man in Alabama who was not allowed back on the bus because he was causing too much trouble, this weirdo guy and this girl he just met started "fooling" around in the seats next to us - then started showing porn to the Highschool marching band. Yes, the highschool Marching band - a dozen or more teenage boys that talked all night long.

-The buses don't pull into McDonald's or Donut shops for their rest stops. The rest stops were the breaks the bus needed to take while picking up new passengers. Bus station food sucks, trust me.

- Most of the Greyhound staff were pretty rude. They didn't want to put our bags back on the bus before entering Canada because we didn't have proper tags and to get the proper tags we had to upgrade our ticket to the more expensive "American version". Don't trust the baggage handlers to transfer your bags - this isn't a service. If you're transferring buses go and get your own bag and take it to the new one. Don't forget to check at EVERY stop that the bag has stayed on the bus. I had to put mine back on twice!

Please consider all of your options - the bus ride is full of stress. You will be tired and cranky when you get to your final destination and you will loathe the idea of getting on the bus to go back home. It's been 2 years and I still get a sick feeling when I think of boarding a bus. Don't do it!!! I'm afraid of flying so I made the trip once but that's enough. I went out and got my license just to go back again. It's so not worth it!!

04-21-2004, 10:57 PM
My son and daughter went from Montreal to Orlando when they were at university. They HATED it. These are kids who have driven to Florida many times. But you will never catch either of them on a bus for that long again.

04-21-2004, 11:05 PM
Wow!! Daisy-J&D that was a lot of reasons NOT to take the bus!
I chuckled at many of your comments... I know you're probably right ..... but ..... it would be the only way I could afford to go .... apparently there are only 4 stops - Brandon, Winnipeg, Fargo and Chicago. Only 1/2 hour each so I'm told. I'd drive, but it's only my daughter (15) and myself.

The cheapest flight I could find from Edmonton is $750/person. Can't afford it.

We reeeeeaaaally want to go!!!!!

04-22-2004, 12:19 AM
64 hours on the bus .....:confused: :eek:

04-22-2004, 01:10 AM
I took the Greyhound down from Woodstock for March Break 2003, a few days before my Dh drove down.

While it was a very looooonnnnngggg drive, I didn't experience any problems except at Jacksonville where they diverted all those going to Orlando onto a different bus because there were too many to continue on from there. The bus ended up being late, so I got into Orlando about 2 hours later than planned. Oh, and we were held up an extra 1/2 hour in Detroit because a student didn't have the correct ID and eventually he was sent back to Canada.

I left Woodstock at 9:30am and arrived in Orlando at 11:30pm the next day. We also had to get off the bus in Atlanta (9am the next morning) but we waited inside the bus station.

I was disappointed in the food service provided at the bus stations, a lot were just vending machines. We stopped once (maybe twice) at a fast food restaurant along the highway. I did notice that a few people brought their own food, so I figured they had done this before!

The one thing I didn't realize in advance was all the little stops we would be making along the way. A lot of times it was purely to drop off a package. That got somewhat exasperating after a while. I think I had 4 transfer points on that route.

For several hours, I sat beside a very nice young man who was on his way to visit a friend down south before entering the military. We carried on a conversation the whole time.

I bought the 14-day advance purchase $200. "go anywhere pass" and although I didn't use the return part, I still thought it was pretty good value for travelling during March Break.

I only took a carry-on bag so didn't have any concerns with luggage under the bus. My Dh brought down the rest of my things for me.

I did find that the trip took a lot out of me and it took a couple of days to recover. It's not something that I would plan to do again, unless I had no other option.

04-22-2004, 08:47 AM
I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this and to hear your experiences! Is there no such thing as reserved seats with Greyhound?

I'm still searching for better flight deals.

Irish Kelly
04-22-2004, 01:29 PM
Hi 1canadian!

I live in Edmonton too! You have to love how ex*****ve flights are out of here.

You might save a couple hundred dollars flying out of Calgary instead. I just looked on expedia.ca for the dates I'm going
May 19-29th.

Flying out of Calgary is $646.36 (on America West Airlines)
Flying out of Edmonton is $772.98 (on Continental)

pretty sad, eh? I checked a few days ago, and air was $615 flying out of Edmonton on those dates...

ETA: Ummmm.... is expensive a dirty word or something?

04-22-2004, 01:57 PM
OMG I am roaring with laughter at the way you got edited.:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Just shows what a typo can do

Irish Kelly
04-22-2004, 02:35 PM

*l* I didn't even realize that I made a typo... I was thinking "What the heck???":earseek:

Too funny!
:tongue: :hyper:

04-22-2004, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Irish Kelly
ETA: Ummmm.... is expensive a dirty word or something? I think you might have reversed the "s" and the "i" giving you a uniquely male attribute ;). Cool to see it all starred out like the, eh? (maybe expensive should be a dirty word tho)

As for the long bus ride, OUCH! In the summer of 1981 I hitchhiked across Canada (and it was great!). Got one ride all the way from TO to Winnipeg, stayed overnight with some lovely and welcoming strangers who knew my driver, then on as far as Banff. Wonderful welcoming people all across the Prairie provinces, as I got great rides all along the way, and mainly stayed with folks I'd met in a French immersion programme.
But I remember all the other hitchhikers stranded in Wawa, Ont. (where we had stopped for gas on the way west) and decided that I would spring for the bus for the trans-Ontario leg of the return trip. Just the Winnipeg-Montréal leg was exhausting!

How's this as an idea: drive to some US city served by a discount airline (like Southwest) and fly the rest of the way. Hmmm, closest SWA cities to Edmonchuk would be Spokane or Boise; now there's a good poke. Probly better to watch fares out of Calgary on a good discounter like America West, and see if anything falls into your price range.

04-22-2004, 07:03 PM
I'm going to do a little checking tonight. From Calgary, Spokane, Boise.... we'll see
Keep the comments coming!:)

04-22-2004, 10:24 PM
I sat in a greyhound bus for 6 hours and thought I was gonna die. I cannot believe how claustrophobis a person can get in such confined quarters. I felt even more car sick than normal, and people were so grumpy!
never again will I ride the bus if a flight is available.

04-22-2004, 11:43 PM
I can't find anything cheaper than $750/person to fly. $200/person is sure tempting........ although I might look like this by the time I get there :crazy:

04-23-2004, 10:08 AM
OK, so after making the somewhat rash recommendation that you might fly out of a US city, I did some more research. Wow, is it really only 3.5 hrs from Edmonchuk (YEG) to Calgary (YYC)?

So it looks like schlepping all the way to Boise (BOI) would be 1806 km and 17.25 hours; yeah, better than the bus but not much. You do go alongside Jellystone National Park for a spell tho, which could be cool.

The better US option looked to be Spokane (GEG), a mere 968 kms and 9.25 hrs drive time. Plus you'd be going via Calgary, the Crow's Nest Pass, then down thru Bonner's Ferry, Idaho; very pretty trip! (provided you have nice weather).

Even after all that, Southwest will still not be any cheaper than flying out of Calgary. You would have a minimum of 3 stops each way, and end up flying all over the western US. Admittedly, it might be fun to stop off in Las Vegas for an overnight, and then maybe Phoenix on the way back, but Ugh! what a long trip. Might be better to take the bus or not go at all. Definately cheaper.

So, after doing that research, IMO your best bet is to wait for a fare sale out of Calgary, or suck it up and take the bus.

04-24-2004, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by 1canadian
I can't find anything cheaper than $750/person to fly. $200/person is sure tempting........ although I might look like this by the time I get there :crazy:

Where did you find the $200. fare? When we went we used the Companion fare which used to be Buy one Get one free. I see that it's now Buy one get one 50% off with tons of restrictions. Is it a discovery pass?

04-24-2004, 11:45 PM
Click on "Everyday Specials", under "Discounts and Promotions", at Greyhound.ca. The $200. fare is the "Go Anywhere Fare".

05-02-2004, 02:16 PM
Hey I agree alot with what Daisy had to say. Its been about 20 years since I ever had to ride a bus. But those memories are still with me. eek!
I don't want to be negative about those who have to ride a greyhound bus. but its not like your commuting to work daily and are sitting amongst familiar faces. There is a reason why some ride a bus rather than drive. the most frequent one is their flat broke or running away from their troubles.... in other words you would be among questionable strangers and I do mean questionable.
I am a police officer and have had to many complaints of drunks, drugs and complete yahoo's sitting at the back of the bus being a nuisance etc. and yes those long nights of sitting their waiting to see what group just got on from having a night on the town loaded and loud. yee haw....