Smart Spending

Travel Cost Too Expensive? Take a Bus

In an era when air travel is becoming increasingly more expensive, bus travel is becoming increasingly popular between major cities. The costs of jet fuel and labor push the price of airline tickets higher and higer, leading many to limit their travel experiences. For this reason, I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at traveling by bus to cut down on your overall travel cost.

During one of my recent trips to New Jersey, I discussed the cost of transportation to a friend of mine and explained my reasoning for taking a bus. Services such as Megabus, Bolt Bus, Peter Pan, and GreyHound all provide cheap tickets to Newark, New Jersey from DC. My most recent trip totaled just under $50.

Comparing the cost to that of the Amtrak service that leaves from the same location, a train ticket can cost upwards of $180 one-way. A round-trip ticket could go for as high as $250 depending on the hours.

Giving some justification to Amtrak, prices peak during the hours I travel. However, the cheapest tickets I have seen go for $50 each way, bringing the total to $100. Mind you, tickets at that rate are only during ‘dead’ hours, as they call it.

An airplane ticket running the same route costs between around $265-$400 round trip. Why then would anyone pay more for an airline or train ticket when you can save a substantial amount of money by taking a bus?

The answer is comfort and time efficiency. Although the same can’t be said about airplanes, trains often have much roomier seats and leg space. Furthermore, travelling by train and airplane typically assure you of arriving faster and at an exact time.

Bus travel lacks the latter. One time, a 4.5hour trip turned into a 7-hour trip because of traffic. In regards to leg space and comfort, the seats are narrow but there is plenty of leg space.

Despite this, I am still a bus enthusiast. What buses lack is made up for by the amount saved in ticket costs. Apart from this, buses now provide free wifi service as well as electrical outlets for its passengers, something that many airlines don’t provide. With no baggage fees nor gas surcharges, it’s impossible to not save money when taking a bus.

I strongly recommend each reader to take a look at bus rates on,, or next time you plan on travelling so that you can see all your options. If you have the patience to endure a couple extra hours of travel, a bus ride will save you a good amount of cash.