Taking the greyhound.

Taking the Greyhound.

Most Americans I meet give me really strange looks when I tell them that I like taking the Greyhound bus. But I like all the quirky experiences I get when I board the bus, with the dog on the side.

“How many people got shot at the Greyhound station while you were there” said a friend of mine recently when I told her that I had spend a couple of hours waiting there. That reaction is pretty normal when I speak to most of my american friends and tell them that I am taking the greyhound. They mostly associate taking the Greyhound with something you only take if you are a criminal. Or if you have no other choice than taking the Greyhound. For me though, taking the Greyhound offers the chance to mingle with some quirky people I would otherwise not meet on my travels. I have so far never been harmed by any of them. In fact I have had a great time on almost every journey I have taken with the Greyhound.


Poor people are not dangerous.


Lining up for a ticket at the Greyhound station.

Lining up for a ticket at the bus station.

I think that the main reason why many people are scared of the Greyhound is because it’s the poor mans transport in the US. And most people in the US do not want to mingle with the bottom of society. The difference between rich and poor is much greater in the US than in Europe for instance. But I find that they are just as friendly as the middle and upper class people I know in the US. Like most other Americans they are talkative and easy to meet. When you deal with the bottom of society in the US, you will come across some people with mental illness. These people often seem scary to other people. But having worked several years as a hotel receptionist around the world,I have meant that I am used to dealing with people who are a little weird. So I am quite ok with these people who sit and talk to themselves or yell at the world. You also meet many minority people in the bus. Such as native Indians, afro americans and latin american emigrants. I love diversity and I like hanging out with them and chatting with them on the bus and at the bus stops and hear their stories. Talking to these people on my travels is more interesting than going around to see old buildings and monuments.


I normally dislike busses, but I like taking the Greyhound.

Inside the Greyhound bus.

Inside the Greyhound bus.

Normally I really dislike taking the bus. I find it boring and uncomfortable. But because the Greyhound offers such a diversity in people. The ride becomes an interesting journey. Even if some of the people on the bus are a little nutty. I don’t like being only with people who are like myself. And think like me and I sure meet some very odd characters when going with the Greyhound. I have taken many trips with the Greyhound over the years. Including a 60 hour journey from Pittsburgh to Seattle and almost all of the journeys have been memorable.



But beware that you are dealing with the bottom of US society.

Greyhound station.

Greyhound station.

Be aware though that US bus stations are often located in the worst part of town. And if you arrive at night: Then try to be a little prepared, as you might not want to wander around at night in the part of town where the Greyhound station is. I have seen a few crazy things at the Greyhound stations over the years. Such as a bus driver being attacked by 4 angry passengers. I have noticed that many drug takers prefer to use the Greyhound. They do it because they will likely not be searched the same way on the bus as if they were about to board a plane. But again, I have never been harmed by any of those weirdos. I don’t react aggressively to people who are acting weird to me and that usually means that I have zero problems with these folks.


Some practical information about the Greyhound.

When booking a ticket with the Greyhound, it’s considerably cheaper to book online than to buy the ticket at the station. The tickets tend to be cheap right until departure as long as you make an online reservation. And I have sometimes been sitting at the station right next to the desk, making my online reservation, as I tend to save around $20 by doing so. Many Greyhound stations have free wifi these days, by the way.

So get on the Greyhound boys and girls, if you like an adventure. It’s not as bad as people say if you have an open mind. In fact it’s mostly a pretty good laugh.


  1. It’s not only Greyhound that will give you a strange look in the US. Traveling by bus is often viewed as “for poor people only”. BTW, have you tried Megabus in the US? It was my favorite mode of transportation between NYC and Washington DC.

  2. Very interesting, and honest post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. share your views about Greyhound at meeting with the diversities of society ;-)))

  4. My younger brother and I needed to travel from Omaha Nebraska to Oklahoma City back in the 1970’s. We weren’t poor, but rather my Dad was very cheap! No expensive 2 hour flights for us, just an inexpensive 12 hour bus ride with all sorts of the people you describe here.
    At the time, we both hated it due in part to the fact we were fidgety teenagers and 12 hours on a bus is a looonnnnggg time. But looking back, it was nice to see another side of life. Traveling now in South America for example, we look forward to the occasional bus trip… a slower pace with interesting real people.
    Great site- found you searching on “Cycling in Brazil.” Lots of good information there too. Thank you.

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