Timothy travels the U.S. full-time with only a small backpack and a suitcase. He spends his evenings writing and filming Youtube videos.
Riding a Greyhound bus is one of the cheapest methods of travel in North America. Additionally, with hundreds of stations across the United States and Canada and thousands of buses running daily, Greyhound can get you to any destination you have in mind. Despite these conveniences, many people are nervous when it comes to riding a Greyhound bus; some of them may have heard horror stories about the bad things that can happen to you on one of their buses.
The truth is, most people who travel via Greyhound never have any issues. But, as with any form of transportation, there is always the possibility that there may be people on your bus or at a station you pass through who may be intent on doing you harm. Listed below are a few tips that can help you avoid falling victim to these people and ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.
1. Keep Your Valuables Hidden
When travelling on the Greyhound bus make sure you keep all money, jewelry, and electronics out of sight.
While you may have to use your cellphone or laptop out in the open when taking phone calls, listening to music, or surfing the web, make sure you return them to your pocket or carry-on bag immediately after you finish using them.
This not only ensures that you won't leave expensive items behind when you exit the bus or get up to go to the restroom, but it also keeps potential thieves from having easy access to them.
Try to only keep as much money on your person as you will need for your trip. Hide the rest of your cash in your checked bag or somewhere hard to reach in your carry-on bag. A money belt is a great option for travelling as well. I've heard of people keeping excess cash in their socks and shoes as well.
Make sure that your wallet is somewhere either on your person or in your luggage that is not readily accessible to pickpockets. You will be in lots of crowded stations during your trip and you don't want to give thieves an easy target.
If you like to wear jewelry it might be best to wait until you get to your final destination before putting it on. Thieves have been known to hang out at Greyhound bus stations and they aren't above snatching your jewelry and making a run for it.
If you have to charge your cellphone while waiting at a Greyhound station, make sure you DO NOT walk away and leave it unattended. Cell phones are one of the most stolen items these days.
2. Keep Your Luggage With You at All Times
When travelling on the Greyhound bus it is important that you keep your luggage with you AT ALL TIMES.
This may seem obvious but you would be surprised at the number of people who:
- Get off the bus and leave their carry on bag(s) on the bus
- Leave their bags unattended to go to the restroom at the station
- Plug in their cellphones at the charging station and walk away
- Leave their bags inside while they explore outside the station
All these are definite "Don'ts" while on the bus or at the Greyhound station!
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When you are on the bus, take your carry-on with you anytime you exit the bus. There will be a number of bathroom and food breaks throughout your trip with people getting on and off the bus all around you.
If you leave your carry-on unattended it will be very easy for someone to grab it and walk off the bus unnoticed. By the time you get back on the bus and report the theft, the thief could be long gone.
When you are at a Greyhound station always keep your luggage with you. This may take some extra effort because at some stations you will have your carry-on bag(s) as well as your checked bags. It can be a hassle to lug all this baggage around. But it's a way bigger hassle to have to try and recover stolen baggage.
Take your bags with you even when you go into the restroom. If you have too much luggage for this, then ask a Greyhound employee or security guard to watch your bags for you.
Some Greyhound stations have lockers that you can rent for a specified time to store your bags in while you are at the station or exploring the town nearby on a layover.
3. Don't Share Too Much Information With Strangers
While you are on the bus you will be seated next to a wide variety of people that you do not know.
On long bus trips, it is only natural that you strike up a conversation with some of these people.
During the course of the conversation, you may be tempted to share information about yourself that may not be in your best interest to share.
For example, telling a total stranger your final destination may seem like an innocent enough thing to do, but if someone is planning on doing you harm this gives them a timeline as to when they can act. Better to keep them guessing about where you are going and when you will be getting off the bus.
It's also a good idea to never tell anyone where you will be staying while travelling if you are staying at a hotel, or how you plan on getting there. Always try to give the impression that you have friends or family coming to get you and that you will not be alone.
If a stranger sitting next to you starts asking too many questions or makes you feel uncomfortable, feel free to move to another seat if one is available. If this isn't an option, try to let surrounding passengers know that you are uncomfortable so they can keep an eye on the person as well.
If the person persists and it becomes a real issue, don't hesitate to walk to the front and inform the driver. And while this may lead to a few dirty looks and harsh words from the person you reported, at least now they will think twice before doing anything to you since the driver, and probably most of the other passengers on the bus will be watching them now.
4. Be Careful While Inside and Outside Greyhound Stations
You are far more likely to have something happen to you at a Greyhound station than you are on a bus.
Anyone can come into a station at any time and some of them are there solely to rip off unsuspecting travelers.
Always be extra careful when going outside the greyhound station, especially at night. Some bus stations are not in the best parts of town and wandering just a few blocks over could have dire consequences.
Be careful when going into the restrooms at the bus station. If it seems like a lot of people are going in and out, or if people seem to just be hanging around inside the bathroom, perhaps you should wait until the next station or use the bathroom on the bus.
Remember no one can see what's happening in the restrooms so someone could do something to you and no one would know.
If you feel uncomfortable at a Greyhound station, try and find a security guard and stay close to him/her. If you are at a station with no security stay close to the service desk or find a Greyhound employee to stand near.
Greyhound employees know most of the troublemakers, as well as the law enforcement in the area, and they are usually only too happy to have anyone bothering you removed from the premises.
If you have to go outside a station for some reason like waiting for a ride, wait until it's absolutely necessary. If you don't feel comfortable going outside alone, ask a fellow traveler you trust or a Greyhound employee to stand outside with you. At the very least let someone know you are going outside and ask them to check on you from time to time.
Chances are you won't have any trouble on your next Greyhound bus trip. But even if you do, follow the tips mentioned above and you will be able to arrive at your destination safe, sound, and happy that you went Greyhound!