Tips for Taking the Bus and Train in the United States

Spring and summer are just around the corner! We may be in our last throes of wintery weather but soon enough it’ll be summer vacation! And there is nothing this girl loves more than summering vacation. I’ve received several emails after my jaunt through Italy last summer asking questions about booking trains and train travel in general. So I thought I would share 5 tips for booking train travel that I thought would be useful as you plan your summer getaways. And you’d be surprised to find how many amazing destinations can be reached by train in the United States! I plan on checking many of them out myself this summer.
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Plan Ahead

Nothing goes further in travel planning than planning ahead. And that goes double for train and bus travel. Traveling by train can be overwhelming–especially if you’ve never done it before. There are multiple train companies and finding one database to search for train and bus travel can be tough. Planning in advance offers several benefits. First, advance planning gives you the most flexibility because you have more options—seats, train times, destinations, etc. Plus, many trains and buses still require that you have pre-printed tickets from the ticket office so you want ample time to ensure that you receive these documents before embarking on your journey. Booking in advance also almost always lets you get the best pricing.

Top Travel Tips Before Buying Train Tickets

Get a Window Seat

Snagging a window seat on a bus or a train is pretty clutch. This is always one of my top tips because I think it’s so important in enjoying your trip. The panoramic views are the best part of train and bus travel!

Get Comfortable

Taking the bus and train helps you avoid the nightmare of airport travel—there is no need to arrive 3 hours early just to stand in security lines. There are far fewer delays than airplanes as you can imagine (though you do have to battle with traffic at times). But the comforts of the sky have made there way to many bus and train companies in the United States. Most modern bus and trains in the U.S. now offer leather seats, extra legroom, food and drinks served by an attendant, Wi-Fi amongst other perks. Plus you’re never out of touch with your phone. You can text the entire trip!

Pack Light

Nothing is more of a drag than train or bus travel with too much luggage. Since you don’t get to check your bags, you’re stuck carrying them with you in the train and bus station, you also are often responsible for putting items into overhead or underbelly compartments. So my advice is always to pack light.

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Stay Vigilant

When traveling, it’s always a good idea to keep your wits about you. Be mindful of changing times, tracks and departure platforms. You should also be aware of those around you. Keep an eye on your stuff and

Understand Ticket Options

When booking train and bus travel you’ll need to understand all the ticket options—this may sound easy but you’d be surprised how many different classes of tickets there are around the country. First, there are different train classes—Economy, Comfort Class, First and Premier Class. As you can imagine, Economy offers the most value and as you get more pricey you get more benefits. There are also multiple types of reservations available. Be sure you know what you’re commiting yourself to.

Certain trains or buses offer “Reservations Required” (this applies to most high-speed and overnight trains), Reservations Recommended (While reservations aren’t mandatory, many companies include a reservation for these tickets whenever possible), and finally, Non-Reservable (this applies when seat assignments are not available—these are usually shorter regional rides). Depending on your trip you may also wish to look into getting a rail pass if you’re planning to extend your stay in any area for a long time.

Booking Your Tickets

Be sure to book from a ticket website that allows you to find the best deals like GoTicket, the largest database for bus and train tickets.  You can search and find multiple bus and train travel schedules to the various cities of the United States here. offers travelers visiting the website information about the different routes, schedules and ticket prices approximate bus and train to your destination. In addition , if the bus or train selected does not exist, it prompts the user several alternatives that reach their destination For more information, visit

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