When you think of taking a road trip in the United States it is easy to imagine cruising in a convertible Cadillac or a motor home.  Very rarely would you consider thinking about taking a bus or a train to get from one U.S state to another.  Yet, in many ways, this is a great way to take in the scenery without having to concentrate on the road, and as overnight travel is possible and if you prefer, you can simply go to sleep in one state and wake up in another.  Feeling relatively refreshed ready for the next stage of your trip.

There are many other advantages to bus and train travel in the states.

See Also: How To Travel For 1 Year On Just $5,000

Bus and Train travel is Cheaper

Thanks to sites such as Goticketio which searches for the most competitive bus price among hundreds of companies, it is possible to travel from state to state at a fraction of the cost of air travel.  For example, to get from Newark to Charlotte it costs around $160 by air.  Do it by bus and the price is $42.  Which is a considerable difference.

This makes it ideal if you are on a budget and do not have a pressing deadline to meet.

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Planning Long Trips by Bus and Train

Another option the budget aware traveller can take is to plan a trip across several states, boarding the bus overnight for each leg of the journey.  So, let us say you want to travel across four states taking in the sights; you can book each leg overnight.

Once you arrive you can explore the state and when you’re ready jump on the bus and off you go.  This allows you to arrive in each state refreshed and ready to explore.


No matter how good of a driver you are, you’re likely not as good as the professionals behind the wheel of a bus or captaining a train on rails. Bus and train travel is the safest way to get from point A to point B and you can count on the vehicle being well maintained and the driver / conductor being well suited to control the vehicle.

Long road trips can be exhausting, especially if you have kids in the back seat crying and yelling the whole time! On a bus or train, you can give your entire attention to the family and if you grow tired, you can simply have a nap.

The Environment

Taking your own vehicle, even if you fill it with 5 family members, is harder on the environment than loading up 45 people into a bus or hundreds into a train. Your carbon footprint will be much lower if you choose bus and train travel. If you compare it to flying, it’s really no contest! It has been said that one flight from North America to Asia will cause more carbon emissions than an entire household produces in a year!

Do the green thing and hop on a train or take a bus on your next trip!

Save Money on Hire Cars

Car rental travel costs roughly $45 per day and then you have to factor in gas.  You also have to drive the car to your destination.  Spending twelve hours on the road behind the wheel is no fun.  With the bus or train, you can relax, kick back and let the driver deal with the stress.

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Kick back and Relax

Taking the bus also gives you the chance to relax, take in the view, or read.  Some buses have TVs and show films like what you find on a plane.  This helps to pass the time.  If you need to grab some sleep you can make yourself comfortable and relax.  Travelling this way gives you a chance to unwind.  You can simply look out of the window if you find the view appealing.

Take In The Scenery

One of the main reasons that people look to do overland travel instead of flying is the beautiful scenery along the way. There’s no better way to take in the expansive countryside of the United States, than by sitting in a comfy seat – whether on a bus or on a train – with headphones in listening to music and gazing out the window as the world goes by.

The US has some of the most breathtaking road trips and train journeys in the entire world, but when you’re driving your own vehicle, you’re often too preoccupied with the road, and if you fly over it, you’ll likely only have a view of the clouds below.

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Trains are comfortable and you can get up and walk around, while buses often get you to your destination quickly and relatively direct, aside from a few stops. If you’re driving your own car, you’ll have to stop to pick up food and drinks, but on many train and bus journeys, there will be people on board to serve you snacks and beverages along the way.


If you are travelling with friends and family now is a good time to talk.  You’re not driving and you have the time so why not use it to have some quality time?  We are so stressed in our busy lives that we often don’t get a chance simply to talk.  This is one of the great things about train and bus travel we get the time we sorely need.

If you have the time there is a whole world to discover by bus and train in the U.S.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Paul Wright

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Paul Wright is an expert in Airbnb and has worked for 15 years in the travel, online surveys, hotel reviews, remote work and finance space. He has helped start numerous businesses online himself and finds time to have his recommendations featured on large publications as well. He successfully completed the 2-year MBA Program at  Wharton University and helps other entrepreneurs and aspiring travellers to explore the world and make money while doing it.

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