When it comes to travel bucket lists, few journeys are held in higher esteem than the great American road trip. Cruising down Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway with the wind in your hair, with all the time and freedom in the world to help you explore one of the planet’s most diverse landmasses, is a dream that all serious globetrotters share.
But what if you don’t have the budget to hire a car and pay those eye-watering gas prices or, even worse, you don’t know how to drive? Fortunately, that hasn’t stopped fellow travelers from pursuing their American road trip, as there is one option still available to you – the humble Greyhound Bus. The Greyhound Buses run the length and breadth of the United States and have been romanticized by free-spirited roamers since the days of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Movement.
Cheap, reliable and well-connected, the Greyhound can get you anywhere. However, the major drawback is the journey itself; factoring in stops a coast-to-coast trip can easily take over a fortnight, which means a lot of time spent sitting on a potentially crowded bus. If you do decide to go the Greyhound route, here’s how to cope.
While the experience may seem romantic, the truth is that you will be spending a long time doing absolutely nothing, and the unchanging highway landscape may soon become dull. That’s why keeping your mind occupied is key to surviving that three-day trip from Seattle to Chicago.
Pack plenty of books for your journey, preferably ones that fit the theme of your odyssey, such as the aforementioned Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. You’ll also want to load up your smartphone with as much entertainment as possible to see you through.
One of the best entertainment options is naturally games for your phone. Try playing online games that allow for limitless playtime without you getting bored, one of the best examples being online casino games. Spending your journey playing through slots, poker and blackjack online are guaranteed to keep you occupied. It may also prove to be some very useful practice for those planning a stop off in Las Vegas.
Embrace the Experience
While keeping occupied is key, also remember to live in the moment and enjoy the experience for what it is. The Greyhound is a treasured American pastime, and you’ll be following in the footsteps of millions of travelers before you. There are few things more enchanting that gazing out of your bus window as the sun rises over the vast plains of Kansas or the sprawling extra-terrestrial moonscape of Arizona.
You’ll also want to make the most of it all by befriending some of your companions, who may, in fact, be traveling for the exact same reason that you are; because sometimes the best sights should always be seen in the slow lane, in the company of like-minded people, on a moving piece of history.