To travel by bus can be the easiest thing in the world or become hell on earth. Here are some basic rules, before we continue with more advanced advice and our extended list of reliable bus companies all around the world.
- Pack light – you never know if there will be enough space in the storage of the bus and worst case the won’t take you.
- Be prepared for hot and cold temperatures. You never know what kind of bus you will be on and there is generally just to types. Incredibly hot (no AC) or freezing cold (with AC).
- Avoid to travel across borders. Waiting time at checkpoints can often be minimized, by just taking a little walk and hopping on another bus, once you are on the other side.
Traveling by bus in Europe and North America
Traveling by bus in Europe is usually easy and safe, but not always cheap. Be sure to double check and compare with trains, which are mostly faster and more comfortable. There is a countless number of bus operators in the world and right now this list only contains websites to book a bus for Europe and the U.S.
However, there are also websites to find bus lines all around the world, but they might not have smaller bus companies listed or sometimes show inaccurate data, especially regarding the numbers and names of bus routes. In more remote areas, look out for the signs of the local operators. They usually have websites where schedules are announced and the busses are actually in time. So be there or be square!
Traveling by bus in Asia, Africa and South America
While many countries are taking big steps towards a better infrastructure, bus travel in remote places or developing countries can still be an adventure. Schedules are not always reliable and often time the best option is to simply be at the right spot and wait for the next bus to arrive. There is a good chance a unscheduled bus or another company or private transport will come your way and take you quicker and easier than the busses on the schedule. Especially in regions with only basic infrastructure busses are often the only way of transport. The good thing here is, once you are at the right place, it is only a matter of time until you will find a ride.
Pro advice: To also find reasonable prices, register for the newsletter of bus companies you are about to use. Often times they will send you weekly offers and vouchers.
Bus travel websites and companies around the world
Sources to find bus connections and companies worldwide:
Popular companies by country:
Latin & South America
Australia & NZ
- Estonia, Finland, Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic:
This list will be updated regularily.
Please share your best advice in the comments!