Today I woke up and took a free Uber ride to the Megabus station. Our Megabus ticket was $3 for the two of us. Actually, I’m on the bus right now, and when we arrive we’ll take another free Uber ride.
All in all, we spent $3 to go from our hotel in Orlando to our Hotel in Tampa. Which got me thinking, that is way cheaper than using miles to get from one city to another, so why don’t we do this more often?
Unlike flying, Megabus leaves from downtown, doesn’t require me to arrive super early for TSA, has free wifi, and the price of the ticket came out to be 30% of the airport taxes on a miles ticket. So… I think we will do Megabus more.
Ya know, I thought about writing a Southwest Hopper post one time, and, that’s just a bad idea. Basically you just pay for the flights you want. Equally ridiculous, but tempting, is a Megabus Hopper post. Because with both, for one second I think about the insane number of places I can see for cheap. But then realize, “there’s no trick to that… it’s just cheap”.
It’s not that I had never heard of Megabus, but I hadn’t actually checked their website in a couple of years. And I have to say, they added a lot of routes! And in a couple more years, you really may be able to connect the entire country on cheap Megabus tickets. Although, I will say I’m shocked at how few people are on this bus right now. If everyone on here paid what I paid, they’ll lose money on the tolls alone.
But luckily for them, the tickets are not always $1.
For a ticket that cheap, generally they want a commitment. Buying the tickets weeks, (maybe the full two months) in advance is the only way to get the $1 tickets. However, the bigger problem is that not all routes will necessarily have the $1 price.
Or, the tickets might not be $1 for the days you want. That being said, $5 is usually the next price point, and that ain’t too bad either.
Let me put it this way, if I’m going to take a Southwest flight from out of NYC I would have to pay $5 in taxes for the Southwest flight, $2.50 for the Subway, another $2.50 to connect from the Subway to the airport by bus, and show up an hour early and spend an hour in transit.
Domestic will cost me $10+ and 2-3 hours of my time.
The bus on the other hand will leave from downtown and therefore takes 15 minutes to get to, and like today, I showed up only 20 minutes early.
And the funny thing is that there would be no direct flights from Orlando to Tampa, so I would have had to route through Atlanta or something. So the Megabus, which took less than 2 hours, is less time in total than flying would have been. And even if there was a direct flight, I think it would come out pretty close with all the hoops.
The other thing I did to cut down on price was taking an Uber. Because of the current $30 rides promo with Uber, which for me I basically get $60 in two free rides per signing up. But… I’ll explain more how to get around a thing or two with that later. For now, just read my post, Free $120 in Uber Rides (although the Amex Sync deal is dead).
Anyways, I’m not going to write a Hopper post… but if I were, I would do something like this:
(Btw, I like to use the map to figure out routes, then test out the prices.)
The thought is actually going through my head of trying to see half the country with Megabus. I mean for ~$1 why not just do that everywhere?
I don’t actually enjoy the “transport” part of travel. I enjoy the being there part a lot, everything about being there really, like the city sightseeing, the people, the food, and even the hotel part (which for us is like going home). So, I can’t possibly do long haul bus rides and would have to break it up into 1-3 hour rides. 3 at most. Long haul flying I can deal with because I know it’s the quickest way to get there, and I still spread it out. But when telaporters come up with a rewards program…
My inclination would be to start in either Toronto, or Burlington and Boston. Since I haven’t been to Toronto since childhood, that would be my first choice but the cheaper routing is via Burlington and Boston. Then route down to Virginia.
Burlington – Boston – New York – Philadelphia – Washington DC – Richmond.
Here are possible prices for random dates I picked for this hypothetical trip: $1 + $12 + $3 + $1 + $10 =$27 without taxes for 1 person
For now, I think I’d fly over the places I don’t want to see. If we do this in 2015, it would be a good compliment to our Southwest Companion pass. To be honest, I don’t really feel the need to see more of the middle of the country. I haven’t seen a ton of New England. Here are some more routes I’d like to do with Megabus.
Ann Arbor – Chicago – Minneapolis – Milwaukee – St. Paul
Here are possible prices for random dates I picked for this hypothetical trip: $5 + $5 + $5 + $5 =$20 without taxes for 1 person
I’ve never seen most of these cities in my adult life.
Reno – Sacramento – San Francisco – LA
Here are possible prices for random dates I picked for this hypothetical trip: $14 + $4 + $10 =$28 without taxes for 1 person
My hunch is that Megabus will be expanding more and more on the west coast. So perhaps that route will be much more impressive by the time I would consider it.
This isn’t the typical miles and points jargin, but I don’t have to game something to feel successful with my travel. 😀 I just need to be free or practically free. If I don’t think too much about a drink at the store for $1.50, why should I with a trip to Tampa? Might as well, eh?
Not sure if anyone else is interested in hearing about a Megabus road trip… but to be honest, there isn’t too much more to write about in terms of the Megabus part. You go online, you look at prices and sometimes they are cheap.
I will say that price is not necessarily connected with booking in advance. Just browsing some tickets that are released 2 months in advance, I found tons of tickets that were $10 – $25 for the route. But I found a few dates that are closer that have a number of $1 tickets. My guess is that there aren’t too many people who troll for Megabus tickets the day they are released. It’s just sometimes they’re $1 and sometimes they aren’t.
I should have mentioned, that the taxes were 50% in this case. The two of us paid another dollar extra just to Uncle Sam! How am I suppose to afford that?