Another first knocked off my list of travel. I had heard about Megabus while in Austin. I never thought about using them for my travel needs. When planning our trip we already knew we wanted to see DC, Arlington, and Baltimore. While doing a little more research we realized we could also go one more place so when we saw Philadelphia was only a short drive from where we were we started looking at ways to get there. We looked at Amtrak and Greyhound and finally, I remembered Megabus and how cheap they were.
Megabus does not travel everywhere but luckily they do go to major cities and from DC to Philly was an option. We needed a roundtrip fair and found one for less than $40 for the 2 of us. We did a little research before picking and most people had good things to say about the company.
When you book you also pick your seat for an extra fee. The bus is a double-decker bus and the top front seats go for the higher fee of $5 more. We picked top 3rd row at $1 extra. For our return trip, we picked the lower floor with a table. We got onto the bus at the Washington DC Union Station which we arrived super early to get some food and make sure we have plenty of time to get on the bus. The seats are reserved but both of our buses were not full so people did move around just to get better views or more leg room.
There is signage saying which staging area is for Megabus and other buses using the station. If you need help there is an actual help booth which is great as most Megabus stops do not have anything but a sign saying where the bus goes. You are allowed to take 1 bag less than 50 pounds and have it stored and 1 personal bag to have on the actual bus. The bus is very roomy and clean with a lot more room than even on the plane.
The bus ride is a little rough if riding on the top floor. I actually started getting a little sick from all the rough braking and bumps in the road are like 10X worse on the bus. The lower deck, however, was very smooth. Like I said earlier we had the seats with tables on the way back which gives you a little extra leg room. The tables are not very useful as the cup holders are very shallow barely holding any drinks since its so bumpy.
It’s been a while since I’ve actually taken a bus as transportation. The last one was a greyhound back in 2008. It was not the most enjoyable time or comfortable. Megabus, however, has some modern amenities. They have charging stations for each seat. Some people say they never work but both buses we took worked. They do not charge fast though so don’t expect a full charge from a dead phone. They do have WiFi also on the bus which I did not use since I have unlimited data and never lost signal. There are bathroom and large trash bags throughout the bus to help keep it clean. They also mentioned downloading their app for onboard entertainment, unfortunately, I did not give that a shot.
So with this experience, I would definitely do Megabus again for other trips. If you’re in the budget and not in a total hurry I would definitely recommend Megabus. We found buses from Atlanta to New York for around $40 for the 2 of us, and to get to Atlanta only for like $10. I would say they are very budget friendly especially since they don’t charge for baggage and make stops at gas stations for breaks and snacks.