A Budget Bus Trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

The USA is all about driving. Whenever you talk to an American about catching a long distance bus in the States, chances are they'll advise you against it. They'll say the people who travel by bus are suspicious, they're drug users, ex-prisoners, poor, smelly...you name it. Despite all this, we decided to catch a Megabus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. This is our version of budget travelling by bus in the USA!

The most tempting thing about travelling by bus is definitely the price - timewise, the distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is around 5 hours, yet the cheapest bus ticket with Megabus is just $5/one way. There's no way you can beat that! Because we were travelling around Thanksgiving, we ended up paying $25/one way each, but most of the time you wouldn't end up paying that much.

Catching the bus is really easy. In Los Angeles, it leaves from Union Station Patsaouras Transit Plaza Bay 8, and there's a metro to Union Station so getting there isn't difficult at all. You're allowed to bring with you one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag. If you want to bring more luggage than that, you should purchase an additional ticket for each additional piece.

The people on the bus were not scary or suspicious at all. We travelled with a bunch of Asian tourists, students, and African-American grandpas and grandmas. The bus wasn't stinky at all, either, and the toilet worked just fine throughout the trip. Nobody looked as though they'd just been released from prison. Based on our experience, a lot of the fear around bus travel in the USA is based on prejudice. If you want to travel with white people only, which to be honest I don't quite understand why you would, you're probably better off in your car. Don't be that person, though.

The scenery en route to Las Vegas is gorgeous, and when you're on a bus, you actually have time to take pictures and enjoy the experience. Also, in our case, only one of us has a driving license (that would be me), and if we rent a car, I'm the one who needs to do all the driving. Since I come from a country of relatively little traffic and few lanes, driving in a country the size of the USA stresses me out. What if something happens? What if we have a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere? Where can I park? Where can I turn? Which lane should I take? How does the car work? Where can I pee? What if something happens to the car? I'm not the type of person who wants all that extra stress when I can avoid it by sitting comfortably on a bus driven by someone else and then get off at my final destination and forget all about the vehicle I just took. In addition, on the bus, you have a toilet at your use all the time, you can have a snack whenever you feel like, or even sleep through the trip if that's what you want.

The overall experience was very positive. We had a 30-minute break at a gas station where you could get off the bus and walk around a little bit or buy yourself something to eat. If you're someone who enjoys using public transport, just go for it, even in the States. If you come from a country where public transport is considered an okay way of travelling, you won't be too shocked by anything you'll face in the USA, either.

In Las Vegas, Megabus uses RTC South Strip Transfer Terminal. You'll get to the Strip from there by bus (the Deuce or SDX), which run 24/7, and you'll need to buy a ticket from a machine before you board the bus. You can find some information on the fares here. We had some issues with the vending machine, and if I remember correctly, it only took cash. You need to have the exact fare.

Have you travelled by bus in the USA? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

My next post will be all about our day trip to the Grand Canyon - stay tuned!


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