Updated: July 2015
Wanderu offers a great new way to book inter-city bus and rail transportation.
For the first time, Wanderu lets you compare prices of Amtrak and 24 bus company options all at once. You no longer waste time researching a bunch of individual websites.
This shows how best to use Wanderu.com. You become an expert Wanderu traveler and avoid costly mistakes.
How to use Wanderu
Do the math.
Not having to spend $65 just one time closer to departure justifies paying for a few $3 tickets in advance that you may end up not using.
BoltBus and others offer fares under $10 to early bookers.
For example, Megabus always has $1 fares available on every departure if you book early enough.
Also see “Make your own connections” below.
Most Wanderu trips require no connections.
However you are traveling, having to connect always increases risk that something may go wrong.
Be more concerned with a smooth trip than with minimal travel time.
Simple advice. So often not followed.
Unlike company-owned websites, Wanderu displays less expensive prices that may come when you connect between non-affiliated carriers.
A trip from Las Vegas to San Diego may cost less using 1) Megabus to Los Angeles and then 2) Amtrak to San Diego.
Be careful when your trip involves more than one company.
What happens if Megabus brings you late into Los Angeles making you miss your connection to Amtrak?
You hold separate reservations. Neither company takes responsibility for what happens on the other. This becomes more serious if you hold a nonrefundable ticket on the second portion of your trip.
If asked to book each connecting service separately, you will travel on more than one reservation. Not all connecting trips go on separate reservations.
I am not saying don't use separate companies. I do!
Make sure that
Would you like more connection time? Think outside the screen.
Let’s examine a trip from Hartford to Pittsburgh –
Look up schedules and fares Wanderu displays from Hartford to Pittsburgh. These connect in New York City.
Then check individually –
Your longer connection might even save you money!
CAUTION: Make your choices and then go through the payment process quickly. You DO NOT want to pay for the first reservation and then find the second one has sold out or gone up in price.
Consider booking each in its own browser window on a desktop computer. Then when both segments show still available once you have selected them and have moved on to BOTH of their payment pages, dive in and pay. Even with this, you face some risk.
Watch out for situations that make you go to another location for a connection. These can be complicated.
Avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
When traveling by bus, reconfirm both departure times and where will board.
Check for service advisories posted on company websites. “Due to construction, our bus stop location at Charlotte, NC has moved to …”
Owning no stations, companies like Megabus can easily move boarding to another street location.
Wanderu serves all major U.S. cities.
Its site features mostly short and middle-distance routes such as
Enjoy your Wanderu Trips!
As Wanderu co-founder Polina Raygorodskaya told USA Today, inter-city buses have become “cool.”
Neither BidOnTravel nor this writer has any affiliation with Wanderu.