Tips for Parents Who Ride Megabus with Kids
Families are increasingly becoming interested in curbside bus lines like Megabus. Parents, kids, students and retirees all use Megabus. Helping child riders learn to enjoy the trip makes the travel easier on everyone. Here are a few things for parents to keep in mind when riding Megabus with kids.
About the bus line
Megabus promises to have tickets as low as $1.00 on each trip (plus a .50 online booking fee). The companies offer inexpensive travel, perks like WI-FI and electricity as well as on-board bathrooms. Each of these Megabus amenities can be great for kids and that's good news for parents.
Each kid needs a ticket
Everyone who rides Megabus must have a ticket. The applicable fare will apply. As with any Megabus trip, booking early will net the best price. I and my daughter have been able to book tickets for $1.00 and even $3.00. This can make bus travel very affordable for families.
When to be at the bus stop
It is expected that riders should be at the bus stop at least 15 minutes early. I've found it helpful to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time. There may be no place at the Megabus stop to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Parents with children need to be sure that kids personal needs are attended to before coming.
Baggage and expectations
Megabus is not a tour bus. Parents with kids need to be able to handle thier own bags. At most stops, staff is unavailable to help. The bus may have a video screen but the driver may not be willing or able to put in a DVD. Families who travel with kids need to be prepared to bring personal electronic devices from home.
Bringing snacks is a good idea for everyone who rides Megabus. Depending on the route, there may or may not have a scheduled stop. Bottled water, power or cereal bars, crackers, trailmix or a non-perishable sandwich may be good choices. Parents who travel with kids may want to make extra sure to have these items available.
If parents who travel with electronics and kids on Megabus should bring earbuds or headphones. This is good for a couple of reasons. People may enjoy talking with each other on the bus. Children without headphones may not be able to hear the electronic or movie device that you bring. Headphones wille also help your child keep the movie to themselves.
Watch your children
Megabus is an enclosed space but it is still a moving vehicle. Parents with children who travel on the bus should watch the kids at all times just as they would in any other vehicle.
Can unattended kids ride?
No. Megabus specifically forbids unattended kids under age 17 from riding. From what I have witnessed, exceptions are not made.
Children should be watched at all times when on the bus or during a rest breaks. All breaks (if any) have a set number of minutes. It is essential to keep up with the time for all Megabus rest breaks. Keeping kids with you on the breaks will prevent a child from getting off of the bus to search you out.
The bus you ride on may be a double decker. Kids who ride on the top level may need help navigating downstairs to the bathroom. The Megabus is equipped with seat belts and other laws may be in place regarding car seats. The company does not provide car seats so parents will need to bring them. Parents who travel with children should visit the us.megabus.com for additional information.