Let's begin with this: I am not a road-tripper. If I'm forced to drive alone for any longer than an hour there's a very real chance that I'll fall asleep at the wheel. Still, living in a state as large as Texas road trips are a necessary evil. I mean, people tend to look at you funny when you tell them that you're flying between Dallas and Houston. So, when it came time for me to head to SXSW, I decided to try my luck with Megabus after hearing a coworker rave about her experience.
My apprehensions ranged from safety issues to sanitation to who my seatmates would be. I remember in my early 20s taking a friend to the Downtown Dallas Greyhound station. Every single archetype of movie criminal could be found there. My family did well in keeping me away from things like this so to say the experience was harrowing is a serious understatement. But I still needed to get to Austin. I asked around and discovered that by and large my friends, who are all fellow travel snobs, gave Megabus glowing reviews. How could this be? Ticket prices started at $1! Would the buses be old? Riddled with criminals and derelicts? Would it have a roach infestation? To my surprise the answers were no, no, and no.
At first I thought it was a marketing ploy, but I learned that people actually do score $1 tickets as advertised. Fares start there and gradually increase as additional tickets are booked and the departure date gets closer. Thusly, it's in your best interest to book as far in advance as possible, but average ticket prices hover in the $25 area. It's still a deal any way you look at it.
The day of reckoning arrived and I waited at my Downtown Dallas bus stop. The line started forming 20-30 minutes before scheduled departure while Megabus employees moved about checking tickets. And then, it arrived. The modern double-decker coach was painted in Megabus' signature blue with a smiling bus driver mascot who seemed to welcome his new travelers. I didn't bring a suitcase, but bags up to 50 lbs were allowed and stowed in the cargo hold.
Quia Querisma is a digital marketer by day, freelance writer by night, and a traveler by nature. Get her latest insights on travel and fashion on her blog, MyJetSetStyle.com.