Best times for bus travel

Finding the best time to travel involves careful planning, forethought, and a degree of guesswork. Travelling around a major holiday like Christmas may be impossible on a discounted ticket and difficult otherwise, but usually the advance-purchase tickets are valid several days before and after the rush. Discounts are limited in the holiday and summer months, although they still may be available. It is best to call or check the company’s website for any restrictions on travel before planning a trip. Proximity to a holiday usually means the buses are likely to be quite full, although there are normally at least a few seats left for stragglers.

Location is a major factor in how full a bus is likely to be. Some routes are busier than others; fewer people tend to ride the route from Winnipeg to Saskatoon, for example, than from Saskatchewan’s capital to Edmonton. Other routes may be consistently empty or full, but frequent travellers will soon know the best time to plan their trips.

The time of day also affects the fullness of buses. Afternoon buses are often fairly empty, but a surprising number of people opt for the midnight bus. Routes between major centres are naturally busier than rural routes, but all become busier close to holidays, and weekdays are often better times to travel than weekends.

Personal preference is the main criterion for determining the best time to travel, but keeping ticket restrictions and each route’s level of busyness in mind can help travellers decide when to be on the road.

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