There are many ways to get yourself to and from Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA.
A plane is a waste, with you spending more time in the airport waiting for the flight than being on the plane.
Amtrak trains are a little faster, but more expensive at around $40. However, if you have a lot of luggage, you get 2 free bags, so that’s a bonus.
Then there is the bus. But who is the best company to travel with on this route, especially considering there is a land border crossing to make?
This crossing involves stopping at the border station, taking all of your belongings with you, clearing customs and going through security. It will usually take 30 minutes at least for the whole bus to get through; on a good day!
There are 3 bus companies that are the main choices for this journey: Greyhound, Quick Shuttle and Bolt Bus. The latter two, I have previously traveled with on this route.
Upon comparison however, Bolt Bus are hands down the best value company to travel with, and a great service at that!
Here’s why they can’t be beat:
Bolt Bus charge as low as $19US for a one way to ticket, (plus $1.50 service fee). Compare that to Greyhound at $29US (plus $2.50 service fee) which is still pretty good; but Quick Shuttle however, are really expensive at $43US, which separates them from the other two, especially Bolt Bus in price. The earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket. If you want to lock in the $19 tickets, book as soon as you know your travel date, as prices get higher the closer you get to traveling.
All three companies offer 1 free bag to be placed in the baggage hold, 1 carry on bag, and 1 personal item with all their fares. However, if you have 2 bags in need of being placed underneath, then it may cost you. Greyhound charge $15 for a second bag; Quick Shuttle and Bolt Bus don’t have a price listed.
Both times I have travelled from Vancouver, I had a large suitcase and a small suitcase, and both of these were allowed under the bus for no extra charge. It usually depends on how many passengers have large bags and of course, how full the bus is. But I can’t see Greyhound being as flexible with this.
Bolt Bus were really good with all passengers and their luggage. It was nice to see, since they could be really strict about it, but weren’t, even though we had a full bus by the last stop.
On Board Experience
The Bolt Bus interior is very nice. The seats are very comfortable and modern. There is plenty of room for your legs and space too, as it wasn’t until about 2 hours into the ride that all seats filled up from the final stop before Settle.
The windows were also clean too, which was nice. I absolutely hate looking out of a dirty window, so it is nice if the windows are regularly cleaned, which on this occasion they were.
The driver was also very pleasant and informative about the whole border crossing process and our arrival time, which is all based on traffic and the speediness of the border crossing. We actually arrived 15 minutes early, which was great!
There are power outlets on every seat, except for one row near the emergency exit. This worked for the entire time, which was good as phones will usually die on a 4 hour journey, if they are used the entire time. There were also cup holders in the seats which was handy for my Dr Pepper to use as well.
Wifi on board was good, until after we crossed into Washington (still with a half full bus), and picked up more passengers an hour later. Not sure what that was about. But having wifi for the first half of the trip was good at least; but it would have been nice to have it work the entire time.
Upon entering Seattle, the view from the right side of the bus was spectacular on this day! What an amazing welcome into this beautiful city! If you want a killer view, make sure you are sitting on the right side of the bus, preferably in a window seat.
Bolt bus is a great ride into Seattle. I am not the only one who thinks this, since the bus was half full, and then completely full throughout the entire journey.
It was an extremely comfortable ride and the 4 hours flew by. It was everything I wanted in a long commute. Though it would have been nice to have wifi work the entire time, there are worse things in the world to complain about.
Bolt Bus is by far the best value for money out of every travel option there is for the Vancouver to Seattle route.
One Last Thing…
If you do happen to get a full bus, and have long legs, just remember this: keep your legs to yourself! Obey the imaginary line that separates you from the person next to you.
Otherwise you become a space hog, like the guy next to me did upon falling asleep-even though he was only on for a 2 hour ride. I get he had long legs, but I am entitled to my space, thank you!
No one wants to touch a strangers leg, unless that leg belongs to Channing Tatum…then it’s ok.
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