I know traveling in a new country can be a bit intimidating, especially if it is so different from home. You may not be used to the system or how things work. In this post, I will walk you through how to take a bus in Mexico so that all your Mexico travel dreams can come true. I promise you it is much easier than you think it is. I have done it many times, alone or with company, and I know you can do it too.
Book your travel
So there are two main ways to book your travel. The main method is buying your ticket at the booth at the station. Depends on the frequency of the trip there may or may not have to buy it in advance. For any bus that runs more often than every two hours or so, there is no need to buy them in advance since there should be some empty spots on every bus. Also, if you are a larger group trying to sit together, buy your tickets in advance.
The other way that is becoming more and more popular is to buy your tickets online. Reservamos is the most popular website for this since it allows you to buy tickets for almost every bus company, even the ones that don't offer an online ticket service on their website. They may not always have all the connections, but it has worked really well for us. Do try to book your tickets at least 24 hours before departure so that the company has time to process your tickets and send them to you. You also have to print them, but most of the time the hotel should have no problem doing it for you.
Types of buses
There are two types of buses, and you will notice the difference between the two quickly. There are nicer buses that are usually referred to as First Class buses, while the more conventional buses. Usually, the longer the ride, the nicer the coaches, but also it can depend on the company. Also, even the traditional buses are nicer than what I am used to from Europe.
Conventional buses are very common for short distances around two hours. You can also find them for a longer trip if you want to. They tend to be cheaper, around 100 MX pesos per hour traveled. They will have fewer amenities on these buses, and there will be a few TVs throughout the bus for entertainment.
First Class buses are the way to go for a trip that is longer than two hours. You will instantly recognize these by the price since they are usually a bit more expensive than the standard buses (probably around 150 MX pesos for hours). They will have personal TV screens like on airplanes, as well as USB connectors. They have more legroom than regular buses, and you have enough space to be comfortable. They may also include WIFI although it almost never works.
So taking a bus in Mexico is actually more like taking a plane in most places. Once you have your ticket, you can go to where it leaves around 15-20 minutes before it leaves. There is usually some sort of security check. Depending on the bus station, this may be more strict or relaxed. Just go along with it and let them check what they want. It will just make the process faster.
After security, you need to find the bus. They usually have the name of the destination displayed on the front so hopefully, that will help. You can "check" your luggage underneath, where in Europe you would just put it in yourself. The employee will give you a ticket which you have to present when you get your luggage so make sure you hold onto it.
Before you get on the bus, a lady will offer you something to drink and, depending on the length of your trip, a snack or a sandwich. These are included in the ticket so feel free to accept them. Someone else will check your "carry-on" luggage if it is a larger bag.
Onboard you will have an assigned seat that you have selected when purchasing your ticket. The chairs are labeled above, so just look for your number. Once everyone is on board, some companies take videos of all the passengers to identify them in case something happens. After all this process all that is left is to enjoy.
At the end
Once you arrive at your destination, there is nothing left to do but get your luggage. After you have handed your ticket to the employee, he will give you your luggage. Outside the bus station, there is usually taxis, or you can call an Uber to get to your hotel.
So that is the process on how to take a bus in Mexico. Hopefully, this beginning to end guide will take away your fears and allow you to explore this gorgeous country. If you need any inspiration on destinations, check out my different posts on Mexico. Do you have any other tips for taking a bus in Mexico? I would love to hear them in the comments below or on social media.