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First-Time Bus Travel Tips

Passenger getting ticket at Jefferson Lines.

Planning your first ride with Jefferson Lines? If you’re not sure how to prepare for a long bus trip, you might be feeling a bit nervous about the road ahead.

Whether you’re heading back to campus, traveling for the holidays, or renting one of our charter buses for a church or corporate event, our bus travel tips checklist will ensure that your next ride is as safe, relaxing, and convenient as possible!

Online Ticket Booking

Your first step is booking your ticket. Using our online ticket booking service, you can choose your destination, departure date, number of passengers, and any accessibility services you require. 

From there, you can choose your itinerary, pay, and print your ticket. 

Find Your Stop

With routes running from Minnesota to Arkansas and Wisconsin to Washington, we have convenient stops spread across the heartland. Our official bus stop map will help you find a location near you, so you can hop aboard your bus in no time. 

Jefferson Lines also partners with full service depots in major cities, as well as transit stations and convenience stores. Hours of operation, ticketing services, overnight parking, and shelters vs. curbside stops vary by location, so please visit our Bus Stops page for more information. 

What to Pack

We allow 3 FREE bags per adult passenger (i.e., 1 carry-on and up to 2 checked bags to store underneath the bus). Your carry-on must fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat, without blocking the aisle. Your checked bags must be no larger than 62 inches in total dimension and weigh no more than 50 pounds. Additional information can be found on our Baggage Policy page. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted on board, so pack yourself plenty of snacks.


Please arrive 15-20 minutes early with a valid ID for boarding. This will give you enough time to purchase tickets if you haven’t already, find your departure gate, and check/tag your luggage. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Though we strive to ensure the best on-time service, delays are possible, due to mechanical issues, traffic conditions, and/or weather. Our handy Bus Tracker tool allows you to check the exact status of your bus. We also provide Travel Alerts with any important service or safety announcements.


All buses provide clean restrooms, air conditioning, tinted windows with shades, reclining seats, individual climate controls, and reading lights. Most buses provide complimentary WiFi and outlets, as well—though due to limited bandwidth, we are unfortunately unable to accommodate most streaming services. Due to COVID-19, federal law requires that all passengers wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while on board, and we are committed to thorough cleaning procedures to keep passengers and employees as safe as possible.


Remember to remain seated until the bus has come to a complete stop. Be careful when opening any overhead compartments to retrieve carry-ons, and double-check your area to make sure you have all your belongings. Pick up any checked baggage underneath the bus, and you’re all set!

Book Your Next Trip with Jefferson Lines

As with trying anything new, you’re likely to have questions. Our team is always here to help! Please contact us with any further questions, so we can ensure you feel confident and excited about your upcoming trip with us. 

Happy travels!