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What restrictions do bus companies place on pregnant travelers?

What restrictions do bus companies place on pregnant travelers?

Bus companies such as Greyhound have no restrictions for pregnant travelers. As a general policy, they suggest that pregnant passengers check with a doctor before traveling (good advice for any type of trip).

What are the pros and cons of bus travel?

Pros: Buses tend to be the cheapest way to get between two points, and often offer the best chance of reaching an out-of-the-way destination short of taking a car. And a trend toward cushioned seats, air conditioning, on-board bathrooms, and even movies makes bus travel more comfortable than ever before. Statistically, bus travel is safer than car travel — and can be more relaxing, since you aren't doing the driving.

Cons: Bus travel can be uncomfortable, crowded, and noisy — making it less than ideal for expectant moms. You won't be able to get up and move around safely during transit, which could put you at greater risk for blood clots and varicose veins. If you're traveling alone, you'll have to tote your own luggage. Food services are typically limited to bus station kiosks and vending machines. On the coach, temperatures can fluctuate wildly, from stiflingly hot to bone-chillingly cold. You can expect on-board bathrooms (if they exist) to be poorly equipped — and difficult to maneuver in while you're bumping down the road. Trying to sleep instead of merely doze while sitting upright is uncomfortable at best. Buses that make a lot of stops can be mind-numbingly slow. And lack of seat belts can put you at greater risk in an accident.

How can I make bus travel more comfortable?

When planning your trip, seek out express buses rather than those that stop at every bump in the road. If you have a medical reason for requesting a certain seat or you need help with luggage or boarding, call the special service headquarters at least two days before your trip. To avoid being at the mercy of late-night, heartburn-inducing greasy spoons or gas station vending machines, pack your own meals, snacks, and water. Since your suitcase likely will be stowed in the luggage bay under the bus during the trip, stash everything you'll need during the ride into a carry-on bag. Here are some items to include:

• A toothbrush (brush and rinse with bottled water)
• Toilet paper and pre-moistened towelettes
• A small towel
• Bags for motion sickness
• A music player and headphones (which can be used for the movie, too, if there is one)
• A book light or flashlight for reading (along with a book or two)
• An inflatable pillow for your neck or back
• Earplugs

Keep your carry-on bag next to you or at your feet. That way you won't have to get up to reach into the overhead compartment when the bus is moving — risking a fall — and you can use the carry-on as a footrest to help ease swelling in your feet and legs. Coaches are often too hot or too cold, so dress in layers and bring a small travel blanket just in case.

Since seating typically is first-come, first-served, try to line up at the bus station early. That way you can snag an aisle seat so you won't have to crawl over a seatmate if you need to get up. Avoid sitting in the front row — since there are often no seat belts, being this close to the front windshield is especially risky in the event of a crash. If the seat next to you is empty, take the chance to stretch out a bit and put your feet up, or even lie down and rest. Finally, take advantage of scheduled pit stops to use the restrooms in bus stations or diners.


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