What can I take with me on the bus?
You’re looking for additional information regarding the individual coach companies’ luggage policies? What may you take on the coach? Do you want to know if you can take a bicycle or stroller with you? Will it be possible to bring your dog or an additional piece of luggage – and will there be extra-fees?
At CheckMyBus you can find information about what you can bring – from normal luggage and over sized luggage and carry-on luggage all the way to bicycles.
Luggage, suitcases and bikes on board
Travelling by coach is a means of transport which allows you to bring a fairly large quantity of luggage for free. However, some restrictions apply due to the limited amount of space on a coach. Knowing the general rules of different coach companies helps you avoid unnecessary issues before departure. This allows you to enjoy a pleasant and hassle-free coach journey. CheckMyBus will give you some useful tips here.
What Kind of Luggage can I Bring?
If you travel by coach quite regularly, you’ve probably noticed that one great advantage the intercity bus offers over other modes of transportation. Coaches have an enormous capacity for luggage that you may take on board for free. Nevertheless – similarly to airlines – the maximum luggage size, weight and even what you can bring in your luggage differs amongst the UK’s bus providers. Many companies enforce strict rules about special items such as, musical instruments and sports equipment. Therefore, it’s always good to know the basics beforehand to avoid hassle. A good idea is to inform the respective bus provider beforehand if you plan on bringing a surfboard, bicycle or wheelchair. This ensures there is enough space on the coach.
Here are the main coach companies and their general conditions regarding luggage transportation:
- Hand luggage that fits into overhead racks or under seat (45cm x 35cm x 20cm)
- 1 or 2 medium sized suitcases/rucksacks more than 20kg each
- Maximum size for free luggage: H 70cm x W 30cm x D 45cm
- Over-sized item with protection package (e.g. folded bike, ski/surf board) counts as one item within 2 free items permit in the hold
- Extra item: Size over 85cm, up to 3 pieces. One-way: £10/item, £8 pre-booked online, £15 and £12 round trip, or £16 for extra 3 items altogether pre-booked online one-way, £24 round trip, with an e-ticket only
- Hand luggage only stations: Birmingham (Great Barr), Chacewater, Plymouth (Marsh Mills), Leicester (Braunstone) and Newquay (Porth Four Turns)
- Hand luggage that fits on your lap or under seat
- 1 large sized suitcase or 2 to 3 bags altogether less than 25kg
- Maximum size for free luggage: 200cm (width + height + depth)
- Outsized items (e.g. adult bike, ski/surf board) are NOT permitted with coach service. Folded and children’s bikes can be carried but count towards luggage allowance.
- FlixBus allows hand luggage not exceeding H 42cm x W 30cm x D 18cm and 7kg
- 1 or 2 medium sized suitcases altogether less than 30kg
- Maximum size for free luggage: H 80cm x W 50cm x D 30cm
- 3rd piece of luggage (less than 15kg): €2, must be booked via customer service
- Standardsized bicycle: £7
- Oversized luggage (less than 30kg and 240cm): £7, must be booked via customer service
- Hand luggage that fits into overhead compartments
- No limit of number of bags, as long as altogether less than 32kg
- Maximum size for free luggage: H 81cm x W 119cm x D 119cm
- Outsized item with protection package (e.g. folded bike, ski/surf board) is permitted based on current fares
- Passengers may bring musical instruments (guitar, violin, cello), IF they reserve an accordant seat and pay the required fare.
Tips and Tricks: Where to Store your Luggage in the City
The last thing you need while exploring a new and exciting city is to drag your suitcases with you. Fortunately, there are services that allow you to find a convenient and secure place to store your luggage. Find out more about luggage storage below!
What Items Can’t I Bring on the Coach?
In order to assure a safe and enjoyable coach experience, all the bus providers in the UK have come up with precise rules and regulations regarding some items that should not be in your luggage when you board the coach. However, bus companies typically decide which items you may bring and which could be inappropriate or dangerous. Consequently, having items in the ladder category means the company likely won’t allow you to board.
Forbidden items include: Weapons, bombs, drugs, frozen food, animals (except for service dogs), combustible liquids and solids, toxic items, radioactive materials, raw meat products , dangerous substances containing bacteria or viruses, alkaline substances, liquid batteries and in general any object that may constitute a danger to passengers or which is not compatible on board the vehicle. Furthermore, it is possible to bring cigarettes on board but it is strictly forbidden to smoke on the bus or in the toilets.
Can I bring my pet on the bus?
Unfortunately, most bus companies do not allow pets onboard. However, if you are in need of a guide or assistance dog, then you are usually able to take them on the bus trip as well. Make sure that the service animal received the proper training and always under your control.
If in doubt, we always recommend that you contact the bus company’s customer support to get more details about transporting your four-legged friend.
Wheel Chairs, Baby Car Seats and Strollers
Most bus companies regard folding wheelchairs, car seats and pushchairs as over-sized luggage of special importance. This is why it should not be a problem for you to take them on board. However, we still recommend you show up a bit early at your bus stop and that you give the coach company some notice. For instance, you can send them an e-mail with your exact travel details and the item you’d like to take on board. This is also how you can ensure that there’s enough space on the bus.
For disabled passengers, we recommend our guide on accessibility on the coach for detailed information on coach journeys for disabled passengers.
- National Express requires pre-booking for manual wheelchairs
- Powered wheelchair by dry cell or gel-type batteries only. Passenger must arrange this prior to booking and 36h before departure
- Passengers may bring baby car seat. Make sure you include your child on your ticket when booking.
- Most coaches provide booster seats for children between 4 and 11 or up to 150cm tall.
- Passengers may carry folding pushchairs for free.
- Wheelchairs, scooter or similar assistive devices can be stored in the hold
- For passengers who need their wheelchairs, scooters or similar assistive devices on board: call prior to making a purchase
- Reservation for wheelchair is should be made 36h before departure
- Passengers may receive a full refund in case there’s a lack of space
- Passengers may bring folding pushchairs.
- Passengers may transport non-electronic wheelchairs for free, but need to book via customer service at least 36 hours prior to departure
- Pushchairs counts as bulky luggage and needs to be booked via customer service at least 48 hours prior to departure
- Passengers may transport folding wheelchairs or similar assistive devices free of charge
- Terravision allows parents/guardians to bring child safety seats on board for children under two
What Happens if I lose my luggage?
Although as a passenger, it is your obligation to keep an eye on your personal belongings, everyone can get a bit distracted from time to time. If you discover you lost an item or your luggage on the bus or at the station, you can use the customer service hotline and/or e-mail of the coach company. Please have your ticket number at hand when calling. You can also go to the pick-up or drop-off station offices or info desks to ask about any lost luggage.
We strongly suggest all the passengers have their luggage labelled with their personal contact information.
If you have lost an item of luggage travelling on coach services of National Express, you can get in touch with them directly.
megabus staff should instantly be notified of any lost pieces of luggage. For insured property of any kind, megabus is only liable up to £500. Keep in mind that megabus is not liable for the loss of valuables, such as money, jewelry, legal documents etc. You have to keep them by your side and be cautious on your journey.
If you lost your luggage, then the company might send it to you via post. However, a small administration fee will be charged. If the luggage is not labelled with the information of the passengers, including name and phone number, it will be disposed of within one month. Please be advised that all found luggage will be examined then disposed of within 48 hours if any hazardous substance is found. Passengers should contact Terravision within 72 hours after travelling via e-mail and describe all details about lost items. However, Terravision is not responsible for lost or stolen luggage.