Whether you're headed for the stunning beauty of Niagara Falls or the urban metropolis of Vancouver, the bus is one way to get there. Traveling on a bus between the United States and Canada is a similar experience to traveling solely in the US; the only big difference is you'll have a border stop that can last an hour or more.

Passport and Identification

Get your passport or other approved documentation that proves your citizenship. While a passport is perhaps the easiest way to prove your citizenship, you can also use a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a US Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. You can apply for a US passport through the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs. Be sure to give yourself at least six weeks for routine delivery of your documents, though you can get an expedited passport for an additional fee.

Book Your Tickets

Greyhound buses are a common mode of travel, though you'll find no direct routes from upper Midwest cities into central Canada. Direct routes go from coastal US cities, such as Seattle, Boston and Albany, into Canadian cities, but if you're looking to get to a location more inland, prepare for many stops and connections along the way. Other private tour companies might have more direct routes; in any case, check the dates, times and costs of travel carefully before you book.

Packing Your Luggage

Make sure you choose a bag that is durable and can endure a bit of beating. Like airlines, bus companies have baggage restrictions; Greyhound, for example, allows one free piece of luggage and charges an additional fee for more baggage. You're also allowed a carry-on, but keep its size to a minimum as buses are often packed and you might have to put the bag under the seat in front of you. Pack a few snacks and toiletry items; while buses do make stops along the way, it might not be as often as you'd like, and in remote areas of Canada the amenities might be limited.

Border Declaration

Fill out any declaration card that is given to you at the Canadian border. When you come into the country by bus, border agents might or might not ask you to fill out a form that details the goods you're bringing into the country. At some border crossings, you'll need to do this only verbally. Canada has limits on bringing in certain goods, including alcohol, tobacco and firearms. If you plan to bring these items, be sure to read the Canada Border Services Agency's "Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents" web page (see Resources) carefully so you'll be aware of what's allowed and what's not. After declaring your goods, border officials will check out your passport or other documents and then admit you into the country.


If you're traveling to Canada to work or study, you might need to show different documentation than tourists. Check the Canada Border Services Agency's "Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents" web page for more information.

While Canadian dollars are the standard currency, you should have no problem using US dollars or debit or credit cards to pay for the things you need. You can also exchange your currency at many larger bus depots serving international passengers.