Travel Apps

What’s So Special About Wanderu? Pros & Cons + Our Honest Review

Updated on:  
April 4, 2022
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Raeesha Ikram
Raeesha Ikram
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Here's everything you'll need to know before you start or stop using Wanderu to purchase bus or train tickets. We'll provide you with a rundown of their features, pros and cons, and whether we think its worth it. Keep reading!

Buses and trains, no doubt, are some of the cheapest and sustainable ways to travel in many countries. Each mode has its pros and cons, but they are ideal options for backpackers who wish to experience the best of the world on a budget. 

Previously, we reviewed Busbud, an online platform that helps you book bus tickets to many cities worldwide. If you are looking for another alternative, you should consider Wanderu.

Unlike Busbud, Wanderu helps you find both bus and train tickets, which is useful for those who use a combination of these modes to travel efficiently. Sounds interesting?

Read our Wanderu review to find out if it’s the right choice for you. 

wanderu logo
Image courtesy: WanderU

What is Wanderu?

Wanderu is an online search platform that helps travelers search, compare, and book cheap bus and train tickets. It was founded in 2011 by Polina Raygorodskaya and Igor Bratnikov, who wanted to overcome the hassle of coach and train travel.

At present, Wanderu covers routes across North America and Europe. Wanderu has partnered with many giants in the travel industry such as Greyhound, Megabus, Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada, BoltBus, etc. You can book tickets via Wanderu’s website or the free mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. Wanderu supports 10 languages and 15 currencies.

What are the Services Offered by Wanderu?

The primary services offered by Wanderu are the ability to search, compare, and review bus and train ticket prices and book them via the carrier’s website. In addition, you also can search for cheap flights, ferry tickets, car rentals, hotels, and BnBs. In this review, our focus is on bus and train booking – their most popular service. 

wanderu website
 Image courtesy: Wanderu

How Does Wanderu Work?

  1. Visit the website or app and enter the departure and arrival locations and date(s) of the trip, specifying if it’s a one-way or round-trip. 
  2. You will be given a list of choices – schedules, routes, rates, and duration of tours offered by different train/bus operators based on your search details to review.
  3. You also have the option of specifying the travel mode – train, bus, or a combination of both. However, it depends on the availability. Specify the time and amenities (Wi-Fi, toilets, power outlets, and air-conditioning) to narrow the search results further.
  4. Once you have selected your choice, click “Select.” Then, you can include the number of passengers and click “Book.” Once redirected to the carrier’s website, you can make the payment and place the booking. A confirmation email and e-tickets will be sent to you. 

What did we like about Wanderu?

  • Reliable 

Based on many Wanderu reviews, the user-friendly website/app does a solid job in helping travelers book tickets quickly and easily. The information provided on schedules and times is well detailed. It’s also one of the safest ways to purchase multi-modal travel tickets.

  • Convenient 

Without a third-party platform like Wanderu, booking bus or train tickets could be a difficult task, especially when you plan to travel to a new destination. For one, you would need to know the bus/train company’s name to book tickets via its website. Next, you have to visit different websites and spend a significant time comparing rates by yourself. Wanderu aggregates all the required information for your convenience! 

  • Routing features

Wanderu has a unique feature that automatically combines bus and train rides to help you get to the desired place easily. It’s perfect for backpackers planning an affordable itinerary in North America or Europe. At present, it’s one of the most popular features that make it stand out from its competitors like Busbud. 

  • Great deals 

Wanderu usually provides many options, so you can compare and review the prices easily and select one that fits your budget. Many have managed to book tickets for cheap rates via Wanderu. If you want the best deals, we recommend you book in advance. However, keep in mind that bus operators usually don’t release schedules earlier than two months.

Also, as Wanderu doesn’t charge you any booking fees (since you are directed to the operator’s website), you don’t have to incur an extra cost!

wanderu mobile app preview and itinerary page
 Image courtesy: Wanderu

What You Should Know About Wanderu?

  • Lack of a refund/cancellation policy 

It’s noteworthy that Wanderu is merely an online search platform, and the booking is eventually made via the carrier’s website. So, it doesn’t offer a refund or cancellation policy outside the bus/train operators’ policies. So, make sure you read the carrier’s terms and conditions regarding refunds, change of reservations, and cancellations beforehand. 

  • Poor customer service 

We just want to let you know that Wanderu customer service, like many other service provider, is far from perfect. There have been instances when users were inconvenienced due to poor customer services, glitches in apps, and errors in the booking process. Fortunately, it’s only a smaller proportion of the total users.

  • Limited coverage

Although not a con, we think the app would be more useful and popular if it expands its services to other continents. We are yet to see it. If you are looking for a bus ticket booking app covering Africa, Asia, or South America, check out Busbud.

Is Wanderu Worth It?

Yes. We came across loads of positive reviews highlighting how convenient, easy, and fast it was to book bus/train tickets via Wanderu. It will also help you discover bus and train routes you didn’t know about before! The fact that it’s a free service is another plus. You can even try its other features like flight searching, although there are more established sites for it like Scott’s Cheap Flights

You can also read our reviews of other popular travel apps here

Our Rating: 4.4/5


  • Reliable service
  • Great routing feature
  • Great deals to choose from


  • Poor customer service.
  • Limited coverage.
  • Refund/Cancellation policy.
Traveling with wanderu train tickets
Photo by Nico Smit on Unsplash

Plan your trip with Pilot 

Planning to head somewhere? Then, you need a good travel planner like Pilot.

While they are many travel planners, Pilot is special because it knows that planning is more exciting when done together with friends. You can co-plan trips with your travel mates, find inspiring travel content, and organize everything seamlessly using our social travel planner. It’s also free, so subscribe for the service today! 

Originally published on:  
September 11, 2021

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