Safe Traveling Tips, Guidelines, & Procedures

Your Safety Is Our Top Priority

The safety of our riders will always be our number one priority. We take into account all facets of safety as well. This includes the quality of our vehicle, the cleanliness of the interior, and even your comfortability. The reason we include comfort is because we know that when you feel comfortable you can relax more. That feeling allows you to be more at ease and therefore, more safe.

The intention of this information is not to lecture or command. Rather, to educate and provide viable options for you, our riders. Know that every decision we make we do so with you in mind. The following content has been created so that you may be able to return and reference the website.

safe travel

Tips For Safe Travel

Since you are not operating the vehicle that you’ll be riding in, safety doesn’t look like it traditionally does in transportation. Here are few good tips to consider when traveling with Salt Lake Express:

  1. Make sure that you know and understand your route. This will provide an layer of safety that isn’t seen, but felt. Knowing where you’re going and what stops are made along your route adds a level of assurance and confidence in travel.
  2. Be mindful and aware of your own health. If there’s a positive thing that came out of the pandemic, it’s that we might be more considerate of our own health and how it can impact those around us. While you are no longer required to wear a mask or face covering on public transportation anymore, it’s good to protect others if you do feel under the weather. Our riders are welcome to continue to wear masks if they feel more comfortable doing so.
  3. Listen. Always listen to your bus driver when it comes to safety. Our drivers are well-trained and knowledgeable. They know the best and safest procedures and guidelines to follow when transporting groups of people on the road.

How We’re Ensuring Safe Travel

Our latest campaign, titled Nicer, Newer, Friendlier, Cleaner, emphasizes all the ways that we are going above and beyond when it comes to taking care of you and our vehicles. We have only produced the first two videos so far, but you can learn more by watching them below.

Newer

Cleaner

Guidelines & Logistical Procedures

Departure Times for Shuttle Locations

We suggest that you be at the departure location 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. We reserve the right to depart locations on time to avoid shuttle delays.

Allow Enough Time at the Airport

Airports and airlines request that you be at the airport 2 hours before your scheduled departure time for domestic flights and 2-3 hours for flights outside the United States. This suggested time allowance will vary with time of day, season, weather and airport security level. You may need more time during peak travel periods. Airlines reserve the right to close the doors to the aircraft up to 20 minutes prior to their scheduled departure. The airlines departure time means DEPARTURE TIME – not boarding time.

After everyone has boarded the aircraft, it requires another 15 minutes before they finish their checks and depart. Part of the airlines concern is that you allow enough time to get to the airport. You must also take into account possible shuttle delays. We strive hard to be on-time, and are always looking at ways to maintain a good “on-time record,” however, there are many things that can delay the shuttle. (See “Terms & Conditions” – #18) Salt Lake Express cannot guarantee any times any more than the airlines are able to guarantee times. Nearly all missed flights have resulted when passengers have allowed less than one (1) hour at the airport. Be a smart traveler by allowing enough time.

Shuttle Luggage Space

We plan on a reasonable amount of luggage on each shuttle. If you will have more than two (2) suitcases and a carry on, you need to call the office to make sure we will have room. If you show up with more than this, we will accept it on a space available basis. Also, you may be charged $10.00 per suitcase or box over the two (2) suitcases allowed.

Pick-Up/Drop-Off at Other Locations

If you desire to make a reservation to/from a location that is not listed on the website, please call the office to make sure it is available. To help keep our shuttles “on time” we need to manage “extra stops.” Also, there is an additional stop charge for any stop that is not listed and this charge may vary. If you make your reservation online and put in the notes that you want a different stop, that request will not be honored until you contact the office, make arrangements, and pay any additional fee.

Mask Mandate Dropped

Catch a bus to Las Vegas for its amazing weather.

7 Reasons to Take a Bus to Las Vegas Right Now

True story: While penning this article, the writer has a weekend trip planned that may or may not be canceled due to weather conditions. It’s times like these that he asks himself, “Why not just catch a bus to Las Vegas?”

Winter/early spring are great times to go to Las Vegas. Not only is the weather probably better than wherever you are, but the food, entertainment, and education options don’t slow down during this time of year. There is always a good show to catch. The food is always superb. And the visual impact of seeing the lights of Las Vegas, whether for the first or fortieth time, never ceases to take your breath away.

If you’re looking for an excuse to take a bus to Las Vegas and enjoy a weekend or week getaway, you don’t have to look far. And today, for your benefit, we hope to capture the essence and wonder of the entertainment capital of the world.

Catch a bus to Las Vegas if you've never been before.

1. You’ve Never Been

First and foremost, a word for those who perhaps have never been to fabulous Las Vegas: go. At least once in your life, you should make the trip and see this famous city for yourself. Visually, it is a spectacle. When approaching southbound on I-15 by night, the lights illuminate the whole desert. As for dining and entertainment options, well, you just keep reading. There’s so much more to do in Las Vegas than look at it.

When you catch a Salt Lake Express bus to Las Vegas for the first time, whether from St. George, UT or Great Falls, MT, you are preparing yourself for a trip full of spectacle, wonder, and nearly endless entertainment. Take a look at what there is to do.

2. The Slots

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to play the slots.

The beepboop, and (if you’re lucky) ka-ching! of slot machines has become synonymous with the Las Vegas experience. And though Salt Lake Express doesn’t necessarily condone gambling, if you’re hopping on a bus to Las Vegas, you’re more than likely going to wander near the slots.

So while you’re at it, there’s comparatively little harm in bringing along a roll of quarters, dimes, nickels, or even pennies to try out the respective slots. Rusty Griswold won four sports cars in four tries, and though we can with absolute certainty guarantee that won’t happen to you, a feeble hope for a similar outcome is part of the Vegas experience.

But remember, there is a ton more to do in Vegas than just sit expectantly at the penny slots. What, exactly, is there else to do in Vegas besides gamble? Scroll on, friend.

3. The Shows

Besides hitting up the casino, besides patrolling the Strip, one of the most iconic things about Las Vegas is its shows. There’s never a shortage of fantastic shows and spectacles at any time of the year. And it’s only a short trip on a bus to Las Vegas away.

Vegas! The Show

If you want to get the Vegas experience all in one night, you definitely don’t want to miss “Vegas! The Show.” This world-famous Saxe Theater show portrays all the glitter and glam in a highly-praised Broadway-style production every night of the week. With nightly showings at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., this is the perfect Strip pit stop. Get your tickets here.

Cirque du Soleil

Believe it or not, Cirque du Soleil offers six fantastic shows in Vegas. Each show is independently unique of another, however, they are all equally incredible. Their shows include “O”, which showcases high-flying acrobats and awe-inspiring stunts taking place in, around, and above water. If you’re a fan of the late Michael Jackson, the show “Michael Jackson ONE” has high-energy, electrifying performances that revolve around the King of Pop. Another for music fans is “The Beatles Love”, which tells an amazing story through time to the soundtrack of the legendary English band.

“Mystère” is a beautifully imagined show and is certainly a fan favorite as the first Cirque production to open in Vegas. The technically advanced “KÀ” has to be one of the most immersive shows you’ll ever see as it explores themes of family, war, and good vs. evil. And lastly, there’s the brand new Mad Apple at New York-New York opening May 2022! Don’t miss out!

Purple Reign

This award-winning tribute show to the Purple One himself is a must-see for Prince fans die-hard and casual alike. Long recognized as the world’s number one Prince tribute, “Purple Reign” was the first impersonator/tribute musical act to appear on David Letterman (in 2008) and has been making waves ever since.

Not familiar with the late artist’s music or legacy? Let your in-the-know friends take you and introduce you to the purple corner of the pop music world. What’s the deal with the purple, you say? You have so much to learn. Start by getting more info on this incredible show.

*Must be 16 years or older to attend this event.

Blue Man Group

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to see the Blue Man Group.

Though not specific to the entertainment capital of the world, the Blue Man Group show encapsulates Las Vegas perfectly. Spectacle, music, and laughter abound at this electrifying performance, which entertains like baldness, body paint, and lots of BLUE never have before. And look closely, you might see Tobias Fünke trying to sneak in a live audition.

The blue trio may not be exclusive to Vegas, but they do have their own theater: the state-of-the-art Blue Man Theater at Luxor Hotel and Casino. This is definitely one to keep at the top of the list as you plan your trip to stroll The Strip.

4. The Food

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to experience the delicious food.

Face it, we all need to eat on our big day out in Las Vegas. Do us but especially yourself a favor: avoid fast food. You can get it anywhere. While you’re in Las Vegas, don’t you want your once-in-a-lifetime experience to extend to gastronomy? Yeah, you do.

The problem is, there are so many restaurants to eat at. It all depends on your taste, or what you’re in the mood for, or what your spouse is in the mood for. We’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out our list of the top places to eat in Las Vegas for an authoritative reference — “authoritative” because of our huge love of food.

Other top-rated restaurants we may not have mentioned for the sake of brevity: Yardbird, Gangnam Asian BBQ, Tacos El Gordo, and Joe’s. But seriously, there are a ton. Or check out one of a large number of buffets to get a little more bang for your buck.

5. The Climate

Catch a bus to Las Vegas for its amazing weather.

As your guide sits here blogging from the bitter cold of Idaho in March, the current temperature in Las Vegas is 72°F. This weekend, it will be sunny in the mid-70’s. Summer may be a different story, but perhaps there’s no better reason to hop a bus to Las Vegas right now than for its climate.

Close your eyes. Let every movie, retro photo, and stereotype dictate your vision of Las Vegas. You’re probably seeing lots of pink, neon, flamingos, slot machines, red carpet, Wayne Newton, and, oh yeah, palm trees. Palm trees, blue skies, short sleeves, and sun. This is probably a good time to drop the link to purchase your ticket.

6. The Museums

When Las Vegas comes up, casinos, glamorous shows, and a slew of heist movies come to mind. But don’t get too busy on The Strip for the educational offerings of this luminescent city. Spanning over a century of history, they basically have a museum, exhibit, or hall of fame for everybody.

The Mob Museum

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to see the Mob Museum.

The Mob Museum is marketed as an educational program (see: field trip). But that in no way diminishes the awesomeness of this tribute to the struggle between organized crime and law enforcement. In fact, this 501(c)3 non-profit takes the matter seriously, and visitors are rewarded with “high-tech videos, one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive exhibits.”

The mission of The Mob Museum is “to advance the public understanding of organized crime’s history and impact on American society.” And in the process, you get a highly entertaining and captivating experience that will sate the appetite of history buffs and casual tourists alike.

National Atomic Testing Museum

Las Vegas is probably the brightest, most explosive thing to hit the state of Nevada…and Nevada has seen its share of nuclear tests. You can learn all about them at one of Las Vegas’ most dynamic museums: the National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM).

The only Congressionally-mandated museum in the state, NATM is a preeminent private national museum regarding our country’s history in atomic testing. It covers over 70 years of atomic history, has rare artifacts and a nuclear reactor on display, and educates visitors on the historic Nevada Test Site.

Learn more about NATM here.

Pinball Hall of Fame

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to check out the Pinball Hall of Fame.

After the Atom Testing Museum, you’ll see me falling backward into a black wave of bumpers, wormholes, and nostalgia at the Pinball Hall of Fame. Here, you have access to 150+ pinball machines dating back as far as 1947. And guess what? You and your whole family are welcome to play any one of them! Older models are set at twenty-five cents and newer models at fifty.

The Pinball Hall of Fame, a 501c3 non-profit, is a 10,000-square foot facility designed to give people of all ages an afternoon of sweet, classic arcade bliss, all while helping a good cause. Maybe this alone is reason enough to get you on a bus to Las Vegas today, maybe not. But be sure to stop by when you do go.

7. The Ecosystem

What? Nature in and around Las Vegas? You bet. The bite of “Sin City” loses some of its edge when you take a short trip out of town to see what lies beyond. Sure, this metropolis is planted right in the middle of the desert. And certainly, you must still have some reservations about the legitimacy of this section. Hopefully, we can change your mind.

Valley of Fire State Park

The desert reputation of Las Vegas’ geography becomes its strength in the Valley of Fire State Park. Forty thousand acres of bright red sandstone complement the tan and gray limestone in this ancient and breathtaking park. This park is open year-round, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and only costs $10 for admission ($15 for out-of-staters). There is also plenty of opportunity for camping, hiking, biking, and more.

Having gone through all our suggestions of what to do in Vegas, you’ll love stopping in at this affordable, family-friendly park. With so much history, breathtaking views, and things to do, the Valley of Fire State Park carries on the Vegas tradition of spectacle. Learn more about the park here.

Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center

Catch a bus to Las Vegas to see Red Rock Canyon.

“Purple Reign” has the purple. The Blue Man Group bring the blue. What’s the missing color in the scheme? Your art teacher will remind you it’s red, and we’re here to direct you toward Red Rock Canyon, one of Las Vegas’ proudest state parks.

Red Rock Canyon boasts “something for everyone.” Sitting at nearly 200 acres within the Mojave Desert, just west of Las Vegas, this conservation area is a stunning landscape to behold. Explore the shimmering red canyons, peaks, gullies, and explore the flora and fauna via a winding labyrinth of hiking and biking trails. Learn all about Red Rock at the visitor center, and overall, just take in the quiet beauty of this area.

Check out all the many different things there are to do at Red Rock Canyon.

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Just north of town (you’ll pass through it as you take a St. George bus to Las Vegas) lies the massive Desert National Wildlife Refuge (Desert NWR). The largest refuge outside of Alaska, Desert NWR sits at 1.6 million acres. There is plenty to see and lots to do when you pop out of town for a day at this refuge.

The refuge, first established for desert bighorn sheep, is now home to 400+ species of animal and over 500 plant species. Due to the harsh desert nature of the refuge, most mammals and reptiles are nocturnal and active at night. But there is still plenty to do: hunting, camping, hiking, photography, and more.


It’s not easy to encapsulate all the myriad activities and sights Las Vegas has to offer in a single sitting, but here we are. When you take a bus to Las Vegas, make sure you have your trip planned out. You’ll need food, a good climate, plenty of things to do, and moments of quiet reflection amongst the glamour, and Las Vegas provides all that and more.

Salt Lake Express makes it easy to start planning your trip. With multiple daily trips to the Las Vegas airport, we take you to the gateway to the most exciting city in the world. A wide array of shuttles can take you to anywhere in the city, from The Strip to your hotel, to museums, and more. But it all starts with a simple bus to Las Vegas. And we’re pleased to take you there.

Holiday Travel with Salt Lake Express

Are you a homesick student? Or perhaps it’s been forever since you’ve visited your extended family. To many people, the holiday season represents a time to come together. To celebrate relationships and enjoy the end of the year. However, getting home for the holidays can be a challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with winter travel you may not feel comfortable traveling home. But fear not. No matter how far you go, Salt Lake Express is here to help with all the ways we help with holiday travel.

Travel to Utah or Idaho

Saint_George_Shuttle_Service

We have routes all throughout Idaho and Utah. Traveling is as simple as picking your destination. The most popular route goes from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake. However, the bus does stop in towns along the way. If you are traveling from Idaho to Utah, or vice versa, you need to think about the weather. Utah and Idaho weather is often similar, however Utah can be slightly warmer. In the winter, your best bet is to pack for cold weather either way. If you travel to St George, you have the option to get dropped off at your door. Which can come in handy if you’re hoping to save time.

Travel to Nevada

Aerial view of Las Vegas strip, in front of teh Bellagio
Getting to and from Las Vegas is simple and affordable with our shuttles.

Salt Lake Express has several popular routes from Utah to Nevada. The most popular destinations lie near Las Vegas, but there are several other options. If you do travel from Utah to Nevada, planning for weather is key. Nevada weather often reaches the 70s in the winter, while Utah rests below freezing. You’ll want to dress warm for the trip, but have layers you can remove as it gets warmer. Pack for warm weather, but bring a light jacket just in case. Pack a swimsuit in case you want to enjoy warm weather at it’s fullest. Once you’re packed and ready to go, you can relax and enjoy the show of Christmas lights and Vegas neon.

Travel to Wyoming or Montana

We have several routes if you’re traveling to Wyoming or Montana, most being to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole. You’ll need to prepare for very cold weather if you’re traveling that far north. You’ll want to pack heavy clothing for your trip. Especially if you’re planning any outdoor activities or ventures. Bring a large suitcase to carry sweaters, pants, and thermals. Dress appropriately for travel. Check weather conditions for Wyoming and Montana before you leave. Bring extra layers in your carry-on bag to add as you travel and wear a heavy coat that is easy to remove on the bus. Your coat can double as a pillow if you’re hoping to sleep on the bus. If you can, bring an extra dry, warm pair of clothes, just in case.

Further Travel

Salt Lake City's international airport
The Salt Lake International Airport has become a major hub connecting the mountainous West with the rest of the world.

If you’re traveling further east, you’ll need to travel by airplane. However, bus travel can help you save on gas and airport parking. Salt Lake Express provides transport to airports in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Simply pick the one closest to you and we can get you to the destination. But if you are planning to travel by plane, you’ll need to plan how you pack. Most airports have a weight limit for your luggage. The standard limit comes to around 50 pounds per suitcase. Salt Lake Express allows you to bring two suitcases, but you can pay an additional fee if you need to bring more. However, additional baggage fees can add up. If you’re only traveling for the holidays, try limiting yourself to one suitcase. It’s a good idea to leave with one suitcase, then return with two after the holidays.

Check out the closest stop to your destination.

Travel Stops & Photo Ops Along Salt Lake Express Routes

Photo Ops Along Our Routes

At Salt Lake Express, we’ve seen every corner of the west from Vegas to Yellowstone. But, there’s always a new way to see things. For example, going cross country in a bus provides unique travel photo ops that most people miss. Which is why we’re here to highlight the few exceptional spots and remind you of new ways to capture them!

Antler Arch – Jackson Wyoming

Salt Lake Express travelers can’t miss the chance to take a shot under the famous Antler Archway in Jackson. Directly in the town square, Jackson’s archways are built from real elk antlers. Visitors to George Washington Memorial park in Jackson have the opportunity to snap a pic under each of the four archways. Families near Jackson line up for family portraits and photos. For any traveler, the archways provide a great place to for some quick travel photo ops.

Boise Idaho – Kathryn Albertson Park

Travelers can find this park off Americana Boulevard near the Boise River. Builders designed the park to attract wildlife which makes it a great place to capture nature shots! Most of the park is off limits to dogs and vehicles so be prepared to do a lot of walking. But travelers to this park can find opportunities for pictures of deer, turtles, birds, and other wildlife. The park is a can’t miss for photographers and a great place to go even if you’re just out to look.

Idaho Falls – The Falls

It’s ironic how many people visit or drive through Idaho Falls every day, but never go to visit the actual falls. This section of the Snake River is amazing. Smack in the middle of downtown Idaho Falls, the view of the river is spectacular. As an added bonus, next to the falls lies the Japanese Friendship Gardens. The gardens are filled with cherry trees and traditional style Japanese architecture that add character to the scenery. I’ve gotten some great shots from this part of Idaho Falls. The LDS temple is across the street from the river. It’s a fun challenge to get both the falls and the temple in one shot.

Salt Lake City – Temple Square & Architecture

salt lake express activities 1
source: https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/general-conference-april-2012-948369?lang=eng

Utah travelers probably know the majority of the sights Salt Lake has to offer. But, from a photography standpoint you can see these sights with new eyes. Take Temple Square for example. Most people who visit Utah will have seen it once or twice. Maybe they’ve seen the lights for Christmas. But, what if you took up the challenge to get a new outstanding shot of the temple at night or with the Christmas lights? That adds a layer of interest to your visit. There are several different areas in Salt Lake with great architecture. You just need to find a unique angle for your shot. On your next trip, try going up to the top floor of one of the Salt Lake buildings. That will give you a great new perspective.

Las Vegas – The Strip

Most Salt Lake Express travelers headed to Vegas are traveling to the airport. But, if you plan your trip well you could have several hours before your flight for travel photo ops of the Vegas strip. People recognize Las Vegas for its lively and energized atmosphere. On your trip to Vegas, we’d suggest getting some shots of people in action. Try to capture the fast paced feel of Vegas. If you’re down for a challenge, try to get a unique shot of the neon strip. Look for a new angle or perspective that can really stand out against the usual shots of the city.

Yellowstone – Grand Prismatic Overlook & Old Faithful

These geysers are known worldwide for a reason! They are outstandingly beautiful and a great shot of a geyser is breathtaking. However, most travelers settle for a simple shot over the viewing area. For photographers and the adventurous traveler, we’d suggest taking a hike to a more interesting vantage point. However, be aware of the wildlife and prepare so that you’re as safe as possible on your trip. Bears live in Yellowstone. Shots of wildlife are interesting, but you should never put yourself at risk. So, take every precaution. Alert park rangers of where you are going and don’t wander from the designated trails.

Reasons to Visit West Yellowstone

Reasons to Visit West Yellowstone

Are you looking for a fun vacation or getaway over the winter or coming months? Well, look no further. Here at Salt Lake Express, we want to highlight some of the reasons to visit West Yellowstone and the world’s first national park.

West Yellowstone

In March 1872, President Grant signed a bill for the protection of Yellowstone National park. Salt Lake Express travelers can visit the park through the town of West Yellowstone. The town has been a gateway to the national park since the early 1900s. Visitors to the national park can find affordable lodging, restaurants, and tours throughout the town.

Attractions

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

The center opened in 1993 as a sanctuary for bears removed from their natural habitat. At the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, researchers are able to gain a better fundamental understanding of bears and other wildlife. Visitors can view grizzly bears interacting with each other and enjoy the museum.

The Playmill Theatre

The Playmill Theatre has been a staple of West Yellowstone since 1964. The theatre is one of the largest in the area and attracts patrons from the neighboring states of Idaho and Wyoming. Visitors can take a break from the park for an evening at the theatre during the summer season.

Yogi’s Waffle & Grill

If you ever need a break from the park or walking around, stop by Yogi’s for some great food. The Waffle & Grill restaurant has a great selection of food and desserts to choose from. With 40 flavors of Ice cream, Yogi’s is a popular stop for travelers to take a break before they head back into the park.

Yellowstone National Park

Beyond the attractions of West Yellowstone, this stop has plenty to offer within the National Park. If you tour with a group you’ll be restricted, but you’ll still see some great spots. If you’re lucky enough to go in on your own, here’s the things we suggest you look at.

Geysers

Most people have heard of Old Faithful. But did you know that Yellowstone is home to 500 geysers? Some of the most popular include the Grand Geyser and the Riverside Geyser. Yellowstone’s hikes provide a way to get a good view of the eruption. Only a few of these natural wonders are predictable, but catching one as it goes off will leave you speechless! Most of the geysers only go off once or twice a day, but some of the smaller ones erupt almost every hour. Make sure to keep behind the marked path, the water from these geysers is boiling hot.

Hiking & Canoeing

There are several great lakes within Yellowstone Park to explore. Most of these have some sort of hike or access to an area. All canoes and equipment has to come from outside the park. So if you don’t have the equipment, you’re out of luck. But, in the town outside the park you can rent a canoe for a reasonable price. We’d suggest going to Shoshone or Heart Lake.

Nature Photography

Most of the wildlife in Yellowstone try to keep clear of humans, but some of the animals are more bold. During the spring months, female bears with cubs will come closer to areas with more human activity, to keep clear of the larger male bears. If you make sure to keep your distance, you might be able to get a good shot in the spring months.

Larger animals in Yellowstone hibernate for the winter, however visitors commonly see smaller wildlife like coyotes and foxes throughout November and December. Winter months become the perfect time to capture wildlife shots because most of these small animals stand out brilliantly against the harsh white background.

Planning For Your Road Trip With Salt Lake Express

Must-Haves for Every Road Trip Warrior

I’m something of a cross country, road trip traveler! I actually grew up in the back of a seven-passenger vehicle driving across the country for most of my life. And I know that there is a lot to remember when you’re planning a trip. After spending days and even weeks at a time driving in a car, I’ve become somewhat of a professional traveler. Which might help you out with your next trip on Salt Lake Express. The principles of cross country travel remain the same regardless of what vehicle you’re in. Here are some of the things I do to make my trips more comfortable.

Nutrition

healthy snacks on a road trip

Food and water come first in any travel situation. After long hours in close conditions, we all get understandably tired and hungry. Which is why you need to pack snacks and water beforehand. Salt Lake Express stops every few hours to fuel up, but you can’t rely on these stops alone. Most people will be in a rush for the bathroom during these stops. You don’t want to hold up the bus because you were trying to buy a gas station sandwich. I suggest you take a look at how long your trip will last and then pack enough snacks for at least two-thirds of the meals you’d usually have during that time. Also bring a medium sized refillable water bottle.

In addition, try to pack light and with easily disposable packaging so you’ll have more room in your carry-on after you eat. If you’re planning on taking a flight, make sure you eat all of your food before you leave the bus. You wouldn’t want to waste anything.

Comfort

The next tip I have for you involves maximizing your comfort throughout the trip. Make sure to wear travel clothes. These should be your most comfortable pair of clothes that are appropriate for the weather you are traveling in. Many of you will want a neck pillow to help you sleep sitting up right. I’ve never been able to sleep while traveling, but I’d suggest you bring one if you plan on getting some rest. For the men out there, take your wallet and phone out of your back pockets and store them either in your carry on or coat pocket. You’ll be sitting down for a long period of time and that wallet becomes death in your pocket after two hours! That small change will make the biggest difference in your comfort level.

Pack Light

Packing light increases your chances of being comfortable. Try to only pack one suitcase with all the essential clothes and toiletries you’ll need. You should have one pair of clothes for every day of your trip. But for a longer trip, try planning on doing laundry. For a long trip pack;

  • Four shirts, two regular and two formal
  • Three pairs of pants or bottoms, 2 casual and 1 formal
  • Two pairs of shoes (formal and non-formal)
  • Four pairs of socks
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries

All you need should be able to fit into a small to medium sized suitcase. Then bring a backpack or carry-on bag with the other essentials;

  • Food and water
  • One extra pair of clothes
  • Charger
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Pocket money
  • Phone

Fit these into your backpack as best you can. I suggest rolling the clothes into a bundle at the base of your backpack. And that is how you properly plan for your upcoming road trip. And don’t forget to frequently check saltlakeexpress.com for surprise sales and other promotional deals. You can also subscribe to our email where we regularly send out stellar discounts!

Wildlife in Yellowstone: What Can You See?

Yellowstone National Park is known worldwide for the wildlife and natural wonders it contains. Photographers wait for hours to get the perfect photograph of anything they can find. If you find yourself in the northwestern United States, why not hop onto a Salt Lake Express bus to West Yellowstone and learn why?

Here is a short list of some of the wildlife you can see!

The Gray Wolf

The gray wolf, also known as the Timber Wolf, is on the endangered species list. Though they once roamed through about two thirds of the United States, they only have populations in seven states now. Gray wolves typically weigh between 60 and 145 pounds, with size varying by gender. Females are usually smaller. They are generally about 5-7 feet long from nose to tail (the tail is usually about 2 feet long) and move in packs of up to 15 members! To learn more about gray wolves, you can visit the National Wildlife Federation’s Website.

The Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly Bear is a type of brown bear. They actually come in a wide variety of colors ranging from almost white to a dark brown. One of their more distinguishing features is the hump on their shoulders, which is where muscle connects to their backbone. Females can reach up to 800lbs while males can reach up to 1700lbs. Apparently the term “Grizzly Bear” originated because during the colder months they can be seen with the tips of their fur coated in ice. This can give them a “grizzled” or gray look. Learn more here!

The Mountain Lion

The Mountain Lion has many names. Some of the common ones are Puma, Panther and Cougar. They are located all throughout the Americas, and where they live has a profound influence on their size! Near the equator, they are much smaller, and the further north you go the larger they get. Smaller cats weigh between 64 and 115 pounds and larger cats can reach 141-220 pounds depending on gender. They are solitary creatures with wide ranges, living wherever food and shelter can be found. If you are interested, you can learn more here.

Red Fox

Red Foxes typically have red fur, with white fur across their bellies and chest. They can have gray patches, however, which sometimes causes them to be mistaken for their cousin the gray fox. The best way to tell the difference is to check the tail: gray foxes have a black tipped tails and red foxes have white tipped tails. Red foxes prefer to eat rabbits and mice, but are efficient scavengers when necessary. Their hearing is so good they can hear mice and other rodents digging underground! Click here to learn more!

Coyote

Coyotes are close cousins to wolves and are some of the most common wild canines in North America. They are rated as being of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Coyotes weigh between 15 and 44 pounds, and mostly feed on bison, deer, moose, elk and other large herbivores, though they will hunt and eat smaller game when they can. They have been known to stalk and attack humans from time to time, though this has only resulted in 2 known deaths and 130 injuries in the last 30 years, mostly in California where humans are encroaching on their habitat.

River Otter

River otters are highly social, playful animals. They live in families, usually a female and her offspring, or a group of males. Otters like to eat fish, which they hunt by hiding and ambushing them. They also eat insects, birds and some frogs and lizards. Otters have have few water predators, but on land they are hunted by everything from bobcats to grizzly bears. They are not considered endangered or at risk. If you want to know more about otters, here is a good place to start.

American Buffalo

American Buffalo are commonly called Bison. They can stand up to 6 feet tall and weigh upwards of 900 pounds. They live about 20 years when not raised in captivity, that’s why we love seeing them free in Yellowstone. Bison are identifiable by the hump on their back and their shaggy brown fur, They often grow beards and and the fur on their front is longer than the fur towards their rump. The eat constantly, and often do so even while on the move. Find more information about Bison here.

Yellowstone Elk

There are between 10,000 and 20,000 Elk in Yellowstone at any given time. They are the most populous hooved animal in the park. Each elk weighs between 500 and 700 pounds. Males grow antlers which have on average 6 tines or points. They use them to establish dominance over other males during mating, or “rutting”, season. The word elk originated with European settlers. The closest thing they had seen to an elk was a Moose, and so they used their name for moose. European still use the term Elk to refer to Moose, and this causes some confusion among European visitors.

Moose

Moose are the largest members of the deer family. They stand 6 feet tall and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Because Moose are so tall, they have a hard time bending over to eat grass. Instead, they eat twigs and leaves. The word “moose” was the Algonquin word meaning “eaters of twigs”. Interestingly, each of their hairs is hollow, which allows the them to act as insulation in the winter. Unlike females, males grow horns in the spring for use during mating season in the fall. The antlers can grow to up to 6 feet and are used to fight other bulls for territory or mates. To find out more about moose in Yellowstone, go here!

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep are compact animals, with thickly bunched musculature. They are well adapted to living in steep places such as slopes and mountainsides. Typically, bighorn sheep are white and males can be distinguished by their large curved horns, which weigh up to 30 pounds. They can weigh between 160 and 350 pounds, and stand around 40 inches (3′ 4″) high. They have been on the endangered species list, but made a recovery. There are still efforts to continue protecting them. Read here for more.

Mule Deer

Mule deer get their name from their large ears, which reminded settlers of a mule. Their other defining feature is the “mask” on their face. Mule deer range between 3 and 3.5 feet tall and 4 to 7 feet long. They usually weigh between 130 and 280 pounds. They are actually very picky eaters: they will eat only the most nutritious foods. This means they have more robust requirements for foraging and fewer places to live.

Pronghorn Antelope

Pronghorn Antelope are easily identifiable by their horns, as shown in the picture above. They are remarkably agile, and can reach speeds of nearly 60 miles per hour. Pronghorns also have excellent vision, which allows them to spot predators from further away on their long migrations. They will eat grasses shrubs and most other greenery, and they seldom drink water since they get all the water they need from the plants they eat. If you’d like to know more, go here.

White Tailed Deer

White Tailed Deer are the smallest member of the deer family. They live throughout most of the Rocky Mountains, Arizona and most of Mexico. White Tailed Deer stand almost 3 feet tall and can weigh up to 300 pounds. Males grow antlers as seen in the photograph above and when frightened they raise their tail to signal other deer that danger is near by. More information on White Tailed Deer can be found here.

Beaver

The American Beaver is the largest rodent in America. The distinguishing feature of the beaver is it’s long flat tail, which it uses to navigate more easily in the water. It also uses its tail to raise the alarm when there is danger by slapping the water. The Beaver builds dams by chewing down trees or chewing through branches to build their homes. Their teeth are always growing, so chewing on trees prevents their teeth from getting too long. Find out more here!

Chipmunks

Chipmunks are rodents that can often be seen playing, fighting for food and generally scampering around the Yellowstone area. They are small and striped, and they hoard food in preparation for winter. This makes them an important part of the ecosystem because it moves seeds around for plants and trees. They are also an important source of food for predators, such as foxes and coyotes. Information on Chipmunks can be found here.

Yellow Bellied Marmots

Yellow bellied marmots are also called Rock Chucks and are a member of the ground squirrel family. They are found across the mountainous areas of Canada and the Western United States. Marmots are typically brown in color and weigh about 11 pounds. They are very common and not considered to be under threat. They like to poke their heads out of their burrows and look at anything they are curious about that might be passing by. If you’d like to learn more this is a good place to start.

Red Squirrels

While Red Squirrels may be very common they are also very cute! The are another animal that hoards nuts and berries leading up to the winter months and are therefore important for the life cycles of trees and other plants. They also serve as prey for most ground predators and even some larger birds. They can be fearless around humans when they live in cities and towns, and their habitat crosses readily into areas with large human populations. For more information about squirrels, here is a good place to start.

Bats

Yellowstone is home to 13 varieties of bats, and all eat insects and are active at night. Unfortunately, due to a fungal infection, many of the bats populations are falling. Several species of bats have become extinct, and the other cannot recover quickly because they raise only 1 pup per female per year. If you see a bat, don’t be scared! Instead, thank them for controlling the insect population and leave it in peace so the population can rise. To learn more about bats, you can go here or here.

While this may seem like an extensive list, there are many more animals to see in Yellowstone Park! Go to Yellowstone National Park’s Website to learn more.

disinfectant_handsanitizer_health_screenings_for_travel

Masks, Hand Sanitizer, Health Screenings, & More

How can we help you travel more confidently?

As we enter back into a realm of normalcy, we understand that it’s going to take some time. However, we’re here to help that process along. Our goal here at Salt Lake Express is to earn the trust of our travelers. Even if that takes a little time. In order to improve confidence among our travelers, we’re implementing the following practices on our buses.

Health Screenings

To ensure our riders’ safety on our end, we’re making sure that all of our drivers are taking necessary precautions. They will all receive a basic health screening before their shift. This will help us know if anyone is feeling ill or showing early signs of illness. If a driver is unfit, then a different driver will take their place.

We have and are considering screening our passengers. However, it is a large undertaking so at the current moment we are adhering to social distancing practices. We have scaled back the amount of passengers allowed on a single bus.

Hand Sanitizer

Along with health screenings and the current disinfecting practices employed, we are now offering hand sanitizer. To be direct, we know that it doesn’t matter how often we tell you that we clean our buses if you don’t see it happen with your own eyes. In order to help with this effort, we will provide hand sanitizer on our buses as well as cleaning wipes that you are able to wipe down your area with.

You will find the hand sanitizer near the passenger entry of each bus. This way you are able to use it before touching any surfaces on the bus.

Face Masks

Applying a face mask - step 1

In doing our part to continue to slow the spread, we have been providing masks for all travelers for weeks now. When used in accordance with CDC guidelines, face masks can be effective at helping slow the spread of the virus.

While our drivers and riders employ these safety standards combined with common sense, we believe our buses are a safe transportation option during this time. With the addition of these provided face masks in conjunction with the daily deep cleaning of our vehicles, we are prepared for people to start traveling again.

The CDC recommends wearing face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Social Distancing

We are able to accommodate social distancing whenever possible. What we mean by this is that it’s really difficult to have a true 6 foot separation on buses. We are social distancing by limiting capacity on our vehicles whenever possible. This will help to make way for better social distancing while riding one of our buses.

In sum, our goal is to continue to do everything in our power to ensure safety while traveling with us. We believe that by taking these measures we can help people begin to feel comfortable when resuming regular travel again.

Salt Lake Express Sun Valley

Salt Lake Express Travel Bucket List

The Salt Lake Express is not simply a shuttle. Yes, it is a convenient way to get to from point A to point B. Yes, they offer you WiFi, water, and comfortable seats. However, the Salt Lake Express also allows you to experience places that you never knew existed or never dreamed of visiting. With nearly 100 stops across six different states, there are a lot of trips you can take and a lot of memories you can make. So let’s check out just a few of the many places you can visit.

Salt Lake Express Travel

A Few Places We Stop

Sun Valley

In the middle of the Sawtooth National Forest and Challis National Forests is a town called Sun Valley which is the first stop on our tour. Sun Valley, Idaho is known for its famous Sun Valley Resort. In the winters the mountain and lodge is filled with snowboarders and skiers. With 18 lifts on bald mountain and 4 more on dollar mountain, people are left with several options for runs both easy and challenging.

Salt Lake Express Sun Valley

In the summers, however, the mountain changes completely. The wildflowers color the mountain and line the trails for hikers and horseback riders. There are people camping and fishing and enjoying the warm weather. But the Resort is not all that makes Sun Valley such a great destination. In the city of Ketchum there are museums and shops for people to visit as well as events throughout the year. There is an art festival July 10-12 that includes art booths, live music, and food. The Tour de Force is July 23-25 where up to 200 cars gather for admiring and then a high speed race to finish off the week. You can also go visit the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve for some star gazing and astronomy. After you visit Sun Valley take a trip farther south and see what else Idaho has to offer.

Jerome

An hour and a half south of Sun Valley and just north of Twin Falls is a little town called Jerome. The area, although small in population, is exploding with activities and memories just waiting to be made. Country scenery with plenty of different hikes and adventures. The most famous activity in Jerome is the County Fair. It will be held on August 10-15 this year (2020) and will include a rodeo, live concert, fair food, and fun. Outside of the events and small town experiences are beautiful hikes and wildlife. The following is just a small list of hikes in and near Jerome County.

  • Perrine Bridge
  • Wilson Butte Cave
  • Devils Coral
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Cauldron Linn
  • Pillar Falls
  • Shoshone Falls
  • Snake River Canyons Park
  • Miracle and Banbury Hot Springs – Buhl ID
  • Shoshone Ice Caves – Shoshone ID
  • Shoshone Falls – Kimberly ID
  • Thousand Springs – Hagerman ID
  • Balanced Rock – Glenns Ferry

Cedar City

If you keep traveling south you will come to beautiful Cedar City, Utah. Cedar City is famous for their tony-award winning, Shakespear festival in the summers. During the summer months there are numerous fun events. On Wednesdays from July through October the city of cedar hosts an open-air farmers market with locally grown produce, art, and handmade crafts. In July they host the Midsummer Renaissance Faire as well as the Jamboree car show. The Championship Rodeo is one month later in June. And in October there is the Cedar Live and Heritage Festival.

They also have attractions that are available year round. In the mid 1800s, the pioneers settled Utah. They found iron in Cedar City and sent volunteers to settle the area. Hundreds of years later we have the Frontier Homestead State Park to commemorate those settlers. The park offers several activities and displays for people and families to enjoy. Cedar Breaks National Monument is another beautiful site to see. It includes a dense forest of trees against the bright red and orange colored rock. The Coal Creek Parkway Trail is perfect for hiking. It features coal creek, underpass trail, gold medal mile walk, and more

Las Vegas

Even further down south we have arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada, the city that never sleeps. Las Vegas is full of life and a place where you will never be bored. The Las Vegas Strip is the perfect place to party. Vegas has several amazing places to stay, but the Bellagio Hotel and Casino is one of the highest recommended places to stay. While you enjoy the hype of the city do not miss out of the live music and comedy shows. They have new people every night to keep you entertained. The Adventuredome Theme Park is right in the heart of the city and is a perfect place for kids and adults to enjoy the thrill of the rides. It is also a great place to experience different foods from a variety of cultures.

Many, however, miss the beauty just outside of the city. If you travel just beyond the city, you will find mountains and canyons that will blow your mind away. If this is more your scene, carve out some time for Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the Historic Railroad Hiking Trail, Gypsum Cave, and Ice Box Canyon. You can enjoy hikes or rock climbing or even ziplining over Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon. If you want to see all of this beauty from farther above, take a hot air balloon tour.

Locations Farther Out

The Salt Lake Express transports you to locations all over Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Montana, as well as additional locations in Arizona and Wyoming. If these locations are not enough for your adventurous lifestyle then we suggest catching the Salt Lake Express to the nearest airport and traveling from there. The shuttle makes stops at the Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City airports.

Salt Lake Express Airport

From these airports there are endless places to visit. Take a trip to New York to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, to go shopping, and eat some delicious pizza and street hot dogs. Or you could fly to California to visit Disneyland or learn to surf. Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans all have tons of history, culture, music, and food. We could make this list a mile long!

No matter where you go, remember that The Salt Lake Express can take you there. We ride in style and offer comfort, safety, and kindness your whole way there.

Book now at www.saltlakeexpress.com.

Travel Apps

Your Road Trip Checklist: 7 Things to Remember

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – J.R.R. Tolkien

What does freedom feel like to you? For new students, snowbirds, or fortunate victims to wanderlust, this freedom likely manifests itself in the form of a full tank of gas and an open road. Whether you are heading home, to the airport, to the coast, or simply wherever the road takes you, the commencement of any road trip is full of possibilities.

Just like any type of freedom, it comes with a cost. There is a literal cost associated — road trips tend to dip into your wallet, if just for gas alone. You also face several hours in the car alone or, for better or for worse, with a full cab. You need to consider food, lodging, and not to mention you are racing several thousand pounds of machinery through the country which denotes some obvious hazards.

Prepping for your road trip, however, can be a joy. After all, remember, with the freedom of the open road there are innumerable possibilities. How will you equip yourself for such a journey? Here are some things we believe you should absolutely consider when getting ready to hit the road.


healthy snacks on a road trip

Snacks

A robust cache of road trip snacks is invaluable when driving cross-country. Your body is still burning calories just by sitting there, and more so if your playlist is good. Plus, what else is going to keep you awake when the hour is late and the scenery is bland? (Or if your playlist is bad.) You never really need an excuse for snacks, but a road trip is a good one.

Some tips: avoid too much sugar. It tastes delightful and makes you feel great while listening to “Life is a Highway” for the fourteenth time. But you’ll crash hard. Maybe in more ways than one. Caffeine may or may not sustain you; a good alternative is orange juice or green tea. Try throwing in some healthy snacks like apples or something that will make you work, like sunflower seeds.

listening to a podcast on a road trip

A Curated Soundtrack

Depending on your destination, you’re facing a lot of hours just staring straight ahead. Thinking time is criminally underrated, but it is also good to fill the silence.

Assemble a killer road trip playlist with a good mix of your favorite tunes. Get creative and try to explore beyond the hooks of the afore-mentioned “Life is a Highway” or “Surfin’ USA.” Finding songs named after your destination or places you’re traveling through can be fun — then again, your music choice doesn’t have to evoke a place at all. Songs with deeper meanings and plenty of layers engage your mind — rotate these in with more danceable tracks.

You don’t have to limit yourself to music, either. Subscribe to different podcasts that interest you, or rent an audiobook online or from the library. However you can best engage your mind and senses is worth preparing beforehand. Above all, avoid distracting yourself from attentive driving.

hand out the window - road trip

A Working Vehicle

There’s something thrilling about going by the seat of your pants, just hopping in and handing the reigns over to fate and adventure. But you may find that if you’re too footloose, you could end up stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of highway — you don’t want that much adventure.

Swing by your favorite service center on your way out of town for a last-minute checkup. Get an oil change, top off your fluids, replace wipers, whatever you have to do to ensure a safe journey. Your vehicle will thank you and show you a heartwarming amount of loyalty throughout your road trip.

road trip buddies

The Buddy System

Some of the best memories you can create are shared memories of a road trip. Inside jokes, stories both intimate and exaggerated, and experiences at that one place with the guy will follow you forever. This is the principle upon which some of the best travel and buddy comedies build: Planes, Trains, and AutomobilesThelma & LouiseDumb and Dumber…in fact, has there been a good travel comedy recently? Shout at me.

Whether you take a friend, a family member, or a perfect stranger, this person or people will undoubtedly make your road trip memorable. That being said, Salt Lake Express generally advises against picking up hitchhikers.

idaho map for a road trip

An Old Fashioned Map

Yes, I know you usually get your instructions from Siri. And sure, if you’re heading home chances are you already know the way. This one is more of a fun invitation: buy a roadmap from the gas station while you’re filling up and let it be your guide. Not only does it enhance the adventure but it gives you a bigger picture of where you are. You’ll learn more about surrounding areas and maybe even be tempted to take a quick detour to see that thing over there. Plus, when dead zones may strip your phone of its authority, your map will cease to be a novelty and will save the day.

However, it is the digital age, and we recommend you also keep your phone charged and ready to save your bacon. Physical maps don’t update as quickly or often as Google Maps…you should be ready to let technology go to work when you need it.

first aid kit on a road trip

Emergency Supplies

As they say, “[stuff] happens” and perhaps, despite all your precautionary measures, you end up stranded or worse (we certainly hope not). You don’t have to plan on it before you head out the door but absolutely plan for it. Again, this undercuts the spontaneity that can be so fun about road trips. But when it comes down to it, you’ll be very glad you thought ahead.

Keep some emergency cash on hand and pack a little extra food and water than you normally would for yourself. Also, and this is just a good rule of thumb, keep a full first aid kit and blankets in your car.

And don’t just pack safely for yourself — it’s good practice to carry extra automotive fluids, a spare tire/jack, and if you’re a super prepper maybe even a gallon of gasoline. The most important thing is that you feel secure when hitting the open road.

open road on a road trip

Games

What was your favorite road trip game to play as a kid? Pumping your arm to make semi drivers honk their horns? I Spy? M.A.S.H.? Mad Libs? Kids are amazing at coming up with fun ways to pass the time, and as an adult, you can too.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper if you are the driver and can’t get too distracted. You can entertain yourself (and your passengers) without the luxury of “games”, too; pretend you’re a guest on a talk show host and ask yourself questions or sing about things you pass on the road. It sounds a little crazy right now, but after enough time in the car (and perhaps enough caffeine) it can become very entertaining.


Assuming you have everything else packed, you’re all set to get going. Charge your phone and your camera battery, lock up behind you and let the road trip begin.