Bus journeys have somewhat fallen out of favor as a way to travel, but there’s still plenty of adventure to be had if you know how to survive long bus trips. And the one big factor that many people forget when eschewing bus travel for another way of getting to your destination is that the bus is generally the cheapest form of transport – in every country. I know it’s not for everyone, especially if your trip is short – you don’t want to be sitting on a bus for hours on end if you can be at your destination much quicker by another route. When time is not such an issue, or bus travel is all you can afford, you’ll need to know how to survive long bus trips.
1. Travel at Night
If you can, travel at night, that way you’ll be able to sleep better on the bus. Pack a blanket and a blow up neck pillow, to make sure that you’re as comfortable as you can be. If you haven’t got a pillow, roll up a jumper and lean on that. This is a great way to survive long bus trips because sleeping makes the time go much faster.
2. Bring Entertainment
Bring books, an iPod, your smartphone, e-reader, tablet, and anything else that will keep you busy on the bus. Some buses have free Wi-Fi so you can surf to your heart’s content, and not worry about the cost. Just make sure that everything is fully charged before you go. Sitting wide awake, with nothing to do because all of your batteries are flat is no way to survive a long bus trip.
3. Pack Snacks
You’ll probably get a bit peckish, and even though you will stop at services they might very well be limited in their food offerings. Take some filling snacks. Nuts, cereal bars, and fruit are good options. Don’t forget to pack plenty to drink too.
4. Bring Ear Plugs and a Sleep Mask
If you’re planning on getting some sleep, ear plugs and a sleep mask are a must. You can never guarantee who you are going to sit next to; they might snore, talk too much, or have their music blaring, so make sure you pack earplugs so that you can get off to sleep easier. If you are travelling in the day then a sleep mask is a great way to trick your eyes into thinking it is night time.
5. Bring Tissues and Hand Sanitizer
When you are on a long bus ride, you’ll probably need to use the loo at some point. Bus toilets and service stops are not the most luxurious of places. Often they are out of toilet tissue and they never smell great. Take plenty of tissue and a little pot of hand sanitizer; that way you will feel much cleaner after being in there.
6. Dress Comfortably
Don’t wear anything figure hugging and tight. Nice loose clothing is the way to survive a long bus journey. Bring a change of socks, and take your shoes off. There is nothing nicer than a clean pair of socks to make you feel fresh during a long bus journey.
7. Stretch Your Legs
The bus will make stops. It is essential to get off each time you are able to and do a few laps around the car park. You’ll find that your tail bone eases a little when you sit back down, and a little fresh air never hurts.
8. Pack Light
Make sure you take a suitcase with wheels. If you have to change buses you don’t want to be lugging a massive and awkward bag around. You can store the suitcase under the bus too, so that it doesn’t get in the way of your leg room. Bring a small bag for the bus. Don’t over pack the carry-on bag because it will only take up valuable room, and get in the way of your comfort.
9. Pick Your Seat
If you want to sleep then opt for a window seat. You can rest your head on the side of the bus and avoid getting a chin-on-chest neck ache. Sleeping propped up against the window is much less embarrassing than waking up on a stranger’s shoulder... If you want to avoid having anyone sit next to you then sit on the aisle seat. People will be less likely to try and squeeze past you to get to the seat. If the bus is filling up, then be prepared to move up and don’t make too much of a fuss. Remember, you might end up sitting with them for the rest of the trip.
To be completely frank, these tips for how to survive a long bus trip are pretty much applicable to most other forms of travel or any long journey. It’s a case of applying all you know about long distance travel and making due allowance for the fact you’re on a bus rather than airplane or train. Do you take long bus journeys? How do you survive them?