Long distance bus rides are an integral part of travelling, especially for those on a budget. In many locations the bus system is almost essential as it presents both the easiest and also the most convenient method of transportation. In the majority of destinations, the bus system administers the largest variety of route choices which allows a traveler to reach everything from popular cities to regions off the beaten track. Occasionally these cost efficient bus journeys can wind through mountains, get a little bumpy, and take a little (or a lot) of time. Here are my favourite tips for surviving long lasting, lengthy bus rides.
#1 Embrace it as a legitimate rest
I think that this is actually the key to survival. Embrace your bus journey as a legitimate time to rest. Traveling is crazy. It can be so physically and mentally tiring that eventually, you and your body are going to need a break…this is where the bus comes in. When we travel to a location we want to see it all. It is not unusual for the allotted time a traveler stays in one location to be quite short. So, while they are there they want to see all the sites, eat all the food and experience all the experiences possible…they want to create memories. Sometimes these long bus rides provide an opportunity to take a break from the activity that is traveling. You are on a bus. You have no where to go in a hurry. You are seated ninety-nine percent of the time. This is your chance. Your chance to unwind, relax, take a break, reflect, read, watch a movie and catch up on sleep. Embrace it, because your next stop will be just as busy.
E-books, Music, Tablets
This is obvious. These bus journeys can last anywhere from 5 to 30 hours…you are going to need something to keep you occupied. Before every long bus ride, I make sure that my phone, iPod, iPad, computer, e-book whatever I have, is fully charged. Then when I lose interest in the (probably not english) on-board movie, I have something else to turn to. By listening to music, reading a book, or writing in a journal I know I will have at least a few hours of personal entertainment to enjoy.
Bring an extra charge for your electronics
These were practically invented for travellers and you will not regret getting one. My personal worst fear on a long distance bus ride is running out of power on my iPod. Listening to music makes the journey go by so much quicker as does the rest of the electronic entertainment we commonly bring with us. So go for it…purchase an extra battery so that when you get low on power, be it your book, your music, or your phone, you will be able to recharge it without issue. No longer do we need to ration our power.
Dress in Layers
Hot or cold, it does not matter the destination, always dress in layers. If you are in a chilly location or if they keep the air conditioner of the bus on high, you wont be disappointed to have worn layers so you can cuddle up and stay cozy on the bus. If you get warm while on the bus or the locational is a sweaty one, then your layers can become amazing pillows! As long as you can take them off and put them back on, you will be prepared for comfort and always have a potential pillow. we need to ration our power.
Bring Snacks… and water
If you think airplane food is awful…bus food is the next level down. Do yourself a big favour and go for a little grocery shop before boarding one of these buses. Even if the bus provides a meal, your going to want to stock up. I like to bring a little grocery bag of snacks on every journey. If it is a long trip I often stop at a bakery and grab a sandwich as well as packing myself granola bars, chips, crackers and chocolate. Anything to help me get through the journey comfortably. Also bring some water as water stops seem few and far between.
Bring your own headphones
This is essential for me. I chose my headphones because they are comfortable for traveling. If I am about to sit in a bus seat, look out the window and listen to music for ten plus hours; the last thing I want is bad headphones. If there is a movie playing on board that you want to watch, the headphone jack will be your everything. The alternative is, you may have to lip-read. I have had some buses which come with headphones but even so I prefer my own because they are more comfortable and provide better sound. For music, movies, and the occasional noise blocker, bring a good pair of headphones to last you the journey.