While there are many benefits to travelling via bus – you can sit back and relax without having to stress about traffic, it’s affordable, etc. – the one drawback is that it takes longer than travelling by car.
Apart from the long hours, the cramped space might wear you out, especially if you’re not all that fond of sharing your personal space with a bunch of strangers.
However, if you take the necessary precautions before boarding, you’ll be able to fight off the boredom and enjoy the journey. What are some of the things you need to do? I’m glad you asked.
Comfort is key
Get settled in as soon as you can. This includes making sure that you’re comfortable and that you have enough space for your legs. Most long-distance buses are fitted out for comfort.
If possible, take a neck pillow, especially if you plan on taking a nap. Using your laptop bag or backpack as a pillow will only lead to heartache – or rather, neck aches – down the line. If you feel like you might need a sleep mask or earplugs, pack those too.
This could be anything, really. Ensure your laptop, tablet or phone is charged and with a library of movies, TV shows, music or podcasts ready and waiting. Pack a power bank. In fact, pack a backup power bank just in case
If you like reading, pack a book. Or better yet, download e-books or audiobooks on your device of choice.
Packing snacks will ensure you don’t go hungry. While drivers will stop for meals, packing snacks means you can nibble whenever you want. Most long-distance bus companies allow passengers to eat while in transit.
Don’t forget your water bottle – it is important to stay hydrated. Although, go slow with the water intake. You don’t want to be stuck with a full bladder either.
Pack a whistle. Pack pepper spray. Sommer pack a taser too, especially if you’re a woman travelling alone. Some threats may even be subtle. Is there a passenger seated next to you who refuses to leave you alone? Threaten him with pepper spray.
If you’re solo travelling, consider sitting near the front of the bus. Having a clear exit path in case of an emergency is always handy. While not necessarily a safety feature, pack a GPS device or update your offline Google Maps.
Also, activate your phone’s location settings, and “share” your location with a loved one. Google Maps and Whatsapp have this feature. Alternatively, you can download one of the many apps out there specifically created for this purpose. My personal favourite is Glympse.
Most importantly, have fun! Take photos and make memories. Now is as good a time as any to go on an adventure. And if travelling by bus doesn’t sound all that appealing to you, remember that Travel Start has really amazing flight specials.