A bus may seem like the perfect travel option, but in reality, long journeys can be tiring. That’s why it pays to be smart about organizing them to ensure your comfort and have only a pleasant experience.
How to prepare for a trip
Choose a reliable carrier
Before buying tickets, do a little research and familiarize yourself with the carrier’s reputation. Learn about their transportation safety and service standards, and read reviews from other passengers.
Assess the safety of the route
Try to learn about the route you’ll be traveling using any available sources of information. If there are frequent bus derailments, robberies or other accidents along the route, it may be worth considering safer options. Or at the very least, choose a daytime departure slot.
First class is worth it
Prioritize first class whenever you can. There may be several transportation companies operating on the same route with significant differences in pricing. But an opportunity to save often comes at the expense of poor bus maintenance, old tires or lack of air conditioning.
Also, cheap trips often have only one driver, who works without proper rest for long periods of time. This can lead to accidents. Think about whether trying to reduce the cost of the trip is worth your comfort, peace of mind, and safety.
Download movies, books and a map of the area in advance
Keep in mind that you may not be able to access the Internet: such a thing as on-board Wi-Fi isn’t always there. Therefore, prepare a playlist with your favorite music and download movies, TV series, podcasts, and audiobooks to your device.
In addition, it will be wise to download a map of the area to your smartphone. GPS is available almost everywhere, but data connection is not, so an offline map app will be very useful. Jot down important addresses, coordinates, and names in local notes that are accessible without connection.
Pack a bag of essentials
Stack things in such a way that the most essential items are easy to reach. For example, food and drinks are best placed near the top so you don’t have to sort through all your luggage every time you grab a bite to eat. Put your most valuable items like money, documents and electronics in a small purse, wallet or backpack and keep them with you at all times without leaving them unattended.
What to take with you
Traveling by bus is not an interstellar flight, but it still requires careful preparation. You’ll be in a confined space during the trip, so it’s worth making sure you have all the essentials on hand.
The (not so short) list of things worth taking on a bus trip
- Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork: passport, tickets, ID, as well as insurance and other medical documents if you need them.
- Noise-canceling headphones. The bus can be quite a noisy place. Therefore, noise-canceling headphones can help create a quieter atmosphere and allow you to concentrate on your work or, on the contrary, relax.
- Take it with you to be able to charge your devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.) during a long trip. If you need to charge a laptop, you’ll have to bring a larger external battery with a built-in outlet. And, of course, don’t forget about the cables!
- Hygiene supplies. Bring along some freshness and comfort products: wet wipes or spray to freshen up your hands and face. This is especially useful if you’re traveling in a hot country. Also don’t forget toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.
- Sleep mask and earplugs. They help you get a good night’s sleep even in the noisiest of environments. Favor silicone earplugs over polyurethane: they’re more expensive, but easier to insert and sanitize. And take some masks to replace them if they soak up sweat.
- Keeping your feet in hiking boots for a long time can be simply agonizing. Therefore, it is better to provide yourself in advance the opportunity to change into slippers or other comfortable shoes on the bus.
- Pillow and plaid. You need to create more comfortable conditions for rest and sleep. It is always nice to be able to take cover if the bus is cold. And it is better to choose a special pillow for traveling. It looks like a gate and provides support for the neck in a sitting position.
- First aid kit. It is important to have medications, plasters and other necessary medical supplies in case of emergency. Stock up on a supply of pills if you take something on a regular basis.
- Dark sunglasses, headgear and sunscreen. If you are traveling in sunny weather, bring sunglasses and a hat or cap. Cream won’t hurt either if you have to get off at stops often.
- Food and drink. Don’t forget to bring an ample supply of water and, if necessary, something to snack on – nuts, energy bars, galettes, and other snacks. You can also make sandwiches and pack them in plastic.
- A tool that even the pharaohs of Egypt used to escape the heat and flies. It has an undeniable advantage over the latest portable fans: it does not require recharging.
- Smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-book and other devices that can significantly brighten up a boring trip. Make sure they are all charged, and simply in good condition. You can also bring a paper book – it does not require charging, but it adds weight to your luggage.
Also, always check in advance if one of your devices needs to be repaired, and if there is such a need – contact professionals. MacBook repair in Brooklyn is not a problem, but trusted experts of this caliber aren’t always easy to find – make sure you know some in your area.
Take care of your luggage
Don’t let go of your bag or backpack with documents, electronics, and money for a second. Take them with you at all stops. When traveling, it is better to keep your bag on your lap, or if it gets in the way, put it on the floor and step on the strap or wrap it around your leg. This way, even while you sleep, your belongings will be safe.
Avoid showing off your valuables and try not to flaunt expensive gadgets, jewelry or other valuable items. Frankly, you just don’t need this type of attention at all.
Traveling by bus is very popular because it is a fast and affordable way of getting where you need to be. Making it to your destination is often possible without transfers. Modern transportation companies create maximum comfort for their passengers on the road and offer a wide range of services.
Nonetheless, remember: there are things you have to do yourself to make the trip as comfortable and safe as humanly possible, and not to cause yourself any problems along the way. To make sure everything goes smoothly, follow the tips outlined above!