Back in the day, I used to get incredibly coach sick and I used to hate going on them. Never in a million years would I have thought that 10 years later that would be how I would do many of my journeys! Those cheap deals are just too much for me resist these days (only a couple of months ago, I went from Holland to Austria for 10 euros — mad), then the same price again to the UK a couple of weeks ago. Having gone on far too many extremely long coach journeys, it’s time to share my top 10 tips on things to take on a bus journey and how to survive it.
Tips and Things to Take on a Bus Journey:
1. Know Where the Best Seats Are
This is one of the most important parts of having a good journey and finding the best seat is the difference between having a good or a bad journey. One thing I would definitely recommend is to arrive early, so you can be one of the first on the coach. This is especially important if your stop is not the first one and it’s likely your coach is already pretty full. Plus, if you arrive just in time, that’s just stressful as hell in case you miss it and some drivers are so strict that if you arrive just before they leave, they will just go without you anyway.
The best seats are the ones with the most leg room. By the door downstairs is sometimes 2 seats designed for wheelchair users, that passengers are allowed to sit in, only if there are no disabled passengers on board. If there are, then, of course, you must move! Drivers usually know in advance if this happens though and they would tell you right away once they see you sitting there. Otherwise sit somewhere where there won’t be anyone behind you (either at the back or by the stairs, as you can put your seat right back and not have anyone moan at you. 😉
2. Take a Variety of Things to Keep You Occupied
This is so important or you will die of boredom. The best thing to do is to download TV programmes or films onto one your devices and this definitely kills so much time. Take your iPad if you have one, grab some good earphones and you’re good to go.
Otherwise, take a book or a magazine. I usually take my laptop as it’s a little chrome book, so I can work on some articles while I finally have some free time. This is another reason why I really don’t mind going on longer trips as you can actually kill time being really productive.
3. Take Lots of Water and Snacks (You Can Never Have Too Many!)
Many long coach trips don’t always stop anywhere long enough for you to jump out and grab some food and I wouldn’t risk it either. Some coaches offer snacks from the driver that you can pay in cash, but again, this isn’t on every coach. I even went on one recently where they had a damn vending machine by the stairs – impressive, but unheard of in a coach.
So take lots to eat and lots to drink – it’s surprising how much you crave when you’re sat doing nothing. It’s just one of those things to take on a bus journey that you should have a lot of. 😉
4. Take Things for the Toilet (Tissues and Hand Sanitiser)
I cannot stress this enough. Bus toilets are really quite vile most of the time and you don’t really have much choice but to use them. I’ve yet to go on a bus with soap, so hand sanitiser is a must. The toilet paper usually runs out halfway through the journey too, so take some tissues so you can at least freshen up.
Oh and for the males reading, please, please, please sit down. It’s so vile for us all to have to sit on your piss because it’s gone all over the seat while the coach is rattling away.
5. Find the Quietest Part of the Coach (Either the Front or Back)
If you’re on a long coach journey, you’re going to want to catch some zzz’s, so it’s preferable to find the quietest part of the coach to lay your head and rest.
The quietest part of the coach is usually upstairs (if there is an upstairs), at the front. The back usually attracts larger groups wanted to sit next to each other, the middle is where the stairs usually are, so you can hear people going in and out and if there is a downstairs that’s where the toilet is. Also when the coach stops all the lights go on 10 x brighter downstairs. Sometimes you don’t always have to get the best seat, just the quietest (if that’s even possible to predict).
6. Dress in Layers (Coaches Are Either Too Hot or Too Cold)
For some reason, coaches never seem to be able to remain at the same temperature and they are always far too hot or too cold. Usually, they are really warm, so layer up and have a little top or t-shirt on underneath, so at least you won’t sweat to death! It’s also good to use your layers to lay on when it gets too hot.
7. Take a Charging Cube (And Put Your Phone on Power-Save Mode)
Don’t always rely on an electrical plug when you go on coaches! The older ones don’t have one and sometimes they just don’t work and then you’re left with 20% battery to last you the whole journey. Bring a good charging pack with you! They don’t need to be plugged in and they are a lifesaver. Honestly, this is probably one of the most important things to take on a bus journey.
8. Take Something Soft to Rest Your Head On
If you have the room, I would seriously consider some sort of pillow, but if it’s something that you’re going to have to carry around with the whole time before and after, then it’s probably not the best option. I once ended up taking my pillow from my bed because I couldn’t cope without it when I first started doing crazy long coach journeys. One woman even asked if she could borrow it to sleep on, which was a very strange and not a very hygienic thing to ask, lol!
If not, I either try and take a travel pillow or layer up so I can use my jacket and coat to lie my head on. It makes all the difference, trust me.
9. Take Something to Block out the World (Earplugs or Earphones)
Sleeping on a coach is hard. Not only is there always one person talking on their phone, snoring or talking to the person next to them for half the journey no matter if it’s night or day, but the engine of the coach is noisy. Everything creaks and the toilet door slams. This highlights the importance of taking something to block your ears. I usually could never sleep with EDM blasting in my earphones, but you’ll be surprised what you can do when you’re that exhausted. Earplugs are another great way of blocking out the world and getting that much-needed shut-eye.
10. Take a Friend (If You Can)
Every long journey is better with a friend in tow. So if it’s a trip that you don’t think someone would mind doing with you, then I definitely would recommend it. Time flies when you’re having fun – so if you’ve got a friend to natter to or you feel like taking a nap on them, then you can do just that. If not, don’t fret – you can still survive it on your own if you follow the tips above!
Here are just 10 ways to help you survive that long-ass coach journey along with plenty of tips on things to take on a bus journey. You can do it! Just think of all that money you’ve saved. 😉
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Do you have any other tips or things to take on a bus journey? Drop them in the comments! Don’t forget to like Never Say Nether on Facebook too. 😉