9 Top Tips For Surviving Overnight Bus Rides
Finding a flight tickets offers and bargains is probably one of the best feelings, however, it is not the easiest job in the world. Considering how expensive it could be to fly across the world and visit all the countries you have on your list, if you are a lower budget traveller, travelling by bus is probably a good alternative, at least for visiting neighbouring countries and travelling across the country you visit. However, as fun as a bus ride sounds, the idea gets a bit too stressing, when it comes to a longer than 4-5 hours ride, especially when it comes to an overnight ride. Probably significantly cheaper, but travelling closed in a bus for more than 7-8 hours sounds a bit too claustrophobic, boring, exhausting and… scary, to be honest. In addition, if you are not that much of a person, who is able to sleep while travelling by bus, these long bus rides get even more stressful. Worry not, because there are some good tips and tricks for travelling by an overnight bus we are about to share with you today!
Opting for an overnight bus ride has its advantages, of course. You are definitely skipping the endless airport queues, the luggage limit for a flight, paying for extra luggage in most cases, all the restrictions and checking in online. The lower price is definitely a big bonus too! In addition, you will be able to save on accommodation for one night, if you chose an overnight bus ride. However, getting some proper and much-needed rest to get you ready for a whole new day of exploring the new place, while on a bumpy bus ride and a bus full of strangers is definitely easier said than done. Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you make the whole journey more enjoyable, safe and… well, at least bearable!
In case your bus ticket does not ensure you a designated seat number (however, there are many countries, where even a designated seat number does not guarantee that you are going to sit on this very exact place!), we recommend you arriving at the bus station/stop as early as possible, before all the good seats are taken. Let’s be real, nobody wants to spend an overnight bus journey next to a stinky toilet, so being early and having the chance to pick a good place on the bus definitely worth it!
Keep your valuables close
Long-distance buses usually have a luggage area and this is like a piece of heaven for the thieves. Of course, making sure your dirty socks are safe is not something you should worry about, but things like cameras, cash, phones and other valuables are definitely better with you. Well, you can definitely leave your big back in the luggage area, otherwise, we don’t imagine how you will be able to bear through the long journey all covered by bags and stuff, but make sure you keep everything important and valuable with you at all times, especially during breaks. Do not put trust in other backpackers next to you too, because no matter how reliable a person could look, some backpackers are looking for easy ways to boost their travel funds! Keeping your valuables safe and with you throughout the whole journey is definitely a good thing to do in order to avoid finding out that something important is missing, when you are at the hotel the next day, with the bus long gone!
Keep yourself warm
No matter how warm the weather is outside, no matter the fact that you might be sweating by the time you reach the bus (this could be a result of stress and being in a rush too), the ice-cold air-conditioning in the bus, or simply the fact that during the night the temperatures will drop, are some good reasons to believe that you might be very cold during the journey. So make sure you have an extra layer of warm clothes, or at least consider taking a big scarf on board, which can be used as a blanket, when you are cold, or even as a pillow, in case you feel nice and warm, but you need some extra comfort.
This one is pretty much self-explanatory, but you are most probably going to get hungry. No matter how much of a sleep you manage to get, while on this bus journey, it is not like you are going to be able to sleep the whole time and being awake in the nighttime almost guarantees that you will be in need of a snack. Of course, there are usually some breaks along the way, but you are not guaranteed that the roadside stop will cater to your needs and cravings. Stock up with some drinks and snacks is important!
Keep in safe during the late-night stop
After hours of being cramped on your small and definitely not comfortable bus seat, seeing the light of a middle-of-nowhere roadside stop is the best feeling in the world. But before you get out the bus enthusiastically to stretch your legs and body and get some snacks and drinks, first make sure that you grab your valuables and have them with you the whole time. Considering the fact that your bus will be probably not the only one at this bus break stop at this very moment, we recommend you having a good look at your bus for something that makes it unique, so you can avoid getting in the wrong bus, especially in the middle of the night, when your brain is half asleep.
Get some earplugs
Earplugs can save your life in case you have difficulties with falling asleep on the bus. You might be tired and want to get some rest, but the bus driver definitely wants to stay awake, so he/she might want to listen to some music in order to do so. Snoring, conversations, ringing phones and other noises from around the bus are additional triggers, that is why a pair of earplugs is a much needed and well worth it investment.
Bring something to keep you occupied
Of course, not all people are able to fall asleep on the bus, or at least sleep throughout the whole journey and those long overnight rides can get very boring. This is why it is a good idea to bring something to keep you occupied – a book, a game, a tablet or other device stock up with a couple of movies, etc. Do not forget to charge up your phone before departure too.
Use your GPS
In case you need to take off the bus on a bus stop that is not the final one, you should be aware of the fact that announcements for stops are not always obvious, bus drivers are not always keen on helping you and road signs could be not in a language you are able to read and understand. Google Maps or a similar navigation app/tool can help you a lot and provide you with all the information you need. You will also be able to check how close you are to the city centre, or what is the distance from a bus stop to your hotel, etc. and figure out where it is most convenient for you to take off.
Focus on the end
We know that a long bus journey could be almost unbearable, exhausting and very stressful, but if you worry the whole time about how bad it is, it will be even more difficult for you. Instead, make your life easier by focusing on the end and how good you will feel once you arrive at your destination and start exploring. No matter how bumpy the ride is, all bus rides come to an end!