Recently I shared my top 5 tips for road trips and today I thought I share with you my top ten tips for bus trips be it a short one or a long one like mine.
Last month one of my goals was to have two getaways abroad and two getaways at home (meaning within the UK). I did manage to do just that, I went to Brussels, Belgium alone for the first time and it was my very first weekend getaway. I had planned everything to the T in terms of travel. I had booked Eurostar from St Pancras London to Brussels station (£140 single) 2 hour journey then my return trip I had booked Megabus from Brussels (£20) central station to London Victoria station, this trip was estimated to take 6 hours.
I have previously been on long bus rides but always with other people never alone so this was an opportunity for me to master my packing skills as well as improving my confidence skills traveling the world alone.
The First tip is make sure you only pack what you need. I have mentioned in my travel posts before and also in how to pack for a spa getaway post the importance of packing only what you need. You can determine this by checking what your destination or mode of transport already provides, for my spa getaway I knew the resort provided towers, shower essentials excluding toothpaste and brush which you can buy their but the idea is to save on expenses. Not packing towels and a few shower (bathroom) essentials saved me a lot of space in my luggage.
Second tip is decide early on what type of luggage you will carry. For me traveling to Brussels I knew as it was first time I would need my spacious backpack I picked up earlier this year whilst in Seoul, South Korea. I didn’t want my luggage to slow me down nor cause unnecessary inconveniences. I also took a small cross body bag which contained my passport, money and cards.
Third tip goes well with both first tip and second tip. Pack light, you like me might have a spacious bag but does not mean fill it to the bream just means pack wisely also if at your destination you want some souvenirs you will still have space in your luggage. I packed one pair of shoes (plus what I was wearing), 2 x shorts, 2 x dresses and 1 x trousers with 2 x tops as well as 2 x bras 3 x knickers. I was able to roll fold my clothes to have more space for my gadgets and my one leather jacket in case the weather changed.
Tip Four, never go on road trip without portable chargers or if you do not have one you can ensure all unnecessary apps on your phone are off not using data nor Power in background and also make sure you charge your phone fully 2 hours before your trip. For buses like national express they have charging ports check with the company in advance what ports they have some have USB some have normal charging ports and ensure you carry the correct ones. Unlike me also check the country you’re visiting and what type of adapters they use to avoid being left stranded with dead gadgets or having to spend unnecessary.
Tip Five, this is not just for those with kids but for all. Don’t forget to pack your tablet and don’t forget to either download movies, games or even kindle books. I was fortunate that I was traveling in Europe so I could use my UK mobile data abroad so I was able to stream movies. This was such a huge thing for me, I got on the bus opened my Viki app for K-dramas and was able to watch my favourite movies for the entirety of my journey when I looked up we’d received Calais, France to cross over on the Euro tunnel. 30 minutes later we were in UK and I spent the remainder 2 hours reading and didn’t even realise we reached until the passages started getting off. I highly recommend having your gadget topped up or a good book to keep you company especially if traveling alone.
Tip Six = Snacks, though I am not a good snack packer I know what I like and I knew I would need snacks through the six-hour bus ride. Whilst in Brussels I bought some grapes and apples, I bought some energy/chocolate bars, bought assorted sweets, juice and a bottle of water. If you’re like me and have small bladder, check if bus has onboard toilet or how often the bus stops for relief breaks or drink only when you’re half way through the journey.
Tip Seven, always carry headphones especially if you have a gadget and intend of watching movies or listening to music. I was on a very noisy bus and it was not kids it was the unruly adults. I was very happy with my sound blocking headphones and I had a pleasant 6 hour bus ride.
Tip Eight, it is so important to have the correct footwear for long journeys. I always recommend flats or converse for extra comfort. Some people are prone to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) so I highly recommend flat comfortable shoes especially if you can not move around on bus or not much space to stretch your legs. Also make sure your shoes are ones you can easily take off or put on this really helps if your feet gets swollen.
Tip Nine, always have a neck pillow. All the trips have taken this year I have had my trusted neck pillow and can not even begin to tell you how much of a life saver they really are. My 16+ flight to Seoul I was happy with my neck pillow as the pillow they provide are rubbish (personal opinion). My 2+ hour train ride I had the most uncomfortable seat on Eurostar but my neck pillow kept me sane. Our 28+ road trip across Europe made me realise how much I love my neck pillow, I think you get the idea always carry your neck pillow and beauty is that you don’t need it in your luggage just hang it on your neck 😂.
Tip Ten, most important of them all, keep your belongings with you at all times. Apart from causing unnecessary security risk it’s important you have all the items you can fit close by. My backpack was small enough to be in between my legs when I sat down and grateful for my cross body bag I was able to keep my personal documents on me, in case your luggage as to go in luggage hold its important to have valuables on your person than in luggage hold.
These are my top ten tips for bus trips, I hope you find these useful and happy if you added any tips have missed in comments below.
What are some of your top tips for bus trips?