{Travel} Top Ten Tips for Bus Trips

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? 

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  • I haven’t been on a bus trip in like ten years, but I just finished a 24 hour car trip, and this would have definitely come in handy if I’d seen it sooner.

  • It’s true, kids do get board during long travel. We mommies need our tablets to keep our kids entertained.

  • Such great tips! I think they are all so important. I always top off my Kindle app with several good books, and I always keep a pair of headphones with me.

  • We used to travel a lot on the Megabus around here, and not all of them have it, but we were lucky enough to experience one that had a television. But I agree, a portable charger and tablet is a must

    • Yes its nice to get on ones with TV that actually plays something interesting lol

  • Great tips! I’ve never really done a bus trip before but I think it would be fun!

  • Neck pillow is a must for me and a good book to pass the time! Great tips sweetie

    • Thanks Cass, a good book and neck pillow indeed

  • Thanks for sharing this, I will put this on my bucket list. I would enjoy it.

  • What great tips for bus travel! For me, it is making sure I always have a snack as sometimes i simply forget to eat!

    • I am the same I am good at forgetting to eat and then get stuck when I have no snacks so snacks are a must for me

  • You know, I ‘ve never traveled anywhere by bus before, but I think these would be very useful tips if I ever did. Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re most welcome and Bus trips are awesome, try it some day

  • Yes, the neck pillow is absolutely essential for long road trips – or even plane journeys. There is a world of difference in your attitude when you are comfortable and well-rested.

    • I couldn’t agree more, long journeys require one to be as comfortable as possible and well rested.

  • Great tips! We’re doing a bus trip in a month and half so I’ll definitely keep these in mind 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Hope you have fun, thanks for stopping by

  • Oh I agree with the neck pillow, footwear and headphones! Its good to know only pack what you need, I suppose if you are traveling alone, you really don’t have too many people to help you with your luggage.

    • Exactly my thinking, I do not want to have heavy luggage that will require me to break my back lol 🙂

  • These are great tips. I always like to travel light, so when I go shopping for souvenirs, I still have some space in my bag.

    • Thanks, and exactly my motto always travel light.

  • Great post, I wish I had managed to get away this year – still, a few months to go yet. x

    • Still a couple more months left to go, you can still do it

  • The neck pillow is so important! Long bus rides can be so uncomfortable. To make it more bearable for me, I just turn on my music player, slip on my ear buds, position my neck pillow and relax.

    • Sounds exactly like me if I do not have movies to watch

  • I never used to travel with bus. But I would bring maps with me and bring some cash too

    • Definitely cash and maps are a God sent especially if you have no data on the phone to google places

  • Reading this makes me so jealous! I have never gone on a bus trip before! I feel like I’m totally missing out. Lucky if I do go, I will be well prepared thanks to your post. I will keep of this in mind!
    Sending love from California! <3
    -Lily

    • Thanks Lily, much love from Oxford, UK.

      I love Bus trips big time even when sometimes they can be uncomfortable

  • These are great tips for bus trips!! I have not done much traveling by bus so this is great information for everyone to consider.

  • I’m with you on the headphones- and a backup battery!!! Podcasts and e-books can make something a trip seem so short!!

    • They definitely do, I have only once had a podcast and I absolutely loved it.

  • Thank you for sharing your tips. I am always forgetting something when I go on a trip. Your article helped. 🙂

    • I am glad to hear I could help, thanks for stopping by

  • The one thing I always remember at the very last minute is our charger cords. That ALWAYS skips my mind..

    • At least you remember them, I always dedicate a time for packing our gadgets so we do not forget anything

  • Those are all great tips. I haven’t traveled by bus in a very, very long time. It was a little scary at times. But I survived.

    • Thanks, bus trips can be scary but awesome at the same time

  • I just love these tips! We are moving to Europe this winter and these will be most helpful! Thank you for sharing.

    • You’re welcome and good luck with the move

  • Great tips lovely!! Snacks are definitely essential for a bus trip….we caught a lot of buses around Asia and I think snacks were the only thing that kept us sane!! Great post, looking forward to catching up with your others 🙂

    • Thank you Alicia, snacks are a must on bus trips especially if there aren’t that many stops

  • I honestly don’t like very long road trips. It’s just not an Asian tradition or Filipino. I think because our roads are so bad, hahaha! But I once did a Prague to Vienna bus trip (five hours). Snacks, you need snacks!!

    • I never used to when I was growing in Zambia and road plus bad buses had something to do with it but now in the UK best roads around and I love it.

  • I love all your tips. Keeping your belonging close so no one steals your money or passport

    • Thank you, exactly you dont want to lose your belongs wherever you are or are going.

  • Great tips!! I have sent them to my mum who is off on holiday this week. Thanks for sharing xxx

    • Thanks Cass, hope she finds it useful

  • These are great tips. I will be bookmarking this post for reference.

    • Thank you Stella, hope it will come in handy soon.