How-To Survive Very Long Bus Journeys…

Suggestion 1: Don’t go on a bus! Take a mini instead!


Toot Toot!

Just kidding…

Here I’ll tell you the best ways to avoid utter misery whilst on a long bus journey.


The biggest downside of travelling is always the actual travelling! I know, I know… not really avoidable!

Over the course of the last 9 months I have taken innumerable bus journeys- everything from fancy tourist buses to completely broken down local ones where you share seats with chickens and small children are crammed in the aisles. I did around 21 overnight buses (more than 10hrs in one go) and two mammoth 30hr journeys in 2016. I am a well seasoned bus rider!

Luckily for me I can sleep pretty much anywhere! The general quality of overnight buses in South America was pretty good – Oltursa in Peru was great as was Turbus in Chile. Usually you had comfortable enough seats – even if you’re tall you can probably cope. Morocco wasn’t bad either… and train travel in Morocco is a cheap and comfortable option for long journeys too!

Top tips when picking seats (mostly applicable to South America): 

  • Choose the front seats on the upper level if available. Or the seat immediately behind the stairs as these both have more leg room.
  • Always choose an aisle seat so you can stick your legs into the aisle.
  • Normally you can look at all the available seats on the screen so you can choose a seat with nobody beside or in front of you if there are spaces. If you buy last minute and get a bit of luck, often nobody else will take that spare seat and you can spread out over 2!

Top tips for STUFF to take and what to do:

  • Always take a blanket (I used my towel), some socks and a jumper. Buses can be very cold.
  • IMG_5316.JPG

    This is a Turkish towel – super soft and good as a towel or blanket or big scarf or shawl or pillow or fort-building equipment!

  • Keep all your valuables on you while sleeping. This is VERY important!
  • IMG_5315.JPG

    This was my bag for valuables. You can see how small it is – big enough for my technology but it is small enough not to get in your way as you try to sleep and the long strap means it can go across your body. Top tip: put a jumper over the bag so the strap is under your clothes making it impossible for someone to cut the strap as you sleep.

  • Take snacks. I’ve been on some enormously long buses which neither fed us nor stopped at restaurants so we could buy food. Nuts are a good bus food because they fill you up more than crisps or sweets!
  • Have back-up technology to entertain you. 30hrs will probably kill all your batteries. Power packs are pretty handy though some buses had ports for charging.
  • If you have long-lasting batteries you might want some films loaded on a hard-drive too!
  • IMG_5309.JPG

    ipod, iphone, 1TB hard-drive and a Kindle Fire

  • Take some postcards to write or something to read or failing that, buy yourself a phone cover with glitter in so you can play with the glitter even when the phone is long dead!
  • Learn to knit or learn to talk to strangers… do anything you can to entertain yourself.
  • And lastly, try not to be too rested pre-night bus. The more tired you are the better you’ll sleep!

One thought on “How-To Survive Very Long Bus Journeys…

  1. Pingback: Try Your Luck in Atlantic City, New Jersey - Two Traveling Texans

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