I’m not a stranger to long bus rides; I prefer it as a mode of transport especially when I’m on budget and I have a lot of time. When I backpacked for 70 days in Europe, for example, I mostly used buses.
Traveling by bus is definitely a good opportunity to see many parts of the country. If you’re like me and can sleep easily anytime and anywhere, long bus rides also give you the chance to catch up on those much-needed Zs.
Here are essential things that you should bring on trips like those.
Bring a Portable Power Bank and Charger
To make sure you always have access to your phone, you’ll need a power bank and a travel charger. I use the Asus power bank. It’s small and can fully charge my phone 4 times before needing to be recharged.
If the bus has sockets around the seats, then you can spare your power bank for later use and charge the phone directly. Bring an adapter in case you can’t charge via USB port.
Don’t Forget a Small Blanket or a Thick Jacket
A weird thing in Southeast Asia in general is that it is always very cold in buses. People would be shivering and the drivers would be like, meh, there’s nothing we can do.
So bring some travel blankets, a thick jacket, a heavy scarf, and maybe some warm socks. You might think you don’t need it, but trust me, if even us Asians find the AC too cold, then yes, it will be too cold for most people!
Bring a Bottle of Water
While many bus companies offer water on board, they usually limit it to one per passenger. Depending on whether you drink a lot of water, having an extra bottle never hurts anyone.
Also, in most cities in Asia, tap water isn’t potable. If you don’t want stomach issues, use bottled water even when washing fruit.
Always Bring Your Earphones
One pet peeve of mine is passengers listening to music on the bus without using their earphones; or worse yet, playing mobile games with the volume turned up.
If you are in a public space, it is never okay to play music out loud or subject the other passengers to any noise from you. Keep your phone conversations short and your voice level low. You’re sharing the space and need to respect other people’s right to relax on long bus rides.
Finally, Pack a Book (or Kindle!)
The best way, for me, to pass the time in long bus rides is to read a book. After all, not all buses have a good entertainment system or good movies shown. With a book, you can choose what to read.
E-readers like the Kindle are obviously the best choice. With such a small gadget, you will have thousands of books to choose from. Here are some suggested books for your reading list.
How about you? What are your recommended things to bring on long bus rides?