How to Enjoy Yourself on a Long Bus Ride
Traveling by bus is a great way to save money and see the landscape as you pass through. Long bus rides can easily become tedious, but if you pack entertainment and items to keep you comfortable, you can easily pass the time. Bring materials for reading and writing, pack electronic devices to listen to music or watch TV shows, prepare some snacks, dress comfortably, and enjoy the environment around you to have a great travel experience and thoroughly enjoy the trip.
Passing the Time
Write or draw to pass the time.Bring a notebook and writing supplies to journal or doodle. You could also bring an adult coloring book and some colored pencils to exercise your creativity, or some postcards to write to family and friends.
Play video games, game apps, or travel games.Games will help keep your brain engaged and give you a fun way to pass the time. Bring some video games and a console, download game apps on your phone or tablet, or pack some classic travel-sized games.
- You could also bring a simple deck of cards and play a game like Solitaire by yourself, or ask the person beside you if they’d like to play a card game.
Use the bus’s WiFi or bring your own if needed.Some buses provide WiFi, so if you need an internet connection, check ahead of time to see if your bus has that option. If it is not provided, you can purchase a wireless broadband router or a hotspot unit. If your phone has this option, you could also enable a hotspot using your phone.
- Hotspot units access a cellular network and are generally small enough to fit in a pocket.
Get some work done.A long bus ride is the perfect time to get ahead on work. If you need internet for your work, use the bus’s WiFi or bring your own. You could also prepare some work to do offline beforehand, such as drafts or memos.
Bring something to read.Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in some reading material to make the trip go by faster. Bring a book, magazine, or a Kindle pre-loaded with some reading material.
- Try reading something funny or suspenseful that will keep you fully absorbed.
Catch up on your favorite TV shows or movies.Netflix and Amazon Prime Video now offer offline downloads, so you can download TV shows and movies for a limited time and watch them anywhere with internet connection. You can also use the bus’s WiFi, if available, or your own hotspot to watch online.
Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks.Bring some headphones and an electronic device such as your phone, laptop, or tablet with some listening material.
- This is a great option if you get carsick from reading on the bus.
Bring chargers for all of your electronic devices.Using your devices to keep you occupied on the trip will use up quite a bit of battery life, so be sure bring chargers for any electronic devices you bring, such as your laptop, phone, tablet, Kindle, or gaming devices.
Wear comfortable, layered clothing.When dressing for a long trip, make comfort your number one priority. Dress in soft, loose clothing that will let you stretch and move around easily. Layers will help keep comfortable in any temperature—from hot sun through the window to cold air conditioning inside the bus.
Get some sleep.It can be difficult to fall asleep on a jostling bus, but to help yourself fall asleep more easily, bring some earplugs or headphones as well as an eye mask to block out sound and light. This will help you create the illusion of a quiet, dark environment. You should also bring a travel pillow to support your neck and keep you comfortable as you sleep.
- If you have difficulty sleeping while traveling, try sleeping aids like lavender essential oil, melatonin, or drowsy-inducing medication.
Bring your own water and snacks.Since the bus driver will probably only stop at gas stores and convenience stations at scheduled points along the trip, make sure to bring your own water bottle and snacks. When packing, look for snacks that will keep your energy up and won’t make a mess.
- Fresh fruit, string cheese, and individually wrapped sandwiches are great options, as they’re filling and energizing. Kettle chips will also satisfy any salt cravings and still keep your fingers clean.
- Avoid bringing nuts in case anyone around you has a nut allergy.
- You should also avoid anything perishable, like mayonnaise or milk, as well as messy snacks, like Cheetos or anything powder-coated.
- Bringing your own snacks is especially important for those with specific diets, such as vegans and vegetarians, or dietary restrictions, such as intolerances to gluten or dairy.
Enjoying the Environment
Get to know fellow passengers.Talk to the people around you to pass the time. If you’re traveling with family and friends, talk about what you’re excited about for this trip or tell stories. If you’re traveling alone, try talking to the people around you. Ask them about their trip, where they’re from, or if they’ve traveled through this area before.
- If you'd prefer not to have an extended conversation, stick to small talk.
- If you're interested in a more in-depth conversation, keep asking them questions as long as they seem engaged.
People-watch on the bus.Bus travel can be a great way to people-watch and just observe the travelers around you. A bus can hold such a large cross-section of the population, letting you observe people from all walks of life. Observe interactions between those around you without being obvious or intrusive.
Look out the window and enjoy the scenery.One of the best parts about traveling by bus is getting to watch the scenery. Try to claim a window seat so you’ll be able to easily watch through the window during the trip. If the route is particularly scenic, ask ahead of time which side of the bus will give you the best views.
- To capture the scenery and enjoy it later as well, take some pictures of particularly beautiful areas. Having a window seat will make this much easier as well.
Think and reflect.Reflection can be a relaxing and affirming practice, and getting lost in your thoughts can help pass the time. Take this time to let your mind wander and think about your past experiences, who you are as a person, and the trip ahead of you.
- To fully immerse yourself in your thoughts, be still and block out the noise around you as much as possible. Headphones—particularly noise-cancelling headphones—are perfect for this.
QuestionI heard that we should not read in a vehicle, because it is harmful to the eyes. Is that not true?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt can strain your eyes, but it probably won't hurt to do it every once in a while. It also tends to make people carsick, however, so if you do try it, pay attention for signs of nausea or sickness. If you feel sick, stop reading right away.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I survive an 18-hour bus trip?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhat a long trip! Bring snacks, drinks, stationary, books, and electronics and their chargers. You'll need to sleep at some point, so that'll help pass the time.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if electronics aren't allowed? Are there other sources of entertainment besides cards and books?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course! You could always draw in a sketchbook, or you could work on a puzzle book. You could also chat with the person next to you or play word games, such as I Spy.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you don't have any friends on the bus and it's the same journey each day?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can still follow the other suggestions. Most people who take public transportation do so alone. Many people bring books or music with them, or use their phones or tablets. You can also try downloading an audiobook on Audible.com or check out some podcasts.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I do not know anybody on the bus ride?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake the opportunity to make a new friend. Sit next to someone else who is alone and start a conversation. You might learn something new or make a friend for life.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do together with a friend?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could talk about the trip, listen to music, play games together, or text each other. The choices are infinite!Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best way to sleep on a charter bus?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSleep with your head on your knees or put a backpack in your lap and put your head on that.Thanks!
QuestionDo Greyhound buses have places where I can charge my electronics?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Most seats (at least in the buses I rode on) have two outlets. If your seat doesn't have a place to plug in, you can easily reach the ones in the seats in front or behind, provided you ask the person sitting there to use it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is travel bingo?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can play it by drawing or writing down six different things per player you might see while you are on your way to your destination. When you see them you can cross them off and note down where you saw it (maybe even take a picture for evidence). When you get all six of your items you have bingo!Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you do if you don't have any plug sockets in your hotel room and you can't plug in your extension lead?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBring a portable charger(s), or talk to the manager and see if any arrangements can be made.Thanks!
What if there is no service for the bus ride and you have none of the other things
What if I can't have food or electronics, and books make me car sick? Are there any games to play alone because I'm a very shy introvert?
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