Travelling by coach isn’t always as easy as it may seem. I have been travelling by coach or bus for the past three years. Five days a week I wake up early in the morning to catch a bus for an hour to get to work. To see my Dad, I need to catch a coach for four hours from Birmingham to Exeter. For all my time spent on the butt-numbing seats of these vehicles, I can confirm that I have some life-saving tips to get you through that time-consuming journey.
1: Plan your journey in advance.
Like most transportation services, the further in advance you book a coach, the cheaper it will be. I’ve managed to book a coach before for £3, from Birmingham to London!
2: Scan the coach seats before you sit!
If you want to keep your sanity, never sit next to any kids, old people or by the toilet (if your coach has one). Trust me. It can get bad.
3: Keep essentials on hand.
Coaches tend to work like aeroplanes. Your suitcase will be kept in the belly of the coach, so it’s always a good idea to bring a carry-on bag and fill it with anything you could think of needing throughout your journey.
(Also be aware that if your coach is particularly busy, the coach drivers will mark your suitcase with some chalk. I was surprised when I first noticed, but it’s just to help them give you your luggage faster at the end of your journey- the chalk does rub off!)
4: Bring earphones!
Personally, I believe that the worst-case scenario whilst on a long journey is to have to listen to someone talk loudly on the phone. Nobody wants to hear someone go on about their life for an hour (nevermind listen to a one-sided conversation where many gasps and ‘oh no!’s are exclaimed quite frequently). Or ask the same questions over and over again in each new call. So what do you do? You bring earphones. Good quality earphones.
5: Wear comfy clothes.
This is especially true for longer journeys. I’ve seen plenty of people wearing pyjamas on a long coach journey- and honestly, I always end up wishing I’d done the same. Above all, you need to be able to feel as comfortable as possible to properly enjoy the journey.
6: Track yourself on Google Maps!
I’m a very time conscious person, so the amount of time I have left until my destination helps me relax. Tracking yourself is also helpful when someone is expecting you and asks where you are. Or, on the off chance you fall asleep during the journey and wake up to find yourself somewhere you don’t know, you can quickly check on your phone. Or ask the person sitting next to you, who’s shoulder you just accidentally fell asleep on.
7: Always bring food!
There’s nothing worse than your stomach initiating mating calls for your favourite food. Most coach journeys are unlikely to make many stops, especially at service stations. It always depends on the driver. Therefore it’s always helpful to bring a few snacks in your carry on bag.
8: Have some spare change for when you stop at service stations.
Sometimes you might come across a service station that charges 20p to access a toilet. Occasionally you run out of snacks and need some more. Sometimes you need that bit of extra caffeine from those convenient coffee machines. You never know.
Do you have any tips yourself? Let me know in the comments below! 😀