Sometimes the cheapest way to get from A to B is to brave a night on a sleeper bus. The main benefit is that you travel whilst you sleep; saving a night on accommodation! However, it can be a challenge, so here are a few tips to make that sleeper bus journey more comfortable!
- Drink minimal water
There is nothing worse than needing the toilet on a bumpy ride with no rest break for hours. Drink enough to stay hydrated but don’t drink excessively.
- Wear long pants, and a long sleeved top/vest with cover up
The air-con can get pretty cold. And the itchy blankets provided aren’t the comfiest. Wear layers so that if you get too hot/cold you can adjust yourself accordingly.
- Try to avoid getting a seat towards the back
In countries with dodgy roads the ride can get really bumpy at the back! Especially if the road safety laws are non-existent.
- Charge all of your devices
Phone, portable charger, eReader, mp3 player. If you struggle to sleep and travel for long periods of time, you’ll need something to keep you entertained. Hours on a sleeper bus can seem much longer than regular hours.
- Carry all of your valuables on your person when you are on and off the bus
You can’t trust anyone.
- Take snacks
Service station restaurants and shops can sometimes disappoint or be much heftier in price than you anticipated. There won’t be many rest stops so make sure you have your own food with you.
- Carry a light shawl or sleeping bag liner
These can be incredibly useful if the blankets provided don’t seem entirely clean or might be a little scratchy and uncomfortable.
- Take a sleeping mask
Passing street and car lights could make sleep difficult, so block them out with a sleeping mask. I wouldn’t recommend earplugs, as it is better to hear what is going on.
- Always get off the bus when it stops for a break
Stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and visit the loo. It could be several hours before you get another chance to do so.
- Know the time you are due to arrive
Allow yourself time to wake up and prepare to leave the bus. It pays to set an alarm on your phone so you don’t have to be rudely awoken by someone else.
- Put your toothbrush, deodorant and face wipes in your carry-on
It can be a long trip, it’s nice to freshen up whenever you get the chance.
- Have your hostel booked for when you arrive
If you are tired and arrive in the early hours of the morning, it is better to know where you are heading, especially if there are touts.
- Have an inflatable neck pillow
They take up less space and will support your head and neck while you rest.
- Carry toilet roll and hand sanitiser
Some toilets on sleeper buses can be worse for wear and not particularly well looked after. It’s best to come prepared for everything.
- Treat yourself to the tourist buses
It’s just easier and more luxurious.
Sleeper trains are better as there is a toilet whenever you need. But a lot of these tips still apply and are definitely useful to make a long overnight journey less stressful and more comfortable.