Malaysians are fortunate to be blessed with numerous holidays. Often, long travels are our solution to making the most out of it. In the midst of our exhaustion, we result to budgeted late night bus travel. Uncomfortable much? Think again. Here’s how to survive an overnight bus ride!
1. Research the routes
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Spend some time researching on the route your bus is embarking on, just in case anything goes wrong. Look up on the nearest phone booths, petrol stations, grocery stores and other spots that would aid you during your time of need. You might also want to know the best places to grab a cab, a bus or a nearby town to camp for the night.
TripAdvisor.com and other review related sites are possible options that would provide some insightful information regarding the routes that await you. Some traveling friends may also provide similar information as well.
2. Premium or Nothing
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With night bus travels, it’s best to go premium. Premium buses are the epiphany of luxury and comfort, and so you should pamper yourself. After all, you are going to spend the whole night on that one seat. It would be wiser to pay more for a comfortable bus ride and wake up refreshed than pay a cheaper price only to check into your hotel and snooze.
3. Seat Selection
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If you’re traveling with family or friends, you might probably want to skip this part, but for solo travelers, it’s a different scenario. It would help if you booked your seat early so you would be open to a wider choice. Here are a couple of pointers to bear in mind :
a. Window or Aisle?
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A window seat or aisle seat purely depends on preference. Windows may provide a good view and nice headrest when sleepy, but a hassle when getting off your seat.
Aisle seats make it easier to move out from your seat, but annoying when the person sitting next to you loves getting off their’s. You are also consciously sleeping upright to avoid those “embarrassing moments” making things rather uncomfortable.
b. Front, Middle or Back?
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Middle seats would be the safest out of the 3 if any rare case of an accident were to occur. Front and back seats are loads of fun but front seats can lead to motion sickness and fear-inducing views whereas, the further back you sit the bumpier the ride.
4. Washroom, hygiene and wet tissues
It’s a good habit to make a washroom visit before boarding and anytime you get the chance. There is no telling when the bus will make a stop. Hence, you should pack some tissue, both wet and dry, and some hand-sanitizer for hygiene purposes.
5. Snacks and water
Wouldn’t it be nice to download food from the app store? Unfortunately, we can’t. But for now, what we can do is stock up on food for the journey. More importantly, we must remember to keep ourselves hydrated at all times – long exposure to air-conditioning can be dehydrating. So pack a water bottle, preferably one that would last throughout the trip.
6. Be wary of your belongings
One thing that we can do to prevent us from becoming victims of theft is to be wary of our belongings. Keep them as close as possible. Hug them if you need to.
You might also want to divide your money if you’re traveling with family or friends to avoid losing every penny you bring.
7. Keep Warm
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Night bus travels can be dark and chilly. So in order to brave the agonizing cold, bring aboard a blanket or a jacket. You might also want to avoid wearing spaghetti strap shirts, short pants, slippers or anything that would expose your skin without compromising your own comfort.
8. Get busy
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One can only stare out the window and at others for so long. So do what everyone does and stare at your phone.
Earphones come in really handy with smartphones, shutting you off from the world. With earphones, you avoid disturbing the public peace as well as prevent yourself from being disturbed.
Laptop and tablets make great time-wasters during dull periods on the bus. Offline games and Netflix make a long journey seem short. But watch out for the battery life, your laptop might just shut down on you.
Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and novels also make great tools that will keep you occupied during your trip.
9. Neck Pillow
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A handy item to pack along with your luggage is a neck pillow. It can be used on both buses and hotels if the pillows provided are not comfortable. Neck pillows are small and light, fitting easily in any luggage bag. You wouldn’t have to worry about readjusting it during a bumpy bus journey as well.
So there you have it! We hope you have a safe journey to your destination!