Short coach journeys are easy to handle, but the idea of spending around ten or more hours on a coach is daunting and might even make you feel nauseous just thinking about it. Yet coaches are still a popular way to travel. Here’s a short guide on how to make your long journey a little more comfortable.
1. Travel light. Minimise the amount of baggage you take on board the coach. Space is minimal so you don’t want to crowd yourself with a lot of bags. A small rucksack or shoulder bag is ideal as they can be stored in the over head compartment and won’t invade your leg room space.
2. Wear comfortable clothes. You’ll be sitting for a long time so ideally you should wear something light and durable which won’t get creased quickly. For example, something along the lines of a cotton top and jeans would be fine. If you’re travelling by night you might want to take a thick jumper or jacket as temperatures will drop quickly.
3. Bring snacks. Chances are you’ll feel peckish at some point in the journey so bring some light snacks or picnic food like sandwiches, rolls, fruit etc. Try and not take anything that requires a knife and fork or has a lot of sauce. For one thing it’ll be messy and the other thing is the smell might offend any passengers with a delicate stomach. In case you suffer from motion sickness it would be a good idea to bring a packet of ginger biscuits. The properties of ginger are widely known for reducing the feeling of nausea.
4. Take enough drinks. Hydration is important so make sure you keep bottled water with you or even bottled fruit juices. Cartons are fine but bottles will last longer because you don’t have to drink it all at once. Drinking alcohol is prohibited on coaches, so unless you’ve personally hired one for a booze run don’t take any.
5. Keep yourself entertained. This goes without saying but the more you keep your mind busy the less you notice the journey time. iPods, tablets etc are your best friends as they’ll have all your entertainment stored away. Most coaches have free wifi so you can use the internet while you travel. Reading is obviously another great way to pass the time but if you find yourself feeling motion sick while reading, audio books are a great alternative as they can be downloaded on any device you choose. Check out AudioGO or iTunes for these.
6. Consider the night service. National Express, Eurolines, Megabus and other coach companies offer a night service. Some people prefer it as you can sleep on the journey and wake up at your destination. The only times you will be required to get off will be if you’re travelling to Europe via ferry or Eurotunnel as you have to go through passport control and if you are on the ferry you can’t stay in the coach.
7. Make use of coach stops. Coaches will stop at a motorway service for refreshments and toilet breaks and normally last around fifteen to twenty five minutes. Even if you don’t need the services it’s a chance to stretch your legs and walk around for a bit. Coaches are meant to stop at a service station around every four hours so if your journey is around ten hours you should have two stops. However this doesn’t always happen so do get off the coach when you have the opportunity.
8. And finally… think positively. This is a mind over matter trick. Simply think about your destination. For example, think about what you’re going to there, who you’re going to meet, etc. It’s an easy way to pass the time and won’t make you think about the journey too much.