6 essentials to pack for a long bus ride

People tend to have a decent amount of anxiety when it comes to packing, especially if it’s a carry on for a long bus ride. Fear not, there’s no need to overthink it! We’re here with a short list of things you should never forget to take with you once you’ve booked that trip that you’ve had your eyes on.

A large scarf to keep warm and to cover up

Scarf to travel with

Packing a scarf to take with you on the bus will benefit you for multiple reasons. Buses tend to crank up the AC, which could make for a very chilly journey. A perfect example of this is the bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in Thailand. Although one of the most popular routes in the country, the buses tend to be quite chilly. Blankets are bulky and take up precious space in your bag, but a scarf is the perfect substitute to keep you cozy on the ride.

You can also use a scarf to cover your eyes from the glare shining through the windows. Additionally, scarves are perfect cover-ups if you find yourself needing to hide some skin when visiting a religious site. If you’re lucky enough to have a pit stop near a temple, for example, and you decide to pop your head in, your handy scarf will be easily accessible, saving you from rummaging through your suitcase.

A reusable water bottle, because hydration is important

Drinking water is important under the best of circumstances, but when traveling on a long bus ride, when you don’t know if you’ll have a chance to buy water along the way (or if the bus doesn’t provide you with any), then having your own is extremely, extremely important. Moreover, some destinations actually forbid plastic bottles from entering the city limits, so having a reusable bottle at your disposal will prevent you from worrying about getting your plastic bottle confiscated.

Portable WiFi to stay connected

We know what you’re thinking: “This is my chance to disconnect and to enjoy the views. Why would I even consider bringing WiFi with me?!” Well, in many instances, we would agree with you! However, while we DO recommend taking time to look out the window and watch the world pass you by, this is also the perfect opportunity to be productive. If you’re a serial last minute traveler, then these lengthy bus rides will be ideal for you to plan the next stages of your trip, whether that entails hotel bookings, or your next bus ride!

That being said many bus companies offer WiFi onboard. However, it can be a bit wishy washy, so bringing your own portable WiFi router will ensure that you have Internet access for as long as you need.

Books, movies and playlists, oh my!

Watching movies while traveling

Entertainment is key, especially if you’ll be traveling at night. Some buses offer a selection of movies, while others offer nothing, so be sure to come prepared! You’ll need headphones, eBooks, actual books and offline playlists (or regular playlists if you remembered to bring your portable WiFi router). Netflix has a delightful feature that allows you to download movies/TV shows to your devices so that you can watch offline, which really is a game changer for those long haul travel days. Most importantly: don’t forget to bring portable chargers just in case your bus doesn’t have outlets onboard.

A travel pillow to help you rest

There are a myriad amount of different types of travel pillows. Some are simple pillows, others are inflatable, and others double as a packing organizer, allowing you to have a restful and comfortable ride while simultaneously giving you the ability to store some extra packing essentials.

Tasty, bite-sized treats to snack on

Most bus journeys will have at least one pit-stop, but they may not be at times that you feel hungry, so it’s worthwhile to pack some snacks for when you do get a bit famished. We recommend also packing some ginger to help prevent motion sickness and to give your immune system a boost, since traveling can do quite a number on your body. Snacks are also a great conversation starter if you’re looking to strike up a conversation with your seatmate, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love snacks? 

What do you like to pack for your bus rides? Let us know in the comments!

Ashley Katzeff

Ashley Katzeff

Lover of napping on the beach. A wealth of random, useless facts and superstitions. Big fan of hummus and potatoes in any form. Former journalism student. Current Creative Content Specialist at Bookaway.
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