6 Must-Know Tips For Anyone Traveling By Bus

Sometimes people decide to travel by bus. Traveling this way can save you a great amount of money, as bus tickets are much cheaper than flying or paying for gas, and it can also save a great amount of wear and tear on your own vehicle.
If you are planning on traveling by bus, but you’ve never done so before, the following tips can help ensure that you have a good experience.

1. Have your ticket ready.
When you are in line to board the bus, make sure that you have your ticket in your hand. Nobody wants to wait behind you as you fumble through your belongings trying to find your ticket.
Most of the time, the ticket collector will make you go to the back of the line so that you don’t cause a traffic jam. When you’re the last person on the bus, you lose out on choosing where you want to sit and end up stuck having to take whatever is available.
2. Use the bathroom when you stop.
The bus will make frequent stops in order to fill up on gas and allow passengers to get out and stretch their legs. This is prime time for you to use the bathroom at a nearby establishment. Bathrooms on the bus are very small and may not be the most clean. Plus, if you need to do anything other than pee, everyone on the bus will know.
3. Bring entertainment.
Buses travel much slower than cars, and combined with all the rest stops, you can easily be on the bus for a long period of time. Make sure that you have plenty of entertainment on hand, such as books, computers, or mobile devices where you can watch movies, play games or listen to music. It’s important to make sure that you use headphones if you plan on entertaining yourself with anything that creates sound.
4. Bring snacks.
Sure you can buy snacks when your bus stops to get gas, but the price of snacks at gas stations are extremely overpriced. Visit your local grocery store before you leave and stock up on non-perishable snacks for your trip.
Some bus chains will only allow you to eat or drink on busses if you don’t make a mess, so always make sure to clean up after yourself. You don’t want to be the reason everyone on the bus loses their snacking privileges.
5. Keep your valuables close.
Never let your money or valuables out of your sight. Make sure that purses, wallets and electronics are always on you at all times. Unfortunately you can’t trust the other passengers, and the last thing you need is to be robbed while you travel. If you feel like you are going to doze off, make sure that your bag is tightly placed in your hands or that you sit on it to keep others from rummaging through your things as you sleep.
6. Get back on the bus early.
When you stop at a rest stop, make sure that you are back on the bus well before the time allotted. Drivers don’t have to wait until everyone is on the bus in order to leave, so if they say you have 20 minutes, don’t take 21 minutes, otherwise you can find yourself stranded.
Traveling by bus can be an enjoyable experience as long as you stick to these tips. Have your ticket ready, use the bathroom when you stop, bring entertainment and snacks, keep your valuables close and get back on the bus early. By doing all of these, you can get to your destination in a smooth and fun fashion.
Kathryn Thompson is a travel agent.  She loves to travel and recently wrote about the best ways to travel around island resorts.