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How to Survive a Long Bus Trips – Top 5 Suggestions

Bus Trips is the easiest way to get around in-country

One of the easiest ways to get around when you are in-country is by taking bus trips. While living in Cambodia, that is how I made it to the border for Visa Runs when needed. While in the Philippines, that is how we got around. Whether it was heading to Dumagette or heading to Cebu, the bus was the preferred mode of transportation.

When going on a bus trip, here are my Top 10 Bus Trip suggestions;

5 – Be there early

When you are purchasing bus tickets be the first person in the line. It does not matter how long you need to wait, but if you want choice tickets be sure to be there early.

4 – Consider Purchasing an extra ticket

I have on really long trips in the Philippines, when there are three seats, purchase the middle seat as well. The settling arrangements are made for smaller framed people. When Michelle and I traveled, I would if the price was right, purchase the middle seat.

Be aware, however, if there is an empty seat, no matter whether you purchased it or not, someone may take exception and sit in it nevertheless. It’s a chance you need to think about and be willing to lose the money you forked out for it.

3 – Be aware of your surroundings

I remember this situation as if it happened yesterday. Michelle and I were headed to Cebu, so she could take her medication for her PR application. We had been out and about taking pictures and traveling, and I know we were burned out. Sitting in line waiting, Michelle was sitting on the luggage sound asleep. There was an older gentleman from the United States chatting with me, and he was complaining about the locals, he was not overly quiet in his conversation.

I said something to him quietly, and he shrugged and said he did not care, and that people did not speak English so it did not matter.

I finally asked him to stop, and I turned my back to him. A young lady and a couple of people up from where we were standing turned to me and said in perfect English to me. Thank you for standing up for my people and my country. It does not matter what country you are in, you are a guest.

Customs and traditions, as well as actions, are different, and as a guest in one’s country, I think it is important to simply keep quiet, observe, ask questions, but for me, that is where it stops. My opinion is mine, and I do not need to impose it on someone else that is for sure.

2. Don’t cheap out… travel on the Aircon bus…

Michelle and I traveled to a spot, I can’t think of the name at this moment, but we grabbed the first bus we can upon. It was a truly traditional bus, no windows, fully loaded, so full there were people sitting on the roof. It was a lot of fun when we were headed out to where we were planning on hiking around, but it was 7 in the morning, and though warm, it was not the heat of the day yet.

On the way home, however, we grabbed the same bus back, it was 15:00 and it had been a hot day, and once again the bus was full, and I mean Philippines full. It felt like I was riding in an oven, though as always we made the best of our trip, I know it would certainly have been less physically stressful if we had the option of aircon it would be far more comfortable.

With that all being said. You need to embrace the countries way of life, I did not always travel in luxury, but when I was tired and needed a break from things, I would grab that aircon bus for sure!

1. Don’t scrimp…

Michelle always said, honey, get water, grab some snacks, and I would not, as it was a pain carrying the extra weight. I always travel with 30 – 40 lbs worth of camera gear, and drones. So the thought of some bottles of water, and snacks just seems like more weight than I want to deal with.

Honey, we can get it at the station. Well, yes you can grab it at the station. However, you are always too consumed with getting on the bus, securing your gear, and getting comfortable. So now that I am seated, I want to flag down one of the ladies selling snacks, and well everyone else thought of the same idea so now the bus is leaving, and there you are with no water, and the next stop is hours away.

Also, be sure all of your electronics are fully charged, as you will want to listen to music, or watch a movie, or take pictures….and sure enough, the phone is almost dead cause you have been playing on it for a couple of hours waiting for the bus. So that means to have a good power bank with you as well, more than one if you can afford it. I have included a couple of links for some power banks that I strongly recommend.

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