What to Bring on a Bus Trip
by The Coach Team
Walking, cars, trains. buses, planes – each transportation choice to get to your desired destination is different, and entails its own unique way of packing.
Since charter tour bus excursions are becoming more and more popular in America, we thought we would focus in on what is best for you to take along with you.
Comfort on the Bus
Tour buses have gotten extremely comfortable over the past years. They are now quite luxurious. The seats are plush and able to easily adjust to multiple positions to fit your body type and create a variety of seating possibilities. To further that experience, there are a few embellishment you can bring along with you.
- Pillow – It’s nice to bring your own. There are a number of interesting shapes that you will find available in stores and online. Many passengers – especially elderly ones or those with neck and back issues – tend to prefer one of the neck pillows that give support as you rest your head back. Others like a pillow they can put between themselves and the side of the seat or the window of the bus so they can lean into it. While it is totally up to individual preference, remembering to bring the right pillow along with be something that you are glad you did – especially after a couple of hundred miles of the trip have passed.
- Comfortable Clothes – Tight or stiff clothes with buttons and snaps will also quickly be unappreciated. You can be stylish, and comfortable at the same time if you pick and choose your traveling outfits well. That goes for footwear too! Heels and heavy shoes can go along for the ride – but stay in your suitcase until you get to your destination. Another consideration is temperature. Modern buses have great inside climate controls and the temperature will most likely not fluctuate very much. However, everyone is different – some get cold easily, and other get hot. You know what your tendencies are. Plan accordingly and dress in layers. Also keep in mind that you will be stopping along the way for meals and to stretch your legs and use the facilities. Bring a sweater or jacket – even a coat – onboard, if the journey is through territory that requires it. A small fold up umbrella and hat is desired if inclement weather is anticipated.
Bus Trip Entertainment
There will probably be flat screens on your tour bus for movies. That’s a great way to relax and pass the time. To enhance the entertainment portion of your trip you can do even more if you so desire.
- iPad / Smart Phones / Laptop Computer – In addition to what is installed on the tour bus, you can bring along your own electronic devices. You can download movies in advance, live stream things you want to see, listen to music, or surf the net, or hear audio books from your bus seat. You can also program your GPS to track the progress of your travel and know exactly where you are at all times. Remember to bring your charger!
- Books, Magazines & Newspapers – Reading material is a plus to have along with the ride. Bring that book you have been wanting to finish, of those articles you have not had time to read.
- Binoculars – Some bus travelers enjoy packing compact binoculars. With them, you can zero in on the scenery and zoom in to things in the distance that look to be of interest.
- Puzzles & Games – If you like to do crosswords, Sudoku, or other word and number games, they will be a fun addition to your travel bag. Remember the pen or pencil (with eraser). Some folks are solitaire aficionados. If that is you, bring a deck in your pocket. And don’t forget, you can always revert to childhood and count all the red or silver cars!
Charter bus trips have planned stops for dinner and often for lunch. Advance reservations are generally made so that the chosen establishment is ready to accommodate the abundance of ‘all at once’ dining customers. Sometimes a menu is established in advance, with two or three available choices as part of the travel package. But for in between the time when you can get off the bus to eat, many travelers like to bring a variety of their favorite things to snack on.
- Hearty Food – You can pack a few sandwiches or some favorite food in Tupperware containers. It has to be something that will be good cold and not necessitate refrigeration. Ice pack can go along for the ride – but remember, after they are thawed you will still have to lug them around for the remainder of your trip.
- Healthy Food – Veggie or fruit chunks are good travel snacks, as are dried fruit, boxes of raisins, bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, and plumbs. All are easy to eat and keep well for a few days. Granola bars or a bag of nuts are other healthy alternatives that you can just have in your pocket.
- Fun Food – It is a vacation – right? So you are allowed to bring along your favorite candy, cookies and other fun snacks! Potato and other chips are good travel companions as well. If this is the direction you want to go in, keep in mind that you will probably be compelled to share – so bring along extra!
In Your Travel Bag
What about the stuff that travels under the bus until you get to your destination? Pack a bag big enough for the duration, and pack sparingly. You won’t be doing laundry – so plan well. Choose outfits depending on the itinerary.
- Comfortable Shoes or Sneakers – Good walking shoes are going to be a must!
- Rainwear – Prepare for unexpected inclement weather with some lightweight rainwear.
- Light Jacket – Even if the temperature is warm, in some places the wind could kick up and create a chill, or the evening air cools down – and a jacket might be needed.
- The Right Clothes for the Itinerary – You can get a good feel for what you will need by mirroring the itinerary. If it is mostly daytime sightseeing go in that direction. If there is a more formal event or dinner, make sure you got that covered. And if you are planning to buy a souvenir sweatshirt at one of your destinations, remember that you can wear that on the trip once purchased.
- Travel Toiletries – You know what to bring – that’s the easy part. The difficult part is not forgetting something. At least with these items, you can pick the missing thing up along the way – but you might have to pay tourist prices depending on where your trip takes you!
- Medication – This is probably the most important item to remember. It will be difficult to replace while on a bus trip!
Even if you are only going on a bus excursion for two or three days, make sure you don’t forget the things you are going to need the most! Here’s the FIVE absolute best travel packing tips we can give you:
- Make a list
- Make a list
- Make a list
- Make a list
- Make a list!!!
And for the absolute best bus trip – call Coach Tours!