5 Tips For Traveling by Overnight Bus

We just traveled by overnight bus from Hua Hin, Thailand to Phuket, Thailand. Chad and I were excited. We love being on the road to a new destination, and our favorite ways of getting from place to place are either by train or bus. Despite the longer time traveling than by airplane, we both feel so much more accomplished and “travel-y” ( yes, that is the best word I could come up with… A little bit sad I know).

This time on our overnight travels, I had some revelations as I laid awake most of the night and I wanted to share them with you. These could be applicable for any overnight bus, but especially for the ones in Thailand.

FIVE TIPS FOR TAKING AN OVERNIGHT BUS

By Flying Pharmacist (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Flying Pharmacist (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1. Wear leather, pleather, or vinyl pants as that’s the only way you’re not going to slide down the seats when they recline. Leather seats on a sleeping bus seem like a good idea, until you actually have to sleep in them.
2. Those winter clothes at H&M I told you about here, i found out they are sold for travel on the VIP overnight bus. Okay, that’s probably not the only reason, but they keep the bus at an artificial snowy degree most likely near -20 C. Winter layers are recommended.
3. Yes, there is a bathroom, a tiny stinky bathroom. But it’s better than nothing in a pinch. Bring spray hand sanitizer and it will help you clean the toilet without having to touch it.
4. On the subject of the bathroom, also make sure to bring your own tissue as it is not usually provided. I choose to believe that that is the reason the bathrooms are always wet everywhere (many people here wash themselves with hoses next to the toilet and do not use toilet tissue) and not that some guy (or many guys) peed everywhere because the bus was moving so crazily.
5. I have never used my blow up neck pillow on our trip so far, but I used it on this bus ride and thanked my lucky stars that I chose to bring it with me. My last recommendation, is to bring some sort of neck pillow if you want to sleep.

Now it’s your turn to give your tips for traveling on an overnight bus, leave them in the comments!

  15 comments for “5 Tips For Traveling by Overnight Bus

  1. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
    February 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    A isn’t a big fan of buses at the best of times and I don’t think your tips are going to change his mind about them! But they’re certainly good things to know if you’re planning a trip on one. How’d Z go?

    • andthreetogo
      February 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Z slept the whole way! She curled up on the seat (with some padding provided by our smaller backpacks) and slept great! She barely moved. I on the other hand… Well I am still trying to catch up on my sleep deprivation. πŸ™‚

      • Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
        February 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm

        Always the way! Well, at least you don’t have a cranky youngster to deal with…

  2. thriftytravelmama
    February 2, 2014 at 12:58 am

    The leather seat problem never would’ve occurred to me, nor would dressing for the Arctic while in Thailand. Great tips!

    • andthreetogo
      February 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Thanks!

  3. bakeritalia
    February 2, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I’ve never done an overnight bus only train and it was a sleeping compartment so it was pretty nice (Spain to France) pre kids. We are catching an overnight trail to Vienna in a few months so I am taking your advice with me and I’ll let you know how it goes with a 8 and 11 year old in toe!

    • andthreetogo
      February 2, 2014 at 9:15 am

      That would be great! We haven’t done an overnight train since we’ve had Z, but plan to. So any tips you can give would be excellent!

  4. bakeritalia
    February 2, 2014 at 1:31 am

    woops, hubby just reminded me of the overnight bus ride we took from London to Edinburgh…must of been bad as I can’t remember it!

    • andthreetogo
      February 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Haha! I have had some travel experiences that I would rather forget πŸ™‚

  5. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    February 2, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Never done an overnight bus or train! Your tips are quite visual!

    • andthreetogo
      February 2, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Well at least you cannot smell some of them πŸ™‚ haha!

      • thehomeschoolingdoctor
        February 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

        Right! But I have a good imagination! πŸ™‚

  6. thankfultravelers
    February 6, 2014 at 12:28 am

    My tip: airplane. πŸ˜‰

    • andthreetogo
      February 6, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Haha, thanks mom πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: 22 Bizarre Facts About Thailand -

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