Preparing for a long distance coach trip sounds a little silly. However if you don’t bring the right things with you, your journey is going to be long and very uncomfortable. Read on to know what I have found are the essential items for a long distance coach trip.
Often at the end of ski seasons, companies will bring you home via coach. Basically they are going for the cheapest option. The coach usually collects a couple of resorts depending on how many staff there are and then when the coach gets to England it will stop off at different cities to drop you off. Hopefully somewhere close to where you live.
Travelling by coach to Europe is often the choice for people on a budget (especially school groups) however if you don’t go prepared it can seem like the worst idea you ever had. Did you also know that by travelling by coach it is better for the environment than flying? With my current job I will be travelling to Bad Kleinkirchheim in Austria, by coach next week. This is around a 24 hour journey if every thing goes to plan.
Having made long distance coach trips on many occasions, I have learnt the hard way what items are essential to have a comfortable journey on board the coach. You don’t want this coach trip to feelt like the longest 24 hours of your life.
10 essential items for that long distance coach trip:
Probably one the worst parts about sitting on the bus for this amount of time is staying comfortable. By taking a pillow you can rest your head for sleeping but you can also sit on it when your bum is numb from the hard coach seats. I personally don’t like the neck wrap around pillows. I don’t seem to be able to get my head in the right place without my neck hurting. Therefore I take a proper bed pillow; this often helps when sat next to the window as it takes away the cold. I also found that I often do not like the pillows that are provided in the European hotels. By taking my own pillow I at least have one good one in the hotel.
Coaches are often cold overnight. The coach temperature also varies depending on where you are sat on the coach. If you at the front it is usually cooler than at the back depending on how new the coach is and how good the air conditioning and heating system is. By having a blanket you can at least warm up should you be cold.
3. Travel Sickness Tablets
Even after four ski seasons, travelling by coach up and down the mountain at least once each weekend, I still can suffer from travel sickness. For this reason, to be on the safe side, I take travel sickness tablets the entire journey there and back. I also find that they make me a little drowsy which always helps make the time go quicker! Some people use travel bands however I never found these worked for me. Something I have found that works and it might be a placebo effect but if it works and I don’t care that it seems weird. Salted crisps! Just having a couple at a time when I feel a little bit sick makes the sickness feeling disappear. Who knew!
4. DVDs (group effort!)
I think pretty much all executive coaches now have a DVD player. If you rely on one person to bring the movies it’s always going to be a female and its pretty much going to be chick flick after chick flick! However if a few different people in the group bring DVDs then you should get a varied selection. I am probably not the person to ask what to watch though, because I will no doubt fall asleep.
Especially your toothbrush, wet wipes and deodorant. There is nothing worse than not being able to brush your teeth before a night’s sleep and after you’ve been to sleep. The coach will usually stop somewhere in the morning for breakfast. I always use this time for a quick wet wipe wash, fresh layer of deodorant and to freshen my breath by brushing my teeth.
6. Comfy Clothes & Removable Shoes
I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting on a bus in a pair of jeans for that amount of time. I always go for a pair of leggings, a baggy top, a hoody and a pair of trainers. This allows me to get comfy; if I am lucky enough to get two seats to myself I can then also lie across the two seats. Lots of people think they should wear snow boots but I find I get very hot feet when travelling.
7. Portable Charger
My phone doesn’t even last a whole day without needing a charge now. I think I probably need a new battery really. But even when I had a new phone it wouldn’t last the full journey to Europe on a coach. I have two portable chargers now. One which is just a charger and nice and small. The other which I got for Christmas from my mum that is also a mirror with a light. It will probably be the one with the mirror I take on this trip as it is truly multipurpose! All about the space saving with me!
8. Book/Ipad/Laptop or Knitting!
Sometimes I find reading on a coach can make me feel sick but other times it is fine, so as long as it doesn’t make you feel sick it can be good. Also you can read your book on holiday. However it is always good to go with lots of things to do while on the coach. Heaven forbid you get stuck somewhere waiting for a ferry crossing or some other delay, a book or some knitting is always a good way to fill time. Whatever portable hobby you have then take it along. Juggling balls or jigsaws are probably not a good idea.
At least with a pair of headphones you can block out the snoring! Or if you don’t want to watch the film that’s on you can block it out with some music. I also highly recommend listening to some podcasts during this time, just remember to download a few before you travel just in case there is no 4G or WiFi. It often helps time to pass quicker.
I eat a gluten and yeast free diet, the majority of the time at least. Annoyingly service stations don’t really cater for this. For this reason having food on the coach that I can eat is essential otherwise I could be going hungry for a long time. I also like to have some snacks for during the week away, as I don’t always know what I will be fed. Some places go into panic mode or club all the dietary requirements together and so you end up with a bland plate of nothingness. At least if you have snacks with you, should the time come you can eat something. Even if you don’t have a dietary requirement a few of your favourite snacks fill the gap between meal stops.
Hopefully if you take all of these items you will find the journey a little easier! My final piece of advice I have for you is: Always get off the coach at the allocated stops. It is tempting just to sit there, however a lit bit of fresh air, stretching your legs and using the facilities etc. just breaks the journey up and gets you feeling fresher!
By preparing for a long distance coach trip with plenty of time, you can hopefully enjoy the journey a little more. I will keep sharing more travel tips and stories of what I have been up to in my life without uni. Please leave a comment if you have any questions about travelling by coach or anything else.