Travel Tip Tuesday: Avoid Long Trips By Bus

Why You Should Avoid Long Trips By Bus

When planning a trip across anywhere, you may find the allure of a cheap bus fare too good to pass up. We’ve traveled all over the world and traveled by bus in many countries. From Europe, South America, India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, there are many options for great deals. It’s quite easy to find that bus is typically the most affordable mode of transportation, and the temptation of saving that extra money is hard to resist, especially when you’re on a budget. However, once you experience 17 hours of uncomfortable seating and toilet situations, you will think again.

Remember when traveling, you really pay for quality. Regardless if it’s transportation, accommodation, or to get something done in a timely manner, you will need to weigh the cost versus benefit to determine if it’s really worth it.

Trips by bus are a generally a good idea if your location is under 7 hours away. Anything over that you will think “Why didn’t I fly here?”. Usually buses are packed with other weary travelers and all of their luggage. The probability of getting two seats to yourself is not likely. Or perhaps you maybe get lucky and score two seats to yourself. But remember, buses make frequent stops as they pick up more passengers and you may be stuck sitting next to the one passenger who hasn’t yet learned proper hygiene. It’s just how it goes!

Some buses claim to have toilets and free WIFI. Again the quality of these services are often not so great. Companies like Flixbus have free WIFI, but usually to a limit. Some coach buses have a toilet if you can fit in a space that is no bigger than a closet. You must also have the skills to use the rest room while being jerked around by the unpredictable bumps of the road.

Sure you may have thought ahead and brought a pillow and blanket, but how long until your limbs fall asleep and until you realize there really are only so many ways you can sleep sitting up. Any trip that stretches beyond 7 hours will put some demands on your body for stretching and relaxation. At least on a plane you can walk around a bit. Buses are usually considered seating solutions only. You may find that your great discount on your long trip seemed worth it at the ticket booth. But sitting on a cramped bus with the bathroom smells emanating into the cabin can really put a damper on your trip. Trains are almost always worth the little bit of extra money because at least more times than not you can find a phone charger outlet. Most buses do not have these amenities.

In general, yes buses are typically cheaper than a train or plane, but be sure to research how long in duration your trip will be because 17 nonstop hours on a bus easily feels like two days. Of course, some people still love to travel by bus, even with all the inconveniences we listed. Tell us about your crazy bus adventures in the comments below! We now try to avoid long bus trips, but maybe you love them. We’d love to hear about your perspective.