7 Tips When Traveling by Bus
Traveling by bus can make for a long trip but it is also an economic choice to consider compared to the cost of flying, driving, or taking the train. If you are making the trip with your children, here are 7 tips to help you and your family when making the journey by bus.
Before flying became popular, most people traveled by bus. It did have its advantages. You didn’t have to drive and there were frequent stops to allow you to stretch your legs and get a bit of refreshment and possibly take in the area during the stop over. Nowadays, bus travel is still preferred by some.
If considering traveling by bus, keep these 7 tips in mind for an easier trip.
7 Tips When Traveling by Bus
Arrive at the bus station early
Depending on the season, buses can be crowded and seats are not assigned to passengers. If you are traveling with your family, arrive early to help you get a better seat on the bus. Since seats are only two on each side, for a family of four, you would need either two rows of two seats or seats on the same row across the aisle from each other. Arriving late could mean you have to sit apart and no one wants to do that with children in tow.
Bring your own child safety seat
Make sure your child’s car or booster seat is designed for travel on a motor coach. Strap your child securely in the seat and then secure the seat to the bus seat. Most long distance buses have seat belts and the newer ones have tethering hooks. Make sure to ask when you call about tickets. You might need to change your times or days of travel to ensure you are on a newer bus.
Bring your own food and beverages
There are no restrictions when it comes to food and drink other than no alcohol. If your child gets hungry and restless, healthy snacks may help quieten them down. Bring a collapsible cooler for drinks and anything that needs to be kept cold. Besides, not all bus stations provide food – only vending machines. This is another point to check when planning your route. Check the stops and amenities available (at the time of your scheduled stop) along your route.
Keep all valuables on your person at all times
There are no locked security or storage areas on the bus. All valuables should be kept preferably on your person or in a small travel bag that you keep under your seat. Another option is to store them in your larger luggage that is stowed under the bus. Make sure you use a TSA approved lock on all your bags in case they need to be inspected. TSA locks are combination locks that you set the code to open, but they have a master key slot for TSA employees to use when required.
Leave nothing behind when disembarking the bus
Whenever you leave the bus, take your belongings with you. Don’t leave your purse or your child unattended on a bus. For families or groups traveling together, have one adult disembark with the children while the other adult waits with your personal belongings.
Travel off-peak hours
Holidays are a busy travel season for bus travelers. As with most public transportation system, traveling during non peak days and hours will save you time, money, and the stress of a crowded bus. Usually weekdays and daytime hours are less crowded compared to the weekend and overnight schedules.
Travel as light as possible
If your child can walk, they can wear a backpack! No I am not being harsh, but traveling with children and all their gear does become an issue when traveling on a bus. If it can be checked, check it. If it has to be carried, limit the items! I know this can be a challenge with children, but if your route requires that you change buses, you will have to handle that all on your own. The bags will be placed beside the bus and you will be responsible for getting them from there to the loading area for the next bus you are scheduled to be on. If there is a delay of any time at all, you will need to move your bags inside the bus depot and maintain possession at all times. Try to make sure your bags have wheels and consider using bags that can be strapped together for easier movement.
Traveling by bus has always been pretty economical, but it does have some challenges. These tips should help with some of the challenges and allow for a stress free trip.