An International Student's Perspective: How to Survive a Long Bus Ride

I recently went on a trip to Canada; this meant that I had a crazy long journey time from Huntingdon, PA to Midland, ON. I have indeed been on bus journeys before but never this long or in fact driving through a whole load of fields and nothingness. Literally every stop the bus made was a tiny town with very little going on. I went from Huntingdon – State College – Dubois – Buffalo – Toronto – Barrie – Midland. I left at 6am and arrived at my destination at 9pm. It was a very long trip and I needed to be prepared.

Here are my tips, particularly for any international that has never done this before:

1. Plan Ahead

I left my decision until the very last minute, I would advise against this as it gives you very little time to prepare for what you need, especially as an international you need to make sure you have all the right paperwork and a visa if you are leaving the country. A pen and paper is always useful to have to, especially for point 6.

 

2. Write everything down – That means EVERYTHING

You need to know the addresses of bus stations the times you will depart/arrive. It’s good to have all the information in order to prevent you from getting lost but it also helps if you need to ask someone a quick question on where you need to be.

 

3. Meals

Buy food and drink before you get on the bus, it will help because the bus generally only has certain stops and not every stop will be to buy refreshments. Pack enough for the duration of your trip. You never know if you are going to be late from one transfer to another but also some of the stations have little to offer.

 

4. Hygiene

There will come a point where you have to use the bathroom on the bus whether you want to or not. Take hand sanitiser and a packet of tissues! They will be handy trust me!

 

5. Valuables

Always pack your valuables and important documents close to you, you don’t want them to go walkabouts now especially when you are transferring or generally when they are under the bus the bags can move around a lot you don’t want them crushed. Most of all you don’t want to be searching through your bags to find all the information you need when it should be close to hand.

 

6. Entertain yourself

Take plenty of things to do to keep you occupied on your long journey. Travel time is good time to do homework so you aren’t losing any sightseeing or exploring time once you get to your destination.

 

7. Have fun when you arrive and don’t forget to have all your return information too!