It is worth knowing that I agreed to go on this 24 hour coach journey voluntarily. I wasn’t forced, blackmailed or bribed; I even paid for it. Trips with your university are great because it’s all organised for you and it is super cheap, all you have to do is turn up. That being said, when the trip includes a journey which literally lasts an entire day, then maybe you should reconsider. When I signed up for the ski trip last year I kind of forgot about the whole getting there part, until the departure day finally arrived. Even then I wasn’t intimidated — I’d done long journeys before. It is safe to say that I ate those words. I had an amazing time on the trip but it will take a lot of coercion to get me on that coach again.
So how did I survive to tell the tale?
FOOD! I can’t emphasize enough how much food you need to take. I took two ham sandwiches and thought that would be enough. NOPE. I ate them within the first three hours and was hungry again by hour five. Bring all the snacks.
Make friends with people in the seats surrounding you – the aforementioned food will help with this. Having a good chat will help while the hours away.
Headphones they are you best friend on this type of journey. Block out the world.
Charge your devices! My phone died by hour fifteen and I felt a bit lost. If you have one of those portable chargers, do not forget it because sometimes just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook posts you’ve seen twelve times before will help quench your boredom.
DVDs – Most coaches have little TVs with the capacity to play a DVD, so make sure to arrange this beforehand. Only one person was smart enough to bring a small selection along, and while Mean Girls and Bad Boys 2 did give me something to distract my attention, other people’s film choices may not be yours.
Breaks – Coach drivers are obligated to stop every four hours. Take advantage of these service station breaks. After being cramped into a small seat for hours on end, it will feel like heaven to stretch your legs.
Sit next to someone you like – This one is obvious, but trust me, it’ll feel like a much longer journey if you’re sat beside someone who gets on your nerves.
Avoid drinking too much liquid – Ration your water and consider how far away your next toilet break is, no way is the driver going to stop on the side of the road for you and that coach toilet should only be used in the direst of situations.
Use the toilet! Every chance you get, GO! Even if you don’t have to, go anyway. The coach toilets will be disgusting so make use of those lovely clean service station bathrooms.
Pillows – Take a pillow, whether it be off your bed or one of those little travel ones. You’ll thank me later.
Get the seats with more leg room – There will only be a few of these so be quick! [TIP: they are usually near the emergency exit].
Travel sickness – Stock up of travel sickness medicine. There is nothing worse than someone vomming up their lunch two rows behind you. [TIP: get the ones that make you go to sleep and snooze the hours by.]
Don’t complain because you’ll just piss off the people around you, remember that they’re in exactly the same situation as you.
Don’t get drunk – Everyone will hate you and you’ll probably be sick.
Layers! Wear layers because I can promise you that the temperature on that bus will change every second. We had a fun coach which was boiling hot at the front and freezing the back, so be wary that you may be living in a temperamental climate over the course of the journey.
Games – if you’re with that kind of crowd, then any kind of car games might be a laugh.
SLEEP! I slept in the most awkward positions, but it was so nice to wake and know that five hours had gone by.
You’ll be able survive anything after this… except for maybe the journey back (try not to think about it).