Preparing for your first long-distance bus ride.
Most of us aren't used to spending a lot of time on the road. Travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town by car only takes around 14-15 hours, compared to the 6 hours it takes to get from Johannesburg to Durban. Travelling on a bus, however, is a whole new ball game. Although you won’t be the one driving, the drive may seem even more daunting, since it takes much longer than travelling by car or plane. Your first time especially could be a bit difficult to navigate, since the long hours, cramped space and general tediousness of the trip will end up taking its toll.
The problem with being stuck on a bus for extended periods of time is usually not that the bus is ill fitted to take passengers on long journeys in comfort, but rather that people tend to get bored extremely quickly when not in control of what it is they’re doing. This is why it is important to know what to do in order to prepare yourself for such a long, winding journey. There are countless options that will work well enough to keep you occupied for just long enough to perhaps survive the trip.
First, you may want to get yourself settled in as quickly as possible. Make sure you are comfortable in your seating position. Bring a small neck pillow or some sort of device that you can rest on if you plan on getting some sleep. Just make sure that its soft enough to allow you to sleep. Don’t try sleeping on your laptop bag!
Something that is very important, and should probably be stressed most of all, given our tendency to get bored as people, is entertainment. Bring something with you that you enjoy. Movies on a laptop, smartphone or tablet, music on a portable player, iPod or smartphone, games, books or crossword or Sudoku puzzles will all help keep you distracted when you get too fed up with staring out of the window.
Remember to take snacks and food with you onto the bus, especially if it is a long one. Staying hydrated and fed will help you relax and also stop you from losing concentration if you are doing something fun. Also, try to keep yourself in a good mood, and remember that there are other people on the bus too. Don’t make everything uncomfortable by being difficult or rude to the people sitting around you.