What to Take with You on a Long Bus Drive: the Essentials

February 2, 2022
Liz Arnold

If you travel by bus often, you know that a long trip can be quite a tiresome experience. You won't have much space, even in the most comfortable buses, and there won't be many chances to stretch out, aside from a few stops. Sleeping and eating on a bus can also be challenging.

Luckily for you, there is a way to prepare for long bus trips: gather and bring up every essential item onboard! In this article, we list exactly what to bring on a long bus for a group ride to make it as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

What to Bring Onboard for a Daytime

Are you traveling during the day? Here is everything you will possibly need for a long bus trip to keep you entertained and comfortable.

Portable WiFi (in Case Your Bus Doesn't Have One)

A long bus ride is a chance to unplug and daydream while traveling long distances, but it is also a unique opportunity to catch up on work or enjoy binge-watching your favorite TV show without guilt or interruption. You could even learn more about your destination and prepare for the rest of your trip. However, not all bus companies include WiFi as part of the entertainment in all of their float. Instead of getting caught unprepared, include a portable WiFi router in your travel essentials. You will also need to pack electronics and other essentials to pass the time.

Electronics to Keep You Entertained During your Trip

Pretty much everyone has a cell phone in their pocket nowadays, so you will probably have yours without needing to put it on your packing list.

While there are plenty of non-digital fun things to do on a bus, such as reading, chatting with other passengers, or taking a nap, having a phone, tablet, or even a laptop is a complete game-changer. You can chat with your friends, play games, read books and articles, watch videos and movies, or listen to music and podcasts.

Just take your phone with you, and what to do on a long bus ride won't be a problem anymore. Some of these activities require a stable Internet connection, but WiFi is a common modern charter bus amenity and you can have your portable WiFi router as a backup if it is not included on board. Just make sure to be respectful to your fellow passengers and keep the brightness down during the nighttime.

What to do on a long bus ride

Books, Movies, Music, etc.

Here is a revolutionary idea: you do not need Internet access to stay busy on a long bus trip. On the contrary, you can use your journey as an excuse to unplug and enjoy your entertainment without feeling the need to check your work emails. Most buses offer television screens as part of their services, so you may want to consider bringing DVDs in your hand luggage. You can also pack the books you have been longing to read, your favorite music, and so on. Before you can even realize it, the hours will fly by and you will have reached your destination. And in absence of any other entertainment, you can always try playing some bus group games with your fellow passengers.

Blanket and Pillow to Make Yourself More Comfortable

The other important component of how to survive a long bus ride is to make yourself as comfortable as possible. A pillow and blanket are useful not only for sleeping on a bus, but also to create a pleasant daytime ride.

Even if you are not planning to take a quick nap during the ride, a small neck pillow will definitely make it much more comfortable. You’ll be surprised by the difference it can make: you will experience fewer neck and upper back pains using it. A blanket is also a great thing to have in case the bus AC is too cold for your liking.

Food and Drinks for a Long Bus Ride

Even though most of the time you’re sitting still in your bus seat, you’ll still get hungry pretty quickly. Having plenty of snacks for long bus rides is crucial, but they should be light and healthy. Crackers, nuts, or even some fresh vegetables are perfect for the occasion, while messy and heavy food will be a poor choice.

As for drinks, sticking to water should do the trick most of the time. You can have some coffee or energy drinks, but be careful with it: caffeine won’t be great for sleeping on a bus. Alcohol is also a big no-no for long bus trips.

Snacks for a long bus rides

Comfortable Clothes for Change and Wearing

Choosing what to wear on a long bus ride is incredibly important for your comfort. Jeans or just pants with a tight belt are bad choices, as you will get uncomfortable pretty quickly. Leggings or soft sweatpants, however, will keep you comfortable and cozy.

As for on top, wear layers to help regulate your temperature. Make sure that your clothes are not very tight, or you risk getting sweaty. If your bus allows you to change your clothes in the bathroom, consider having pajamas in your handbag for the night's sleep.

Essential Packing Tips for Nighttime Buses

Even though some of the above-mentioned things (such as a travel pillow, blanket, and pajamas) are useful at night, you still need some additional items. The best thing you can do on a bus after dark is to get some sleep, otherwise, you will feel completely exhausted the next day.

Finding sleep while traveling can be challenging, so packing an eye mask and ear plugs is always a good idea to prevent noises from other passengers or blinking road lights to keep you awake. Some headphones are also a good option, as you can turn on some chill music or ASMR to fall asleep faster. Prefer a window seat to lay on it. And if you feel like it's impossible to sleep sitting, most of the seats in modern charter buses are reclining. Just make sure to warn the person sitting behind you before adjusting your seat!

The air conditioning on an overnight bus ride can make you feel cold, so pack a large scarf or a sleeping bag liner to keep you warm.


We always want things to go perfectly and without any unpleasant surprises, but life doesn't always work that way. This is why it's incredibly important to come prepared and bring medication with you. We recommend having these handy:

  • For headaches. Charter bus passengers often suffer from headaches. Be sure to have some OTC painkillers handy for this case.
  • For motion sickness. This is also one of the incredibly common conditions for charter bus passengers. Some OTC motion sickness medication will help ease the symptoms.
  • For diarrhea. This incredibly unpleasant condition should be treated as fast as possible. Make sure to have the proper medication for it in your handbag.

It goes without saying that if you have any condition that requires taking medications, you should have that medication with you. Don't take any drugs before consulting your physician!


Personal Hygiene Products

Hours of traveling are enough to make anyone feel icky. Personal hygiene products are relatively light and will not take much space in your bag, but they can make your trip more comfortable. You can freshen up on the bus or take advantage of the rest stops. Long bus ride essentials include hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, some toothpaste, sleep aids, and toilet paper just in case. The air conditioning can keep also make you feel dehydrated, so it is a good idea to pack a reusable water bottle to refill during the trip and some snacks if you get hungry.


These coach trip essentials will make your next ride a much more pleasant experience. But apart from taking everything from this checklist with you on board, there's also a big step in your planning: choosing the right charter bus company for your next trip.

We at Infinity Transportation are always glad to provide our high-quality service, and we are always glad to answer any of our client's questions. Feel free to contact us for a quick charter bus rental quote, and keep these tips for long bus rides in mind for your future travel!

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Book Your Group Bus Rental Today!
No matter what type of group you’re traveling with, Infinity Transportation is here to pair you with the perfect group transportation solution
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