Backpacking insights - tips for a coach trip

5 items to make a coach trip more comfortable

Coach trips in faraway countries: mostly the cheapest way for travelling from one spot to another. Unfortunately, they are highly likely to be uncomfortable as well – especially for those of you easily tormented by travel sickness. Even for the most endurable backpackers a coach trip along a hazardous mountain road can swiftly change to an unpleasant nightmare.

Here you find some tips how to survive a coach trip the most comfortable way possible. Whether it’s in Asia, South America or the Middle East - without these 5 items, named on the list below, you will never set foot in a coach again.

1. If worst comes to worst: anti-nausea medication

Ok, let’s start with the most unpleasant part of coach trips by far - it’s unavoidable anyway. Foul air, hairpin turns at breakneck speed, smelly fellow travelers, exotic food (which is hard to identify) plus another travel-sick coach occupant: there’re quite a lot of reasons for nausea in a coach.

Fortunately, the pharmaceutical industry provides helpful remedy to fight the nausea. One or two pills, which are numbing the nausea, will make you feel drowsy and comfortable for the rest of the coach trip.

If you are lucky you’ll miss all the inconveniences around you and wake up at the trip’s end recovered and full of energy. For those of your preferring herbal substances - ginger-pills are a splendid alternative – though it’s not that effective in a worst-comes-to-worst-scenario.

To have better sleep anyway, there’s another highly recommendable item, which will be your loyal companion soon.

2. A cozy travel pillow

Forget about crumpled sweatshirts! Travel pillows are cheap to buy, space-saving, comfortable and can be used for several purposes. Not only can a cozy travel pillow be useful for endless coach trips: it’s also quite handy in planes, trains and cars avoiding a stiff neck.

In terms of weight reduction, we would recommend an inflatable travel pillow – you can decide how hard or soft the pillow should be. For a bit more comfort there are padded pillows which can be regulated with air as well – unfortunately they consume more of your valuable backpack’s space.

 

3. A fragranced scarf

We already talked about that there can be unpleasant smell. But even if it’s not immediately causing nausea a fellow traveler who hasn’t seen a shower for several days can dampen your mood. To tackle such a situation there should always be a fragranced scarf in your hand luggage to be secretly placed around your neck. This is helpful for both avoiding or at least weakening the foul air hovering around.

In case you’re spending some time in a country with warm climate you’ll be highly thankful for this insight – the coaches’ air conditioner system is usually transforming the interior in a fridge. So, let’s talk about the next invaluable items on the list:

4. Sweatpants and a cozy hoody

A journey by coach is no place for high-fashion. Nobody care about your appearance while travelling. But one thing is for sure: wearing uncomfortable cloths will definitely make you look worse in the very end than the fellow occupants.

For all coach trips with a minimum duration of three hours we recommend comfortable sweatpants and a thick hooded jacket. The hood is crucial since many coach drivers in those countries with a warm climate assume that travelers only appreciate temperatures under 5 °C (23 °F). For naïve European backpackers the consequences are dreadful: a bad cold, an inflammation of the middle ear and a disgraceful time spent in the coach shivering.

If the coach trip is scheduled for night-time bring a sleeping bag (out of silk) to your seat. Blankets are usually not provided.

5. The no-brainer: earplugs

Another existential item on a coach trip – especially overnight – are without any doubt earplugs. They’ll contribute to a peaceful night’s sleep but also proved themselves to be useful at daylight. If you have ever spent 10 hours in a Cambodian coach with six lovely subwoofers at maximum volume you’ll know why. Experience backpackers equip the wash bag and the backpack with a spare pair of earplugs – just in case. In terms of such a sound exposure even your own headphone-music seems useless.

With these five items you’re well prepared for all inconveniences possible during a coach trip. Anyway, coach trips are great fun and convey a genuine impression of the country you’re travelling through. If coaches are the standard means of public transport for travelers in “your” country you can really be looking forward to many new acquaintances and hilarious anecdotes, you may later on share with you people back home.

Have fun and a safe trip!