As the world spirals into climate catastrophe, it’s time to consider more sustainable ways to travel. And unless you’re up for cycling from the UK to Germany and back, a long-haul bus trip may be your best option.

But how are we meant to stay sane while trapped in a metallic container-on-wheels for 7 hours plus? Read on for our top tips on surviving the coach.

White owl at night

Embrace your inner night owl

Don’t assume you’ll be able to sleep. If you’re booking an 11pm bus trip that arrives at 7am the next day, prepare to be woken up by everything from passport controls and driver announcements, to next-door neighbours with personal space issues. So, if you really need to be fresh for the first day of your trip, but the cheap, witching-hour prices are tempting you, consider getting in a day earlier.

Layers and layers of clothing

Layer up—or down

Layers on layers on layers. Don’t underestimate how hot a long-haul coach full of living, breathing humans can become. Sadly, at times like these the sleekest, most stylish of turtlenecks become your arch frenemy. Instead, look to breathable shirts and short sleeves, layered underneath your jumper.

People looking at a map

Don’t play yourself

Know your journey’s trajectory, and note any additional stops or changes you’ll have to make along the way. Basically, don’t get unexpectedly kicked off the bus in Lille at 1am on your way to Brussels because you hadn’t realised your journey included a bus-change (true story).

Passenger sleeping on the bus

Leave your morals at the bus door

And finally, the rule I’m convinced everyone secretly follows: if you’re desperate to have a double seat all to yourself and the coach doesn’t seem that busy, flex your acting skills and “fall asleep” the moment you’re settled into your two-seater. Silently dare your fellow, boarding passengers to awaken you from your slumber. Is it fair? Maybe not. Will you feel bad about it? Probably. Will you be more comfortable? … Absolutely.

So now you’re all set to survive your next long-haul bus trip. Tell us about your experiences with bus travel in the comments!

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