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Top Tips for Surviving Overnight Trains and Buses

Overnight transport is a great way to save both time and money while you are travelling but read these top tips to make sure you will actually get some sleep!

1. Take some warm clothes or extra layers - it may be that it is the hottest day of your trip so far but for some reason your night bus might as well be travelling through the Arctic it gets so cold.

2. Eye mask + Earplugs - Nothing is more frustrating that when you finally get to sleep after what feels like a million hours just for the lights to go on and the bus driver rummages around and sits back down. Back to square one. Eye masks and earplugs can be a real lifesaver.

3. Head Torch - At times you may have to admit defeat and give up on sleep. A head torch is really useful for when you are awake but no one else is. You can read a book and try to trick your eyes into falling asleep.

4. Cama / Semi-cama - Get to know the local lingo for the different styles of seats - some will fully recline and some won’t recline at all. Work out which seats best works for you. Personally, I found I could get a pretty good night sleep if I was basically lying down and on the bottom bunk of a bus. Top bunk was a whole different ball game (balancing act).

5. I had a very serious rule for my friends when we took the trains in India ‘only tell me the cockroach is there if it looks like it is close enough to touch me’ - sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

6. Entertainment - Books, films, music, cards - you probably can not have too much entertainment for an overnight transport - who doesn’t want a 3am game of Yahtzee.

7. Snacks - if you can’t sleep and it’s 3am you are probably going to find you are hungry, a lot.

8. Have a plan of attack for your arrival - you may believe you are going to arrive at the very respectable time of 7:30am just in time for breakfast. However, this could easily mean you will arrive at 4:30pm blurry eyed and confused - be sure you know of a few hostels to head to jusssstttt incase.

9. Hand sanitizer! After 6 hours on a bus you may only have one option of where to go to the toilet - you won’t be able to be fussy. You may just want to have a hand sanitizer full body shower afterwards.

10. Keep your possessions close, overnight transport can sadly be a great opportunity for theft - but if you keep your most important possessions on you and you will be fine.

Get cosy and settled in - an overnight journey can turn into a great adventure or one of those great travelling stories.

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