I wouldn't say I am an expert at surviving long plane or bus rides, but I do deserve some credit after surviving a 65-hour bus ride from Quito, Ecuador to Cusco, Peru. You heard it here first everyone. I did… THAT. I would like to thank parents for raising me in a house where it was normal to watch Sunday movies for hours and to my teachers in college for giving me so much homework that my booty got comfortable not moving for long periods of time. It truly was a group effort for me to be so okay with being this lazy for such a long period of time…. Anyways, to the real point here. I am going to give you five different tips that helped me not lose my mind while on my adventure.
So obviously this is a given, but on your iPhone, you can download movies and tv shows to your phone from Netflix so you can watch them without the internet. My Netflix options vary in every country I go to, but the coolest part is that I currently downloaded movies that are still in theaters in the states! I promise the options are not boring or limited. For this ride, I downloaded a rom-com and season three of Friends. During my last long ride, I want crazy finding the best downloads, but ended up sleeping most of the ride so I didn't focus on it too much. So my tip is to download a day before to make sure everything is all good to go and you'll be A-okay.
2. Good Snacks
This might be the most important one. For me, it was literally the only option. Since we were switching countries with different currencies, as soon as we cross the border, we have no money, so we had to live off snacks for about 40 hours of the drive. I try my best to fast during travel days like this because I know I don't feel good when I stuff myself and never move from my seat. My go-to snacks are makeshift trail mix (chocolate pieces, peanuts, and raisins), animal crackers or any kind of light cracker, apples or bananas with peanut butter, and some kind of granola bars. I also bring a lot of gum to chew on to resist the urge to snack.
If you are looking for something more low calorie and filling, my go-to is two rice cakes with peanut butter and half a banana sliced up on top. I obviously struggle to make this on a moving bus but it is a filling lunch! My tip for snack packing is to not get snacks that make you feel gross because, on a long travel day, it will make you feel even WORSE. I promise you.
There is literally no problem a good playlist can't solve. I have a playlist for every mood on my Spotify and I usually plug in when I want to knock out. I have an "in my feels" playlist when I'm feeling nostalgic, an upbeat playlist, country playlist, and worship playlist. Music is my home away from home a majority of the time. It makes me feel like everything is completely normal even though I am in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country. My tip for playlists is to create them and download them if you have Spotify to make sure they play without internet. Take your time with this, it is like my life project. My playlists will never be completely done!
4. A Bag of Goodies
This could mean a million different things to different people. For me, it's a small packing cube of stuff I need to survive. Examples of this are; small lotion bottle, chapstick, gum, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues for emergency toilet paper (it really be like that sometimes), compression socks, any kind of medicine, electrolytes for my water, chargers, eye masks, etc. This is the packing cube I pack in my day backpack as well in case of emergencies. My tip is to always have this no matter what trip you are on. My biggest fear is a loss of luggage so I'm always prepared with my bag of goodies and an extra bag of clothes.
5. Good Company
This one is crazy important as well. sit by someone you feel comfortable with because there is a good chance you'll fall asleep sitting up and you'll end up on their shoulders. Also, make sure they share the same energy levels and your vibe. I sit by someone who doesn't talk too much and knows that when my headphones are in, that I am busy. Sit by someone you can laugh with about the current situation and won't be mad if you get up a billion times to use the bathroom. And make sure that they smell good or you can be honest with them about them not smelling good. Don't be embarrassed about the last part, it can make or break you. My final tip is to use this time to get to know people too. This is a perfect time to force them to answer questions about embarrassing stories or deep dark secrets because they physically cannot go anywhere.
I hope these tips help you or encourage you that long travel days are truly not that bad. I look forward to traveling days because I know something new and exciting is coming my way.