Go on a quick trip in Chile. From Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama. 24 hours. In the same bus! Well, you could as well take the plane and safe some time. But the offers from the bus companies are quite a bit cheaper and the service is not too bad. Nevertheless, to spend an entire day (and night) in a bus you might wanna go prepared. Here are a few tips:
1. Select a trusted bus company
The trip starts before you buy the ticket. In every country or region you find different bus companies. Look at the different offers and choose the company which looks the most trusted and comfortable. You don’t wanna lose luggage but have a comfortable ride. (In Chile I’ve had some good experiences with Turbus for example)
2. Choose a good seat
Next step when buying a ticket is to choose your seat. It’s not a bad idea to buy the ticket as early as possible to actually be able to choose your seat. In the front.. yeah in the very front it usually is more comfortable because the toilets are generally in the back of the bus. And it’s possible that you can smell it.
In some busses there are one-row seats. Meaning you don’t have another seat next to you what can be advantageous since there’s no one snoring straight into your ear at night.
Depending on the company and the price levels you can get different kind of seats. For some it’s possible to change them to a horizontal position and basically transform them into a „bed“. And for some you can just lower the seat back. Up to you!
3. Bring your entertainment
If you got a good seat the voyage can get started. Generally, there is some entertainment in the form of a movie being played. No matter if you want or not, you gonna hear it. The main screen is in the front and it can be quite loud. In case you don’t like the movie you should bring your own entertainment program.. a book, some music or whatever.
4. Bring ear plugs
In case you wanna deaden the sound of the movie or the snoring of people close to you.. Bring ear plugs! It can save lives 😉
5. Food and drinks
Personally, I drink and eat very little before and while being on the bus. Mainly to avoid going to the toilet all the time. Anyway, for a bus ride as long as 24 hours you will get some kind of nutrition. Maybe a juice and a sandwich, or even a menu. It’s not gourmet, but still enjoyable if you’re not too picky.
6. Make sure you have your personal and important belongings at a safe place
When the night comes in the TV is turned off for everybody to sleep. Lucky you if you have sleeping pills. You might even find some sleep. Anyway, make sure you put your personal belongings very close to you and even tie them to you. Every now and then people tell stories from guys who got stolen entire bags with passport, camera, laptop etc. when the bus stops at night (people might just grab it when leaving the bus). So double check that!!
Your bag’s safe, ear plugs in your ears, and seat back lowered.. good night and safe travel!