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Super crazy long bus trips?

EliminationElimination Registered User regular
I am likely travelling across my country (Canada.) to Montreal very soon by bus, as plane ticket prices have significantly increased in price recently (Unfortunately.) and the bus is looking more attractive to save money as its now half the price.

Now, this bus trip is 2days 23hours which is crazy but i'll live. I have to do this trip either way. Now, my question is what are these long trips like? Do the busses stop at places overnight? Do I just hop from bus to bus to bus for 3 days straight? Do I need to get a hotel room between days? I've never taken a bus trip this far before. Is there anyone out there who has and can fill me in so I know what I am getting myself into?

PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/

Posts

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    It's going to vary, so you're probably better off calling whatever bus company you're going with.

    Though I imagine much like with flights, when booking a bus, it'll tell you if there are any transfers.

    Yes, it will stop occasionally to let people get snacks, stretch, etc. No, usually you don't have to get a hotel room.

    Elimination
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
    Elimination
  • alltheolivealltheolive Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    They probably don't stop overnight, and would not provide a hotel if they do. You'll basically hop from bus to bus or swap drivers over and over for three days, and probably the longer legs will involve short pit stops at a gas station/convenience store/rest stop kind of area every 2-4 hours or something. If you switch buses, it may be at a stop in Nowheresville or might involve a few hours sitting in a (maybe nice, maybe gross, maybe selling food, maybe cold) bus station if you're properly changing routes. Call the bus company, or if it's Greyhound, the "schedule details" on their ticketing page will show you all the stops and transfers.

    I've done a share of 8-to-12-hour bus rides, and I hate them (in fairness, I get a bit carsick), and I think I'd be delirious with misery after three days. To the point where if I couldn't swing the $400 (or whatever) difference between fares, I might not take the trip. But if you have to travel and don't have the money, well, bring earplugs, a handkerchief that smells good, comfy travel socks, food, water, mint gum, and the usual toiletries and changes of underwear. Check if the bus company has outlets to charge your phone onboard. All that jazz.

    alltheolive on
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    Three days? Save up the money and fly instead. Its well worth it.

    KamiroUsagia5ehren
  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    I've done similar jaunts on Greyhound buses in the US. It's not the most fun I've ever had, but it's not the end of the world, either.

    You should have a main bag (that will go into storage beneath the bus) and a carry on. Do yourself a favor and pack your main bag as lightly as possible. When you're lugging your crap around a bus station at two in the morning after a long day of sitting in a cramped bus you don't want something super heavy. Same with the carry on, since depending on the bus you might have to sit with it on your lap.

    Your carry on should have a change of underwear, some food (dry stuff like granola bars and crackers, things like that), and be big enough to carry whatever electronic entertainment you're bringing and a couple of books. I've used a small backpack (a cheap camelbak knockoff I got for $20) so I didn't have to keep an extra water bottle in it. Make sure and bring some wetwipes and trial size bottles of toothpaste and mouthwash. You won't have any way to take a shower, so being able to clean up a little with a wipe shower and a change of clothes after a couple days on the road will make you feel a lot better. Make the carry on small enough that you can carry it with you on small stops, because you might not want to leave your stuff unattended on a bus with fifty strangers. You'll want to get off the bus, if only for a few minutes, at every break or layover to walk around a bit and stretch your legs.

    Get in line early at the first station, and every layover afterward. You are going to want a window seat. A window seat is civilization. You'll be able to lean on the window and it'll give you more options for position changes during long stretches, plus it'll give you something to look at. Travel pillows are nice, but you can roll up a sweater and get a similar effect without taking up more room in your bag. Carrying some aspirin or something along those lines might come in handy for when you get sore from being stuck in a seat for hours.

    If you're bringing something that can play music, you might want to check into audiobooks or old radio shows as well. They can pass the time nicely when it's too dark to read. You might want to check in with the bus company to see if their buses have outlets if you're bringing a handheld.

    And give yourself an extra day after you get to where you're going to recuperate. After three days sleeping in a bus seat you're going to feel like shit, yearning for the comfort of an actual factual bed.

    73CQcJZ.png
    EliminationTabooPhantasyWiseManTobes
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I would tell you to buy a big external battery to charge your stuff, but you'd be better off putting it towards the plane ticket. Unless you have like a month or more before you have to return, I really recommend the plane - losing 3+ days to travel each way is a major bummer, compared to 1 when flying cross-continent.

    Beyond that, yeah, get a window seat and pray the other seat stays open.

    a5ehren on
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    I've done similar jaunts on Greyhound buses in the US. It's not the most fun I've ever had, but it's not the end of the world, either.

    You should have a main bag (that will go into storage beneath the bus) and a carry on. Do yourself a favor and pack your main bag as lightly as possible. When you're lugging your crap around a bus station at two in the morning after a long day of sitting in a cramped bus you don't want something super heavy. Same with the carry on, since depending on the bus you might have to sit with it on your lap.

    Your carry on should have a change of underwear, some food (dry stuff like granola bars and crackers, things like that), and be big enough to carry whatever electronic entertainment you're bringing and a couple of books. I've used a small backpack (a cheap camelbak knockoff I got for $20) so I didn't have to keep an extra water bottle in it. Make sure and bring some wetwipes and trial size bottles of toothpaste and mouthwash. You won't have any way to take a shower, so being able to clean up a little with a wipe shower and a change of clothes after a couple days on the road will make you feel a lot better. Make the carry on small enough that you can carry it with you on small stops, because you might not want to leave your stuff unattended on a bus with fifty strangers. You'll want to get off the bus, if only for a few minutes, at every break or layover to walk around a bit and stretch your legs.

    Get in line early at the first station, and every layover afterward. You are going to want a window seat. A window seat is civilization. You'll be able to lean on the window and it'll give you more options for position changes during long stretches, plus it'll give you something to look at. Travel pillows are nice, but you can roll up a sweater and get a similar effect without taking up more room in your bag. Carrying some aspirin or something along those lines might come in handy for when you get sore from being stuck in a seat for hours.

    If you're bringing something that can play music, you might want to check into audiobooks or old radio shows as well. They can pass the time nicely when it's too dark to read. You might want to check in with the bus company to see if their buses have outlets if you're bringing a handheld.

    And give yourself an extra day after you get to where you're going to recuperate. After three days sleeping in a bus seat you're going to feel like shit, yearning for the comfort of an actual factual bed.

    This is some really solid info, thanks. Yeah it's also a one-way bus trip that I wont have to do again any time in the foreseeable future. I just am trying to save money where I can save it is really what it is. If I can take the plane I will, but the ticket prices keep going up so it's looking less and less likely. I realize that 3 days of bus travel is totally not ideal and im probably going to feel like shit half way through it or whatever, but I have to go there so it is what it is. One way or another I have to get to Montreal.

    PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/
  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    Every word of what Smoke says is true. That is a (wo)man that knows how to survive a long time on a bus.
    I have actually missed my stop on a bus due to sleeping through it. I would check with the driver to see about how long he expects the ride to take and set an alarm if you do plan on sleeping.
    We stopped at some rest stops and were able to use the restrooms and get some fast food. Brushing my teeth at that point was a great way to freshen up and feel a bit more human.
    Do what you can to make yourself more comfortable whether it involves a pillow, noise cancelling headphones, or even comfy socks for if/when you take your shoes off.

    ~Taboo
    BH11Fnk.png
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I have actually missed my stop on a bus due to sleeping through it. I would check with the driver to see about how long he expects the ride to take and set an alarm if you do plan on sleeping.

    Make sure you set your alarm for 10-15 minutes prior to your predicted arrival, or 20-30 minutes if you think you can stand that. That way if traffic works out to be really good, you won't get caught off guard by an early arrival to your stop, and you'll have time to wake up and be more alert by the time you reach your stop.
    We stopped at some rest stops and were able to use the restrooms and get some fast food. Brushing my teeth at that point was a great way to freshen up and feel a bit more human.

    You could also try dry shampoos to clean up a bit, or just work on stretching your shower schedule a bit before the trip. (It takes about a week for your body to adjust sebum production, which is the stuff that makes hair greasy and gross looking. But people aren't actually built to have their hair washed daily, so you should be able to eventually get away with washing your hair every other day at the least.)

    EDIT: I of course mean that you shower the day of the trip, and still bathe regularly. The above applies to hair washing only.

    Creagan on
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Forget what happens to your hair, I would not want to be on a bus with a bunch of people who hadn't showered in 24 hours, let alone seventy two

    Kyougu
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Maybe if it was a tenth the price, but if you are only saving half...fuck, stay awayyy

    CelestialBadger
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    I'd take the train if that's available. I looked on www.viarail.ca and found Vancouver-to-Toronto takes 5 days and gets you close, I think I was seeing some Toronto-to-Montreal too. I could not, however, find a good pricing or even departure date, but I think you can if you call them up. It'd be more expensive than bus, but less than airplane I would hope at least. I know trains are way more comfortable, and simply more fun as well.

    Not sure if this would work, but I would recommend it.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    ihmmy
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I'd take the train if that's available. I looked on www.viarail.ca and found Vancouver-to-Toronto takes 5 days and gets you close, I think I was seeing some Toronto-to-Montreal too. I could not, however, find a good pricing or even departure date, but I think you can if you call them up. It'd be more expensive than bus, but less than airplane I would hope at least. I know trains are way more comfortable, and simply more fun as well.

    Not sure if this would work, but I would recommend it.

    I was curious and did some poking around with the pricing tool on the viarail site, and it actually looks to be about the 2-3X the cost of a flight to take the train.

    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    yeah trains are ridiculously expensive, i don't even understand how they are in business.

    TabooPhantasy
  • DjCalvinDjCalvin MARegistered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I have done 2 46 hour bus trips, Take Smokestack's advice.. You will hate your bags at 1am.
    A few thoughts based on my own experience..

    Do you Snore? if so.. grab the last seat on the bus near the engine.. it will help drown out your noise making. - Also - bring Nose strips and decongestants.. You do NOT want to be woken up every 10 minutes because you are bothering other people.
    bring Wet Wipes/baby wipes.
    Bring a gel Cushion.. something like this Your rear will thank you.

    The bus is going to stop at least once every 8 hours to either change drivers and refuel or change stations:

    If you change stations.. find out if your bags are being moved for you, or if you have to get them... Plan on getting them and moving them anyways.
    Take advantage of every stop. Get out and move.. your legs will thank you.
    Is there a bathroom at the stop? Clean yourself up, change your clothes and wipe yourself down.. (use the baby wipes) You will stink.. everyone else will stink.. but at least you will stink less.
    Do not eat a huge meal anywhere.. Eat lightly and you wont have to fight the single bathroom on the bus with everyone.. especially if something doesn't agree with your stomach.

    Entertainment: Everyone has there own idea of what to do to keep you busy.. I used a combo of 4 books and a psp at the time of my last trip. When you Stop.. buy a book or a magazine.. give it to someone when you are done and the favor will usually be returned.


    DjCalvin on
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Oh well nevermind. That's horrible!

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I actually have a 3DS, and a tablet, and a laptop. I know the Laptop wont likely be too viable on the bus but the other 2 will. I e-mailed Greyhound to see if the bus i would be on would have outlets or not and I haven't gotten a reply yet. If they don't i'm going to pick up one of those power bank things from Future Shop for $50 so I can charge my tablet/phone/whatever while on the bus if I need to. For the record the bus trip (buying tickets in advance.) is $150, while the plane currently is tipping over $400. So it's a very significant savings. I know the trip won't be ideal, but the savings are. And yes, the trains are insanely expensive and take EVEN LONGER than the bus. I have no idea how they manage to keep running.

    Elimination on
    PSN: PA_Elimination 3DS: 4399-2012-1711 Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheElimination/
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    The only thing that would make me take a long bus ride over a plane ride is if I literally did not have the money in my bank account or a credit card to pay for the flight.

    If you're only saving money for the sake of having some more luxuries or savings in your account - I really think you're going to regret it about halfway through the trip, though once you reach the end and shower and start to feel human again you probably won't.

    All I know is that I detest even the 20 hour flight my wife and I do once a year from Australia to Belgium, and that's 20 hours, only 14ish of which are actually on a plane. By the end of it I would murder a puppy for a shower.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Remember you will have extra costs on the bus - probably at least $50 for food and entertainment to while away the tedium. Plus the $50 for the power bank thing. Now the cost is $250 vs $400.

    I wouldn't.

    But if you do, you'll have plenty of material for your novel.

    Daenrisa5ehrenSkeith
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