Top 6 Tips For Long-Haul Bus Travel With Kids

A mother holding her baby on a bus

Long-haul bus travelling with kids is an excellent way to bond with them and unplug from the stress of everyday life. It provides an opportunity for youngsters to learn about various regions and cultures, which impacts character development and gives them a good perspective on life.

Yet planning a long bus trip with your kids can be overwhelming, even for the most experienced travelling parents.

To ensure a smooth and memorable ride, you should prepare well before the actual travel day. Preparation entails knowing what essentials to carry, identifying ways to entertain the kids during the trip, and the like. Follow the tips below for successful bus travel with kids.

This post is part of our family travel advice series

1. Book Your Bus Tickets In Advance

The first step to successful bus travel is booking the tickets in advance. Among other things, this allows you to get seats together before they’re all sold out. Early booking is also cheaper than a last-minute booking, especially during peak travel. 

You can book bus tickets online or at your local bus station. You only have to be familiar with the type of ticket you’re purchasing as they’re of different types. Some bus ticket types include single, double, and adult or child tickets.

2. Bring Lots Of Snacks With You

When travelling with kids, you should avoid keeping your younglings hungry. A hungry kid is angry, but snacks can easily brighten their mood. That’s why it’s advisable to bring various snacks for feasting at different journey stops.

However, remember to bring healthy snacks as sugary snacks can cause the kids to be super hyped. Carry easy-to-eat and non-messy snacks like sandwiches, carrot sticks, or strawberries. 

As a parent, you know your kids better than anyone else; carry their favourite snacks that keep their disposition in a positive light. Pack snacks in different bags for each child to avoid misunderstandings.

Finally, pack bottled water as kiddos are bound to get thirsty after eating snacks and keep them hydrated during the long bus ride. 

Girl on a bus with her mother waving

3. Keep Them Comfortable

Regardless of age, comfortability is key when travelling.

Dress your children in comfortable clothing. Although buses are some of the most comfortable modes of transport (actually far more comfortable than an airplane economy seat!), sitting for a long time can make you uncomfortable if you wear the wrong outfit.

Don’t concentrate on dressing your kids in cute yet impractical outfits; rather, focus on dressing them in loose-fitting attire. As you may not have full control of the temperature on the bus, you should all dress in layers.

Furthermore, since temperatures can suddenly fluctuate, ensure to carry additional clothes to change into. For instance, have some vests to wear when temperatures rise and jackets when temperatures drop.

If space allows, including a cuddly blanket and a pillow will help those overnight trips.

4. Employ Different Kid-friendly Pastime Activities Along The Way 

Travelling with your kids by bus is a great way to socialize with them. Unlike road trips, where you will likely have your backs to the kids and are unable to play with them (especially if you’re the driver!), buses give you a lot more flexibility.

Scheduling various activities you can play together, such as word games and trivia, is the most fantastic way to bond with your kids.

You can also have other activities to entertain your kids by themselves. This includes keeping your kids occupied with a tablet or smartphone where they can watch a movie or play games; solving online puzzles can also be a great way to keep them occupied for hours. But remember to have headphones to avoid disturbing other passengers. 

Additionally, you can encourage your kids to enjoy the view of the surroundings since buses usually have large windows with amazing views.

Finally, you can purchase toys and activity books like colouring books, sudoku puzzles, or crossword puzzle books to keep your kids entertained while giving their minds a chance to break some sweat. 

5. Get Ready For Unexpected Messes

When travelling with kids, you must be prepared for unexpected messes like spilled drinks, food, or diaper leaks. As a parent, you must handle and clean up any mess your kids create. 

Before departure, prepare a checklist of essentials like wipes and hand sanitiser to bring to help you handle any messes. Place them in an easy-to-grab cleanup bag so you can handle any mess immediately to avoid inconveniencing other passengers on the same ride as you folks are in.

6. Hold Their Hands When Boarding and Alighting

The bus stairs are often too high for very young children, meaning your kids can trip and fall while boarding and alighting them. To prevent any untoward incidents, hold your kids’ hands while boarding and don’t let go until they’re comfortably settled down on their seat assignments.

The Bottom Line -Long Haul Bus Travel With Kids 

The success of a long bus trip with kids depends on the effort invested in planning for the journey. Nonetheless, even with proper planning, the journey can still be hectic if it’s your first time travelling with kids. Fortunately, the tips mentioned above can help make your family trip safer, more fun, and less stressful. 

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a large white coach with text overlay 6 tips for handling long haul bus travel with kids
Family with young childen and suitcases boarding a green bus

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