Whether its embarking your favourite summer destination every year, or an interstate journey for a friend’s wedding. Overnight journeys, for long distances, are a much convenient and preferred option vis-à-vis day travel. Also for an avid traveler like me, it is undeniably the first thing that I ensure before heading onto any expedition. It dispenses me enough time to rest all night, I also end up saving a day’s stay/hotel cost. But since you cruise through the night and at times with family too, it also requires you to be little cautious and agile enough. Let’s see how with a few hacks that come handy while travelling overnight, the tiny concerns may be allayed to a large extent.
Pre-booking seats and berths: First things first – it’s an absolute must to have your seats/berths booked and preferably in the closest possible order when travelling with family in a train, bus or any other mode of transport. You don’t want to put the members to unnecessary vexation and annoyance, which is easily dodgeable with a little planning and organized scheme of actions.
Separate sling/duffle bag – In most probabilities, the larger part of the luggage is either stowed beneath the seat or bumped onto the luggage racks above. Even if it is not, you definitely don’t want to dig into the suitcases every time you want. The hack is to carry a portable handbag or a small duffle bag that may contain the tiniest of things like, combs/brush, tissues, lip balm, earphones, mobile/tablets and the likes that you might need frequently. If the luggage is accommodated at the back of the bus along with others’, it is equally important to know its exact size and placement. So have a careful watch when the helper stuff in yours.
Comfortable clothing – While it is an essential ‘to do’ for everyone to be comfortably dressed for an overnight journey, kids usually get paranoid when they are unable to stretch that leg out in stiff denim pants. Do remember to pop in a pair of pyjamas for any such havoc that they might create.
Snacks – When with kids, you never know when those teeny weenie hunger pangs snap their little bellies. Carrying elaborate meals again thickens the plot for you so it is advisable to carry some dry snacks and packed energy drinks in small sizes to satiate them at an odd hour. You wouldn’t mind having a fistful of nuts yourself. I strongly feel thag along with yawning, hunger is also visually contagious. And don’t forget to carry plastic bags to collect the wrappers and used canes. Children learn from you.
Basic Medicines & Hygiene – Travel may have its own mood swings that may take a toll on you in the most unwarranted ways. In addition to any specific medicine that one must have while travelling, it is always a good idea to carry a ‘cure-all’ ibuprofen and paracetamol and be on the safer side. I personally swear by citrus candies to avoid any travel sickness. Carrying your own hand sanitizer and paper soaps is an intelligent aid that you bestow yourself with when you are at your driver’s behest and have a limited access to restrooms during the night. It’s even more important to freshen up the kids and yourself pre-boarding the vehicle.
Neck Pillow/Cotton sheets: Unless you’re travelling by a super luxurious medium, a small neck pillow to support your neck/back and thin cotton sheets/shawls to wrap you in, are the things that come as an instant utility. You never know when the AC (best case scenario) and mosquitoes and flies (worst case scenario) show their antics to you and your family, especially kids. Prevention is always better than cure.
Read/Listen: You may or may not be able to doze off completely overnight, owing to incessant horns and up down of co-passengers. What helps you here is your favourite playlist or a good book by your side, assisting you to splurge over the hours at ease. But please ensure that you are exposed to enough light when reading and don’t disturb others (your family included) inadvertently. The fact has it that a distinct memory is attached to a certain song when you listen to it while travelling and you reminisce the whole trip every time you hear that song playing in future. That feels good, for sure.
Show some Goodness –There is no stipulated time to show those tiniest acts of kindness, so you shouldn’t leave many chances to be playing that part. Take care while pushing back your seat so the person sitting at your back isn’t troubled much. Offer a share from your bag of munchies to your fellow travellers’/families’. Advance your lower berth to an elderly who is unable to climb the upper one, if possible. It’s almost definite you would have the nobility reverted at some point in time, on another day, in another journey.
Keep travelling and please add to this piece of information. I’d be happy to receive any such essential travelling tip(s)/thing(s) overnight, that might help the readers plan their trip better. Write your response in the comment box below.