There’s one thing you’ll discover pretty soon during your internship in New Zealand: the distance between places is big! In the cities, it’s not that bad but once you start travelling around New Zealand, you’ll find out travelling by bus is the way to go. It does not have to be that bad, though. Here’s how to survive long bus journeys, for example to Rotorua as mentioned in the Auckland city trip blog post.

Bring these items

You’ll thank yourself later if you bring; some cash, sleeping pills, paracetamol, tissues, disinfect gel, a small plastic bag, a blanket, a pillow, your passport, phone, and wallet. With the cash, you can buy yourself a coffee to stay awake when necessary. With the sleeping pills, you can do the opposite. Paracetamol is to kill a headache or other small pain. The tissues are meant to use disinfect your area in the first places (like the chair and table) but serve more purposes like cleaning your hands after eating or your face before sleeping. The plastic bag can be a bin or can come in handy when something’s leaking. You never know, better safe than sorry. All the other stuff has to be there for obvious reasons.

Be on time and be aware of your fellow passengers

Before you start the bus journey, think about the purpose. Obviously to reach the next destination but what are you planning to do during the journey? Sleeping? Making new friends? Getting things done (sorting your pictures for example)? Staring out of the window? When boarding the bus, be aware of your fellow passengers. It’s super cute when the girl next to you want to socialise but when you have mentally prepared to stare out of the window, you won’t be able to appreciate her kindness which is a shame for both. It’s just as annoying the other way around, so when you’re up to making new friends but the person next to you really wants to catch up on some sleep. You’ll be in the same small space for a long amount of time so make sure to pick the right spot.

Make sure you’re absolutely exhausted

For some of us, it works to enter the bus completely exhausted. If your bus departs at 7 am, go partying until 5.30am when you’re sure you can get some sleep during the journey. It’s a win-win, you get to the party and you kill the hours on the bus because you’re asleep. Be careful with alcohol though, the last thing you want is to be nauseous. Make sure to stop drinking on time to avoid heavy hangovers.

Buy enough food and drinks

Food at the gas stations is expensive and usually unhealthy. Also, the bus will only stop every couple hours so when you’re super hungry you’ll starve. Luckily, this can be easily avoided. Firstly, make sure to have enough water. That’s a priority. There’s no such thing as bringing too much water on a long bus journey. Secondly, bring your own food. We’re thinking fruits and sandwiches with fruit jam or peanut butter. Depending on the kind of bus journey, you might bring real meals also. Take the temperature and the mood of the bus driver into account. Veggies are the way to go, they fill you up and give you the vitamins you need. Finally, do not bring any food in bags that make a sound like crisps. You’ll make only enemies when you’re enjoying your crisps when people around you are sleeping (well, were sleeping).

Charge your electronics

Sounds obvious but it is an easy thing to forget when packing for a bus journey. Nowadays, many busses have places to charge your phone, laptop, or tablet but these charging points aren’t always working. A long bus journey is the opportunity to sort your pictures, write some blogs posts, watch movies, listen to music and so on. But in order to do this, you need charged electronics.