1. Arrive early
Unless you’ve managed to get your hands on a ticket with a designated seat number, it’s worth arriving at the Coach Hire In Preston station early. Okay, you might miss out on another hour or two in town, but you’ll get first dibs on where to sit (and let’s face it: nobody wants to spend an eight-hour bus ride next to the stinky on-board toilet).
2. Keep your valuables close
Nobody is going to steal your dirty socks, but cameras, cash, phones and laptops can all be attractive to thieves, who’ve been known to rifle through backpacks that are stashed out of sight in the luggage areas of long-distances buses. Often, travellers only notice that something is missing when they finally reach their hotel – and by that time, the bus is long gone. Sling your big bag in the luggage area, by all means, but keep the valuable stuff with you at all times. And don’t automatically trust other backpackers you’ve been put next to; some might be looking for a quick way to boost their travel funds.
3. Wrap up
You might be sweating by the time you reach the bus station, but it’s amazing what a few hours of ice-cold air-conditioning can do for your body temperature. Keep a warm jumper handy throughout the journey, and consider taking a big scarf or shawl as well – even when you’re feeling nice and warm, they double as great covers and can be bundled up to create comfy pillows. Likewise, if you’re boarding the bus wearing shorts, make sure pack a pair of jeans in case the temperature drops.
4. Bring snacks
There are usually breaks along the way, but there’s no guarantee that the roadside stop favoured by your driver will have much in the way of variety. Stock up with drinks and snacks before you leave, and even if there’s no stop at all, at least you’ll be prepared.