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Your Guide to Packing For Your Charter Bus Trip

If you have planned an upcoming trip and booked your transportation, the next step is to get packing for your next trip! This part of trip-planning can be one of the most overwhelming parts for people. It’s hard to know exactly what you’ll need for a trip, so it can be difficult to decide what to pack! 

Although we can’t make packing completely stress-free for you, we have some tips and tricks we think will help you pack just the right amount for your trip. Whether you’re heading to the next city over for the weekend or getting ready for a week-long trip out-of-state, if you follow this guide, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have everything you need for a successful trip!

How Much Can I Bring?

One of the nice things about traveling by charter bus is the abundance of storage space for your luggage. Gone are the days of cramming everything in your carry-on, lost luggage, or paying a ridiculous fee for checked bags! Charter buses have a large, spacious storage area big enough for whatever luggage you need to bring! Additionally, this storage space is completely safe for you to store valuable items and equipment, so you won’t have to stress about keeping all of your luggage on your person. Even still, you’ll most likely still want to have a small bag that’s easily accessible to you during your ride.

As an act of courtesy to your fellow passengers, we recommend that your carry-on bag be no bigger than a backpack or a small duffel bag. This allows you to easily store a bag of must-haves in your lap or underneath your seat, where it’s out of the way for everyone! Anything you need for your trip but not for the bus ride itself is safe to go in the undercarriage storage compartment of your bus. How do you decide what’s necessary enough to come on the bus with you, and what can go in the storage compartment? We’ll dive into that in the next section!

What Should I Bring?

Anytime you travel, you’ll always save yourself hassle by traveling as lightly as possible. However, some trips simply require you to bring more than one bag’s worth of luggage! If that’s the case, you’ll want to strategize what you put in your carry-on bag, and what goes in the underhead storage compartment. In your carry on, you may want to consider bringing the following items:

  • Snacks: Depending on the length of your trip, you may start to get a little hungry. No one is happy when they’re hungry! Toss a snack or two into your bag if you want to avoid getting hangry during your big trip. We recommend bringing snacks that are simple and mess-free such as nuts, apples, crackers, or granola bars! We also recommend bringing along a pack of gum or mints to help keep you feeling fresh until you reach your destination.

  • Chargers and electronics: Most charter buses have charger ports and so that you can keep the battery on your devices full! Keep your phone and laptop in your carry-on so that you can watch movies, catch up on work emails, and more! 

  • Medicine: Make sure that you keep any prescription medications you may need in your carry-on. You may want to consider bringing along anti-nausea medication if you get carsick, ibuprofen for headaches, or allergy medicine! Hopefully you won't need any of these things, but it’s always best to be prepared. Most travel-sized medicines come in small packages, so it’s worth it for the tiny bit of space they take!

  • Wallet: For easy access, keep your wallet in your carry-on! If your bus plans on making stops, you might appreciate being able to buy a water bottle, medicine, or extra snacks from the gas station. Additionally, in case of emergency, you’ll want to have your ID in a place that is easily accessible. 

  • A sweatshirt: This one is optional, but if you have some extra space in a carry-on bag, you may want to consider bringing a jacket, sweatshirt, or hoodie that you can just throw over whatever you’re wearing. You may not need it, but if you do get chilly on the bus, you’ll be thankful that you thought to pack it!

In general, your carry-on should be only for things you’ll need during the bus ride. Clothes, toiletries, and other luggage should be fine to pack in bags that will go in the underhead luggage compartment of your bus because you shouldn’t need these things while you’re on the go. When you’re smart and strategic about how you pack, you get to enjoy a worry-free, comfortable charter bus ride to your destination!

Other Tips and Tricks

Now that you know what to bring, here are some tips and tricks on how to effectively pack!

Fit the most stuff in the least amount of space

Maximize the amount of stuff you’re able to bring on your trip by strategizing how you pack. Instead of just throwing everything into your suitcase, try one or more of these packing hacks:

  • Vacuum storage bags: Use vacuum-sealed storage bags to compact your clothes tightly! This method allows you to fit an entire outfit’s worth of clothes in an area of space hardly bigger than a notebook. If you’re going somewhere where you’ll need a lot of different types of outfits for different scenarios, this method will allow you to fit more clothes into your suitcase! You can purchase these bags from Amazon, or you can find them at a variety of retailers!

  • Roll, don’t fold: If you don’t want to spend any money on storage bags, there is another tried and true packing method to help you save space. Instead of folding your clothes normally, roll them up! This decreases the area of your clothes, which means more space for you!

  • Plan multiple outfits with the same pieces: This tip requires a little bit of creativity on your end. To minimize the amount of clothes you have to bring, try to get at least two outfits out of every article of clothing you bring! For example, if you absolutely must pack your favorite bulky sweater, wear it with jeans on one day of the trip and with a skirt on another! Not only does this free up some space in your bags, but it allows you to have fun planning your outfits! 

  • Invest in a reusable toiletry kit: Unlike with air travel, there are no restrictions on how much liquid you can bring on your charter bus trip. However, if you plan on bringing along your full-sized bottles, you’ll seriously lose out on valuable luggage space. 

We know what you’re thinking- travel-sized toiletries tend to be WAY overpriced, and they get lost in between trips, so you end up just buying more for your next trip anyways! That’s why we recommend getting yourself a reusable toiletry bottle kit. These kits come with enough bottles for any soaps, gels, or lotions you may need for your trip as well as a bag for you to keep it all in! Just pour from your full-sized bottles into the smaller ones, and you’re ready to go!

Make a list 

Has this ever happened to you? While you were debating whether to bring two extra pairs of shoes or three, you completely forgot that you needed to pack your toothbrush! Now, your suitcase space is being taken up by stuff you probably won’t even use, and you have to take time out of your trip to stop at the store for basic hygiene products. 

One of the most overwhelming parts of packing is trying to decide exactly what to bring. How many extra pairs of socks is too many? Before you start packing, take a moment to go through every single day or event of your trip. How many days and nights will you be gone? Will you be doing outdoor activities, such as hiking or swimming, that will require a specific type of gear? Will you be attending any fancy events that you might need an extra-special outfit for? These questions can help you determine exactly how many outfits you need for the entirety of your trip; making a list of things you need for specific scenarios on your trip will allow you to pack with focus and clarity!

Additionally, having a list of everything you’re bringing on your trip ensures that you don’t forget anything. Gone are the days of calling up hotels for missing hair dryers or mourning that pair of boots you had for a month before you left them at the AirBnB. Bring your list with you on your trip so that when it’s time to pack up and head home again, you can run through your checklist before you leave!

Leave a little space

When traveling, it’s likely that you’ll return home with more than you left with. Whether it’s a trip souvenir, a new blouse to replace the one you spilled coffee all over, or an unexpected gift, you’re bound to end up with something you didn’t plan on bringing home with you. Try to leave a little bit of space in your luggage to prepare for this! 

Whether it’s two days or two weeks, you deserve to enjoy a trip that’s hassle-free and smooth. We know that luggage can be one of the biggest causes of stress when planning a trip. With this guide, you should be able to pack exactly what you need (and nothing you don’t!) for your next big trip. With this guide, you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying the ride on your next big trip! 

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