Inevitably, at some point in your travels, you are going to have to use some mode of Bus Transport to get you from Point A to Point B.
There’s only so far that a plane can take you. To get around your new city or country, you’ll need some form of land transport which can include a myriad of options including your own two feet, taxis, a hire car, trams, trains, subways, and the humble old bus. And for a large chunk of that time, it’s probably going to be the bus!
Not that’s such a bad thing. There are some countries where you wouldn’t dare risk your life trying to navigate the roads/potholes in a hire car (see the Worst Drivers In The World).
That’s because you’ll probably end up as a statistic that there’s no way you’ll ever recover from (i.e. death). I’d feel a little bit more secure if I was in the bus if it collided with another car! That is, unless you collide with a vehicle much larger than your own!
By far, I’ve found the best buses in the world have been in Argentina. Any bus that has business class seats, offers wine and offer a smooth ride are a winner for me. I’ve never been on anything better – see exhibit A below!
But that’s not always the case!
Here are some of the reasons why bus transport, from the small minubus to the large inter-city and international services, can be a bit crap sometimes!
It’s just part of the lucky dip of life!
Bus Transport – The Worst Things About This Mode of Travel
Here we go!
- Bus transport can involve the operators intentionally exceeding the carrying capacity by an number of orders of magnitude. If it hasn’t been broken yet, it still works!
- When you’re driving, you at least know that you’ve had a few drinks that may affect your performance on the road. If you let someone else drive, there’s no way of knowing if your bus driver is swigging a few from his hip flask to stop him becoming bored over the endless miles of black top.
- Bus suspension is normally pretty rigid. It’s fine for when you’re on good roads, but be prepared for chipped teeth and a broken back if you ever need to travel on roads like this:
- Bus travel forces your to sleep in funny positions that aren’t normal in nature. That is, if you can fall asleep at all! For example, if you fall asleep on the bus with your mouth wide open and drool running down your face, you have no idea who is about to take your photo and flood their social media accounts with a pic of something along these lines…
- As with any form of travel, you have a high chance of sitting next to the identical passenger types that you’ve come across on the plane – that is the Person Unaware of Their Own Body Odour, the Farter, The Job Spruiker, The Avid Chatter, The Obese Person or the Non-Seat Mover. It’s all just the same, this time, on land!
- Whilst bus travel can be extremely cheap and cost effective for those travelling on a budget, the trade off for that is you’ll probably end up sitting next to, on top of, or surrounded by livestock. Dead or alive!
- The bus timetable is never accurate, and you don’t know if it’s going to turn up if you need to relieve yourself via a toilet break. That’s especially true in Africa, where you don’t know if your bus is going to leave in 4 minutes, 4 hours, or 4 days because they only leave when full of passengers.
- The bus always seems to be travelling twice as fast when you’re running after it, then when you’re actually onboard!
- If real life is like anything in the Hollywood blockbusters, there is going to be one bus somewhere in the world which is going to be planted with explosives and hijacked by remote control, just like the Keanu Reeves 1990s movie, Speed! Maybe it’s just not worth the risk!
- Need to put your luggage underneath the bus in the storage compartment because it’s too large to fit underneath your feet or above you? Then it may/may not be there when you reach your destination! Or even better, if you luggage is ‘missing’, you may be able to recover it via the payment of a suitable bribe!
- Air conditioning. It may not be working at all so it feels like you’re being cooked in a sardine tin. Alternatively, it might be way too cold – to the point where polar bears could survive in your seat!
- Sometimes the roads themselves are more of a hazard than the condition of the bus. When it’s road versus the bus, the road will win! Just like the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia! It’s fine on a mountain bike though!
- You’ll probably meet a travel blogger who complains about the lack of wifi onboard, or if it’s available, it’s crap (You’ll hear them saying ‘stay strong, WiFi signal).
There you go.
Whilst bus transport is a necessary part of travelling, it can always have it’s good and bad parts.
At least the bad parts can lead to some good dinner party conversations!
How about you? What don’t you like about bus travel?
Share with the rest of us and make us all laugh!