Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Youíve read through all the articles on the Chinatown bus, and youíre finally ready to take the plunge. Youíre ready to purchase tickets and hop on the bus. But wait! There are just a few more things you might want to know. Here are few more tips to help you make your Chinatown bus trip a pleasant one:
When riding the Chinatown bus, youíll want to pack light. Some travelers go with nothing at all, but if you are planning an extended stay, there are compartments for your luggage both on the bus and beneath it. Take no more than one or two bags that you can carry comfortably for an extended time. Thatís because when you are let off in your destination city, you may not be near a cab.
You will want to pack so you can walk if you have to, and you will want to avoid needing to take frequent breaks. The reasons for this are twofold: 1) you donít want to call attention to yourself as a tourist and 2) with frequent breaks, you make yourself vulnerable to theft.
Take a small pillow for the trip. With it, you can adjust the comfort of your seat, and you will have a headrest available if you decide to take a short nap. You will also want to use the bathroom before you leave if you might be one of those people who find doing so on a bus a little difficult.
Use the time you have on the way to your destination to read over your travel books and notes. This will save you time later when you get off the bus. Nothing is more touristy than getting off a bus and pulling out a map. If you must orient yourself, duck into a nearby store or restaurant. Take a seat and get your bearings. Then head out with confidence.
It is true that with some Chinatown bus lines you will be dropped off at a point that will be different from the point where you will reboard in your destination city. Thatís okay. You know at least that it will be in Chinatown. Just be prepared.
You will also want to consider your preference for sitting near a bathroom. Children often enjoy sitting in the back of buses. However, the bathroomís cleanliness may not the best. So if you sit in the rear, youíll definitely be able to smellÖuh, tell. Try to sit in the middle or in the front.
When heading southbound at dawn or sunset, sit on the right-hand side of the bus. When northbound, sit on the left. These tips will help you stay out of the glaring sun if youíre lucky enough to sit near the window.
The tips in this article will help you get more out of your Chinatown bus ride. So even if money and speed arenít enough, you can still find the bright side of traveling cheap.
For more great information about the Chinatown bus, visit Travel Resources on the MidAtlantic USA website, part of BellaOnline.com.