Overnight buses are usually the cheapest way to get around Asia and South America, but they can be long, uncomfortable journeys lasting up to 10 hours.

Read our tips and advice for surviving those long hours on a bus!

Upgrade to VIP

Where possible, pay extra for the VIP buses or ‘hotel’ buses.In Cambodia, ‘hotel buses’ are literally a flat bed for two people.

This can be great if you’re travelling with a friend, or terrible if you’re alone. Ask questions before booking your ticket and ask to see pictures of the bus.

Some buses in Vietnam have very narrow, reclining seats made for tiny Vietnamese people. So if you’re over 6ft you might want to consider a different mode of transport!

Secure your valuables

Never leave valuables in your large backpacks – keep everything with you. We recommend buying a Pacsafe bag so you can lock everything up. If not, wear a money belt concealed under clothes. It may seem overly cautious buy countless travellers have had things stolen while they sleep!

Pack warm clothes

Layers are key! Prepare for stuffy, hot buses and freezing cold buses. Often drivers will blast the air con so take warm, comfortable clothes, socks and a wooly hat!

Take ear plugs and an eye mask

In Myanmar, some buses blast Burmese music well into the night… and flick the lights on and off all through the journey. So to remain undisturbed, use ear plugs and an eye mask.

Download Podcasts & Kindle books

If you can’t sleep, the very least you need is a an array of activities to keep you occupied! Podcasts are great ways to pass the time, particularly if they turn all the lights out!

Remember what your bus looks like!

Stopping for a bathroom break? Remember where your bus is parked and what it looks like. Sometimes there are countless other buses parked in the same area.

Also ask how long you have before the bus leaves again. Keep a watchful eye!