Overnight Bus Travel Tips

1) Get a seat on the top of the bus (if it’s a double decker). The bottom sucks — you are close to the bathroom so it smells bad, you can’t see out the front, the ceiling is low so there is no overhead storage for bags, and it’s noisier because you’re closer to the engine.

2) Bring earplugs. Most of the buses will blare movies out over crappy speakers, so if you don’t want to hear five Adam Sandler movies in a row as you’re sleeping, then earplugs will help. (For what it’s worth, the General Urquiza bus we rode turned the volume all the way down and made riders use headphones, which was lovely. Also, we asked the steward to turn the volume down at various times on different buses and they would often turn it down or off.)

3) Bring noise canceling headphones (if you have them). If you are going to watch “Step Up 2 the Streets” (which the girls loved) then the sound is much better through the headphone jack than over the speakers.

4) Rated R movies are the norm. If you have younger kids, be prepared for the fact that your children are going to hear and see HIGHLY inappropriate movies for their age group, both in terms of violence and sexual content.

5) Buses are made for short people. If you are 6′ 2″ or taller, then ejecutivo, or first class, where the seats lay down, will be a bit too small for you. Tom had to have his legs bent at all times. He also noticed that the foot area in the next class down was too small for his 11 1/2 sized feet, so he had to keep his feet turned to the side at all times.

6) Bring your own toilet paper and some alcohol gel for your hands — our experience is that the bathrooms are spectacularly gross. After a few hours, the toilet paper looks like it has been stored on the pee encrusted floor and the handwashing is minimal. (Also remember, no bowel movements on the bus bathrooms, so plan accordingly.)

7) Bring your own healthy snacks. The breakfast that they serve on the bus is normal Argentinian fare: cookies and candy bars, which leaves you with a serious sugar low after a crappy night’s sleep. Fruit, juice, and extra water are all a good idea.

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