How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Struggling to get some sleep on public transport? Here’s some handy tips that will help you drift off in no time

Last Modified 2 June 2021 First Added 23 November 2016

We’ve all been there, you’ve got a hefty 2-hour commute ahead of you, you barely had six hours sleep last night and you’re consequently in need of some serious shut eye. However, a crafty nap while you travel on public transport isn’t the easiest of tasks and if you’re like many others, you’ll find falling asleep in public a vulnerable venture. But if you’re ready to throw caution to the wind, pass the time and catch some zzz’s, here are some handy tips for how to get to sleep on public transport.

Find a Good Spot

First and foremost, it’s essential to find a good place to doze off. This is best if it’s a reclusive and quiet spot where you won’t be bothered, for example if you’re travelling by train, head for the quiet zone. Most importantly, ensure your seat is next to a window. This not only gives you something to lean on while you snooze, but also stops you being that irritating person blocking other passengers from getting off the bus or train.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Control the Noise

Even if you’d consider yourself a heavy sleeper, sudden noises can easily disrupt your dreams, especially while you sleep on public transport. The Sleep Foundation states:

‘While you sleep, your brain continues to register and process sounds on a basic level. Noise can jostle your slumber—causing you to wake, move and shift between stages of sleep. However, noises are more likely to wake you from a light sleep (stages 1 and 2), than from a deep sleep (stages 3 and 4).’

This being said, it will be more difficult to drift off on public transport. A quick and simple solution for this is to invest in a pair of ear plugs to drown out any background noise. If you haven’t got any ear plugs handy, a good substitute is a trusty pair of headphones.

Block out the Light

While we all love looking over the scenic views we pass on our travels, any daylight flooding through the windows will also hinder your sleep. Sleep expert Dr Susan Biali states that light is disruptive to sleep because it suppresses melatonin release, a hormone which makes you sleepier.

Light is easy to block out on planes where the windows have an optional blind, however it’s somewhat trickier on a train or bus. If you don’t want to be that person who is desperately trying to drape their jacket over the windows, the solution is to simply cover your own eyes. An eye mask is good for the well-prepared, however other things that do the trick include a scarf or even a pair of sunglasses.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Get Cosy

An obvious but important factor to aid how you sleep on public transport is how comfortable you feel. For example, if your train is over air-conditioned, like many trains are, be sure to have worn a few extra layers or packed a cosy scarf. However, trains and buses aren’t the most comfortable of places to sleep and certainly don’t compare to your bed.

Sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus adds:

‘Obviously you will be more vulnerable while asleep, so you will need to be in a safe place. It is very difficult to fall asleep sitting or standing. This is because your heart rate will be higher while sitting or standing because you heart needs to pump blood against gravity. So finding a comfortable sleep position will certainly help.’

So when sat in this awkward upright position, it’s also important to properly support your neck. Try and lean on the window to avoid any unnatural bends to your spine. If you don’t have a neck pillow handy, a good solution is to roll a jumper up into a U shape and place around your neck. Physiotherapist Vivian Eisenstadt suggests a comfortable sleeping position during your travels, stating:

‘I used to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, so I would fall asleep on the train all the time. The best way that I would sleep would be by arching my lower back a little bit and sticking my posterior out so that I would be sitting up straight. I’d then lean back a bit and just close my eyes.’

Be Wise

By be wise, I mean remain travel savvy at all times. For example, research beforehand the estimated time of arrival and ensure to set an alarm 10 minutes prior to that so you don’t miss your stop. Also, as you would on public transport normally, ensure to keep your belongings close to you throughout your doze. This will help you avoid any unnecessary stress and worries which will only hinder your sleep.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Happy napping!

Do you have any additional tips for napping on public transport? Let us know in the comments!

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Table of Contents

You might think it takes some sort of sorcery to be able to get a good rest on public transport. But really, you just need to be let in on the sleep secrets. Whether you’re taking an overnight bus or just hoping to squeeze in a nap along the way, everything you need to know about how to sleep on a bus or train is in this article.

We spill the tea and fill you in on exactly where to sit to get the most restful sleep, handy tips, and the essentials we recommend packing in your bag.

Comfortable ways to sleep on a bus or train

The best way to sleep on a bus or train is to score a coveted window seat. Sitting by the window is a win-win situation. It means you can rest your head against the window to sleep, and you won’t be constantly interrupted by fellow passengers moving past you.

On buses, you ideally want a window seat in the middle of the bus. The front of the bus is typically too distracting, with passengers repeatedly getting on and off. You also want to avoid the back of the bus, as that’s, unfortunately, where you’ll feel every bump in the road.

If you happen to be traveling on a double-decker bus, here’s a hot tip: the front on the top level is actually an optimal spot to sleep, as you get more legroom, and there are usually curtains available to block out the light. You heard it here first.

On trains, the ultimate prize spot is a window in the quiet zone. If you can’t swing it, like buses, any ordinary window seat will do. You just want to avoid being in an area with heavy foot traffic, like near a door or the restrooms.

Another option is getting a (train) room for a night. Amtrak has roomette and bedroom options available on many routes across the country. They include seats during the day, beds at night, private restrooms, lounge access, and complimentary meals. Now that’s how you sleep on a train!

We know there is a lot of controversy about whether or not you should recline your seat on planes. But when talking about the best positions to sleep on a bus or train, reclining is the way to go. 💺 There’s a lot more room on buses and trains for passengers to comfortably recline their seats without disturbing the travelers behind them.

Handy tips for sleeping on a bus or train

Here are some insider tips for sleeping on a bus or train that will have you snoozing in no time:

For overnight trips, prepare that day. Exercise and stay busy to tire yourself out. It also helps to stick to your routine, so eat dinner before boarding if possible. We also recommend avoiding caffeine four to six hours before the trip. You can do it!

Keep your valuables nearby. You probably won’t be able to peacefully fall asleep if you’re worried about your valuables being stolen. So keep them nearby, like between your feet under the seat in front of you. If it makes you more comfortable, you could also bring a padlock to secure them in your bag.

Avoid alcohol. While you might want to hit up the food and drinks carriage on your train journey, alcohol can cause dehydration and headaches, which will inevitably disturb your sleep. Nobody wants that.

Silence your electronics. The aim of the game is for it to be as peaceful as possible, so you don’t want to be disturbed by your phone while you’re trying to sleep. Hit silence so you can snooze. 😴

Set an alarm before you sleep. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so set an alarm for half an hour or so before you’re meant to arrive at your destination (just in case you’re early). This will give you peace of mind that you won’t sleep through and miss your intended destination.

The essentials for sleeping on a bus or train

You could call this your sleeping on public transport toolkit. These are the things we recommend having on hand to catch some all-important rest on your next overnight bus or train trip.

  • Earplugs – This is the #1 essential to pack if you want to sleep on a bus or train. Earplugs will block out the noise of the vehicle and other passengers so you can head off to dreamland.
  • Headphones – If you don’t have earplugs, headphones work just as well to block out noise. Bonus points if they’re noise-canceling headphones. You could also play some white noise or soothing music to sing you to sleep, either via your music app of choice or a meditation app like Headspace. Good thing most buses and trains have WiFi available!
  • Eye mask – While earplugs block out noise, an eye mask will block out light.
  • Neck pillow – With a neck pillow supporting your head while it rests against the window, we bet you’ll be asleep in no time. If you don’t have a neck pillow available, use any extra layer you have on hand and roll it into a U-shape to place around your neck. Trust us – your neck will thank you.
  • Layers – You won’t be able to sleep if you’re too hot or cold, so pack some layers to keep you nice and cozy.
  • Comfortable clothing – Yep, throw the fashion rules out the window because comfort is key when it comes to sleeping on a bus or train. Wear whatever is most comfortable for you, whether that’s yoga pants, sweatpants, a sweatshirt, or a loose-fitting dress.
  • Water and snacks – No one wants to get dehydrated or hangry while traveling, so ensure you pack both water and snacks for when you wake up.
  • Sleeping pills – If you find sleeping on public transport difficult, why not speak to your doctor about the suitability of sleeping pills? They might be able to suggest an effective over-the-counter sleep aid.

Now you have the art of sleeping on public transport mastered, it’s time to put it to the test. Wanderu is the best place to book bus and train tickets. It’s easy to search and compare options from various companies in one convenient place, so you find the best trip for you.

Trains, planes and buses may not be the king-sized bed with 300-thread count sheets you prefer, but chances are you’re going to have to spend a night or two sleeping in them.

Such is the life of a traveler.

Traveling overnight can really throw off your schedule if you don’t get some sleep, so in order to savor every minute of your precious vacation time here’s a few tips on how to sleep while you’re getting to your destination:

  • Stay busy during the day. If you are leaving at night, wake up early that day, and don’t take any naps. You want to be tired and ready for sleep once you’re on the train/bus/plane. As much as possible, do not take very long naps during the day, this will make it harder to doze off at night. If you find yourself getting sleepy and very tired during the day, you can combat that with caffeine or Modafinil. You can get them from online Modafinil Vendors like BuyModafinilOnline.
  • Exercising during the day can make a world of difference. If you don’t have time for a full-on workout session, then improvise. I usually walk laps around the airports if I have a layover or some time before my plane leaves. Even walking around for 30 minutes can make a big difference. So just stay active. Also try incorporating handstands to your bedtime prep routine. The inversion of heart over head helps with blood circulation leading to an overall calm which helps better ease into sleep.
  • Eat dinner. Not only does most food on airplanes suck, but the airports and bus terminals usually aren’t much better. But at the same time, it can be hard to sleep when you’re starving, so try to eat a (relatively healthy) large meal about an hour or so before you leave.
  • Watch the caffeine. About 4-6 hours before you need to sleep, stop drinking caffeine. While this is a pretty obvious one, it’s sometimes harder than it seems, especially if you work during the day, or had to get up really early to travel in the middle of the night. But do your body a favor, and stick to water. (Hydration is also really important when traveling!)

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

  • Be comfortable. You never know if your mode of transportation is going to be really hot, really cold or somewhere in between. The solution: Layer up! I always wear really broken in jeans or leggings, and then layer a few tops, with at least 1 being long-sleeved. That way, you can peel off or cover up as needed. Shoes are your call, but I usually avoid flip flops, because I can’t sleep when my feet are cold.
  • Invest in a neck pillow. As much as I feel like a complete dork when I’m carrying my pillow around an airport, I’m always so thankful I brought it. A neck pillow can make sleeping in a chair a lot more comfortable. And it will help you avoid having to cuddle up against a window, or the stranger next to you.
  • If all else fails, take a sleeping pill. I’ve always been a troubled sleeper, so I am a big fan of sleeping pills to help regulate my sleep/travel schedule. If you have serious insomnia, a doctor can help you get prescription-strength pills. If you just need a quick fix, then head to your local drug store where there are a variety of different aids. Having forgot my sleeping pills en route to Australia, my friend gave me an Advil PM – and I woke up 6 hours later in Sydney. So really, they’re all pretty much the same, just follow the regular dosage. And don’t combine it with alcohol. Bonus: sleeping aids are a great way to get over jet lag at the beginning or end of a vacation.

What are your tricks for sleeping on buses/trains/airplanes? How do you better ease yourself into time change?

Getting a good rest while traveling is hard. The combination of the cramped space, uncontrollable noise and the constant movement of the vehicle makes sleeping on the bus a nearly impossible task for most people. This is a problem because one can’t fully enjoy the destination if they were weary from the journey to get there. So even if you are headed to paradise but you didn’t get enough sleep on your way there, you won’t be able to enjoy the place to the fullest.

But don’t fear, here are some useful tips in sleeping on a bus for a safe and comfortable travel.

Make Yourself Comfortable

The number one reason why it is hard to rest on the bus while traveling is because the whole setup is uncomfortable. In order to fight this, you should bring the following comfort items.

  • Neck pillow – A neck pillow is the best item to have in order to ensure a comfortable position while sleeping during traveling. It also helps minimize neck and upper back pains while sleeping on a bus.
  • Eye mask – If you are traveling at night, most buses turn their lights off for the comfort of the passengers. However, if you are traveling by day, the light can still be bothersome even if the blinds are drawn inside the vehicle. Bring an eye mask to block out any light. An eye mask can also be used to encourage your body to get some sleep because it hinders you from looking at distractions such as your phone or the scenery out the window.
  • Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones – You will be forced to deal with noises inside the bus while traveling making it hard to get some rest. In a confined space, the quiet chatter of a handful of people can be quite noisy and distracting. Bring earplugs or noise canceling headphones to filter out all these noises so that you can relax and get proper sleep.

Wear Layers

The air conditioning inside the bus can make you feel like you are sleeping in the middle of the Arctic. In order to avoid disruption of sleep, wear light layers and top it with a sweater or jacket. Also pack lightweight wraps to serve as a blanket and cushion in problematic areas.

Bring Medication

Motion sickness is common. 1 in 3 people are susceptible to it especially when traveling by car, bus, train, airplanes and boats. If you have this problem, traveling can be very stressful. But there are a number of over the counter medications that you can buy to cure this sickness. You can also take Melatonin to regulate your sleep cycles and make it easier to get rest.

Keep in mind that if you choose to bring over the counter medication, make sure that it is legal in your travel destination so you won’t run into any issues.

Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks

Staying hydrated is an important part of life but drinking the right amount of water is easy to forget when you are traveling. Don’t worry about having to go to the toilet while on the bus since most buses nowadays are equipped with a bathroom for the convenience of the passengers.

Choosing the right snack for your trip can help increase your comfort level. Here are the best snacks to bring on your bus trip.

  • Nuts – Walnuts and almonds help regulate sleep but make sure that you take the walnuts out of their shell prior to traveling.
  • Dried fruits – You get all the benefits of fruit with dried fruit without the sticky juices all over you.
  • Raw vegetables – Chopped carrots, broccolo, cauliflower and celery are easy to pack and don’t easily spoil at room temperatures.
  • Crackers – Crackers are easy to bring and will make you full for long periods.

On the other hand, there are also foods that you should avoid bringing.

  • Any food that goes bad easily – Examples of these are milk and any food that are prepared with mayonnaise. Dairy is highly perishable goods and any foods that are mixed with them spoil easily.
  • Messy foods – Watermelon, mangoes, donuts are anything that are barbecued are all delicious snacks but they are best suited for picnics not while traveling on a bus.
  • Foods that can’t be eaten with fingers – Don’t bring any food that requires to be eaten with a spoon or fork. Examples of this are soups and salads.
  • Spicy foods – When traveling, spicy foods will increase your temperature and have side effects like stomach ache and heartburn. This will prevent you from resting comfortably during your trip.
  • Stinky foods – If you like the smell of limburger cheese but most people don’t, then it’s best to leave the food at home.

Listen to Music

Music has a direct effect on a person’s parasympathetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system is responsible for the body’s relaxation and preparation for sleep. Adults who listen to relaxing music before bed sleep longer, wake up less during the night and have better sleep quality compared to those who don’t listen to music.

The music that you need to listen to has to keep you disengaged not to keep you interested. This is why ambient music works best in helping people sleep. It is the kind of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm.

Pick the Right Seat

If you want to rest during your trip, it is best to sit near the middle of the bus. This is the area where there is less vibrations and bumps so the ride will be much smoother compared to the front and back areas of the bus.

The window seat will provide you a solid wall to lean upon whereas the aisle seat will give you more legroom. Your choice will depend on your preference.

Invest in a Good Bus

There are a number of bus rental services available in the Chicagoland Area but make sure to choose the one that prioritizes the passengers’ comfort and enjoyment. If you are looking for eco-friendly buses for group transportation, contact Chicago Motor Coach Inc. at 847-260-9797. Let us know how we can help you.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Public transportation is a popular alternative to personal vehicles as they are cheap, convenient, and environmental-friendly. People often use public transport for various reasons, such as saving fuel, old age, beating traffic, or health complications. However, taxis and buses can be risky, especially on routes that go through dangerous neighborhoods. Knowing what to do and taking proper measures to increase your safety can significantly reduce travel-related risks such as theft, assault, or death. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when using public transport.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s always crucial to plan your route to know what to expect. Check maps to help you learn everything about your journey. You can even use your phone to track your journey. Know the main stopovers and the crime rate in those areas. Take extra neck pillows to support your neck and carry enough emergency supplies if something happens to the vehicle and you get stranded.

Book Your Means of Transport in Advance

If you are using a cab, you may want to make arrangements ahead of time rather than choose a random taxi. If you can drive, consider renting or carsharing services such as Avail that provide similar privacy as private vehicles. These services allow you to travel alone or with your family instead of a driver and other passengers. If renting or carsharing are not your options, you can still book online taxis like Uber. Just make sure that you only get in the car that you ordered.

Stay Alert

Long-distance traveling is often tiring, but try your best not to sleep if you’re traveling alone. You never know who could be watching you or targeting your property while you’re asleep. Mind your surroundings and keep an eye on your luggage. Avoid crowded areas at the bus stop or train station as pickpocketers can use this opportunity to rob you. Never leave your luggage unattended, and always keep larger bags where you can see them. You can keep other valuables like cameras, jewelry, and phones in smaller bags that you can hold with your legs.

Invest in Emergency Safety Devices

If you tend to use public transport often, the best way to deal with travel unpleasantness is by carrying emergency alert devices to help catch thieves during transit. Most devices emit powerful noise that alerts everyone around you if something has been taken from you. The noise can be quite disturbing. That’s why you should only use them in areas that you feel unsafe.

Blend in

Train stations and public bus stops are not the best places to show off your new expensive jewelry. How you dress and carry yourself can make you an easy target for muggers and pickpocketers. Try to blend in by tucking your necklace inside your clothing and dress in simple, inexpensive clothes. If you’re in a foreign area, choose seats that will conceal most of your body and luggage to avoid attracting attention.

Know Where the Exits are and When to Move

When you enter any form of public transport; train, bus, or tube, check the nearest exits, fire exits, and alarms in case you need to use them for whatever reason. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy when riding a bus, move to another seat. If you no longer want to be on the bus, get off at the next stop, even if it’s not your destination. You can always board another bus or contact a taxi service to take you the rest of the way. Always have a phone with you to reach people in case of an emergency.

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How to sleep on public transport while traveling

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How to sleep on public transport while traveling

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    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

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Buses offer lesser exposure to people compared to trains or planes, offers multiple pick-up and drop points with lesser crowd and most importantly, it is far easier to sanitize a bus after each trip, making it relatively safer.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

A bus journey is perhaps what most of us relate to when thinking of inter-city or inter-state travel and rightly so as it is by far the most convenient, safe and cost-effective mode of transport there is, to travel fairly long distances in India.

The course of the pandemic has reposed our trust in bus travel owing to several advantages that it offers over other means of transport, particularly from the point of view of safety and convenience. Buses offer lesser exposure to people compared to trains or planes, offers multiple pick-up and drop points with lesser crowd and most importantly, it is far easier to sanitize a bus after each trip, making it relatively safer.

With bus travel being one of the most promising forms of public transport during these times, you could make your next bus trip more safe, relaxing and pleasant if you pay attention to a few simple aspects. For the benefit of the bus traveller, we have summed it all up in 10 tips to make your bus travel savvy during these times.

Mask and hand sanitizer are as important as your mobile phone
Can you imagine making a long trip without your mobile phone? Would you undertake that trip if you simply forgot to carry your phone? You probably wouldn’t be able to board the bus, train or plane because you carry your tickets and identification cards in digital form on your cell phone and that’s how invaluable mobile phones are today. It is extremely important to ascribe similar importance to masks and hand sanitizers even if you have been vaccinated. Double masking and frequent hand sanitization greatly reduces the chance of you contracting the virus, which is all the better than contracting and fighting it. Double masks (a pair of cotton and surgical masks) or valve-less N-95 masks are considered to offer the best protection. So when you embark upon your next bus trip, remember the two other essentials apart from your cell phone.

Keep certain essentials
Certain travel norms have changed since the beginning of the pandemic and keeping some essentials will help you stay safe during travel, like a snack, an extra mask, a disinfecting spray which is also skin friendly and effective on surfaces, wet wipes and tissues. Spray nearby surfaces before sitting in any bus because it’s just better to be safe than sorry. Sanitize your hands regularly and the extra mask will come in handy in case the one you are wearing fails for any reason.

Pack light
This is a guru mantra for travellers, whether you are travelling for fun or as a necessity, this is a rule of thumb that should consider following. While undertaking a journey, most of us are tempted to pack more, but it comes with a burden. Remember, you are the one to carry the weight around. So go with a small bag as the limitation of space makes you take only necessary items and they are generally enough. It is also easy to amble around when you travel light and you need not place heavy luggage trolleys or boxes on the ground or on other surfaces as it increases the risk of contamination due to contact. But ensure to keep an extra pair of intimate essentials and clothes, just in case you need to stay over an extra day.

Dress comfortably and pack layers
Always dress comfortably while travelling, make sure your clothes are not too tight or uncomfortable for the journey as you might need to sleep in them, especially during overnight journeys. While travelling in an air conditioned bus, temperatures may fluctuate, causing discomfort and so carrying a shawl can be beneficial. Also, most buses have stopped offering linen as a protocol at this time. Packing layers is essential when travelling between different climate zones, allowing you to shed or add a layer of clothing depending on the temperature.

Pack earplugs
Oh! This is something you really don’t want to miss while undertaking bus travel. It is not uncommon to encounter a noisy neighbour, cranky child, or noisy surroundings during the trip. Earplugs are a life-saver while sleeping in these circumstances, or even if you prefer to relax in silence. Listening to music with a pair of earphones is also a good option.

Pack snacks and water
Ensure to pack some healthy snacks and water. Eating a lot of fried or spicy food just before or during the journey can cause severe discomfort for some and make the journey memorable for the wrong reasons. In addition, you cannot be sure of the quality of food you pick on the way during pit stops. However, do try some local delicacies if you are sure of the hygiene and your appetite.

Use the rest stops
Even if you do not have the urge to attend to nature’s call or feel lazy to get out of the bus, push yourself a bit. Get down and walk around, stretch your legs and go to the rest room. Follow this as a norm to avoid making a request with the crew for a stop in the open when it calls for, which can be embarrassing and inconvenient. But ensure to sanitize your hands and any body part that may have come in contact while using public rest rooms.

Keep your valuables close
Always keep in mind to keep your valuable close. Pack valuables in a discrete carry bag which you can keep with yourself all the time. As a precaution never reveal directly or indirectly of what you are carrying or about yourself, to a fellow traveler. If possible keep cash in more than one place.

Remember visual clues about your bus
Rest-stops in most places cater to dozens of buses and it can sometimes be very confusing to locate your bus, especially when there are buses of a particular operator that look exactly the same. The vehicle would’ve also moved to a different parking terminal for various reasons and can cause severe anxiety if you fail to locate it in a few seconds. The best way to recognize a bus is through its registration number. A four-digit number is not difficult for most people to memorize, however if you are one of those who dread doing that, simply click a picture of the registration plate of the bus. Also keep your ticket with you as it may have your bus number.

Have a chat with the person next to you
Talk to fellow passengers, they will be you allies in case your bus starts moving before you have boarded after a rest-stop. Part of travelling is getting to know more people. This will always make you remember your journey more fondly.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Using the public transportation system can be a great way for a traveler to save money and ‘live like a local’, but it also presents some risk.

Before enjoying the public transportation in a foreign city or country, take a moment to consider these important travel safety tips.

1. Look for an official badge or permit

A legitimate taxi driver or bus driver will have a badge displayed, so take a quick look around before you get in and feel free not to get in if you don’t see one. When you do spot a badge, check out the picture and be sure it looks like your driver.

In the U.S. taxi drivers display their permits, but you might have trouble figuring out how to tell whether a taxi or bus is official in a foreign country.

Ask the concierge at your hotel or a local police officer whether the local taxi and bus companies require employees to display badges. They can tell you what to look for.

2. Take note of logos and colors

Take note of the logos and colors of local taxis and buses even if you don’t need one immediately. This will help you spot the ones that are legitimate and those that are fake later. Fake cabs have been used by criminals to part you from your money in several ways. In some regions, fake cabs are used to kidnap tourists.

Know which are the legitimate taxis and buses to avoid getting taken for a dangerous ride.

3. Stay awake and alert at all times

You may be tempted to read a book, check your messages, or take a quick nap on public transportation, but that’s the perfect way to have your wallet, camera, backpack and other stuff stolen. Plus, you could end up in a strange place at the end of the bus line with no way to get back if you sleep too long!

Stay awake and alert no matter how tired you are. This is true when you’re in a taxi as well – your driver could be just as dangerous as a common criminal.

4. Keep close control over your bags and packages

Just like at the airport, it’s essential to keep close control over your bags and packages if you are to keep them in your possession. This is especially important if you have several bags or packages, or if everyone on the bus or train has similar bags. It’s easy for a thief to switch out an empty one that looks just like yours when all the bags come from the same retailer.

Bunch your bags between your feet or close on the seat beside you when you’re sitting, and keep hold of them when you’re standing.

5. Know where you are going

It’s an easy trap to fall into: you tell the driver where you are going and he or she takes you there, but the driver isn’t responsible for you and could even have their own malicious agenda in mind.

Knowing where you are going by having a map and paying attention to the route will help you protect yourself.

6. Get off the bus if it gets too crowded

When people are pressing in all around you, it’s harder for you to watch and protect your belongings. Crowds are not a traveler’s friend – in fact, they can make it far easier for pickpockets and thieves to do their dirty work and escape quickly.

If things are getting too crowded, get off the bus at the next well-lit stop and wait for a less crowded one.

7. Be wary of sharing

Sharing a cab is a common way to save a little money, but sharing a cab with a stranger can leave you in a bad spot. It’s a common scam in some places: you share a cab with a person who leaves behind a little contraband. Soon after, a fake cop stops your taxi and the stuff is discovered. You may be searched, arrested, robbed or even taken to a fake police station where your identification is swiped and sold over the Internet.

Sharing a cab is fine with friend, but not with strangers, no matter how kind they are.

8. Know how to call for emergency help

Sure, we all know to call 911 in America, but every country has an local emergency number that’s different. Knowing the number to dial can make the difference. If your guidebook doesn’t have it, ask the receptionist at any hotel.

Using public transport is the best way to get around when you’re travelling. You’ll experience your destination like a local, and get to glimpse a different way of life. There’s so many other benefits, too; it’s affordable, lower on emissions, reliable if you get to grips with local timetables and usually easy to use, especially if you’ve made the effort to learn some simple phrases in case you need directions. It’s important when using public transport to be aware of some common risks encountered by travellers. Read on for our top tips for staying safe when using public transport abroad.

Take Time to Plan Your Journey

Wandering a new area can be fun and interesting, but it’s best to have an idea of where you’re headed and how to get back to avoid ending up somewhere unfamiliar where you might be at risk. Know which stop you need to get back to to your accommodation and the routes you’ll need to take. Be aware of when public transport stops running so you don’t get stranded somewhere. Find out if there are local transport apps, you might be able to use them offline or you can screenshot your journeys.

Keep an Eye on Your Luggage

Having your luggage stolen when travelling feels terrible and is costly & time consuming to replace your things. Keep your bags as close as you can to you and your group, in sight as much as possible. If you have to use luggage racks, make sure you lock your bags to the rack with a lock and cable so they can’t easily be taken. Try to keep everything packed away as much as possible on your journey, keeping your belongings out of sight and making it easy to grab everything when it’s time to disembark – it can be a scramble if you’ve nodded off before a 3am arrival!

Keep Valuables on You at All Times

Keep your valuables and documents on you at all times, in a daybag or purse, so they are always in reach and sight. Use a money belt or body pouch to keep your money and travel documents completely out of sight of potential thieves. It’s really time consuming and expensive to replace your passport or bank card when travelling, take the most care to always know they are safe.

Keep it clean to avoid illness

One downside to public transport is that they’re not usually the cleanest spaces. Many people will have passed through, potentially exposing you to illness. Carry a hand sanitiser so you can kill bugs you might have picked up touching hand rails and seats. A surface cleanser is great if you’re on eating from a folding table; you can clean down surfaces before you eat.

Blend in With Locals

Do your best not to stick out and make yourself a target. Tuck your jewellery into your clothes or put them safely away in your luggage. It’s tempting to keep your camera out so you can film or take photos as your travel, but be aware that this may be drawing the attention of thieves. Follow local customs when it comes to using public transport – there may be rules to queuing or where to sit – so you don’t stand out too much.

Avoid Sleeping on Public Transport

It may be tempting to take a nap on public transport, but you should try to stay awake to ensure you’re safe and aware of what’s going on. If you’re travelling with someone else, take turns to sleep so one of you is on the look out at all times. In many parts of the world you can easily take long bus, coach or train journeys overnight, which is it great way to travel a long distance cheaply. Many travellers take advantage of not needing to pay for a nights accommodation and sleep through the journey, but you should be especially wary of this if travelling alone. Try finding a hostel or hotel near the start of your journey that will let you rent a room for a few hours during the daytime. Get some sleep before your journey so you’re awake and alert. You’ll be safer and you’ll also get to see an interesting perspective of the country as you travel through the night and watch the sun rise!

Don’t Over Share with Strangers

One of the best things about travelling on public transport is that you can meet local people. It’s nice to have a chat and practice your language skills, but be mindful not to share too much. Don’t tell people where you are staying or too much about your plans, you may put yourself at risk. Even if the person you are talking with is friendly and has good intentions, you’re in public and other people could be listening in.

Public transport really does provide a great way to immerse yourself in local culture, just follow our tips above and you’ll stay safe. Before you head off, make sure you book in for a travel health consultation so one of our expert nurses can help you get ready for your adventure – book now.



Read time 6 minutes

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Trains, tubes and buses can feel like an obstacle course when you have a baby. But don’t be intimidated – it’s all doable, with a few handy tips.

There are loads of reasons you might need to use public transport with your baby or toddler. Whether you’re visiting relatives, going on holiday or catching up with a friend over a coffee. And – let’s be honest – using public transport with a baby can feel a bit daunting. Especially the first few times.

Here are some ways to make it more comfortable (and less stressful).

1. Avoid rush hour whenever you can

Avoiding the chaos and busy commuters rushing alongside you and your child will make your journey less hectic (VisitBritain, 2017) . This applies to mornings and evenings.

2. Time your journey around your child’s routine

If you have a younger baby, it can work well to travel during one of their naptimes. If you’re travelling by car, bear in mind that the advice for babies younger than four weeks is not to keep them in their car seat for longer than 30 minutes. And not more than two hours in one go for babies of all ages (The Lullaby Trust, 2016) . Read more about this in our Driving with your baby article.

If your baby isn’t a good daytime napper or they’ve grown out of daytime naps, choose a time when they’re happiest. And no-one will know this better than you (Baby Can Travel, 2018) .

3. Reserve a seat

If it’s a longer journey, it can be helpful to book tickets in advance. This way you can choose where to sit that works for you and your baby. Booking in advance will also save you money (My Train Ticket, 2013) . You’ll need to check prices for children’s seats and at what age you have to pay for them with the train company you’re travelling with.

Window versus aisle seats is a personal preference. A window seat can be great for older babies or toddlers, as they can look at the sheep/cars/other trains going by. An aisle seat can be good if you need to get up and down a lot with an active toddler.

4. Pack carefully

Think about everything you might need in advance and pack accordingly. This might include nappies, wipes, snacks, more snacks, drinks, spare clothes, books and toys. A top tip from other parents is to put essentials in easy to reach places like your pockets or at the top of your bag. That way you’re not scrambling around when you need things (Baby Can Travel, 2018) .

5. Leave giant prams at home

Try a small umbrella-fold type pram, or even better a baby carrier. Take a look at NCT Nearly New Sales to see if you can pick up a bargain (A Baby 0n Board, 2012) .

Remember buses only have space for two pushchairs, and wheelchair users have priority by law. This means a driver might ask you to fold your pushchair before you get on. Or even not let you on if there are already two pushchairs onboard. This is when it pays to have a pushchair that you can fold down quickly and easily.

6. Buggy safety

It’s safest to get off buses or trains backwards, so you’re not tipping your baby or toddler forwards in their buggy. And always use your brake when waiting on station platforms or near the side of the road (A Baby on Board, 2012) . Don’t forget to keep your baby or toddler safely strapped in as well.

7. Check out the stair situation in advance

Tube and train stations tend to have lots of steps. But you can check for step-free access before you travel to help plan your journey. Alternatively, ask someone to help you carry your buggy up or down stairs (TFL, 2018) .

8. Where to sit…quiet, please

It might be best to avoid the quiet coach or zone on trains. Other passengers who have chosen to travel quietly might not be that welcoming if you bring a noisy baby or chatty toddler in… Many parents sit near the toilets where there’s often more space and flip-up seats to accommodate pushchairs (RailUK forums, 2015) .

9. Plan ahead for changing and feeding

Some trains do have baby change facilities, though their cleanliness varies a lot. Check out our NCT baby change app to see local places with changing facilities (My Train Tickets, 2013) .

If you’re planning to breastfeed, wear whatever feels comfortable for you to feed in. And don’t forget, it’s absolutely your right to breastfeed in public places including public transport, such as buses and trains (Maternity Action, 2018) .

If you’re using formula milk, it might be a good idea to bring extra with you in case you get delayed or your train or the bus is cancelled. Some brands sell ready-made cartons that can be useful when you’re on the move (Baby Can Travel, 2018). Read more about preparing a formula feed safely.

10. Most importantly, enjoy it

Your toddler is likely to think a ride on a train is brilliant fun and your baby will get all kinds of stimulation from the passing scenery. And for you, it means that you’re hopefully en route to somewhere fun. So, enjoy – in fact embrace – the journey.

This page was last reviewed in June 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.


A Baby on Board. (2012) How to travel by public transport in London, with a baby. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

Baby Can Travel. (2018) Road trip with a baby: 7 essential tips. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

Maternity Action. (2018) Breastfeeding in public places. Available at [Accessed 18th June 2018]

My Train Tickets. (2013) Travelling by train with children. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

RailUK Forums. (2015) Quiet coach etiquette. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

The Lullaby Trust. (2016) The Lullaby Trust’s statement regarding new research on car seats. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

Transport for London. (2018) Planning a journey with your buggy. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

VisitBritain. (2017) Family-friendly holiday guide. Available at: [Accessed 18th June 2018]

Information you can trust from NCT

When it comes to content, our aim is simple: every parent should have access to information they can trust.

All of our articles have been thoroughly researched and are based on the latest evidence from reputable and robust sources. We create our articles with NCT antenatal teachers, postnatal leaders and breastfeeding counsellors, as well as academics and representatives from relevant organisations and charities.

Add to Mendeley

Public transport is often perceived to be a poor alternative for car use. This paper describes who may be open to use public transport more often, and how people might be persuaded to use it. A computerised questionnaire study was conducted among 1,803 Dutch respondents in May 2001. Results revealed that especially fervent car users disliked public transport. For them, the car outperformed public transport not only because of its instrumental function, but also because the car represents cultural and psychological values, e.g. the car is a symbol of freedom and independence, a status symbol and driving is pleasurable. So, for fervent car users, car use is connected with various important values in modern society. Infrequent car users judged less positively about the car and less negatively about public transport. Consequently, they may be open to use public transport more regularly. In contrast, many efforts are needed to stimulate fervent car users to travel by public transport, because in their view, public transport cannot compete with their private car. In this case, policies should be aimed at reducing the functional, psychological and cultural values of private cars, as well as increasing the performance of public transport and other (more) environmentally sound modes of transport on these aspects.

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Organizations like Voice for Public Transit will work to channel the public’s sense of urgency that public transit is a national priority and that Congress must pass a long-term and comprehensive transportation bill in 2015.

What’s more, since both Democratic and Republican leaders have called for the abolishment of the Interstate Highway System’s funding apparatus, there would be money in the federal budget to dramatically increase and fast track urban transit projects across the country.

Local and regional rail networks, some or most of which could be public-private partnerships, would connect with a nationwide high-speed rail system.

Furthermore, much of the public transportation in America could be built in concert with Transit Oriented Developments (TOD’s), which would defray future operating costs through the ownership of the valuable real estate surrounding transit stations.

Top-10 Benefits of Public Transportation

1. Economic Benefits to the Community

For every ten million dollars of transit investment made, business sales increase by thirty million dollars.

During the 2006 to 2011 period, residential property was an average of 42% more valuable if located near high-frequency transit service, which means cities reap greater tax revenues.

Furthermore, transit agencies and organizations employ many people and create many times more private-sector jobs.

2. Health Benefits to the Community

Transit users must walk to and from transit stations, so they walk much more than the average, driving commuter.

A study done by the city of Copenhagen linked a healthier lifestyle with a lower mortality rate, a happier disposition, and more productivity at work.

3. Transit Reduces Road Congestion

Currently in America, public transit use results in a reduction of 865,000,000 hours of travel time, a figure which would be many times higher if cities in the U.S.A.

had the high quality transit service and lower dependence on cars that many European urban centers have.

4. Transit Lessens Gas Use and Reduces Pollution

Currently in America, public transit use results in a reduction of 450,000,000 gallons of gas being burned which, as in the case of road congestion in number 3 above, would be substantially higher if European urban planning principles were applied, including a gas tax reflective of the true cost of automobile use to society.

5. Millenials Prefer Transit Lifestyle over Sprawl

Millenials prefer walkable communities over sprawl, seeking to live around robust transit, shops, restaurants, libraries, parks, and a mix of housing styles such as apartments and houses.

During the first ten years of the new millennium, transit ridership increased 40% among 16-34 year olds.

In the past five years, 77% of transit funding ballot initiatives were approved by voters across the country, demonstrating the public’s high level of support for public transportation.

6. Freedom and Mobility Amplified by Public Transit

The availability of public transit opens up personal mobility to everyone, giving each person the freedom to go virtually anywhere.

Many people are unable to drive, and a majority of drivers would appreciate the ability to walk, cycle, or take public transit instead, at least sometimes.

Having to hop in a car to drive miles to get a coffee and newspaper is only an option if you drive.

Millions of non-drivers, such as children, are stuck in automobile dominated suburban locales where they must depend on others for rides.

7. Household Expenses Reduced by Using Public Transit

Each family that gets rid of one car and relies on public transit saves over $10,000 per year.

8. Social Connections Increase When Driving is Decreased

It has been said by Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone, that for every 10 minutes of additional travel time by car, social connections are reduced by 10%.

Often, cars are used to allow people to live in larger houses that are far from their places of work, in areas where high quality public transit is not available.

9. Commuters More Productive on Public Transit than Cars

When driving an automobile, one cannot sleep, read, write, relax, or do anything that transit takers are able to do.

10. Public Transit is a Safe and Equitable Transportation Mode

When robust transit options exist, fewer cars are driven, reducing their harmful effects on society, which include the loss of 30,000 people and the maiming of many more every year in road crashes.

Cars degrade our environment and contribute to global warming, and they devour gigantic amounts of land for driving and storing them.

They are an enormous burden to the working poor, and have devastated urban centers and caused housing to become unaffordable.

Call to Action in Washington, D.C.

Transit organizations and advocates across America are circulating a national petition to congress to pass a long-term and comprehensive transportation bill in 2015.

Letters are being sent to newspapers throughout the nation, as well as to elected members of Congress, pressing them to listen what a majority of their constituents want: the ability to make choices in transportation, that is, to not be forced to drive because there are no viable public transit options.

Public transit represents an opportunity for America to prosper through the development of attractive, walkable communities around transit stations.

Public transportation must be supported by the government in order to strengthen the long-term health of the economy, lessen inequality resulting from the burden of car ownership by the working poor, improve the environment, reduce the death and injury count resulting from cars, and many other reasons.

To ignore the responsibility to its people and the nation’s prosperity by not passing a comprehensive, long-term transportation bill in 2015, Congress would be missing a golden opportunity to make American cities smarter and better places to live, and to create the foundation of a long-lasting, economic engine for America.

The number of people using public transport is far lower than before the pandemic, but it’s rising steadily.

What are the risks of catching Covid for those who need to travel?

How safe are trains and buses?

A lot depends on how crowded a bus or train is, and how much distance you can keep from other people.

Dr Julian Tang, a clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, says a key concern is sharing enclosed airspace, because coronavirus particles linger in the air.

“If you’re close enough to smell someone’s garlic breath on public transport,” he says, “then you’re also potentially inhaling any virus that’s carried with it.”

What can I do to protect myself?

Wearing a mask can lessen the risk, as can keeping windows open to encourage air flow.

The chance of picking up the virus from contaminated surfaces is now believed to be far lower than previously thought.

The main US health agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says the chance of catching Covid via contaminated surfaces is less than one in 10,000.

A study by Imperial College London for Transport for London in February tested samples from escalators, buttons and handles and found no traces of the virus.

What safety measures are operators taking?

As numbers increase, rail companies are increasing capacity, to enable social distancing and prevent packed trains.

The Rail Delivery Group says more than 1,000 weekday services have been added since mid-February, with more planned in May.

There will also be longer trains, to make it easier for people to socially distance.

As well as more hand sanitiser at stations, there will be enhanced train-cleaning too.

Transport for London says trains, trams, buses and stations on its network will continue to be treated with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria.

It also says capacity limits will remain in place on all buses, with the exception of dedicated school services.

What is the risk on planes?

The biggest Covid risk for people travelling by plane is where they go and what they do either side of the journey.

The risk on a plane is relatively low because of how often the air inside the cabin is circulated.

Most planes have something called a high-efficiency particulate air filter (Hepa). This can capture smaller particles than ordinary air-conditioning systems, including some viruses.

It mixes fresh air from outside the plane with air already in the cabin.

“Planes are probably the safest environments on the planet because they have this massive air change rate of 20-30 air changes per hour,” said Dr Tang.

That compares to about two to four air changes per hour in a typical office, and four to six per hour in common areas in hospitals.

But it may be harder to socially distance from others on a plane, so wearing a mask remains important.

Will vaccines make a difference?

More than 37 million people in the UK have now been vaccinated.

This is a significant number of people who are less likely to become seriously ill if they catch coronavirus. There’s also increasing evidence vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus on.

However, that still means many people are susceptible, so travellers need to continue following Covid guidelines.

“Some measures should be maintained for a while,” says Dr Shengjie Lai, a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton.

“Face coverings and hand sanitiser on public transport and in substantially enclosed public areas of transport hubs are still very important.”

Will these measures be in place forever?

It depends on how much risk people want to live with, according to Dr Tang.

“Going forward, people may choose to wear a mask – without any fear or stigma – on public transport, like you’ve seen in south-east Asia after the Sars outbreak in 2003.”

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Public transit is a great way to get around. It saves you money, it’s efficient, and it’s better for the environment than driving your car.

And with a little common sense, public transit is definitely a safe way to travel. In fact, a recent study revealed that property crimes are 500 times more common for motorists than for transit passengers. And violent crime risks on transit are small compared with the risk of traffic accidents for private vehicles.

Know your route and schedule. Avoid waiting at dark bus stops or on dark platforms. Try to get on and off in well-lit areas or where there are other people. Make sure you know when the last run is so you don’t get stranded. If you’re travelling alone late at night, let someone know when you expect to reach your destination, then let them know when you’ve arrived.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Know the fare. Have your payment ready to avoid fumbling through your bag to look for your pass or the correct change. Have it ready in your hand and make sure your bag is properly closed as you board.

If possible, sit near the driver. Avoid sitting next to a rear door; it’s a common place for a snatch-and-go theft. If you feel uncomfortable with someone sitting nearby, try to change seats. Locate the emergency button, pull-cord, or have your phone handy in case you need to call for help.

Keep your personal belongings close to you. Put them on your lap or in front of you between your feet. If you’re standing, keep your belongings close in front of you. Don’t carry your wallet or phone in a back pocket. Be aware of anyone trying to divert your attention; a thief may grab your bag while you’re distracted.

Stay alert and show confidence. Be aware of your surroundings. It’s easy to tune out if you’re on your phone or listening to music. Don’t fall asleep—you become an easy target. It’s fine to chat with other passengers, but don’t divulge personal information.

Keep your electronic devices out of sight. Flashing phones, tablets and other expensive devices can make you a target for a robbery.

Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable about getting onto a subway/skytrain car, a bus or into a taxi, don’t. Wait for the next one.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Use your voice. If someone attacks or touches you, shout as loudly as you can to get the attention of other passengers and/or the driver. Use specific language such as, “Don’t touch me!” or “Stay away from me.”

Don’t be a bystander. If you witness someone being harassed or attacked, be an advocate. Consider possible actions that won’t put you or anyone else in harm’s way, and take a stand.

Learn basic self-defence moves. Consider carrying a whistle to attract attention.

Don’t walk home alone in the dark. Check to see if your transit system allows you to get off between designated stops, closer to your destination or to a well-lit or busy area. A criminal may follow you, so try to arrange for someone to meet you at your stop. Or walk, even part way, with a fellow passenger.

Related stories:

  • Staying safe while travelling abroad
  • How many of these safe driving tips do you follow?

Tags: public transit, safety, safety tips, transit


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In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

  • Trains and Buses
  • Ride-Sharing
  • Air Travel
  • Driving

Coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads largely by droplets or inhaling very fine, aerosolized particles carrying the virus, The CDC’s advice is to stay at least 6 feet away from people in public. But it’s hard to keep your distance when you’re crammed into a crowded subway car or bus.

You’ll have less exposure to germs if you drive your own car, ride a bike, or walk to work. But what should you do if you have to take public transportation? And how safe is ride-sharing? Here’s a guide to getting around safely.

Trains and Buses

To protect everyone who rides, stay at home if you’re sick. Don’t ride public transportation if you have symptoms or you know you’ve been around someone with COVID-19 and it is recommended that you quarantine. It’s possible to spread the virus once you’re infected, even if you don’t show symptoms.

Wear a close-fitting face mask when you’re around other people. Look for a mask that fits snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin. Check the CDC website for the latest guidance on what type of mask works best. Whether you use washable cloth masks or disposable “procedure masks” like N95 or KN95 masks, look for those with several layers of fabric and a wire over the nose to ensure a snug fit. Masks are typically required on public transportation and in many businesses, and during the pandemic they help protect not just you, but those around you as well. If you have to cough or sneeze during your ride, do it into your mask, and then changed your mask and wash your hands when you are able to do so safely.

Travel at off-peak times when you can — like late morning or before evening rush hour. Avoid subway cars and buses packed with people. If you count more than 10-15 passengers on your bus or train, wait for the next one. Leave an empty seat between you and the next passenger.

Try not to hold onto the metal subway pole. Coronaviruses can live on metal surfaces for up to 5 days. If you have to touch the pole, use a tissue or cleanse your hands immediately afterwards. Transit systems have stepped up their efforts to clean and disinfect train cars and buses, but it can be hard to know when yours was last scrubbed down.

As soon as you get home or to the office, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t do that, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Don’t touch your face until after you’ve cleaned your hands.



People who don’t own a car may rely on ride-sharing services to get around. These services have already made changes in response to COVID-19, like canceling carpools and requiring face masks. They’ve also given drivers disinfectants to keep their cars clean. They might also temporarily suspend the accounts of drivers who’ve been exposed to COVID-19, have tested positive, or refuse to wear a mask.

For the driver’s safety, don’t ride if you feel sick. Even if you’re healthy, sit in the back to keep some distance between you and the driver. Wear a cloth face mask, and wash your hands as soon as you can after your ride.

Air Travel

The CDC recommends that you check before traveling to see if COVID-19 is spreading at your destination. If it is, you may want to postpone your trip — especially if you’re over 60 or at a higher risk for a severe illness because of a condition like heart disease or diabetes. Some areas are requiring proof of negative tests and even proof of vaccination.

If you’re healthy, your risk of catching the virus on a plane is pretty low. The air on planes goes through a filter that catches most viruses and other germs. To be safe, carry disinfectant wipes, and clean off your seat and tray table before you sit down.

Wear a cloth face mask when you’re in airports and on planes, as well. All airlines currently require anyone over the age of 2 to wear them.

You’re more likely to get infected if you sit close to someone who is sick. If someone near you is coughing or looks ill, ask the flight attendants to move you or that person to a seat at least 6 feet away.


When you drive, you’ll need to refuel. That means you’ll have to use gas pumps and credit card keypads that other people have touched.

To protect yourself, carry a pair of disposable gloves in your car. Put them on before you pay or pump gas. Or use a disinfecting wipe to clean off the pump handle and keypad. After you finish pumping gas, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


CDC: “COVID-19, ” “SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments,” “Coronavirus and Travel in the United States,” “How Coronavirus Spreads,” “How to Protect Yourself,” “Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers,” “Updated Interim Guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19.”

Community Transit: “Community Transit Coronavirus Update.”

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: “Consumer Tips on Skimmers, Coronavirus, and Staying Safe at the Gas Pump.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Do I Do If I Feel Sick?”

Journal of Hospital Infection: “Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation of biocidal agents.”

Journal of Urban Health: “The role of subway travel in an influenza epidemic: A New York City Simulation.”

Metro Transit: “Good question: How are buses and trains cleaned?” “Metro Transit’s Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).”

Lyft: “Lyft’s latest on COVID-19.”

Uber: “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources & Updates,” “Supporting Cities and Communities Around the World.”

Washington Department of Health: “Guidance for Rideshare and Taxi Drivers.”

The facts about public transport

  • Victoria’s public transport network consists of train, tram, bus and coach services
  • In the 2016 financial year 235.4 million passenger trips were taken, more than 1.8 million journeys every weekday
  • Taking public transport benefits you and the environment in a variety of ways.

Benefits of public transport

Health benefits

People who use public transport are more active than those who don’t, reducing their risk of a range of diseases, from diabetes to depression. Add to this that travelling by public transport is far safer than by car, less stressful and produces far less pollution, and you could be on your way to a longer life!

$$ savings

No parking fees, registration, insurance, petrol and annual services and repairs. Public transport is a far more affordable option than owning your own car.

Environmental benefits

Travel by public transport instead of cars and planes reduces greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Public transport also reduces our reliance on precious natural resources such as oil and the land we use for road infrastructure and car parks.

Community benefits

Public transport provides accessible transport for all people, regardless of demographics such as income or age. People who travel together are more likely to feel a connection with their community.

Traffic reduction

Use of public transport and renewable forms of transport – like walking and cycling – ease congestion and pressure on our road infrastructure. One full bus can take more than 50 cars off the road, a full train more than 600 cars off the road.

Top 5 tips for using public transport

1. Walk or cycle to public transport

Walking or cycling to and from public transport is a great way to incorporate extra physical activity into your routine and take the hassle and expense out of finding a park. External bike racks have been installed on four bus routes, and bikes can be taken on metropolitan and V/Line trains at no extra cost.

2. Read, nap, listen to music, people watch

Public transport offers valuable ‘you time’ to unwind and relax. Rather than begrudge the commute, embrace it as time to read, listen to music, people watch, meditate or even nap.

3. Start early or sleep in

If you commute during peak hour and find this uncomfortable, speak to your manager about changing your working hours so you can start earlier or later to avoid the rush and enjoy your commute.

4. Carpool, share car and taxi when necessary

Say goodbye to car ownership and all of the costs associated with it, opting instead to carpool or use share cars and taxis when you need to.

5. Work remotely

More and more workplaces are incorporating flexible working policies, supporting staff to work remotely from home or elsewhere when it’s useful and appropriate. Speak to your manager about the possibility of a day or two away from the office, eliminating your need to use transportation completely.

Solar trams

Melbourne’s tram network – the biggest in the world – is now powered by a new, large-scale solar plant in regional Victoria. The solar farm creates a reduction of more than 80,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, helping Victoria meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Plan your journey

Public Transport Victoria’s journey planner allows you to plan your journey by public transport online. Enter your starting point and destination, when you want to leave or arrive, and preferences such as fewest changes, and the tool will help you find the most efficient route.

Métro, RER train, tramway . The Paris public transport network serves the entire city and all its suburbs.


How to sleep on public transport while traveling

The Métro is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to get around Paris. There are 16 metro lines and some 300 metro stations; the entrance is indicated by a large yellow letter ‘M’.

Metros start running every day – including public holidays – at around 6am and stop at around 12.45am (from Sunday to Thursday) or at 1.45am (on Friday and Saturday).

The frequency at which metros run depends on the time and day: at peak hours, metros run every 2 minutes

Where to buy a metro ticket

Metro tickets cost € 1.90 each (€18.60 for 10 [ask for ‘un carnet’]). You can buy tickets at automatic ticket machines in metro stations, in tobacconists and on the website PARISINFO.COM.

Buy your book of 10 metro tickets

Good to know

  • Each line has a distinctive colour and number that is shown on RATP signs and maps.
  • Line directions are indicated by the station at the end of each line, which is shown on signs on the platform and on maps (example: Porte de Clignancourt – Mairie de Montrouge).
  • Free metro maps are available at ticket offices in stations.
  • Metro tickets are valid in zone 1 and 2 only.

RER (suburban express railway)

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

The RER train network consists of 5 lines that serve Paris and the Paris region (Ile-de-France). Each line has a distinctive colour that is shown on RATP and SNCF signs and maps.

RER trains start running at approximately 6am and stop running at around 12.45am every day – including public holidays.

Within Paris, the RER operates in more or less the same way as the metro, except that you need to put your ticket through the automatic barriers a second time on the way out. If your RER station has a connection with the metro, you can use the same ticket for the whole journey.

Transilien (regional train)

Transiliens are regional trains departing from major Paris train stations (Nord, Est, Lyon, Austerlitz, Montparnasse, Saint-Lazare). Tickets and passes are on sale at ‘Ile-de-France’ ticket desks and automatic ticket machines in train stations and in metro/RER stations. Free leaflets with timetables are available at ticket desks in train stations. Commuter lines complement the RER network, with which they share many connections.


How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Paris has 4 tramway lines serving the perimeter of the city: T1, T2, T3, T4.

Tram tickets are the same as those used on the metro and the RER in Paris.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

There are numerous bus lines and many buses go through the centre of the city, along the banks of the Seine, and through historic districts .

64 bus lines run alongside and complement the metro network. The installation of special bus lanes along main roads has improved journey times. For an idea of your journey time, allow around 5 minutes per stop, sometimes more if the traffic is busy.

Buses operate from Monday to Saturday from around 7am until 8.30pm. Some lines operate in the evening between 8.30pm and 12.30am, in particular those departing from stations or which serve major metro/RER interchanges, as well as the 3 outer PC lines. Almost half of bus lines operate on Sundays and public holidays.

The line number and direction are indicated on the front of the bus, above the driver’s compartment, and on the sides of the bus. Put your hand out at the bus stop to indicate to the bus driver to stop.

At bus stops, electronic displaysigns indicate the waiting time for the next bus to arrive. Bus stops are also sometimes equipped with USB ports for you to recharge your smartphone.

Bus stops comprise either of glass shelters or simple poles. They display the number of the bus lines serving the stop and a map of the bus routes followed. They also display the time of the first and last bus in service, as well as the average frequency at which buses serve the stop.

You get on the bus at the front and get off in the middle or at the back of the bus. On articulated buses, you get on and off through any of the doors; to open the doors, push the button next to the doors. Remember to punch your ticket or validate yourpass. To request a stop whilst you are on the bus, press one of the red buttons in the bus. The ‘stop requested’ light appears in front of the driver’s compartment.


How to sleep on public transport while traveling

The Noctilien is a night bus service that operates in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30am to 5.30am. 47 lines crisscross Paris and the Paris region so that everyone can get around by public transport.

You can use your travel pass or a metro/bus ticket if it covers the zones concerned (the same zones as for the metro/RER).

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Taking an overnight bus while traveling is often a great option. Not only can you cover a lot of ground without losing time, but you can also save money on a flight or hotel room.

The journey itself, however, can be challenging—especially your first time.

After taking numerous overnight buses over the years, I’ve come up with a list of tips that will hopefully make your experience easier and safer—and one during which you can sleep easy.

Bus Travel – SAFETY

1. Make sure the route is safe.

Check local travel advisories and be sure the bus route is not one where robberies and/or accidents are common at night.

If you see warnings about this, you might want to opt for a day bus.

2. Splurge on the first-class bus.

Think long and hard before buying a ticket for the cheaper or cheapest overnight bus.

Does it look safe and decently maintained (eg, are tires bald)? Can you imagine being in one of the seats all night?

Will there be two drivers, taking turns—or just one for the entire night?

If you’re unsure and/or have a bad gut feeling, then it might be best to take more expensive, higher quality overnight bus.

3. Choose your seat carefully.

There are several things to consider when picking your seat:

  • Window or Aisle? Some people feel they’ll sleep better near the window; it means more ways to create a makeshift pillow. Others (like me) prefer the aisle because there’s more space and a way to stretch out.
  • Near a man or woman? You should sit where you feel most comfortable. I tend to sit next to a woman or a teenager. The few times I’ve sat near a man (whether seats were pre-assigned or not), I had some unpleasant encounters. If you’re a male traveler, then the choice might be easier. My advice is to state your preference when you buy the ticket if seats are assigned in advance.
  • Front, back or middle? The further back you sit, the bumpier (and possibly weirder) the ride may be. Sit too close to the front and you might see things you don’t want to see—the road in front of you, that is, and the scary way in which the driver is taking the hairpin turns. Of course, if you like rollercoasters, then you might enjoy a seat up front.

Middle of Bus is the Safest Place

According to safety experts, the middle is generally safer. If an accident occurred, the chance of serious injury would be minimized since most accidents involve head-on collisions or rear-ending.

For this reason, and those discussed above, I tend to sit in the middle.

4. Hide your money/other valuables in more than one place.

It’s not ideal to keep all of your money and credit cards together.

In the event of a robbery, the thief would get everything. Try to split up your valuables.

I prefer to use a slash-proof waist pack (which has a ‘trick lock’ on it) and to hide some money in my shoes.

Read: Top Scams to Watch out for in India

Bus Travel – SURVIVAL

Moving beyond basic safety, there’s ‘survival’—that is, making the journey more comfortable and bearable.

5. Pack as if you’re flying.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

You’ll probably have to stow your larger bag underneath the bus (if there’s no room for it above you).

If so, then make sure your daypack has what you need (eg, medication)—as if you’re going to be on a plane.

6. Pack an energy drink (to avoid needing to use the bathroom).

Buy a Gatorade or another beverage that replenishes electrolytes. Or pack small packets of powder drinks to make your own.

This will hopefully keep your thirst quenched and your bladder, empty—meaning that you won’t have to use the bathroom as often.

That’s a good thing since there may or may not be one (if there is, it’ll probably be unpleasant) on the bus and those at rest stops may be atrocious.

7. BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks).

Most often, there will be a stop or two at roadside restaurants; in some cases, the food is quite good.

But there are no guarantees. I once ate at a low-quality place in Indonesia and got sick the next day.

If I’d had snacks, I might have skipped that meal. You should always have something (eg, nuts, fruit or an energy bar if possible) just in case.

8. Use noise-canceling headphones and entertain yourself.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Night bus rides last from 6 to 12 or more hours.

During this time, you will encounter many unpleasant sounds: a loud TV, staticky music, someone snoring and/or other conversations. Use good headphones (noise-canceling would be best) to block those sounds and to listen to your own music.

If you want to read, be sure to have a reading light because chances are the overhead light won’t work.

Check out 10 Things that will Ruin your Sleep in India

SLEEP on the Night Bus

9. Use earplugs plus an eye mask.

When it’s time to sleep, you’ll want to drown out the noise.

I recommend earplugs, which you can buy at an electronics store. (See Tip # 6.)

An eye mask is also important. It helps block out light from inside the bus at night and in the morning, when the sun coming in through the windows can make you feel like a vampire.

10. Use a neck pillow.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

If you travel with a suitcase, then you might want to purchase a neck pillow.

If you’re a backpacker, you won’t want the extra bulk of a pillow in your bag, so you should consider getting a blow-up neck pillow.

It will make you feel more comfortable whether you’re reading or resting.

11. Take meds if you need to (but nothing too strong).

It’s not always easy to sleep on these buses, so you might need some help.

Taking medication (check with your doctor first) could be a solution. I use a combination of antihistamine and Xanax.

You want to sleep, but you don’t want to be so knocked out that you can’t wake up and react quickly if you need to.

Your Thoughts/Ideas?

Have you ever taken an overnight bus? If so, have you used any of the tips above or do you have any to share/add? If so, please comment below.

Lisa Egle is the author of Magic Carpet Seduction, a collection of off-the-beaten-path travel tales set in China, Latin America, Turkey and the Middle East. She also runs the travel blog, Chicky Bus, which takes readers/’riders’ to unique destinations around the world via photos, videos and stories. Her writing has been published on BlogHer and Matador Network, and one of her stories was featured in an article on the blog. Follow Lisa on Twitter.

Photo credit: All photos are @L Egle/ChickyBus, except for one of the snacks. Thanks to Liza, a photographer whose work can be found on Flickr.

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3 December 2020

Public transport is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get around London. That said, crime sometimes takes place on public transport, so we want to share some tips to keep you safe on your travels.

How to sleep on public transport while traveling

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and London life

We understand that some of you may be studying remotely to begin with due to the coronavirus situation and therefore unable to arrive on campus and in London in January.

We hope that even if you can’t join us immediately, that these articles get you excited for when you are able to join us here in London and give you a flavour of the amazing things to come.

  1. Try to plan your route in advance . Free TFL and Citymapper apps are great for telling you everything you need to know about your journey. It can be necessary to look at your phone to track your journey, if you do this please take your phone out somewhere where it is harder for an opportunistic thief to take it. When planning your journey check the last train, tube and bus times.
  2. Know your exits. When on any form of public transport, tube, train and bus, check where the nearest exits, fire exists and alarms are in case you need to get off for whatever reason.
  3. Stay where the people are . If you travelling by train and tube, try to avoid sitting in an empty carriage. If you are travelling by bus late at night it is always best to sit near the driver.
  4. Always use a licensed cab or black cab . A licenced cab should always have a registered licence ID number on the back of the vehicle just above the registration number plate. Try to keep a local taxi/cab firm number with you in case you need to call them or download a well-known cab service such as Uber. Before you get into the vehicle, ask who they have turned up for just to double check.
  5. Keep your valuables secure in your bag . It can get very busy on trains, buses and tubes, which would provide a thief with an easier opportunity to take something if your valuables are on show.
  6. Trust your instincts . If you are sat somewhere and feel uncomfortable move away if you can. An example might be if you see someone behaving in a loud, aggressive or intoxicated manner. If you are on the tube you could exit at the next stop and find another carriage where you feel safer or you can alert a member of staff at the station if you feel someone needs to intervene.
  7. Spotted something suspicious? If you see anything which seems out of place on public transport, for example a bag which does not appear to belong to anyone, please let a member of staff at the station know. It may be nothing, but it is better to be cautious. You will not be wasting anyone’s time by raising concerns you have.
  8. Report it. In the rare event that you become a victim of sexual harassment on public transport or you witness someone else who appear to be victim to harassment, you can text 61016 or call Police on 101. Provide details of what happened, where and when. If you would like support please go to Report+Support.

There is more information on travelling safely on the Transport for London website. Enjoy London and stay safe!

UCL’s Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team

Campus Safety

    When riding a bus, use a stop that’s well lit and near a coffee shop or store that’s open.

Travel with a friend or co-worker whenever possible.

Know the bus or subway schedule ahead of time, so you aren’t forced to wait longer than necessary.

Don’t sleep on the bus or subway.

Sit near the bus driver.

Have your money or tokens in hand to give to the driver. This way you won’t fumble with your wallet or purse.

Don’t engage in unnecessary conversation with strangers. Never give out any personal information. The person you’re talking to may be fine, but others can overhear.

Don’t get too involved with reading while you wait. Stay alert!

Move away from people who appear intoxicated, even if this means going to another stop.

Don’t share a cab with a stranger.

Sit near the aisle so you can get up quickly if someone bothers you.

Don’t sit near the exit door on busses, trains or subways. At stops, when the door opens, someone can reach in and snatch your purse or briefcase.

Hold on firmly to your purse or briefcase. Don’t put it on the seat beside you. Keep it in your lap or wedge it between your feet.

  • Tuck necklaces inside your clothing and turn rings around so that valuable stones aren’t showing. Better yet, remove jewelry before using public transportation.
  • Emergency Numbers

    In the event of an emergency, immediate notification to the Department of Campus Safety is essential to ensure the timely response of emergency personnel.

    Campus Safety Dispatcher (Monitored 24/7/365)
    773.508.SAFE (7233)

    Campus Safety TTY/TDD Line for Hard of Hearing (Monitored 24/7/365)

    City of Chicago Emergency

    Ask a non-emergency safety question (this email is checked weekly)
    [email protected]

    Campus Safety Fax

    On-Campus Landline

    Ever more proof that our bodies are pretty awesome.

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    We’ve all hopped on public transport and found the gentle rock of a train or slow movement of a bus can send us into a gentle slumber, before frantically waking at the tannoy calling our next stop. We rush off with our handbag, breathing a sight of relief we didn’t wake up in a depot in the middle of nowhere.

    And, while the majority of us try to close our eyes and have a ‘light’ nap while we make the commute home, sleepy travellers are actually less likely to miss their stop than you might think.

    To find out why, New York Times magazine reporter from ‘Science of Us’ Stephanie Bucklin asked Dr. Marc I. Leavey, a primary-care specialist based in Lutherville, Maryland, and Dr. Ronald Chervin, a neurologist and director of Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Centre about why people fall asleep so well on public transport but, more often than not, are able to wake up at just the right moment.

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    Bucklin found out that one of the reasons why commuters are able to sleep and wake up at the right time is due to routine. Leavey explained: ‘Your body is able to learn a routine as long as it’s a routine.’

    For example, for someone who takes the tube or bus to work every day, the body somehow learns to sense the ‘stop and go’ of each line and will naturally make up a person after a certain set of stops.

    Of course, regular delays and changes in routes would disturb this pattern and your body’s natural learning of your daily route.

    And, that’s not forgetting there’s less of a chance of you waking up if you’ve had a hard night out or lack of sleep and fall into a deep REM sleep, according to Chervin, although the noises and hustle and bustle on public transport means you’d have a tough time falling into a deep REM state, anyway.

    The professionals also suggested that commuters are able to wake up because they’re still hearing the announcements of stops even during sleep.

    ‘The brain does screen out some stimuli during sleep,’ noted Dr. Chervin. But your brain is actually primed to hear some stimuli more than others, such as your regular stop.

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    Chervin also argued that most people are probably more awake than they think they are while napping on public transport.

    He suggests that it’s likely a traveler will wake up at each stop, check if they’re at the point of destination, and fall back to sleep, without remembering having done so. ‘You have to be awake for a certain amount of time to remember,’ he added.

    You might even wake up every time the bus or train arrives at a stop, or when you heard a stop called but don’t remember waking up, which makes you convince yourself you’ve slept straight through your journey and, somehow, woken up at just the right time.

    And, here’s us thinking we were geniuses.

    However, if you find yourself regularly falling asleep on the way to and from work, or the second you settle your bum into a seat on the bus, you might want to take a look at why.

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    ‘If you’re falling asleep the minute you’re sitting down for 20 minutes, there’s probably something wrong with your sleep health,’ said Chervin.

    ‘Those of us who are more sleep-deprived than others will be more likely to go into deeper stages of sleep faster … and may have more trouble waking up at a designated or specific time,’ he explained.

    If you do have problems waking up on pubic transport, Leavey suggests you try training your body to learn when to wake itself up.

    He suggests making a routine by getting on public transport at the same time each day, setting your phone alarm (use earplugs so not to annoy your fellow commuters) for approximately three minutes before your stop (or use Google Now’s alarm feature which automatically calculates when a user needs to get off public transport) and you’ll gradually be able to teach your body clock to wake up at the same time every day.

    By Theodora Yu | Oct 27, 2021

    With their engine sounds, cabin ambiance and the rhythm of a moving vehicle, Hong Kong’s double-decker buses are not just a form of transportation but a popular space for commuters to take short naps. Now, a tour company has designed and launched a five-hour bus journey specifically for customers to sleep as much as they want.

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Chow was onto something: In a 2020 poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Center for Communication and Public Opinion Survey, almost 7 out of 10 respondents reported experiencing insomnia, and of those, 60 percent couldn’t sleep because of the pandemic and social unrest in recent years. Some 40 percent said work or school stress affected their sleep quality. In this hectic city, most people live in tiny spaces in high-rise towers; construction noise is ubiquitous and often goes from dawn to dusk.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Napping is part of everyday life for many in Hong Kong. Exhausted workers sometimes bring eye masks and neck pillows to their offices so they can snooze during their lunch hour; capsule beds in a specialty hotel are available for customers to check in for an hour for a speedy recharge. Sleepy straphangers are chronicled on the Instagram account mtrsleepers, where members of the public submit photos of the mind-boggling, hilarious and creative ways that Hong Kongers catch forty winks on the subway.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Charles Brantly, general practitioner at Hong Kong’s Central Health Medical Practice, said the number of patients facing insomnia has doubled from pre-covid-19 times. “People falling asleep on the bus or in the [subway] during the day should be at their most awake, intelligent and energetic state,” Brantly said. “It’s a real red flag to sleep disorder, not a good sign.”

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Enter Chow’s company, which rented an air-conditioned double-decker bus and designed a 47-mile route — the longest in Hong Kong — to maximize the time for passengers to zonk out.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

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    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    The 31 seats on the lower deck and 55 upstairs are made of artificial leather and have head support. There are brief stops for bathroom breaks and at scenic points along the route. Customers are given eye masks and earplugs to help them sleep.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    A passenger sleeps on the upper deck of a double-decker bus in Hong Kong on Saturday, Oct. 16.

    And with the vast majority of Hong Kongers unable to travel abroad because of the city’s draconian quarantine requirements, a long bus ride around the territory is about as far as residents can venture from home. Many come for the novel experience; some are bus lovers; others simply come for the long, relaxing journey along a scenic route.

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    But some come to take a nap. Ally Yeung was among those who took advantage of the first trip to nowhere when the bus tours began this month. The 44-year-old said she previously loved to snooze during her commute, but hadn’t had a proper bus nap for a few years since she switched to a job closer to home.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    This browser does not support the video element.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Marco Yung, 29, said he did not sleep at all the night before to prepare for the trip. He usually sleeps only six hours a night and takes naps during his lunch break.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

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    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    Keys to improving sleep quality are going to bed early and avoiding taking naps, which can disturb the nighttime sleep cycle, Brantly said.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    “If you are tired, just go to bed early,” he said.

    Diana Chan for The Washington Post

    More from the Post

    Project editing by David Crawshaw and Reem Akkad. Video by Diana Chan. Video editing by Jason Aldag.

    • 15:08, 12 Nov 2021
    • Updated : 15:08, 12 Nov 2021

    WE all know that familiar frustration of missing your stop, when you’ve nodded off on the commute home.

    However on longer journeys, sleeping on the bus, train or Tube may be the best way to pass the time, but can you be fined for it?

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    Can I get fined for sleeping on the bus, train or Tube?

    There is no law that prohibits you from sleeping on buses, trains, or Tubes, so you cannot be fined for it.

    While for lots of people falling asleep on public transport is an irritating mistake, or simply a way to make long trips feel less cumbersome, this is not the case for everyone.

    For those experiencing homelessness it can be their only option, and one that means they have a roof over their head while they sleep.

    In 2017 Transport for London found that rough sleeping on the city’s buses had increased by 121%.

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    Can train inspectors wake you up?

    There is technically no rule against sleeping on trains, but passengers can regularly be woken up by train inspectors.

    Ticket inspection is one of the main reasons people’s sleep is disturbed on public transport.

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    Under section 219 of the Transport Act 2000, Railway bylaw 18(2), it says a person has to hand over their ticket for inspection and verification of validity when asked to do so by an authorised person.

    When asked by the inspector you must produce a valid ticket.

    If you do not have one you need to prove that the departure station’s ticket facilities were not in working order.

    And they won’t let you off if you’re sound asleep – not even if you’re snoring.

    Other reasons include, if there were notices at the departure station permitting journeys without a valid ticket, or an authorised person had given you specific permission to travel without a valid ticket.

    The inspector has the right to ask you to move if you’re sleeping in a reserved seat.

    Bylaw 19 states that except with permission from an authorised person, no person shall remain in any seat, berth or any part of a train that is reserved for someone else.

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    Posted on Last updated: November 10, 2021

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    How to sleep on public transport while traveling

    This article details 13 pieces of advice to make sleeping on a bus easy and stress-free. I’ve taken a number of journeys in the past so I’ve compiled this list of overnight bus tips from my experience on the road.

    I have outlined a number of different sleeping positions for you to try and several ways to help you relax before falling asleep. There are also some quick ways to stay entertained in the hours leading up to your rest.

    We will discuss how to sleep comfortably on an overnight bus and stay safe during the journey. Keeping valuables safe during the night is important and making sure you are warm and calm.

    Learning some tips to sleep on a bus is a great way to ensure you feel refreshed and energized when you arrive at your destination. Lets get started!

    Avoid large unhealthy meals before the journey

    Try to avoid eating large amounts of food late at night as this can make it more difficult to sleep on a bus. Unhealthy snacks and late night eating can make you feel bloated and spike your alertness when your body should be getting prepared to fall asleep.

    Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine late in the day

    Drink plenty of water to avoid muscle aches which can make it really difficult to relax. Try not to drink caffeine in the evening as this will make falling asleep much more difficult. If you love drinking coffee then consider a decaf option when visiting a rest stop.

    Get some exercise at a rest stop before trying to sleep

    Stretching at a rest stop and getting some exercise can help your body prepare for sleep. Keep it light but get the blood flowing. This can prevent muscle pains and help you relax when you board the bus and sit in a comfortable sleeping position. This is just one of a number of points discussed in our article on the best long bus ride tips.

    Sit in the middle of the bus for a smooth ride

    Where you sit on a bus can have a big impact on how easy it is so sleep comfortably. The back of the bus is notorious for being uncomfortable due to you feeling the bumps in the road more prominently. The front of the bus will expose you to the headlights of oncoming traffic. Choose a seat in the middle of the bus to sleep comfortably on a charter bus.

    Listen to an audiobook or podcast to relax

    As we discussed above. Looking at a smartphone screen can prevent you from feeling sleepy. If your are feeling bored then consider listening to an audiobook or podcast instead of looking at the screen. You could also listen to some relaxing music. Use this link for a Free Trial On Audible to stay entertained.

    Avoid bright lights and digital device screens

    Digital devices and bright lights prevent the release of melatonin which is a key hormone that makes you feel sleeping. Try putting down your smart phone and reading a book or relaxing with your eyes closed. Consider wearing a set of Blue Light Glasses after 7pm to help block out the light which prevents you from feeling sleepy. These are essential if you insist on using a digital device in the evening.

    Keep your valuables safe and secure

    Feeling relaxed is one of the most important things whilst sleeping on a bus. Make sure you keep your valuables safe and on your person. Ensure they are out of site and not easily accessible. Not only will this protect your possessions but it will help you relax as you won’t be worrying about them whilst you are falling asleep.

    Find a comfortable position to get to sleep

    The typical position for sleeping on a bus is to sit facing forward and begin by reclining the seat if possible. Use a pillow or item of clothing to support your head as you lean it back or to one side. Try not to slouch and be patient as it takes time to relax. Alternatively you can try the knees up position which involves slouching and pushing your knees against the seat in front for support.

    If you are sitting next to a window you could try to rest your head on it, using a pillow to prevent the bus vibrations from disturbing you. If you are fortunate enough to have a double seat you could try curling up in a sideways position.

    Use a travel pillow and eye mask

    One of the most challenging aspects of sleeping on a bus is getting comfortable. An easy to use travel pillow can help you support your head and relax. An affordable eye mask is also a useful accessory to block out the light that might be coming from others using a reading light. If you are already on the bus, consider using an item of clothing as a pillow.

    Keep it quiet with a good set of earplugs

    Most passengers are considerate on night buses so you should find there isn’t too much noise within the cabin. The main concern is the noise coming from the bus going over loud sections of road. A good set of travel earplugs can block out the sound and help you relax.

    Try to get a double seat if possible

    Getting a double seat can make or break an overnight bus trip. Having the extra space to spread out and relax can make falling asleep much easier. You have more flexibility on your sleeping position and its nice to not have another passenger next to you.

    Pack warm clothing and a blanket

    There is nothing worse than trying to sleep when you are cold. Some overnight buses put the air conditioning on to prevent unpleasant smells and keep the passenger area cool. Its important to pack warm clothes including multiple layers. This means you can adjust your clothing so that you are warm enough to feel calm and relaxed whilst going to sleep. Taking a travel blanket can make you feel really safe too.

    Consider first class or a sleeper bus

    If you are taking an overnight bus then consider checking whether it is a sleeper bus or normal coach. Sleeper buses allow full reclining seats that make it much easier to get a good nights rest. If you have the option I would always go for the sleeper bus, even if it is quite a bit more expensive. I took an overnight bus from Las Vegas to New Orleans and the lack of sleep really affected my enjoyment of the following day.

    If you have a really long journey ahead, feel free to check out our top tips on how to entertain yourself on a long bus ride.