Have you ever experienced getting stuck in traffic for hours or traveled for hours on a bus without anything to entertain you? I have. One time I made the mistake of going home to Baguio during a holiday season. The usual 6-hour trip turned into a 12-hour nightmare.

I couldn’t do anything aside from fiddle with my phone until the battery ran out. I had a crappy phone that only lasts for 3 to 4 hours on a full charge. I didn’t have a power bank then because I couldn’t afford one. Needless to say, I was beyond bored. All I had was sleeping and staring into space to pass the time.

Going traveling or simply going out can sometimes mean long bus rides especially in Manila. It’s a good thing, however, that there are a lot of tourist spots that are 1 to 2 hours away from the city. Spending some time on a bus can get boring especially when it involves a 12-hour ride and some heavy traffic.

Here are six tips on how to stay entertained on a long bus ride when your phone dies.

6. Write

Get inspired by all the beautiful sceneries outside the window. In all honesty, I have written some of my best articles on the bus. Take your time, lose yourself in thought, and jot down what you’re felling. You can even create a short story based on the locals you see outside.  Better yet, you can make a poem or compose a song. Whichever floats your boat.

5. Read

If you love to read books, you can pack some of your favorite readings. However, reading on a moving bus can take its toll on your eyes, how’d you think I ruined mine? I read novels inside the jeep back in college. Be cautious. It’s best to read when you’re stuck in traffic, and the bus won’t be moving anytime soon.

4. Draw

I have a friend who works as a graphic artist. Whenever she goes out, she brings with her a drawing tablet. In one bus ride, she can finish one drawing, sometimes two when the traffic is severe. If you’re serious about developing your drawing skill, having a drawing tablet can help you do that. You can even save your work on your computer and do some serious photoshop edits to create a portfolio. What with all the freelancing jobs available nowadays, a long bus ride can be your ticket to your dream.

If you don’t have one, you can simply take out a piece of paper and get your creative juices going. Create comic strips and draw a few pictures.

3. Eat

Just like a warrior, you shouldn’t go to war without arming yourself. In this case, snacks will become your best friend. Long bus rides mean you can get hungry. We’re lucky that here in the Philippines, there are bus stops where you can refill your stomach. But what if you’re stuck in traffic? Be prepared and carry several snacks. Don’t forget water.

2. Sleep

Sitting for an extended period can be exhausting. Sleep and get a good shut-eye. If you’ve been staying up late for the past days researching about the place you’re going to or just plain excited about your new travel adventure, a long bus ride can help you catch up with all the sleep that you’ve been missing.

1. Listen to music

Get a music player such as an mp3. It can go longer than your phone. Mine can play music for 12 hours straight for a 2 hour charging time. There are a lot of great selections out there. Research on a good one and don’t settle for a cheap one. You pay for what you get.  After all, music can help you relax, so you don’t run out of patience in a traffic jam. Plus, who doesn’t want good music to lip sync to? Just make sure you don’t get carried away and sing out loud. You might scare the bus driver. Just kidding.

Well, that’s it. You shouldn’t solely depend on your phone to provide you with some entertainment. Be prepared, so you don’t suffer. In fact, you might even look forward to your next long bus ride.

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