The long journey survival guide

We’ve officially done them all: Cramped up overnight buses, minimalistic sleeper trains, minivans, long coaches, jeepneys, trucks and taxis to name a few. So I’m here to share my 5 much needed gadgets and gizmos to help you survive your long travel trips.

  1. A very large media storage device. e.g iPod or iPhone.  

The more storage the better.

(I purchased a 32gb iPod before I came away and I have a 32gb iPhone)

Thank god for technology. I dread to think what people did before this?! Ok they probably read books, but how many of those can you actually fit in your restricted luggage?

– You can read.. iBooks: this app has hundreds of books completely free! Just choose a genre/author you like, or go wild and experiment with random titles, with iBooks taking up barely any space you have the freedom to download many different books to entertain yourselves 

– you can watch., YouTube offline movies: did you know you can now download movies from YouTube to watch offline?! 

hit the little arrow button on the app to download and save some films for the journey. Granted most of the movies are old but who’s to be picky? 

– You can listen to.. music: my personal life saver. For some reason on every travel bus in Aisia the driver feels the need to blare loud radio music all through the night. Not cool. My ‘sleep’ playlist helps to maintain my sanity and sends me snoozing on the over nighters 

NOTE: please don’t forget to download all this stuff BEFORE you travel, as they all require an Internet connection. 

With great power comes great..need to refuel.

  2. Rechargeable power bank

Yes we love technology but don’t you hate that it’s so unreliable? One film down and your on 18% battery but you still have 8 hours to go?! 

Grab yourself a power bank to ensure your gadgets don’t die on you. Get one that ensures at least 2-3 charges and make sure to plug it in the night before. Anker is a really good make and can be bought on Amazon. This will be the best investment you ever makes! 

3. Extra items of clothing

It may be 30 degrees outside but it’s cold up in here! 


Never underestimate the power of air con and its ability to freeze every inch of your body. Keep a jumper handy for an extra layer of warmth. If you don’t end up needing it that’s fine, you could always double it up as a pillow instead!

  Travel socks

Remember what I said about the air con? Cold feet is just upsetting. If your feet are cold your whole body will be. Mosquitos love to bite feet too as they’re right next to the bone, so I suggest you keep those wigglies covered up. Also, to be frank, nobody wants to see your big toes dangling in front of them do they? 

Grab a pair to wear that go right up to your ankles for extra warmth and protection (of people’s eyes).

  Eye mask

You’ve probably read in many of my posts that bright lights are flickered on and off frequently for different reasons during travel. If your sleep is light sensitive, like mine, I assure you this will may be your cheapest and most worthy purchase.

5. Travel sickness tablets

Here’s something I’ve never needed before, but if you’ve ever experienced the roads of Asia you’ll know it’s a whole different ball game.

We got 3 packets of these from a Thai pharmacy and they’re well worth the few pounds. 

Pot holes, uneven roads, sharp bends and crazy drivers are all enough to make your stomach do somersaults.

Do yourself a favour and pop one of these before every journey. After all, most forms of transport don’t have built in toilets or openable windows so where is there to be sick??

Thank you for reading.

We are now prepared for take off. 

Please fasten your seat belts.

Sit back, relax and survive the ride. 

LwL X 

Bussin’ it: Manila – Legazpi – Donsol

Manila to Legazpi is approximately a 10 hour journey. Possibly the worst and bumpiest ride I’ve ever been on. It gets you from A to B but don’t expect any sort of sleep. 

For the last 4 hours of the journey there is a stop to let people off every 30 minutes or so. All the lights are switched on so if you do fall asleep, you will be woke up. This is where an eye mask comes in super handy.

We used a company called ‘Philtranco’. Their buses leave everyday from their terminal at 5.30pm and 7.45pm. Just get a taxi (well in advance as traffic is terrible) to the bus terminal, and but your ticket on arrival. It’s actually a very easy process but unfortunately very hard to learn about on the Internet.

Legazpi on to Donsol is easy. At the bus terminal, just walk through to the other side and there are UV express services that go to different cities, including Donsol for a mere 75 pesos each. The journey takes 1.5-2 hours depending on how fast your driver is. You are dropped into the town and will have to get a tricycle over to the West to where the Tourist Information Centre/Whale Shark sightseeing tour is. 

Philippines pedicabs are ridiculously cheap in lots of places. We have never paid more than £1 for any journey.