Surviving overnight bus journeys with your child

 In Coach travel

Travelling with a child can be both awesome and exasperating, especially when you’re in a bus filled with strangers and traveling overnight. We’re not going to lie. What we are going to do, however, is give you some tips to surviving overnight bus journeys with your child.

Make sure you have plenty of games at hand

Board games are nice, however many game pieces may get lost during the trip so a simple game of ‘Snakes & Ladders’ could work or just bring a pack of cards along. You can play virtually anything with a pack of cards.

Bring his/her soft toy along, especially during overnight trips

A comforting soft toy or blanket can do wonders to set your child at ease, especially when it gets dark. It’s a piece of familiar to hold onto while traveling in the unfamiliar.

Pack the snacks

Avoid feeding your child anything too salty as that’ll make your child thirsty and increase the need for bathroom breaks. Avoid a lot of sweeties as well if you don’t want a hyperactive child running around on the bus.

Dress your child comfortably

Comfortable clothes will help your child sleep easier and travel more comfortably. Same goes for you. Dress in something comfortable that won’t constrict your movement.

Keep nausea medication close at hand

Motion sickness is a real issue and one best avoided at all times. Pack any other medication your child may need as well as headache tablets.

Keep your child warm overnight

Bring a travel-sized blanket and make sure your child has a jacket or sweatshirt to keep him or her warm as temperatures tend to drop during overnight bus journeys.

If all else fails, take out the tablet and put on a movie

Try to keep your child quiet during overnight bus journeys so as not to disturb the other passengers. Try to play games that won’t encourage loud noises and shouts. When watching a movie, don’t forget the earphones.

More tips to remember

Keep sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer close so you can wipe down surfaces your child might touch and to keep your child’s hands and face clean throughout the journey.

You can make your child a mystery mix of M&Ms, a variety of nuts and jelly beans, whatever. It makes for an easily accessible snack.

Check out our discounts for kids!

Try to tire your child out during the day so as to encourage a full night’s rest.

Try a fun audiobook for yourself and your child. It’s a very calming activity.

Make sure your child’s drinking cup is spill-proof.

Take loads of pictures and make even more memories.

No unaccompanied children under the age of 12 will be conveyed.

Proof of identity will be required when the ticket is purchased and on boarding the coach.

Children over the age of two will be required to purchase a ticket and the child fare will apply.

Infants under the age of two travel free of charge provided they sit on an adult’s lap.


We, here at Citiliner, believe the value of traveling with family. Be it Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare or somewhere else, you know our door is always open. Pick a route and book your ticket.





Recommended Posts
Citiliner Plus