How to Sleep on a Charter Bus: Your Guide To Fall Asleep Easily

Everyone’s had that long road trip where counting sheep simply doesn’t cut it. You’re stuck on a bus for hours, maybe even overnight, and sleep just won’t come. Well, has transported many passengers, and we’ve learned a thing or two about how to actually get some rest on a bus.

Let’s face it, getting comfortable in a charter bus seat isn’t like curling up in your own bed. But with a few tips and tricks, your next bus trip can actually become a relaxing experience.

Pack Your Sleepytime Essentials

You can’t always count on bus amenities to make your journey comfy. That’s why it’s always smart to pack a few essentials in your carry-on—especially if you have a long haul ahead.

First things first, bring a comfy travel pillow. If you’re the type of person who can only sleep on a rectangular pillow, try a compressible or inflatable version that can fit in your bag. If you’re a side sleeper, look for a U-shaped neck pillow for added support.

Speaking of added support, pack a small, soft blanket or a warm jacket as well. Bus cabins can easily get cold—even with the AC cranked up in the summertime—especially if you’re prone to getting chilly. Trust me, there’s nothing that will wake you up faster than freezing mid-snooze on a red-eye trip!

Find Your Happy Place on the Bus

Picking the right seat on a bus can be the deciding factor when it comes to getting some shut-eye. Opt for a window seat if you can—it will give you a bit of extra space to lean against and avoid awkward interactions with seatmates who need to get up.

Also, if you have the option, consider a seat in the middle of the bus. This will offer your sleepy self a smoother ride and less of a chance of feeling every bump in the road. Try to avoid the back of the bus, too. The rumble of the engine and the noise of passengers using the in-cabin restroom can be a rude awakening.

Block Out the World Around You

Once you have your sleep essentials and seat locked down, you’ll need a way to block out the sounds and sights that will keep you from falling asleep. Even if you’re on a private bus with people you know, the general hum of conversation and traffic can be more disruptive than you’d expect.

To truly shut everything out, bring a pair of earplugs to eliminate the sounds around you. If you prefer music or ambient sounds to help you fall asleep, noise-canceling headphones will be even better! You can even use them to listen to your favorite playlist of calming music, a relaxing ASMR video, or a soothing audiobook—whatever helps you drift off!

Dim the Lights

It’s important to remember that in a moving vehicle, the bright light from your phone or tablet will make it even harder to get to sleep. Consider downloading your audio entertainment or listening with physical media like a CD so your slumber won’t be interrupted by the glare from a device screen.

An eye mask is another travel essential to keep in your bag. Especially on an overnight trip, the beams from streetlights and headlights may wake you up as the bus is in motion. With a properly fitted eye mask, you’ll be able to block out any bright lights around you and keep yourself snoozing until you reach your destination.

Prep for Rest

Just like you might enjoy a mug of hot chamomile tea and a warm bath before bed, it can be helpful to get your mind ready for sleep a little before settling in on the bus. Read a physical copy of your favorite book or magazine, listen to a podcast episode, or meditate quietly for a few minutes—whatever helps you relax and wind down for a comfy trip.

Remember to choose wisely when it comes to snacking. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, but avoid caffeinated beverages that will have you more amped up than ready to snooze. Pack non-perishable snacks in your carry-on for your bus ride, such as crackers, trail mix, or granola bars. If you’re worried about making a mess on the bus, you can always stow these in your luggage bay and have a snack between stops.

Need Help With Group Transportation?

Are you planning a long-distance trip with your book club, youth group, wedding party, or team of athletes? is here to make your group transportation needs as stress-free as possible. We only work with professional charter bus rental companies to ensure that your trip includes a comfortable bus rental with modern amenities, a professional driver, and custom pick-up and drop-off times that fit your itinerary.

Call our 24/7 team at 855-275-4888 for a free, no-obligation quote and see how we can help you organize your group transportation today! You can also learn more about renting a charter bus in our guide here.