By Pedro Souza
June 19, 2017
With an area of more than 8.5 million km², Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. In a massive country that lacks a proper railroad infrastructure, knowing how to get around by bus is an essential skill. This is especially true if you want to explore the country but cannot afford to do it by plane or by car. Buses in Brazil are not only cheaper but they are also quite comfortable, and are often equipped with air-conditioner and reclining seats.
One can also travel almost anywhere through the bus lines in Brazil, which offer a wide range of options. Some of the destinations reached by buses are not accessible by planes, which makes them extremely useful even for those who are not limited by a budget. Also, let me remind you that among the areas not accessible by plane are among some of the most beautiful places in the country.
First of all, you should remember to plan your trip in advance. A good way of doing this is through Busbud, which allows you to choose from a great variety of schedules from most of the major bus companies in Brazil. This will allow you to choose a route of your desire at a time that is convenient for you, as well as good seats. It might also save you a good deal of time that would be spent waiting In a bus station. You still have the option of going to a bus station and buying a ticket there, but they are less convenient are quite hard to navigate if you don’t speak Portuguese.
You should also do some research and check which type of bus you want to get in. Buses vary greatly in both quality and price. Some buses will even offer comforts such as a front-seat TV and a WiFi, but they are also a lot more expensive than some of the other options available. Another thing that is always helpful is to speak some basic Portuguese so you can talk to bus drivers and bus station employees.
When travelling by bus, you should also take some precautions to avoid falling prey to thieves, which are known to target travelers. You are more likely to be targeted in a bus station, so be sure to keep all your belongings close and never leave them unattended. It might be useful to keep your money in a money-belt as well. When you are inside the bus, do not leave your possessions under your seat, especially if you are sleeping.
Another thing you should be prepared for is dealing with long bus rides. If you are travelling the country by bus, you might even have to deal with 20-hour rides. If you are the type of person that gets hungry during trips, be sure to bring some snacks with you. Even if the bus offers food, it might not satisfy you when dealing with long trips. It is always good to bring a distraction as well. Trips through the country and during the day are great for enjoying the scenery, but night-trips can be excruciatingly boring. Bring some books, comics, magazine or electronics that will entertain you.
Be also ready for unexpected changes. You might face problems due to weather conditions, road conditions or mechanical issues. If you are open to these changes and know what alternative routes you can take in case you face any problems, it might save you from a lot of stress. And last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have a good trip!