#4: Protect Against Theft
Unfortunately, baggage theft isn’t uncommon on long haul buses. Don’t leave anything too valuable in your large checked bag that is usually carried underneath the bus. Keep your electronics, cash, credit cards and passport on you or in your carry-on bag Stash your carryon bag underneath your feet and keep it locked.
Generally speaking, the mid-range to top-end bus companies tend to be more trustworthy, but you never want to leave anything to chance. Keep everything locked and your valuables under your watchful eye.
In Argentina, Peru and Chile it is common practice to tip the baggage handlers. Keep a couple of pesos in the local currency handy.
#5: Pack Your Own Toilet Paper
Assuming you’re on a bus from a reputable company, you’ll likely have a toilet available. Depending on the distance you are traveling, you bus may also make bathroom breaks along the way. The one thing you don’t want to be stuck without is toilet paper.
Do yourself a favor and carry toilet paper. In South America, this rule applies to way more than bus travel.
#6: Carry Snacks and Water
When you are buying your bus ticket, be sure to ask if food is served. If the bus company provides snacks (or food in the more expensive cama level) don’t expect healthy and balanced meals. Most of the food is heavy on sugar and fat. If you want something a little healthier, be on the safe side and pack your own treats.
You’ll also want to bring plenty of water onboard. Some buses will give you a bottle of water, but it is often a small bottle and certainly not enough for an 6+ hour bus trip. Be on the safe side and carry your own snacks and water.