Holiday Travel with Salt Lake Express

Are you a homesick student? Or perhaps it’s been forever since you’ve visited your extended family. To many people, the holiday season represents a time to come together. To celebrate relationships and enjoy the end of the year. However, getting home for the holidays can be a challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with winter travel you may not feel comfortable traveling home. But fear not. No matter how far you go, Salt Lake Express is here to help with all the ways we help with holiday travel.

Travel to Utah or Idaho

Saint_George_Shuttle_Service

We have routes all throughout Idaho and Utah. Traveling is as simple as picking your destination. The most popular route goes from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake. However, the bus does stop in towns along the way. If you are traveling from Idaho to Utah, or vice versa, you need to think about the weather. Utah and Idaho weather is often similar, however Utah can be slightly warmer. In the winter, your best bet is to pack for cold weather either way. If you travel to St George, you have the option to get dropped off at your door. Which can come in handy if you’re hoping to save time.

Travel to Nevada

Aerial view of Las Vegas strip, in front of teh Bellagio
Getting to and from Las Vegas is simple and affordable with our shuttles.

Salt Lake Express has several popular routes from Utah to Nevada. The most popular destinations lie near Las Vegas, but there are several other options. If you do travel from Utah to Nevada, planning for weather is key. Nevada weather often reaches the 70s in the winter, while Utah rests below freezing. You’ll want to dress warm for the trip, but have layers you can remove as it gets warmer. Pack for warm weather, but bring a light jacket just in case. Pack a swimsuit in case you want to enjoy warm weather at it’s fullest. Once you’re packed and ready to go, you can relax and enjoy the show of Christmas lights and Vegas neon.

Travel to Wyoming or Montana

We have several routes if you’re traveling to Wyoming or Montana, most being to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole. You’ll need to prepare for very cold weather if you’re traveling that far north. You’ll want to pack heavy clothing for your trip. Especially if you’re planning any outdoor activities or ventures. Bring a large suitcase to carry sweaters, pants, and thermals. Dress appropriately for travel. Check weather conditions for Wyoming and Montana before you leave. Bring extra layers in your carry-on bag to add as you travel and wear a heavy coat that is easy to remove on the bus. Your coat can double as a pillow if you’re hoping to sleep on the bus. If you can, bring an extra dry, warm pair of clothes, just in case.

Further Travel

Salt Lake City's international airport
The Salt Lake International Airport has become a major hub connecting the mountainous West with the rest of the world.

If you’re traveling further east, you’ll need to travel by airplane. However, bus travel can help you save on gas and airport parking. Salt Lake Express provides transport to airports in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Simply pick the one closest to you and we can get you to the destination. But if you are planning to travel by plane, you’ll need to plan how you pack. Most airports have a weight limit for your luggage. The standard limit comes to around 50 pounds per suitcase. Salt Lake Express allows you to bring two suitcases, but you can pay an additional fee if you need to bring more. However, additional baggage fees can add up. If you’re only traveling for the holidays, try limiting yourself to one suitcase. It’s a good idea to leave with one suitcase, then return with two after the holidays.

Check out the closest stop to your destination.

Holiday Events in Salt Lake

Travel and See Holiday Events

October has officially come and gone. Now the holiday season continues with Thanksgiving and Christmas. We at Salt Lake Express know our travelers are itching to get home for the holidays. While we want to get you home quickly and safely, it’d be a shame if you missed out on some of the wonderful opportunities this season has to offer. Which is why we’re breaking down the best holiday events in Salt lake this season. If you are planning on visiting Salt Lake, check out some of these great events and performances. Consider this our gift to you.

For more info on our routes and stops, check out Salt Lake Express

Dickens Christmas Festival – Nov 18 – 20

Charles Dickens practically made Christmas the powerhouse holiday it is. The popularity of Christmas celebrations and traditions was greatly influenced by his book A Christmas Carol. This November, you have the chance to celebrate Christmas the way they did in Dickens’ day. The festival includes traditional performances, old English shops, entertainment, music and much more. Kids visiting the festival can meet a surprise visitor from the north. Travel with Salt Lake Express and get into the holiday spirit the old fashioned way.

Festival of Trees – Nov 22 – Dec 4

The Festival of Trees is an annual charity event held by Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake. At the Festival, local artists and designers have 24 hours to decorate and present their original Christmas tree artwork side by side. The presentation is like walking through a forest of Christmas trees. And the proceeds go to treatment and research at Primary Children’s Hospital. If you are looking for a way to get involved with a great cause, travel to the Mountain America Expo Center in Salt Lake and stop by the Festival of Trees.

A Christmas with David Archuleta – Nov 26

Were you ever a fan of American Idol? Over a decade ago David Archuleta competed on Idol and became a Utah celebrity. Archuleta is an incredibly talented singer and performer, and this concert marks his first Utah performance since the pandemic. The concert is a great opportunity to hear a ballad of your favorite Christmas song or carol. He’ll be performing at the Orpheum Theatre the day after Thanksgiving 2021. If you are traveling with us this Thanksgiving, consider getting tickets. You won’t want to miss this!

Visit Orpheum Theatre to get tickets now.

Temple Square Christmas Lights – November 26 – Jan 1

Take a shuttle to St George for the holidays.

We have talked before about the Christmas lights, but we’ll keep talking about them as long as we can. Nobody celebrates Christmas quite like Salt Lake City. Throughout the valley, homes put up Christmas lights and displays up and down the street. Salt Lake is beautiful in December. But the crown jewel has to be Temple Square. The Salt Lake Temple is the pride and joy of the city during Christmas time. You can see the light display all across the grounds. They light their tree the day after Thanksgiving every year. Travel to Salt Lake anytime in December to see it.

Holiday Concerts with the Utah Symphony – Multiple dates in December

The Utah Symphony presents a plethora of performances this winter. If you’re in the mood for great music and a powerful performance, this is the stop for you. The Symphony plans to perform a wide range of pieces such as; traditional pieces like Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 3 & 4 or modern music from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Overall its a great holiday event for music lovers. If you travel with us to Salt Lake this December, stop by Abravanel Concert Hal to check out a performance.

Check out Utah Symphony for dates and performances.

Reasons To Visit Cedar City

Cedar City

If you’ve ever traveled from Salt Lake to Las Vegas, you’ve most likely passed through Cedar City. Residents of Utah will tell you it’s a great stop. But, if you’ve never stopped there, you’re missing out on some of the great things Cedar City has to offer. Cedar City has access to the outdoors, entertainment, and views you can’t find anywhere else. Whether you’ve been there before or not, Salt Lake Express is here to show all the great reasons to visit Cedar City!

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is one of the five National Parks in Utah. The Canyon has more than fourteen hiking opportunities. Each with their own unique views and access to the park. Visitors to Bryce can find a hike for them no matter how much experience they have. The park also offers opportunities for horseback riding, bird watching, camping, and much more. If you’re traveling with Salt Lake Express, you should definitely add Bryce Canyon to your travel plans.

Zion National Park

Like Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park provides hiking, camping, and other activities for visitors. However, Zion is known as one of the premier national parks in the country. In addition to the activities we’ve already mentioned, Zion provides opportunities for rock climbing, cycling, canyoneering, and more. Visitors with an interest in adventure can go to the extreme in this park. For travelers with a more laid-back approach, there are several tours, small hikes, rivers, and picnic opportunities to enjoy. If you travel to Cedar City, know there is something for everyone in nearby Zion National Park.

Utah Shakespeare Festival

Crowd at the Shakespeare Festival

If you’re looking for something closer to the city, you can always stop by the Utah Shakespeare Festival while they’re in season. We’ve mentioned this festival before. But, no matter how long its been, we always have to mention it again. Because the Utah Shakespeare Festival is amazing. The Festival runs from June through September, and provides entertainment and opportunities for both theatre enthusiasts and thespians. Southern Utah University has hosted the Shakespeare Festival for over fifty years. Each season, actors perform three classic Shakespeare plays. While volunteers help run activities, competitions, seminars, and tours. The festival has also won several awards. Including a Tony, Emmy, and an award from Utah’s governor. If you travel to Cedar City next summer, be sure to stop by the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Kanarra Falls

Visitors willing to go a short distance outside of Cedar City can visit the beautiful Kanarra Falls. The falls lie in a slot canyon. Hikers have to traverse the narrow canyon floor and climb a short ladder in order to get to the falls. The hike is relatively difficult, so inexperienced hikers had better travel in a group. As always in these situations, bring a first aid kit and let someone know where you are going just in case. The hike requires visitors to wade through water at some point so be willing to get a little wet. The view is definitely worth the trip.

Skiing Opportunities

Cedar City is a short distance from Brian Head Resort. One of the best skiing resorts in Utah. The resort opens ski runs Nov 19, 2021 and will close at the end of ski season. Anyone who loves skiing knows that Utah has the best snow on earth. Professionals love the light, soft, powdery snow that you find in the Rocky Mountains. What better place to enjoy winter weather than a resort with over 71 runs and skiing opportunities. Even if you have no desire to ski, the resort offers plenty of activities, hot and cold, to keep you entertained. If you’re a Salt Lake Express traveler looking for a vacation in the winter, this is the place.

Travel Stops & Photo Ops Along Salt Lake Express Routes

Photo Ops Along Our Routes

At Salt Lake Express, we’ve seen every corner of the west from Vegas to Yellowstone. But, there’s always a new way to see things. For example, going cross country in a bus provides unique travel photo ops that most people miss. Which is why we’re here to highlight the few exceptional spots and remind you of new ways to capture them!

Antler Arch – Jackson Wyoming

Salt Lake Express travelers can’t miss the chance to take a shot under the famous Antler Archway in Jackson. Directly in the town square, Jackson’s archways are built from real elk antlers. Visitors to George Washington Memorial park in Jackson have the opportunity to snap a pic under each of the four archways. Families near Jackson line up for family portraits and photos. For any traveler, the archways provide a great place to for some quick travel photo ops.

Boise Idaho – Kathryn Albertson Park

Travelers can find this park off Americana Boulevard near the Boise River. Builders designed the park to attract wildlife which makes it a great place to capture nature shots! Most of the park is off limits to dogs and vehicles so be prepared to do a lot of walking. But travelers to this park can find opportunities for pictures of deer, turtles, birds, and other wildlife. The park is a can’t miss for photographers and a great place to go even if you’re just out to look.

Idaho Falls – The Falls

It’s ironic how many people visit or drive through Idaho Falls every day, but never go to visit the actual falls. This section of the Snake River is amazing. Smack in the middle of downtown Idaho Falls, the view of the river is spectacular. As an added bonus, next to the falls lies the Japanese Friendship Gardens. The gardens are filled with cherry trees and traditional style Japanese architecture that add character to the scenery. I’ve gotten some great shots from this part of Idaho Falls. The LDS temple is across the street from the river. It’s a fun challenge to get both the falls and the temple in one shot.

Salt Lake City – Temple Square & Architecture

salt lake express activities 1
source: https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/general-conference-april-2012-948369?lang=eng

Utah travelers probably know the majority of the sights Salt Lake has to offer. But, from a photography standpoint you can see these sights with new eyes. Take Temple Square for example. Most people who visit Utah will have seen it once or twice. Maybe they’ve seen the lights for Christmas. But, what if you took up the challenge to get a new outstanding shot of the temple at night or with the Christmas lights? That adds a layer of interest to your visit. There are several different areas in Salt Lake with great architecture. You just need to find a unique angle for your shot. On your next trip, try going up to the top floor of one of the Salt Lake buildings. That will give you a great new perspective.

Las Vegas – The Strip

Most Salt Lake Express travelers headed to Vegas are traveling to the airport. But, if you plan your trip well you could have several hours before your flight for travel photo ops of the Vegas strip. People recognize Las Vegas for its lively and energized atmosphere. On your trip to Vegas, we’d suggest getting some shots of people in action. Try to capture the fast paced feel of Vegas. If you’re down for a challenge, try to get a unique shot of the neon strip. Look for a new angle or perspective that can really stand out against the usual shots of the city.

Yellowstone – Grand Prismatic Overlook & Old Faithful

These geysers are known worldwide for a reason! They are outstandingly beautiful and a great shot of a geyser is breathtaking. However, most travelers settle for a simple shot over the viewing area. For photographers and the adventurous traveler, we’d suggest taking a hike to a more interesting vantage point. However, be aware of the wildlife and prepare so that you’re as safe as possible on your trip. Bears live in Yellowstone. Shots of wildlife are interesting, but you should never put yourself at risk. So, take every precaution. Alert park rangers of where you are going and don’t wander from the designated trails.

Reasons to Visit West Yellowstone

Reasons to Visit West Yellowstone

Are you looking for a fun vacation or getaway over the winter or coming months? Well, look no further. Here at Salt Lake Express, we want to highlight some of the reasons to visit West Yellowstone and the world’s first national park.

West Yellowstone

In March 1872, President Grant signed a bill for the protection of Yellowstone National park. Salt Lake Express travelers can visit the park through the town of West Yellowstone. The town has been a gateway to the national park since the early 1900s. Visitors to the national park can find affordable lodging, restaurants, and tours throughout the town.

Attractions

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

The center opened in 1993 as a sanctuary for bears removed from their natural habitat. At the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, researchers are able to gain a better fundamental understanding of bears and other wildlife. Visitors can view grizzly bears interacting with each other and enjoy the museum.

The Playmill Theatre

The Playmill Theatre has been a staple of West Yellowstone since 1964. The theatre is one of the largest in the area and attracts patrons from the neighboring states of Idaho and Wyoming. Visitors can take a break from the park for an evening at the theatre during the summer season.

Yogi’s Waffle & Grill

If you ever need a break from the park or walking around, stop by Yogi’s for some great food. The Waffle & Grill restaurant has a great selection of food and desserts to choose from. With 40 flavors of Ice cream, Yogi’s is a popular stop for travelers to take a break before they head back into the park.

Yellowstone National Park

Beyond the attractions of West Yellowstone, this stop has plenty to offer within the National Park. If you tour with a group you’ll be restricted, but you’ll still see some great spots. If you’re lucky enough to go in on your own, here’s the things we suggest you look at.

Geysers

Most people have heard of Old Faithful. But did you know that Yellowstone is home to 500 geysers? Some of the most popular include the Grand Geyser and the Riverside Geyser. Yellowstone’s hikes provide a way to get a good view of the eruption. Only a few of these natural wonders are predictable, but catching one as it goes off will leave you speechless! Most of the geysers only go off once or twice a day, but some of the smaller ones erupt almost every hour. Make sure to keep behind the marked path, the water from these geysers is boiling hot.

Hiking & Canoeing

There are several great lakes within Yellowstone Park to explore. Most of these have some sort of hike or access to an area. All canoes and equipment has to come from outside the park. So if you don’t have the equipment, you’re out of luck. But, in the town outside the park you can rent a canoe for a reasonable price. We’d suggest going to Shoshone or Heart Lake.

Nature Photography

Most of the wildlife in Yellowstone try to keep clear of humans, but some of the animals are more bold. During the spring months, female bears with cubs will come closer to areas with more human activity, to keep clear of the larger male bears. If you make sure to keep your distance, you might be able to get a good shot in the spring months.

Larger animals in Yellowstone hibernate for the winter, however visitors commonly see smaller wildlife like coyotes and foxes throughout November and December. Winter months become the perfect time to capture wildlife shots because most of these small animals stand out brilliantly against the harsh white background.

Planning For Your Road Trip With Salt Lake Express

Must-Haves for Every Road Trip Warrior

I’m something of a cross country, road trip traveler! I actually grew up in the back of a seven-passenger vehicle driving across the country for most of my life. And I know that there is a lot to remember when you’re planning a trip. After spending days and even weeks at a time driving in a car, I’ve become somewhat of a professional traveler. Which might help you out with your next trip on Salt Lake Express. The principles of cross country travel remain the same regardless of what vehicle you’re in. Here are some of the things I do to make my trips more comfortable.

Nutrition

healthy snacks on a road trip

Food and water come first in any travel situation. After long hours in close conditions, we all get understandably tired and hungry. Which is why you need to pack snacks and water beforehand. Salt Lake Express stops every few hours to fuel up, but you can’t rely on these stops alone. Most people will be in a rush for the bathroom during these stops. You don’t want to hold up the bus because you were trying to buy a gas station sandwich. I suggest you take a look at how long your trip will last and then pack enough snacks for at least two-thirds of the meals you’d usually have during that time. Also bring a medium sized refillable water bottle.

In addition, try to pack light and with easily disposable packaging so you’ll have more room in your carry-on after you eat. If you’re planning on taking a flight, make sure you eat all of your food before you leave the bus. You wouldn’t want to waste anything.

Comfort

The next tip I have for you involves maximizing your comfort throughout the trip. Make sure to wear travel clothes. These should be your most comfortable pair of clothes that are appropriate for the weather you are traveling in. Many of you will want a neck pillow to help you sleep sitting up right. I’ve never been able to sleep while traveling, but I’d suggest you bring one if you plan on getting some rest. For the men out there, take your wallet and phone out of your back pockets and store them either in your carry on or coat pocket. You’ll be sitting down for a long period of time and that wallet becomes death in your pocket after two hours! That small change will make the biggest difference in your comfort level.

Pack Light

Packing light increases your chances of being comfortable. Try to only pack one suitcase with all the essential clothes and toiletries you’ll need. You should have one pair of clothes for every day of your trip. But for a longer trip, try planning on doing laundry. For a long trip pack;

  • Four shirts, two regular and two formal
  • Three pairs of pants or bottoms, 2 casual and 1 formal
  • Two pairs of shoes (formal and non-formal)
  • Four pairs of socks
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries

All you need should be able to fit into a small to medium sized suitcase. Then bring a backpack or carry-on bag with the other essentials;

  • Food and water
  • One extra pair of clothes
  • Charger
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Pocket money
  • Phone

Fit these into your backpack as best you can. I suggest rolling the clothes into a bundle at the base of your backpack. And that is how you properly plan for your upcoming road trip. And don’t forget to frequently check saltlakeexpress.com for surprise sales and other promotional deals. You can also subscribe to our email where we regularly send out stellar discounts!

Travel Apps for St George Express

Travel Apps to Download for Your Road Trip

After writing Travel Tips For The Ultimate Road Warrior, we realized we could do a whole separate piece just about helpful travel apps to download before hitting the road.

So if you’re planning a road trip this summer, or you know you’ll be driving your way back to Rexburg, make sure you try these travel apps and let us know your experience.


GasBuddy

If you’re driving instead of flying, you’re probably trying to save some money. So why not save on gas too? GasBuddy is a mobile app that shows users all of the available gas options nearby and their prices. The app works based on user reports, and GasBuddy rewards users for updating a station’s prices. If you earn enough points, you can enter raffles for prizes, like free gas. 

iExit

Think about all the reasons you might need to make a quick pitstop — that’s exactly what iExit is for. Need a nap? Need to grab some snacks? Need to get some cash from an ATM? iExit helps you see what businesses and facilities are coming up on your route and what exit you need to take to get there. The app also lets you search for specific businesses or perks so if you’re looking for Taco Bell, it’ll help you find the closest one. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi or a campground, it can help you find those too.

Google Maps

While there are countless navigation apps that you could use for mapping your trip, Google Maps is easily one of the most functional and simplistic to use. It offers turn-by-turn directions specific to your mode of transportation, so even if you’re riding a bicycle for part of your trip, it’ll get you where you need to go. You can also add multiple destinations if your plan is to hit several locations in succession. Maps also lets you know when places with strict hours of operation close and checks to see if the route you’re taking includes tolls.

Spotify

Road trips, especially cross-country hauls, are a great reason to catch up on all the music releases you’ve missed since high school. Spotify arguably is the most practical way to control the soundtrack of your journey with on-demand music. Spotify provides curated playlists specifically designed for road trips and an enormous library of artists, bands and podcasts to listen to. The app is free, but if you want to ditch the ads, you might want to consider the $9.99-a-month premium subscription ($4.99 for students). And unless you’ve got unlimited data, make sure you download everything for offline listening.

Flush Toilet Finder

It might seem like a joke to include an app that helps you find and rate public restrooms, but Flush Toilet Finder might be what saves you and your shorts from a nasty gas station porta-potty.  The app uses location sensors to check its database of more than 200,000 toilets worldwide, and even while offline will show you nearby toilets with information about fees, key requirements or handicap access. With the ability to integrate with Google Maps, you can even get specific directions to the restroom of your choice.


Travel apps to accompany you on the road

Obviously, there are countless travel apps that will help you improve your travel experience. Depending on what you’re looking to do, there might be something out there that these apps just can’t do. But these are some of the best for any road trip experience. If you decide to give them a try, or if you find something you like better, let us know. We’re always looking for cool new travel apps.

All of these apps are free to download and can be used on iOS or Android devices.

Snow Canyon State Park

What To Do In Snow Canyon State Park

Home to some of the most breathtaking vistas and diverse life in the west, Snow Canyon State Park has much to offer its visitors. The appeal of this state park is reflected in its average attendance of a quarter million visitors annually. Why do so many people visit Snow Canyon? What is there to do in all 7,400 acres of this state park? You’re about to learn.

Hiking

There are over thirty-eight miles of hiking trails in Snow Canyon State Park. These many trails range from easy to moderate, making it a very family-friendly hiking destination. There is also a three-mile paved trail for walking and biking as well as fifteen miles of equestrian trails. Nevertheless, hikers of all skill levels will enjoy the beautiful canyons and dunes of Snow Canyon.

Some of our top picks are White Rocks Trail/Lava Overlook, Whiptail Trail, Petrified Sand Dunes Trail, and Johnson Canyon. Find a more comprehensive list here.

Snow Canyon State Park

Camping

One of the good things about Snow Canyon’s location — besides the amazing landscape for which people visit — is the fact that it rarely receives snow. Low precipitation and mild climate allow for their campground to be open year-round.

The campsites feature a large number of amenities and accommodate motorhomes, RVs, and tents. Water hookups, bathrooms, electricity, and more are available to campers, and pets are allowed. Anything you need for your basic camping or extravagant glamping is available.

Reserve your campsite at Snow Canyon State Park here.

Wildlife Viewing

Snow Canyon’s location not only creates a welcoming climate for camping, but its geography lends to fascinating wildlife. Situated at the crossroads of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau, its dryness attracts a unique fauna. In fact, wildlife enthusiasts can discover thirteen state or federally-protected sensitive species, such as the peregrine falcon, desert tortoise, and Gila monster.

You can, of course, see many, many other types of wildlife in the park. The Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified coyotes, kit foxes, quail, roadrunners, and more. If you have an eye for wildlife you’re sure to see much more!

Always remember to exercise caution around wildlife; look, do not touch.

Snow Canyon State Park

Photography

Whether you’re into wildlife, beautiful views, or different species of plants, Snow Canyon State Park is a haven for photographers. The red Navajo sandstone and black lava rock make for colorful, stark, and striking backdrops. Wildflowers are beautiful in the spring and fall, and everything from narrow leaf yucca to blackbrush dot the landscape. Time and climate have carefully carved out this beautiful state park for us, and a picture is worth more than a thousand words — its beauty is inspiring.

Taking photographs is highly recommended; removal of plants, rocks, or wildlife is not.

Junior Ranger

Snow Canyon State Park is also a proud participant in the Junior Ranger Program, which is a national program to educate children on state parks. Their mission is best expressed in their motto: “Explore, Learn, Protect!”

Kids between the ages of 5-13 can participate in this program by following a few simple steps. You don’t have to go to Snow Canyon to earn some of the badges, but it sure makes it a lot more fun! As you and your child explore Snow Canyon State Park, you’ll both love what you see and learn.

Snow Canyon State Park

At over 7,000 acres, Snow Canyon State Park has everything to offer: gorgeous vistas, hiking, camping, wildlife, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan your trip, remember to take pictures, and take in the wonder of one of Utah’s amazing state parks.

St George Express is helping you elevate your bus travel experience

How to Elevate Your Bus Travel Experience

Unfortunately, trying to survive the ride to school and back is the only sort of bus travel many people are familiar with. Fortunately, 1985 is long behind us, and whether or not you have a lunchbox no longer determines how many times you’ll get hit in the back of the head by a bully who just discovered spitballs.

Even though we’ve all grown up a little, there are still some quick to-dos to ensure you avoid any unnecessary discomfort when riding the bus. Check out our list of ways to elevate your bus travel experience.

Hand sanitizer

Let’s be honest, other people can be disgusting. Most long-distance bus travel companies provide travelers with multiple opportunities to use the restroom, but may you want to clean up sooner than later.  If you accidentally touch some “ABC” bubblegum under the seat, a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver in an otherwise sticky situation.

Snacks

We all get the munchies from time to time. Remembering to bring a bag of chips or a chocolate bar can help soothe that sweet tooth or put off the tummy-grumbles until you reach your final destination.

Tablet (Laptop)

Sometimes looking out the window is all the entertainment you need, but it helps to have other options on long bus rides. Prepping a tablet or laptop with your favorite eBooks, podcasts, TV shows or movies can help you pass the time when you grow tired of looking at corn fields.

Neck pillow

Despite the efforts of everyone at St. George Express, bus travel isn’t always the most comfortable experience. Bringing a travel size pillow can give you just enough cushion to sleep through the entire trip or take a quick power nap.

Battery charger

Most bus travel companies like St. George Express have individual charging outlets on each bus, but bringing a personal battery charger is a smart backup plan. If you’re expecting an important phone call or need to make sure you’re fully charged for your entire trip, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sweatshirt (blanket)

You never really know if the temperature on the bus will be too hot or too cold. Speaking to the driver of the bus can be a solution but packing a lightweight blanket or a sweatshirt you can quickly throw on will help keep you comfortable if it’s a little chilly on board.

Travel Bag

Last but certainly not least, the one thing that will let you bring all the other things with you. A backpack or travel bag is the perfect way to pack your snacks, tablet, blanket and hand sanitizer, while still keeping your hands free.

You want your trip to go smoothly, and so do we. St. George Express does everything we can to make your experience as positive as possible, but remembering some small personal items can make all the difference.

car on u.s. map for a road trip

The Road Trip Checklist: 7 Things to Remember

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – J.R.R. Tolkien

What does freedom feel like to you? For recent graduates, spring breakers, or fortunate victims to wanderlust, this freedom likely manifests itself in the form of a full tank of gas and an open road. Whether you are heading home, to the airport, to the coast, or simply wherever the road takes you, the commencement of any road trip is full of possibilities.

Just like any type of freedom, it comes with a cost. There is a literal cost associated — road trips tend to dip into your wallet, if just for gas alone. You also face several hours in the car alone or, for better or for worse, with a full cab. You need to consider food, lodging, and not to mention you are racing several thousand pounds of machinery through the country which denotes some obvious hazards.

Prepping for your road trip, however, can be a joy. After all, remember, with the freedom of the open road there are innumerable possibilities. How will you equip yourself for such a journey? Here are some things we believe you should absolutely consider when getting ready to hit the road.


healthy snacks on a road trip

Snacks

A robust cache of road trip snacks is invaluable when driving cross-country. Your body is still burning calories just by sitting there, and more so if your playlist is good. Plus, what else is going to keep you awake when the hour is late and the scenery is bland? (Or if your playlist is bad.) You never really need an excuse for snacks, but a road trip is a good one.

Some tips: avoid too much sugar. It tastes delightful and makes you feel great while listening to “Life is a Highway” for the fourteenth time. But you’ll crash hard. Maybe in more ways than one. Caffeine may or may not sustain you; a good alternative is orange juice or green tea.  Try throwing in some healthy snacks like apples or something that will make you work, like sunflower seeds.

listening to a podcast on a road trip

Soundtrack

Depending on your destination, you’re facing a lot of hours just staring straight ahead. Thinking time is criminally underrated, but it is also good to fill the silence.

Assemble a killer road trip playlist with a good mix of your favorite tunes. Get creative and try to explore beyond the hooks of the afore-mentioned “Life is a Highway” or “Surfin’ USA.” Finding songs named after your destination or places you’re traveling through can be fun — then again, your music choice doesn’t have to evoke a place at all. Songs with deeper meanings and plenty of layers engage your mind — rotate these in with more danceable tracks.

You don’t have to limit yourself to music, either. Subscribe to different podcasts that interest you, or rent an audiobook online or from the library. However you can best engage your mind and senses is worth preparing beforehand. Above all, avoid distracting yourself from attentive driving.

hand out the window - road trip

Working vehicle

There’s something thrilling about going by the seat of your pants, just hopping in and handing the reigns over to fate and adventure. But you may find that if you’re too footloose, you could end up stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of highway — you don’t want that much adventure.

Swing by your favorite service center on your way out of town for a last-minute checkup. Get an oil change, top off your fluids, replace wipers, whatever you have to do to ensure a safe journey. Your vehicle will thank you and show you a heartwarming amount of loyalty throughout your road trip.

road trip buddies

Buddy

Some of the best memories you can create are shared memories of a road trip. Inside jokes, stories both intimate and exaggerated, and experiences at that one place with the guy will follow you forever. This is the principle upon which some of the best travel and buddy comedies build: Planes, Trains, and AutomobilesThelma & LouiseDumb and Dumber…in fact, has there been a good travel comedy recently? Shout at me.

Whether you take a friend, a family member, or a perfect stranger, this person or people will undoubtedly make your road trip memorable. That being said, Salt Lake Express generally advises against picking up hitchhikers.

idaho map for a road trip

Map

Yes, I know you usually get your instructions from Siri. And sure, if you’re heading home chances are you already know the way. This one is more of a fun invitation: buy a roadmap from the gas station while you’re filling up and let it be your guide. Not only does it enhance the adventure but it gives you a bigger picture of where you are. You’ll learn more about surrounding areas and maybe even be tempted to take a quick detour to see that thing over there. Plus, when dead zones may strip your phone of its authority, your map will cease to be a novelty and will save the day.

However, it is the digital age, and we recommend you also keep your phone charged and ready to save your bacon. Physical maps don’t update as quickly or often as Google Maps…you should be ready to let technology go to work when you need it.

first aid kit on a road trip

Emergency supplies

As they say, “[stuff] happens” and perhaps, despite all your precautionary measures, you end up stranded or worse (we certainly hope not). You don’t have to plan on it before you head out the door but absolutely plan for it. Again, this undercuts the spontaneity that can be so fun about road trips. But when it comes down to it, you’ll be very glad you thought ahead.

Keep some emergency cash on hand and pack a little extra food and water than you normally would for yourself. Also, and this is just a good rule of thumb, keep a full first aid kit and blankets in your car.

And don’t just pack safely for yourself — it’s good practice to carry extra automotive fluids, a spare tire/jack, and if you’re a super prepper maybe even a gallon of gasoline. The most important thing is that you feel secure when hitting the open road.

open road on a road trip

Games

What was your favorite road trip game to play as a kid? Pumping your arm to make semi drivers honk their horns? I Spy? M.A.S.H.? Mad Libs? Kids are amazing at coming up with fun ways to pass the time, and as an adult, you can too.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper if you are the driver and can’t get too distracted. You can entertain yourself (and your passengers) without the luxury of “games”, too; pretend you’re a guest on a talk show host and ask yourself questions or sing about things you pass on the road. It sounds a little crazy right now, but after enough time in the car (and perhaps enough caffeine) it can become very entertaining.


Assuming you have everything else packed, you’re all set to get going. Charge your phone and your camera battery, lock up behind you and let the road trip begin.