Experience has led me to realize that Nigeria is really a great place to have a transport company. You would be shocked at the number of people that travel everyday.
Tips for the trip.. See what I did there?
I admire our Igbo people that travel via land several times a year to their hometown. Lagos to Anambra is an average seven hour journey (and it’s only the first state after the Niger Bridge) while Abuja is about eleven hours away. I appreciate that there are people who travel every month, or week.
On the other hand, some people I know have never traveled past Ibadan from Lagos. For people, like me, who are simply not used to long distance journeys and prefer air travel, a great way to start is with Travelstart. They have great fares across airlines and provide assistance to take you through the booking process.
If you prefer road trips, it can be either an adventure or a sordid bore. I think everyone would prefer the former, actually.
That’s what this is about- helping you make the very best of your road trip!
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As a JJC travelling girl, there are a couple of things I have learnt my few times as an interstate traveller. These are things that would definitely be helpful for anyone travelling within Nigeria (and perhaps other countries) via road.
Trust me on these, they seem really simple but they make all the difference in the galaxy!
PACK EVERYTHING THE PREVIOUS DAY (OR EVEN EARLIER) .
Seems like a no-brainer right? Uhh, maybe when you realize that you forgot your phone charger when you have gotten to Oyo state, it doesn’t feel that way.
I left my shoes at home while travelling for my internship ‘interview’ in Delta State. I had to call home to ask them to bring it back, and I was just lucky that i arrived the Bus Park early.
When I say everything, I mean your toothbrush, tissue, water bottle, multivitamins, inhaler, even earphones.
Have you booked the hotel? Travelstart has a variety of accomodation you can stay in. It just saves you the major confusion that sometimes naturally comes with travelling, one of the best things you can do is to just put everything inside or beside your travel bag, to save yourself the disarray.
Please just do it. This is of utmost importance.
Carry on some form of ID, like a proper Identification Card, you just might need it.
DEFINITELY BUY, BUT DO NOT EAT ROADSIDE FOOD WHILE ON THE TRIP.
While travelling towards the Niger Bridge, you see all sorts of food/snacks, ranging from Suya, Jollof Rice, Bush Meat, Pastry, even Edible Larva. Its a great avenue for trying new food and you really, really should try them out!
I have a sensitive system with regards to food, so I don’t eat before or during these road trips because just like you, I do not fancy diarrhoea and the toilets available at the interstate stops could be horrendous!
Now, I know you are super hungry and you should buy the food/ snacks, just don’t eat it until you’re at your destination with a clean toilet (or you could if you are super sure that you can tolerate it). Also minimize your water intake too.
When you get to your destination, enjoy your larva and dispense your diarrhoea as required.(Too graphic, eh?)
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SLEEP… THEN STAY AWAKE.
You don’t want to stay up till 2 am. when you ought to leave by 5 am. Don’t do it… just don’t. If you are going to somewhere (relatively) new, you want to explore, even while on the trip, trust me. There is usually so much nature and culture to see, just by passing through these places. You can see the difference in food, housing, even fashion, if you decide to pay attention instead of sleeping the time away. Its a great feeling!
However, if you are too tired, nwanne m, biko, just sleep the sleep.
GET YOUR TICKET EARLY.. TO GET A WINDOW SEAT
I use God Is Good Motors to travel and you get to pick the seat you want. You can do this in person or online, so please get your ticket so you can get a seat beside the window. This is really important because these are the most comfortable seats! You control the light through the curtains, you can lay your head there when you are dozing off and what’s best is that you actually get to see what’s outside, what’s not to love? On the other hand, middle seats give you no control and less space. Plus, you can’t just be resting on your neighbour’s shoulder anyhow when the person doesn’t know you.
P. S. During the festive season, please book your tickets days or weeks ahead of time if possible as cost spikes quite massively at this time.
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BE KIND TO YOUR CO-TRAVELLERS
One of my favourite quotes ever has to be, ‘Kindness is free, so spread that stuff all around’.
Speak briefly to your seat partner, ask how he/she/ they are doing, if they are comfortable when seated, offer to place a bit of luggage by your side if you have more space, and please, SMILE while doing this. People, for the most part, appreciate these things. It takes nothing, absolutely nothing, from you and it could make the person’s day (I know how this feels). You might be seated beside someone who knows someone that may be of help to you in the future. You might never see these people again, but what if you do? Even if you don’t, you still did a good thing!
Just as with everything in life, it is important to speak to God prior to doing it. So many accidents occur, and we don’t want to be a part of any. Just ensure that you commit your trip and all that you want to achieve with it, no matter how meager, to God.
All will be well.
These tips are for the Nigerian trip, but I am sure that they would be useful no matter where you are.
Are you a frequent road traveller? What do you love or absolutely hate about road travel? Any tips, warnings or experiences?
Let’s continue in the comments!
VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.
4 thoughts on “Heck Yes, Hell No! : Ultimate Tips For The Cross Country Nigerian Road Trip”
Great tips, Desire! The first one is really necessary. Sometimes, I say I’ll pack smaller items in the morning , then realize they can’t fit into my bag or worse, that I forgot something. I also write a checklist of really important items and make sure they are packed the morning of my trip – just to be on the safe side 🙂
That’s a great tip.. Writing them down, I would really start doing that because forgetting items isn’t a funny something. Thank you Amaka!
So sorry, Amara. I am so so sorry for the mispelling. Just realized it now. 🙈🙈