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Tips when taking Victory Liner deluxe bus trips to and from Manila and Baguio

The anthology I brought—and read—during the recent trip to Baguio City.

The anthology I brought—and read—during the recent trip to Baguio City.

No question about it: Victory Liner’s Manila-Baguio deluxe trips are one of the best transportation deals in town.

Some people—including myself—may have several quibbles here and there about Victory Liner’s service but they remain just that: quibbles. [See: Three reasons to skip Victory Liner’s Manila-Baguio deluxe buses]

Once you get onboard its deluxe buses, you can leave all your worries behind. [See: Five reasons to take Victory Liner’s Manila-Baguio deluxe buses]

After all, you’ve paid for that privilege and you deserve to get on the fastest and most convenient way to and from Manila and Baguio, next to having your own private vehicle.

1) Buy tickets ahead of time. 

The ticket queue was about twenty-people deep but it moved fast when we arrived during the early part of Holy Week. It still took 15 minutes to buy tickets though.

The ticket queue was about twenty-people deep but it moved fast when we arrived during the early part of Holy Week. It still took 15 minutes to buy tickets though.

Do yourself a favor and spare yourself—and your traveling companions—an anxiety attack.

Buy tickets ahead of time, a week or probably even two, before your departure date.

Why?

Demand for deluxe trips can be as volatile as prices of “penny stocks” at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Occasionally, you can just hop right in without any reservation, like any other regular passenger on any other regular bus.

But if you do fail to get onboard, brace yourself for missing the trip’s premium amenities: wider seats, uninterrupted travel, toilets, and—snob alert—better behaved passengers.

Based on my limited traveling experience, passengers on the deluxe trip appear to be more courteous. Some have chosen to mute their mobile gadgets voluntarily and lower their voices when talking on their phones.

2) Grab some grub if you’re taking the red-eye. 

Local sweets served onboard during daytime trips.

Local sweets served onboard during daytime trips.

The ube ensaymada also came with a bottle of water.

The ube ensaymada also came with a bottle of water.

Avoid risking an ulcer by getting something more substantial than “sundot kulangot” (or picked snot, a pejorative term for a famous Baguio City delicacy), especially when taking a late night deluxe trip on Victory Liner.  [See: Sundot Kulangot]

After all, water and juice are the only nourishment options available on the trip, at least for that time.

Should the trip be delayed, you just have to wish the stewardess is kind enough to give you a snack to tide you over. Or that you’ve kept an antacid handy.

Because the cabin does get chilly enough to make your hunger feel worse than it usually is. Which now brings us to the third tip.

3) Avoid getting on seat number 23.

What's next? A personal concierge service?

What’s next? A personal concierge service?

Conditions apply, of course.

Which means it all depends on the type of bus you’re taking and its airconditioning and ventilation systems.

If you happen to board the same bus I got on and occupy the seat I sat in, you should be wearing a cap, a hat, or some kind of gear to keep your head warm.

This is because the vent at the end of the overhead luggage bin—permanently aimed right across my seat—blew up a snowstorm that nearly caused me to freeze to death.

I am not exaggerating. I’m not one of those people who get warm or cold easily, having survived the first day of an icy winter without a coat while waiting for a bus in the US or riding my bike under the scorching afternoon sun in Marikina City.

But on a recent trip back to Manila, I almost suffered from brain freeze onboard.

Good thing my brain was warm enough to function properly—it told me to put my jacket over my head, however foolish it looked like, and I got comfy almost immediately.

From the Disclaimers Dept. No arrangement, financial or otherwise, has been entered into by Victory Liner, its competitors, and this website.

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