So you and your friends, or an organization you belong to, are renting a charter bus to go on a trip. And it's a long trip. You like your friends, but not enough to sustain a 12-hour conversation on the road. You need a survival pack.

Being able to bury your nose in (or plug up your ears with) some form of entertainment during the trip is essential, even if all you're doing is putting on an MP3 of rain sounds to help you sleep. But you can't throw just anything into the bag you're taking with you. You need things that will keep you busy while still being considerate of your neighbors.

Headphones That Don't Leak Sound

Earphone, headphone, and earbud technology has improved to the point where it's a lot easier to find something that doesn't leak sound. If you want to avoid having that fuzzy, mosquito-like buzzing surround your head when you listen to music, look specifically for earphones that do not allow sound to escape. All you have to do is plug the earphones into your player and turn up the music without putting the earphones in your ears; if you can't hear anything wafting its way up to your ears, but you can hear the music fine once you put the earphones in, then those are good earphones to take on your trip.

Got an E-Reader?

An E-reader is indispensable on these trips. They save you the weight of heavy books you would otherwise be carrying, and there are no page-turning sounds to disturb those who are napping.

A Pencil Sharpener

For the love of all that is holy, if you are bringing pencils to work on something like crosswords, bring a pencil sharpener or use mechanical pencils. Regular pencil lead points rapidly become dull. If you can't mark your puzzles legibly anymore, then you can't work on whatever you brought, and you'll be stuck listening to your neighbor wax poetic about homemade kombucha scoby. Bring a pencil sharpener. It also helps you avoid bothering your neighbors to see if they have a sharpener, which is a good thing.

Small Bottles of Drinks

You're better off bringing a few small bottles of water with you instead of one large bottle. First, one bottle can get kind of nasty after several hours. It's better to drink a small amount out of a small bottle than a moderate amount out of a big bottle, with the rest of the water in the big bottle becoming kind of stale. Second, if someone near you is thirsty and you don't mind sharing your water, you can hand them a bottle of their own instead of having them drink out of the same bottle you were using.

Jokes aside -- of course you like your friends -- it is important to have multiple things to keep you busy and comfortable while not imposing on other people. Long bus trips can stretch out when you have nothing to keep you busy and you can't fall asleep. When you rent your charter bus--such as one from Werner Coach--you can find out if there are additional regulations that you'll need to follow.