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Why Yes! You CAN Get Bed Bugs From A Bus

January 25, 2019

I Was Worried About Mosquito Bites…Then I Got Bed Bugs On A Bus

While I consider myself to be an expert traveler, that doesn’t mean I do so with ease. I’m a light sleeper, hangry all the time, and fail miserably at doing anything with a slight cardio component. Most of the time “what could go wrong, does go wrong” for me while traveling, but I tend to not go too crazy worrying about what will happen. But, who gets the panicked call when something goes awry? Sorry, mom! Speaking of my mom, she has taught me (and reminded me over and over) about the art of looking for bed bugs on your mattress. It’s not a difficult process, but should be done immediately upon arrival and prior to putting any sort of items on said bed. After years of reminders immediately following the “I made it to the room” text message, I too have become a vigilant bed bug checker.

What exactly is the method to this madness? You pull up the sheets and examine 3 sides of the mattress seam. Should there be anything appearing to be bug feces, dried human blood, or actual bugs around the seams of the mattress, pick up your bags and immediately get the heck out of there. 

Psst: I have no idea if this actually works, but I have heard of people bringing travel size Bed Bug spray on their trip. I mean…it can’t hurt!

 Travel Safe Bed Bug ERADICATOR Spray

During my 3-month European adventure, I checked all beds — even the bed of my travel companion, Caroline — at every new destination. So, why when I got out of the water at one of the best beaches in the entire world, Elafonissi Beach, did I have 60 something bites concentrated all over my butt? Because apparently, bed bugs don’t just limit themselves to mattresses. They like to hang out on all sorts of fabrics. My hunch is that I got these bites from bed bugs on a bus; more specifically, the cloth seats on the bus from Heraklion to Chania, Crete. I guess the only other option may have been from the airplane seat flying from Rhodes to Crete. I didn’t think much of it at first because I was getting bitten up by mosquitos right and left in Greece, but after getting out of that water at Elafonissi, I had a full-on panic attack upon looking down at my rear…and at that point I could only see half the damage since I didn’t want to call too much attention to myself in such a public area.

Read More: Elafonissi Beach: Travel Guide to Pink Beach Crete 

Needless to say, the bus ride back from Elafonissi to Chania, which included 2 additional stops at a local taverna and a honey shack, was excruciatingly long. After we made it back to town, Caroline and I ran to multiple local pharmacies because in Europe, there is one on every corner –it’s basically the Starbucks equivalent in the US. I lifted up my dress one stop at a time to see if they could confirm that I had bed bugs. Well, the pharmacy employees were appalled by my behavior and could not confirm a thing. So we went to the hostel and decided to let them know what was going on. The reaction? They weren’t thrilled. I can’t blame the staff. Terrified, Caroline and I put our suitcases outside (luckily we had a private room) and went across the street to a laundromat for the next 5 hours to wash and dry the entire contents of our suitcase on the highest heat imaginable. Instead of closing down the bars that first night in Chania, I closed down the laundromat with a Smirnoff ice from the bus station.

bed bugs bus laundromat

Luckily, whatever did bite my butt, did not decide to infiltrate my suitcase or any other of my possessions. I used a hairdryer on the seams of the suitcase and washed my packing cubes in the dryer because I was concerned that I would need to purchase a new suitcase and throw away my cubes which would have been a massive hassle.

On the bright side, if you do get bed bugs on a bus and are traveling with a companion, this whole experience will make you much closer. Since I needed my bites counted one by one to ensure they had not increased in number, we had no further privacy concerns for the duration of our vacation. Thank you again, Caroline, for your help. Now and for all future disasters.


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OMG!! I was looking up Bed Bug mattress covers on Amazon, and no joke, this apparel line pops up first. So, if anyone is in the market for a new hunter green “deep v”, I got you covered! 




Have you ever had bed bugs from a bus or on any other form of public transportation? Please share your story below! 

Want to read more Travel Mishaps? Here are some of my favs:

Hvar: Croatia: Stranded While Renting a Boat

Don’t Sneak 9+ People Into a Hotel Room

I Was Chased By A Bull In Spain

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