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How to Choose the Best Seats When Travelling

Have you ever been to an airport or bus park and met an indecisive passenger at the ticketing booth? The choice of where to sit can be daunting when you don’t know the pros and cons of the seats.

Vehicles differ, so what we might consider a safe seat for a private car might not be the same as that of a 12-seat bus. So there is no ‘one size fits all’ rule.

Here are just a few things you should consider when choosing the best seat for travelling.

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Book your tickets early.

When planning a trip, book your ticket early. This will enable you have first choice access to the seating arrangement. If you are going to a bus station, go early before the bus loads and be among the first people to purchase a ticket. If you are booking online, you should be able to see the digital copy of the seat maps and their numbers to enable you pick easily.  

Explore seating options.

You can ask yourself these questions when selecting a seat: Does the air conditioning get there? Do the windows open or close? Are certain seats designated for specific reasons? For instance, some buses reserve the seat behind the driver for nursing mothers. And though all seats are available for use, whatever reason makes you hesitate when choosing one is enough to think on and explore other options.

If you cant stand road tensions, avoid sitting next to the driver.

Avoid the seat that’s next to the driver’s if you can’t stand highway tensions. That’s because you get a front row view to the steep overtakes, disconcerting blaring, and manoeuvrings that can cause an accident.

Near the emergency exit is the best spot on an airplane.

Looking for comfortable seating on a plane? Get to the airport early (because if you are late, you might not get the best seat), sit near the emergency exit, and avoid seating next to the toilet to get away from odours or noises.

Know the pros and cons of each seat.

The aisle seats are good if you or your little ones need bathroom breaks or if you want attention from the air hosts/hostesses. The middle seat is also great when travelling with kids or toddlers. It gives them access to the window and the aisle, plus space to move around. Also, the window seat is great if you don’t want to be disturbed and you want to enjoy the aerial view.

Airline seats are marked alphabetically.

If the aeroplane has a two seating arrangement (AB, CD, or 1A, 1B), it means there is no middle seat; you either get an aisle or a window seat. If it is a three seating arrangement (ABC), then you’ll have an aisle, window and middle seat.  

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A window seat might be the right spot.

If you plan to sleep during the trip and you have a travel pillow, a window seat with blinds might be the right spot. The aisle and middle seat are better for watching movies in the bus. For easy access to the door, an aisle seat would be best option for you.

Consider the time of the day.

The time of the day is also important in choosing a seat if the bus has no curtains by the windows. If you are travelling in the morning heading north, sit on the left side of the bus; this applies vice versa for travellers heading south. (Note: north and south here are directions, not locations in Nigeria). This way, you avoid being under the direct ray of the sun which rises in the east and sets in west.

Featured image source: Trendy Naija

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Ann Esievoadje

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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