There’s a myriad of ways you can entertain yourself and others on a long bus ride. Kids, families, and adults can pass the time in a fun way with ease. All you need to do is know what the perfect game options are for your journey. And options are what we have in store for you today! If you’re about to embark on a long bus ride and you’re looking for ways to enjoy yourself during the trip, we’ve got you covered!

Fun Games to Play on a Bus Without Electronics (For Kids, Family, and Adults alike)

It’s a common misconception that you need electronics on a long bus ride to keep yourself entertained. But this is not advisable for extended periods of time because looking at a screen for too long during your trip can cause nausea or tiredness. To stay perky and fresh and have a great time doing so, here are 20 alternatives to digital devices. Let’s get started!

1. I Spy

The “I Spy” game is an old classic. Since we know that there’s a lot to see when you’re on a bus, and especially if you’re on a long journey, this is the perfect game to kick off the fun. One person in your group looks around the bus (either inside or outside it) and picks an object. They then say “I spy with my little eye something beginning with …”. This first letter is everyone else’s clue as to what they should be looking out for. They then have to guess what the observed object is. And the best part? It’s fun and easy!

2. 20 Questions

“20 Questions” is another classic and fun game of wits. One person starts by thinking of something. This can be a famous place, person, movie, animal, or anything else. Use your imagination! Once you’ve thought of your “thing”, don’t tell anyone what it is. They have 20 tries to guess using yes or no questions which they ask you. You answer until either their 20 tries are up or until they figure out what your “thing” is.

3. License Plate Game

This one is for those who love road trips. It’s about looking at the passing cars and spotting number plates from different states. When you see a new or a different number plate, you’ll call it out and then write it in a list. The person with the most unique number plates wins the game.

4. Word Chain

Word chain is another fun game that engages the mind. One person starts by saying a word. The next person needs to say another word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. The trick is that there should be no words repeated. This chain can go on for quite a while and it’s a great way of staying entertained on your long bus journey.

5. Two Truths and a Lie

This is a great way to get to know your traveling companions a bit better. Once again, one person starts by telling three stories. Of these, two are true and one is a lie. The trick is for the others to guess which of the three stories is a lie. Whoever guesses right can be the one to go next.

6. Charades

Often played at home with friends and family, this game has been around for decades and continues to entertain young and old alike today. Instead of keeping it confined to the comfort of your home, why not take Charades with you on the bus? You don’t need anything to prepare for it. All you need to do is act out a word without speaking. Now, it’s everyone else’s turn to guess what that word is. What makes this game extra fun is that it’s really entertaining watching people’s silent acting on a moving bus.

7. Story Building

Great for groups, this is also the perfect way to stimulate one’s imagination. The story-building game starts with one person beginning a story—-any story—-with a single sentence. Go around from person to person and each one adds their own unique element of imagination to the story. It can turn out funny, scary, serious, or plain old romantic. Let your imaginations go wild with this one!

8. Would You Rather?

Sparking cool debates, the “Would you rather…?” game is exactly what the name suggests. You pick two different alternatives to something and then discuss your answers. For example, you can ask your bus mates “Would you rather have wings or gills?” or “Would you rather be Batman or Superman?”. The options are absolutely endless and the discussions that ensue can be quite entertaining.

9. Sing-Along

Sing-alongs are a fun way to pass the time on a long bus trip, too. Simply pick a well-known song to sing along to and everyone joins in. It’s a fantastic way of creating joyful noise, even if the sound is quite off-key. Sometimes, that’s the best part about it.

10. Bus Bingo

For bus bingo, you’ll need a little prior preparation. But it’s not hard. You’ll simply need a few pieces of paper with things you may see on the road. You’ll then need to look out the window and identify the things outside that match your bingo card. The first person to spot all of them and get a line wins. And remember, your lines can be as long as you want; three is usually the shortest while you can go upwards of five for more complex bus bingo games. It all depends on your companions and what age group they’re in.

11. Guess the Song

This musical challenge can be an awesome way to have some fun while stimulating the brain. It takes careful listening and quick thinking. One person chooses a song and hums or whistles it. It’s up to everyone else to guess what the song is. The person who answers correctly the fastest can be the next one to choose a song to hum or whistle and so the game continues.

12. Tic Tac Toe

If you’ve brought a notebook with you, it’s time to take it out along with a pen for you and the partner you’re sitting next to on the bus. Draw the Tic Tac Toe grid on the paper. One person will be aiming to place Xs on the grid in a line of three while the other person will be aiming to place Os on the grid. Each person takes turns and the first one to get three in a row is the winner.

13. Hangman

You’ll once again need some paper and a pen for this game. You’ll need to think of a word and instead of saying it or writing it down, you’ll draw blank spaces on the page representing each of the letters. Everyone has a turn to guess one letter at a time. A right guess means that the letter is then written on the relevant blank space while a wrong guess leads to drawing a hangman.

14. Pictionary

Pictionary is fun to play and it can get as easy or as complex as you want. One person chooses a word and draws it on a piece of paper. Remember that there should be no letters or numbers on the picture drawn. Next, others have to guess what the word is based on the picture drawn. Although it can be easy to identify a rabbit, for example, some more complex words like “beautiful” can be harder to draw. That’s one of the reasons why this game is so much fun.

15. Hot Seat

With the hot seat game, one person is chosen to be in the “hot seat”. They become the center of attention as others ask them a bunch of questions, which they are required to answer. It’s a great way to get to know others and your questions can be as simple as “What is your favorite animal?” to something more complex such as “What is your favorite subject at school and why?”

16. Memory Game

Good for stimulating your memory and strengthening your brain muscle, this game starts with one person saying “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing…”. The next person repeats what the first person says and adds an item. The third, fourth, and subsequent person do the same. The last person needs to say every single item in the same order as it was said by trying not to forget any of them. It calls for attention, listening, and memory skills.

17. Alphabet Game

The alphabet game requires that you pay attention to what you see outside the bus. You start in alphabetical order and try to find objects that start with each letter of the alphabet. “A” may stand for airplane or apple tree, while “B” can be for bus. Go in order of the alphabet and try to see how many objects you can identify this way, aiming to get the highest number possible.

18. Riddle Me This

You’ll need to be prepared ahead of time for this one, but it’s a great brain teaser and a wonderful way to get the mind thinking out of the box. All you need to do is ask a riddle that everyone around you tries to solve. This is a classic brain teaser that stimulates creative thinking and can spark interesting conversations.

19. Never Have I Ever

Another fun way to get to know your traveling companions is to play the “never have I ever” game. Everyone playing the game holds up their fingers. One person starts by saying something they’ve never done. However, if others have done that thing, one finger goes down for each thing they have done. The person with the most fingers up is the winner.

20. Thumb Wrestling Tournament

The last one on our list is to play the thumb war. You may know the intro to this challenge as “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war. Five, six, seven, eight, try to keep your finger straight”. Here, two people pair up and lock their thumbs. Each one tries to pin the other’s thumb down. Although it may be silly, it’s also an incredibly fun challenge.

20 Fun Things to Pass the Time on a Long Bus Ride

Whether you are traveling solo or in a group, there are other things to do on a long bus journey than stay glued to a screen. Take a look at some of our top ideas below.

1. Window Art

If the creative streak runs in you, you’ll want to bring along some washable window markers. Use these to doodle or write messages on the bus windows. This is temporary art with a great view and it’s a wonderful way of keeping yourself occupied while getting the creative juices flowing.

2. Karaoke

You may think that you need a karaoke machine for this one but that’s definitely not the case. Simply start your sing-along session with your voices and a whole lot of enthusiasm. Let it spread through the bus and give it your all!

3. Travel Journal

For the introspective ones, traveling can be a great time to ponder more serious thoughts. You can use a travel journal to write about your journey or even sketch interesting sights you see. Note down your observations, thoughts, or even cool conversations you may have had with others on the journey as a keepsake to help you visit the moment later on.

4. Knitting or Crocheting

It doesn’t take a lot to learn knitting or crocheting and if you already have the skills, bring along your yarn and needles and get creative. From beanies to scarves, blankets and so much more, you really have a whole world at your fingertips and you can use a wide range of colors to create your next masterpiece.

5. Photography

Photography is an incredible way to capture special moments. As the passing scenery changes almost unnoticeably, you’ll be able to capture interesting sights and changing landscapes with your camera. You can even post your creations on social media to help your friends follow the journey with you.

6. Card Tricks

Are you someone who loves the magic of magic? If so, you’ll definitely have some tricks up your sleeve (probably literally). So, why not impress your fellow travelers with some card or other ticks you know? As a great icebreaker, it’s also a wonderful way for you to practice and get better at this skill.

7. Origami

If you are good at the art of origami or you’d like to practice, then taking the time available during your long bus journey is a great way to do this. All you need to do is get some paper beforehand and start folding it into beautiful shapes. You can always give your fellow passengers your creations so that you create a friendly and cheerful atmosphere.

8. Reading

Immerse yourself into another world as you dive into a short story or your favorite novel. For this reason, you’ll need to bring along a good book or a magazine to enjoy as the miles roll by.

9. Coloring

Did you think that coloring books were just for children? Think again! There are literally thousands of adult coloring books that you can choose from with a myriad of patterns for you to color in. Bring along your pencils and go wild. It’s an incredibly therapeutic exercise as well.

10. Meditation

Practicing mindfulness or meditation is a great way to stay focused on the present moment and absorb everything around you with no judgment or fear. All you need to do is close your eyes, breathe deeply, and observe your thoughts as your mind starts to slow down and relax. The hum of the bus can be surprisingly calming and you’ll enjoy the relaxed feeling after.

11. People Watching

People watching doesn’t have to only take place in public places. You can get highly creative on the bus as well. Let your imagination run wild as you make up stories about fellow passengers. Where do you think they’re going? What do you think their story is?

12. Stargazing

If you’re going on an overnight bus journey, you should take full advantage of it. You should look out at the sky and try to find constellations. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a shooting star to make a wish upon.

13. Snacking

Long bus rides often mean that you’ll have packed snacks for the trip. When feeling peckish, go ahead and snack on your treats. It may even be nice to share and trade with others on the journey. It’s a great way to foster a cheerful atmosphere of sharing and kindness.

14. Crafting

Another excellent way to stay occupied and entertained on a long bus ride is by engaging in crafts. Simple ones such as beading or making friendship bracelets can certainly be done on the move and you’ll not only love the result but so will the gift recipient.

15. Chatting

Whether you’re traveling in a group that you know or you are seeing unfamiliar faces on the bus shouldn’t worry you. There’s always something new to be learned about your fellow passengers and the best way to do so is by chatting with them and sharing stories and experiences.

16. Sketching

If you’ve got a creative flair, why not put your talents to good use? You can bring along a sketchbook and draw anything that catches your eye. This can include the scenery, people, or absolutely anything else.

17. Daydreaming

We often don’t have time to daydream anymore but this is a wonderful way of letting your mind wander. It’s amazing what interesting things you can come up with by simply letting your mind drift off in different directions. You can plan future events, go back in time and recollect the past, or simply let your imagination run free and see where it takes you. Some of your best ideas may be born out of daydreaming so it’s worth using the time you have in creative ways.

18. Puzzle Books

Puzzle books are another excellent investment in your long bus journey. You can do things like crossword puzzles, figure out the nine-line Sudoku, do word searches, or even scrambled letters to keep your mind engaged.

19. Learning

For those who like to make the most use of their time, why not use your time on the bus to learn something new? You can listen to a language course, practice a new skill, or do anything else that teaches you something you didn’t know before.

20. Planning

Our final tip for enjoying and making the most out of your long bus journey is to plan ahead. Use the time and space that you have to plan your activities once you reach your destination. Akin to an itinerary, you can decide where you’ll go, how long you’ll be there, and how you’ll travel while keeping interesting sights and sounds in mind so that you optimize your time on the bus.

Key Takeaways

Long bus journeys don’t have to feel long at all. Especially if you do fun and engaging things on the bus to keep your mind active and entertained. Whether you’re traveling in a group or solo doesn’t matter. You can always engage the other passengers to join in your suggested fun activity. From sing-alongs to guessing games, the options are almost limitless. Make new memories and friends on your trip because your bus journey just got a whole lot more fun and interesting. Not to mention unforgettable.