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Fun Bus Travel Games to Pass the Time on Your Next Trip

If you’re like us, taking the bus or train for long trips is often more fun when doing so with a group of friends with whom you can share the experience. However, trips can become rather boring if everyone is sleeping the entire time or doing their own thing on their phones.

Need some games to play? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some fun group games you and your companions can indulge into to make your bus or train trip fly by in no time!

The Alphabet Game

This game is pretty simple, but it can provide endless hours of entertainment, especially in bigger groups, and works best when everyone is in close proximity to each other.

The game starts with the selection of a category, for instance celebrities. Someone in the group shouts out a celebrity of their choice (e.g. Brad Pitt) and then it becomes the next person’s job to shout out the name of another celebrity whose first name begins with the first letter of the previous answer’s last name (so for Brad Pitt, the next name could be Paris Hilton).

The game continuously follows this pattern, going from person to person in a circular pattern. However, if someone says a name whose first and last name begin with the same two letters (like Marilyn Monroe), the order of people playing becomes reversed, with the previous person having to go again.

Each person gets three strikes for messing up a name or not thinking of one in time (you can determine how long the time limit is yourselves) and the last person standing wins!

The Sign Game

This game relies on people paying attention to road signs, so it’s best to play when it is still light out.

The game is simple. Beginning with the letter A, everyone looks for words on signs that begin with that letter.

Once someone successfully finds the word (No two people can share credit over a word, whoever sees it first gets it), they move on to finding a word that begins with the letter B, going on down the alphabet.

Once you’ve gone through all 26 letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order, it’s time to tally up the points. The winner gets the pride and glory of gloating to his or friends for the rest of the trip!

Tip: to make this game faster-paced, skip the five least used letters of the alphabet: Z, Q, J, X, and K

The Rule Game

The Rule Game can be pretty fun if you’re the one who makes the rule, and quite a challenge if you’re the one trying to guess what the rule is.

The rule-maker chooses a real or imaginary place name consisting of one to three words. “Green Grass Valley,” is an example.

The place name indicates the rule. So, in this case, all three of the words in “Green Grass Valley” contain double letters.

Here’s another example: “Happy Lake Camp.” In this case, each word contains the letter A.

Now the rule-maker makes a statement indicating one thing that isn’t allowed and one that is. This allows the other players to make a good guess at the rule.

Rule maker: “At Happy Lake Camp, there are apples but no plums.”

Now, it’s up to everyone to see who can figure out the rule first. They respond with one thing that is allowed and one that isn’t.

“At Happy Lake Camp, there is volleyball but no fishing,” fits the rule.

Whoever guesses the rule first, and can formulate a suitable sentence, gets a point. Now it’s time for a new rule maker to get everyone thinking!

The License Plate Game

There are many games to play with license plate watching. Some will require pencil or pen and paper, and others won’t. Here are some ideas.

  • Compete to see who can spot a license plate from a specific state first.
  • See who can spot license plates from the most states or countries.
  • Keep score of out-of-state number plates with adjacent states only scoring one point and states further away scoring you two. A license plate from another country gets you three points!

This game keeps you looking out the bus window, so you’ll also get to enjoy any interesting sights along the way! For the long-form games, set a time-limit and then tally up your points.

Optimists and Pessimists

This game has the potential to be very funny indeed, and you can play it after dark. Optimistic statements begin with “Fortunately.” Pessimistic statements begin with “Unfortunately.”

The first person to go makes an optimistic statement. The second makes a pessimistic one, and the third must turn things around with a related optimistic statement. The pattern continues until someone slips up, hesitates for longer than five seconds, or doesn’t fit the theme.

Apply a three-strike rule and the last person left standing wins!

Here’s an example:

“Fortunately, I have packed warm clothes for my trip.”

“Unfortunately, your destination will experience a record-breaking heatwave.”

“Fortunately, I also packed my bathing trunks.”

“Unfortunately, the Loch Ness Monster is hiding at the bottom of the swimming pool.”

“Fortunately, I have my Loch Ness Monster zapper gun.”

As you can see, there’s a lot of potential for creating crazy nonsense stories!

Long bus trips can feel like forever if there’s nothing else to do but sleep, stare out the window, or listen to music. Socializing with friends or family is a great way to pass the time and enjoy each other’s company. The next time you travel with a group of people, try out these fun bus games! You’ll be surprised just how fast the trip flies by and you’ll laugh the whole time coming up with hilarious scenarios. Once you have a great time with these fun travel games, we hope you feel inspired to come up with your own!

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About the author
Jill Schwartz

Jill Schwartz

Jillian has lived in Massachusetts her whole life, but that doesn’t stop her from traveling to other parts of the world. While her most exciting memories have been in France and Belize, her favorite place to go is anywhere with a beach!

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