Who doesn’t love a great road trip? In fact, 74% of us agree that the journey can be more exciting than the destination!
At least…in theory.
Because let’s face it — there are some stretches of road trips (especially long bus rides) where things can get a little boring. Once you’ve finished your book or played your umpteenth game of solitaire, what’s next?
What you need are some fun bus games to make those hours fly by!
Keep reading below for the best games to play on the bus for families, groups, kids, and more.
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Classic Games to Play on a Bus
Not sure where to begin? Get the fun started with these classic road trip games that the entire family will enjoy.
1. I Spy
Everyone already knows it, but it’s an age-old classic that never loses its charm. Take turns describing something you see using the phrase, “I spy with my little eye…” and then have everyone guess what it is.
To make things more interesting, choose an I Spy theme (i.e., signs, animals, or colours) or set a time limit for everyone’s guesses.
2. License Plate Hunt
Prepare a list of states or countries, and have your group mark off each one they spot on passing license plates.
Turn it into a friendly competition to see who can complete their list first. You could also try to spot themed license plates or plates that begin or end with a certain letter or number.
3. Twenty Questions
Perfect for long bus rides, the sky’s the limit with what you can do with 20 Questions. Simply choose a person, place, or thing, and give your travelling companions twenty opportunities (using “yes” or “no”) answers to guess who, what, or where you’re thinking of.
If no one has figured it out after 20 questions, they must take their best guess. Award points to the winner and then it’s their turn to think of something next.
4. Miniature Board Games
You might not have space for a gigantic board game, but you’ll have no problem playing the miniature version during your bus ride.
Before you depart, stock up on the miniature (and preferably magnetised) versions of your favourite games — chess, checkers, Scrabble, Monopoly, or Battleship, to name a few. Don’t forget an old-fashioned deck of cards too!
5. The Chain Game
Pick a category like celebrities, cities, food, movies, or TV shows. The first person gives their answer, and the next person must continue the chain by selecting a word that begins with the last letter of the previous answer.
For example, “Ottawa” could be followed by “Athens,” then “Sacramento,” and so on. If someone takes too long to answer, they lose their turn.
6. Name the Most…
In this game, everyone takes turns naming as many things as they can think of in a specific category.
Depending on everyone’s age and interests, you could use categories like “Disney princesses,” “Star Wars characters,” “classic cocktails,” or “African animals.”
Whoever can name the most things in a set amount of time (i.e., 60 seconds) wins the game.
Group Games to Play on the Bus
Travelling with a large group? Get the entire bus involved with these fun bus games for groups of friends.
Pull up an online dictionary or a list of obscure words and get ready for some serious laughter with a game of “Fictionary.”
Pick an archaic or little-known word like “calcivorous” or “scotophobia” but don’t reveal the actual meaning.
Instead, have everyone write down and share their made-up definitions — the one who gets the most laughs wins.
8. Name That Tune
Queue up your favourite playlist and play the first few seconds of a song. Or, if you’re feeling really daring, try singing or humming the tune instead!
The first person to correctly guess the song then gets their turn to choose a song and have others guess.
9. Bus Stop Gourmet
If you’re tired of the same boring snacks, make breaks more interesting by turning them into your own brilliant version of a food competition!
Before you arrive at the next bus stop diner, gas station, or convenience store, give each “player” a set budget.
The goal is to create the most interesting meal possible with the food options available at that location.
10. Actors & Actresses
Start by choosing a well-known movie or TV show. The first person must then name an actor or actress who plays in it.
The next player must name a different actor or actress, and so on. The first person to get “stuck” is out!
11. Kiss, Marry, or Avoid
You’ll be rolling in the bus aisle laughing when everyone joins in this funny bus game for families or groups of friends.
The premise is simple — pick three well-known famous people (alive or dead, real or fictional).
Then everyone takes turns naming which of the people they would kiss, marry, and avoid.
12. Fortunately, Unfortunately
In this game, you’ll tell a story one line at a time alternating between fortunate and unfortunate events.
For example, the first person may begin by saying, “Fortunately, this will be my first time visiting Disney World.”
The next person adds to the story by saying, “Unfortunately, it was raided by pirates last weekend.”
The story could continue with, “Fortunately, the pirates left behind a chest of buried treasure….” and so on.
Fun Bus Games for Kids
Tired of hearing, “Are we there yet?” Keep the youngsters entertained with these fun bus games for kids.
13. Story Building
Start telling a story with an opening sentence, then have the kids take turns adding to the story one sentence at a time.
If you’re having trouble getting started, try choosing three nouns at random, such as “turtle,” “flower,” and “ice cream.”
Then build the story around those three items (and get ready to laugh, because things will get silly fast).
Print out some road trip bingo cards before your travels or make handwritten bingo cards while you’re on the bus.
Think of objects you’re likely to pass on your trip — for example, a blue car or a yellow house.
Give each member of the family a bingo card and see how long it takes to tick off each item. The first one to spot every item wins when they shout, “Bingo!”
15. Word Association
Here’s a creative game that requires everyone to put on their thinking caps (and gives some interesting insight into how our minds work).
Start with a random word and have the next player say the first word that comes to their mind.
It could be something predictable — i.e., “boy” and “girl” — or you might get some funny and unexpected surprises.
16. Scavenger Hunt
Before you leave for your trip, think about some things you’re likely to see along the way.
Create a scavenger hunt list for the kids (and the adults) to use during the journey.
For example, you could collect silly souvenirs or regional snacks from convenience stores.
Or you could make an “I Spy” type of list of things to watch out for, like a spotted dog or a man in a blue hat.
17. Alphabet Storytelling
One person chooses something that starts with the letter “A.” The next person must recite that word while adding something that starts with “B” and so on.
It’s easy in the beginning, but by the time you’re halfway through the alphabet, it can be tough to remember all those items!
For an added twist, choose a common theme for the words (i.e., animals, foods, cities, etc).
18. Cows on My Side
Easy to play but tons of fun, those miles will fly by when everyone in the family is actively looking for cows out the window.
Every time someone sees a cow and shouts, “Cows on my side!” they win a point. If someone calls out, “Cows on your side!” before someone on that side sees them, they steal a point.
Parents, you can keep your kids entertained for hours by asking a list of fun hypothetical questions.
For example, “If you could turn yourself into any animal, what would you be and why?” or, “If you won a ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?”
Party Bus Games for Adults
Boarding a party bus with your besties or cosying up for a long bus ride with your partner?
20. Movie Line Marathon
If you and your friends love films, you’ll all love this funny bus game!
Recite a line from one of your favourite movies and have everyone guess which movie it’s from.
Don’t just stick with lines everyone knows — try to think of obscure lines from lesser-known films to make it more challenging.
21. Two Truths and a Lie
How well do you know your travelling companions? You’ll find out soon enough with this game that requires some serious creativity (and the ability to lie).
Think of three things to share about yourself — the funnier or more outrageous, the better — keeping in mind that two are actually true while one is a lie.
Then have your friends guess which one is the lie.
22. Would You Rather…?
Break the ice by posing a funny, gross, thought-provoking, or outlandish choice to your travel companions.
For example, “Would you rather win the lottery but lose all your friends or lose all your money but find your soulmate?” or “Would you rather wear someone else’s dirty underwear or use someone else’s toothbrush?”
You’ll be amazed not only by everyone’s answers but also by the hot debates these questions can spark!
23. Tell Me a Story
Can you build a story four words at a time? You’re about to find out with this hilarious game that’s perfect for big groups!
One person begins a story using just four words — for example, “I went to the…” or “I opened the door…” — and the next person continues the story with four more words.
Keep going around the bus to build your (usually hilarious) story four words at a time.
24. Never Have I Ever
This is usually a drinking game, but you can easily adapt it to a road trip setting by having everyone hold up 10 fingers. (Of course, if you’re riding on a party bus, go ahead and have a drink in hand!)
The first person must state something they’ve never done — something as crazy as skydiving or something as mundane as dyeing their hair.
Everyone in the group who has done that thing puts down a finger until someone runs out.
25. Guess the Time
The itinerary claims you’ll be at your destination in seven hours, but will that really be the case?
Make things interesting by having everyone write down their guesses for the arrival time before your bus departs.
Whoever correctly guessed the time (or is closest to it) should win a special prize when you reach your destination.
26. While You Were Sleeping
If everyone’s on board, this hilarious game will create memories you’ll be laughing about for years to come!
Wait until someone on the bus falls asleep, then concoct a funny story about something that happened while that person was asleep.
When they wake up, your goal as a group is to get the person to believe that your made-up story actually happened (and they missed it).
What’s Your Favourite Funny Bus Game?
As you hit the road, remember that these bus games are not just about passing time.
They’re about creating bonds, making memories, and enjoying every moment of your journey.
So, gather your travel companions, unleash your inner child, and let the games begin!
Bookmark this article so you’ll have plenty of fun bus games to choose from.
And don’t forget these games work equally well in a car, truck, RV, or whatever else you’re hitting the road in.
Ready to keep the fun rolling on your journey? Read this post next and test your knowledge of geography trivia!