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39 Fun Things To Do On A Long Bus Ride (Incredible Unique Ideas)

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Are you wondering what to do on a bus to stay entertained? This article will bulldoze your boredom out of existence! Whether you are by yourself or with friends, this ultimate guide of unbelievable ideas will keep you busy until the end of your bus trip.

I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes the journey can drag. That’s why I’ve prepared this list of fun things to do on a long bus ride to provide endless enjoyment during that tedious trip!

There is a wide variety of ideas ranging from podcasts, audiobooks, and music, to productive pursuits, writing, and organizational undertakings. When you’re bored on a bus, all you need to do is entertain yourself with a prepared list of activities.

Work through the list below and feel free to improvise as you go. Read on now to see our top suggestions for things to do on a bus ride.

Don’t miss our other popular articles such as our tips to make sleeping on a bus comfortable and fun games to play on a bus

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what to do on a long bus ride

Organize your YouTube subscriptions to make them more relevant

If you’re like me and you spend a lot of time on YouTube, it’s great when the recommendations you receive are relevant and interesting. A long bus ride is a good opportunity to clear through old subscriptions and remove unwanted channels.

Listen to a free audiobook

listening to an audiobook on a bus

If you are on a particularly long bus ride, sometimes music can get boring. A great way to pass a longer amount of time is with an audiobook. You can get a free trial on Audible and listen to a massive range of books and podcasts!

Stuck for ideas? Check out our favorite audiobooks for road trips.

Organize your email inbox and remove unwanted marketing subscriptions

It’s natural for emails to pile up and create absolute havoc in your inbox. One thing I like to do on a long bus ride is to go through my inbox and unsubscribe to all of the marketing emails I no longer want to receive. You can also take the time to delete unwanted emails and reply to any you’ve missed.

Think of 5 business ideas and write them down

Did you know that Mark Cuban came up with his most famous business idea whilst riding on a bus? Well, I am sorry to inform you, that he didn’t. But that is not to say that you will not think of a life-changing idea right here, right now! Wake up and smell the commerce because it’s time to turn those incredible ideas into boatloads of Benjamins!

Find a new podcast

listening to a podcast on a bus

For the uninitiated, a podcast is a digital audio service. You can listen to interesting conversations which sometimes come in video format. They often come in installments and you can follow your favorite creators. Check out our article with the best road trip podcasts to keep you entertained!

Start a conversation with a stranger

This is always risky as sometimes people don’t feel like chatting. However, there’s no harm in making small talk and seeing if something develops. If you are traveling and there are other foreigners on the bus, you might find they are more than happy to strike up a conversation and meet someone new. Use our road trip conversation starters for inspiration!

Read a magazine or a newspaper

reading a newspaper on a long bus ride

Whilst at a rest stop, pick up a newspaper or a magazine on a topic you’re interested in. Reading something the old-fashioned way instead of endlessly scrolling on your phone is a nice way to change things up.

Find new music and create playlists

Use the opportunity to explore some genres that you wouldn’t usually listen to on Spotify or Apple Music. Perhaps create a new playlist of songs you find or organize your existing ones. Having organized music makes it easier to find the best road trip songs to come back to in the future.

Read a blog on a new hobby or interest

If you want to learn more about a topic or interest, there are two key ways. The first is through YouTube, but often an online blog can be the perfect way to expand your knowledge. People put a lot of time into writing in-depth articles. Search a question about a hobby of yours and you are sure to come across a number of niche sites to choose from.

Read a book

reading a book on a bus trip

So long as you don’t suffer from motion sickness, a bus journey is a great time to make good progress on a book. This could be an exciting novel or an educational non-fiction title. Perhaps pick one up during the rest breaks if you don’t already have one with you.

Many of the best road trip books are also available to read directly from your smartphone using the Kindle app.

Organize your phone photos and apps

It’s normal to end up with an overcrowded collection of photos on your phone. A long bus ride is a good opportunity to clear out unwanted images. The same thing is true for apps. We’ve all downloaded an app, used it once, and then forgotten about it. Take some time to clear out your phone and create more space for things you want.

Edit photos and create a favorites album

editing photos on a bus journey

After you have cleared out unwanted photos, why not create a few albums of your favorite moments so that you can reminisce about those memories? You can edit them using an app such as Snapseed or Adobe Lightroom.

Try meditation and mindfulness

meditating on a bus trip

Mindfulness has been shown to have many benefits such as improved sleep, stress relief, and the alleviation of gastrointestinal difficulties. Why not download an app such as 10% Happier and have a go at an introduction to meditation?

Set targets for the month ahead

Use the time at hand to plan out your goals for the next few weeks. This could be anything from health and fitness targets to career/business goals. Create targets that are specific, measurable achievable, and realistic.

Have a nap to improve mood and alertness

Having a short nap is great for reducing fatigue, improving mood, and increasing alertness. Taking some time out to catch up on sleep during the bus ride is a good way to be relaxed and ready when you arrive at your destination. If you have a long journey ahead it’s great to be alert when you arrive, so you can do something fun.

Check Out: Sleeping on a Bus Tips

Plan a foreign holiday

fun things to do on a long bus ride

Has the dull, drone of the bus engine got you thinking of sunny beaches and snowy ski slopes? Planning exciting trips is a fun way to pass the time. Some people think planning a trip is just as fun as going on one! Why not spend some time checking out a map of the world and compiling a list of the places you most want to visit next?

Answer all the messages you never get around to responding to

Take some time to work through all of your messages and respond to the ones you’ve missed. A bus trip is a great time to get a lot of tasks done that you never get around to doing. It will be a great feeling at the end!

Do stretches and mobility exercises

stretching exercises whilst on a bus

Sitting still for long periods of time can lead to lower back discomfort. Take some time to do some basic stretches followed by a bit of movement to stretch your legs.

Plan fun things to do at your destination

Why not google some fun things to do at your destination? Perhaps look for some events, cool bars, or even research the best restaurants. It’s easy in life to stick with your routine and do what’s easy. Mix it up and plan to try a new cuisine or visit a music venue you wouldn’t normally go to!

Read some funny road trip jokes

A bit of light-hearted humor can provide a well-needed break from the monotonous drone of the bus engine. We’ve got an article with a variety of road trip jokes, a great way to fill 20 minutes of your time. Not enough humor for you? Head over to our travel jokes and puns article next.

Send nice messages to family and friends

It’s easy when you have a hectic schedule to forget to keep up to date with what your friends and family are up to. Take some time to think about who you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send them a nice message, asking them how they are doing.

Do a puzzle or crossword

doing a crossword puzzle on a bus

The brain is like a muscle, giving it a workout has good general health benefits. Why not try a puzzle or crossword to pass the time? One of my favorite things to do each morning is to try to solve the Wordle of the day!

Write an in-depth to-do list for the following day

If you are spending a long time on the bus today, then why not make tomorrow as productive as possible? Write an in-depth to-do list and choose an early wake-up time. That way you can start the day in a positive way and win your morning!

Play chess online

playing chess on a bus trip

There is no challenge quite like the intellectual battle of a chess match against a hardened opponent. allows you to take on the world in free games of one of history’s most famous games.

Find the current highest-rated mobile game in the app store

I’m sure you have a wide variety of games to play on your phone during a bus trip. Why not head to the app store and see what the current highest-rated game is? Give something new a try, you might just be happy about it.

Play 20 questions with another passenger

This is one of my favorite road trip games, but it requires another passenger to play with! Full details are in the article I just linked to. Essentially one person has 20 questions to deduce what person the other player is thinking about. Questions can only have “yes” or “no” answers!

If you get bored with 20 questions, why not try some road trip questions?

Watch a movie

watching a movie on a bus

It wouldn’t be a decent list if it didn’t include one of the most obvious ways to entertain yourself on a bus ride. Head over to Netflix, Amazon, or your favorite streaming service. Kick back, relax, and throw a movie on. Congratulations, you just ran down the clock by two hours!

Browse social media

A bit of harmless scrolling is a reasonable way to reduce some of the time you have left before you arrive at your destination.

Before you get on the bus, resist the urge to load up on unhealthy food. Instead, grab some healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and fruit to enjoy on the road. While you’re there, don’t forget to follow The Road Trip Expert on Instagram!

Play the license plate game

The License Plate Game is simple. Look out for number plates from different states and make them off the list as you see them. You can play on your own, co-operatively, or even competitively!

Read some insightful articles on Medium

Medium is a great website where you can read interesting articles and short pieces. Writers from around the world can create profiles and upload content. You can browse an author’s work, or follow different topics you are interested in. They offer a free trial and I would recommend it for a different reading experience.

Eat healthy snacks

eating healthy snacks on a bus

Resist the temptation to purchase unhealthy junk food from the gas station during stops on a long bus ride. If you’re reading this article prior to setting off you could consider preparing some of these delicious road trip snacks!

Do some crafts

A great way to pass the time could be to do some knitting, or other crafts. So long as you are respectful of the space of other passengers, it should be fine!

Admire the scenery

How often do you get to take some time to yourself and admire the absolute glory of nature? Look out the window and be amazed at the endless array of flora and fauna. Birds fluttering their wings in the summer breeze whilst a bee pollinates a beautiful sunflower.

Play road trip bingo

Road Trip Bingo is a fun and easy game where you essentially try and spot things on a list whilst you are on the road. It’s similar to a road trip scavenger hunt but a little different.

Write a poem or a rap song

Trying something new…. wasn’t that the point of googling ideas for what to do on a bus ride? Why not get your creative juices flowing and try writing a rap song or poem? Throw in some rhymes and rhythm and see what happens. Maybe make an audio recording of your creation and send it to your friends. We would not advise singing to other passengers!

Learn a new language

Whether you are home or abroad, a bus journey is a great time to practice some simple foreign language skills. Duolingo is a simple and easy way to start learning a language, for free!

Write a journal entry

Writing down your thoughts can be therapeutic and enlightening. Coming back to them in the future is interesting and insightful. If you don’t already have a journal, why not order one online and take up writing as a hobby?

Write a novel or a short story

Get those creative juices flowing by writing a short story to pass some time. Try to keep it under 1000 words and think of the most random storyline you can!

Research future events you would like to go to with a friend

Is there a friend that you haven’t seen in a while, but you have many great memories together? Why not have a think about a fun event that you could suggest to go together to. Music events, food festivals, and mountain adventures are just a few of my favorite things to do with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.

10 Things Not To Do When You’re On A Bus

what not to do on a bus

We all have those pet hates when we are on a long bus journey. Here are my top 10 things NOT to do when on a long bus ride!

  • Don’t eat smelly hot food on the bus, keep it to the rest stops!
  • Be considerate of other passengers and keep the volume down on your headphones.
  • Don’t put your feet on the chairs, it’s just good manners.
  • Don’t leave a mess around the seat, it makes it a nice environment for everyone.
  • Don’t spread out into other passengers’ space. If you paid for one seat, stick to one!
  • Avoid phone calls, no one wants to hear your gossip, unfortunately.
  • Don’t leave your valuables on show. Unfortunately, crime happens, and sometimes on buses.
  • Don’t be late getting back to the bus during a rest stop. People have schedules to keep!
  • Try not to let the little things get to you. If someone does something annoying, be tolerant.
  • If you have to sneeze, don’t do so with your mouth open.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any suggestions please fire away in the comments and I may add them to the list!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase, but this is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert.

Image of Iain The Founder Of The Road Trip Expert

Iain Salter

Founder & Editor of The Road Trip Expert

Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He first developed a passion for backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries.


J Nelson

Wednesday 7th of April 2021

A really good article. Just what I was looking for. Personally I like to play a board game such as bananagrams (travel size of course!)