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 are a wide variety of idea’s ranging from podcasts, audiobooks and music, to productive pursuits, writing and organisational undertakings. When you are 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 of things to do on a bus ride.
Organise 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
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!
Organise 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 the 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
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.
Read a magazine or a newspaper
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 organise your existing ones. Having organised music makes it easier to pick the perfect playlist when you come back in 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
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.
Organise 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 favourites album
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
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 related targets, to career or 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
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
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 humour 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.
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
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?
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
There is no challenge quite like intellectual battle of a chess match against a hardened opponent. Chess.com 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 favourite Road Trip Games, but it requires another passenger to play with! Full details are on 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 of 20 questions, why not try some Road Trip Questions!
Watch a movie
It wouldn’t be a things to do 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.
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 authors 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
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 to 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
This is a fun and easy game where you essentially try and spot things on a list whilst you are on the road. It’s like a scavenger hunt but specifically for road trips.
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 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
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 into 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.
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 started backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries. Read more on the About page.