Fun Games To Play On A Charter Bus

So, you’re prepping for a big trip with a group. You've most likely figured out lodging accommodations, built your itinerary, and booked your charter bus rental through Price4Limo.

But have you figured out how you and your fellow passengers are going to pass the time on the road? You can certainly pop a movie into your bus rental’s DVD player or scroll through social media with your onboard WiFi, but sometimes group activities are a much-needed way to break up a long ride. We at Price4Limo are no strangers to long bus rides. From transporting groups across the country for conferences to shuttling wedding parties throughout the city, we’ve helped countless passengers make the most of their time on a bus.

We’ve put together 10 of our favorite road trip games that are perfect for groups of all sizes and ages—and best of all, most of them don’t require anything more than your imagination. So grab your friends, your family, or even the strangers sitting next to you, and make the ride to your destination fun with these road-trip-approved games.

Our Favorite Games To Play On A Charter Bus

#1. License Plate

This game is a relatively calm and relaxing way to entertain yourself on a bus ride. All you need to do is look out the window and take note of different license plates.

Choose a partner and create your own rules:

  1. Pick a partner: Choose who you’d like to play this game with.
  2. Create a category: You and your partner can make up your own rules for this game. Here are a few categories you can use, from simple ones to more challenging ones:
    • Plates that start with the letter “C”
    • Plates from California
    • Plates with the number 7 on them
  3. Look for it: Scan the license plates of the vehicles that drive by or the ones that are parked along the road.
  4. Keep score: Whoever finds the most license plates in that category at the end of the trip wins!

#2. I Spy!

This simple game is a classic for a reason! Take in the sights along your bus rental’s route and get your fellow passengers’ minds going with a few rounds of “I Spy.”

i spy game

You can use these rules:

  1. Pick an object: Pick an object you can see from the window of your charter bus or within the cabin. This object can be something as simple as a billboard in the distance, a house number, or a passenger's bright green shirt.
  2. Say “I Spy”: Say “I spy with my little eye, something (insert color of chosen object).”
  3. Let the guessing begin: Your fellow passengers can then take turns guessing what you chose to spy. Don’t make it too easy on them; keep your object a secret.
  4. The winner: When someone guesses correctly, they get their turn to pick a new object.

#3. Tic Tac Toe

Two players, a pen or pencil, and a sheet of paper are all you’ll need for this game.

Draw your game board: Draw two vertical lines intersected by two horizontal lines to create a square with nine separate spaces. It should look like this:

The Rules:

  1. Pick a shape: Each player must choose which shape to use—either an “X” or an “O.”
  2. First player’s turn: The first player (you can choose whoever is older or has a birthday closer to the day of the trip) will pick a space and place their chosen shape inside of it. For example, if the first player chose “X,” they will put an “X” in their chosen space.
  3. Second player’s turn: Now it’s the second player’s turn. The second player will place their chosen shape in a space on the board. The second player will choose a space that will hinder the first player from placing three “X’s” in a straight line.
  4. Keep going: The game continues until someone gets three “X’s” or “O’s” in a straight line. The first person to do that wins.
  5. End of the game: Play five rounds and keep score. Whoever wins the most rounds wins the entire game.

#4. War

A deck of cards is the only thing your group will need for this classic game. This is a great two-person game but can also be played in larger groups with multiple decks of cards.

Gather a partner (or two!) and get ready to play. If you’ve never played before, the rules are as follows:

  1. Goal of the game: The goal of the game is to win all the cards in the deck.
  2. Shuffle: Make sure to thoroughly shuffle the deck before splitting the cards. That way, you’ll have a fairer game.
  3. Split the deck: Split the deck in half, giving half of the cards to your partner. You can choose to split by dealing or you can separate the deck into two stacks.
  4. Flip: You and your partner will both flip the top card over in your hand. Whoever has the higher ranking card wins the round.
  5. Ranking: The ranking system for cards in War is A (highest) K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. An ace trumps all the other cards, while a 2 trumps nothing.
  6. War: If both players have a card of the same ranking, that means “war.” You both lay three more cards facedown, one by one. Next, you both flip a fourth card over. Whoever has the highest ranking card of these fourth cards wins all the cards from that round, including the facedown ones.
  7. End of the game: The game goes until someone has all of the cards.

#5. Would You Rather

This is one of those classic games to help break the ice between strangers or a fun way to get to know your friends even better.

To play this game, all you need is a partner and your imagination.

How to play:

  1. Choose a partner: Pick someone you want to play with—it could be someone you know well or even a stranger sitting next to you on the bus!
  2. Come up with two choices: You will need to come up with two different situations that you have to choose from. For example, you can pick from simple scenarios like “Would you rather have a burger for dinner or a plate of nachos?”
  3. Ask your partner: Ask your partner “Would you rather (insert first scenario here) or (insert second scenario here)?” Like, would you rather live in Austin, Miami or Roanoke (the right answer is obviously Miami since Price4Limo is based out of South Florida but to each their own!)?
  4. Your partner answers: Your partner has to choose one of the scenarios. No opting out!
  5. Keep it going: Now it’s your partner’s turn to come up with scenarios and ask you the same question. Keep going until you or your partner runs out of steam. No judgment if you only play a few rounds—some people are just not great at coming up with ridiculous scenarios.

#6. Hangman

This game is a timeless classic that you can play with just a partner, a pen or pencil, and a sheet of paper. It’s also surprisingly more challenging and suspenseful than you may think!

hangman game

Find a partner and play by these rules:

  1. Pick a word or phrase: Choose what you want your partner to guess. It could be something simple like “dog” or “hamburger” or something a bit more difficult like “Space Shuttle Discovery.”
  2. Draw the spaces: Draw a dash for each letter in your chosen word or phrase.
  3. Start guessing: Now it’s your partner’s turn to guess the word by saying letters. For example, if you chose the word “apple” and your partner guesses “E” you say “Nope, that’s not in the word.” You do not fill a space on the board with an “E.”
  4. Correct guess: If your partner guesses a correct letter—like “P”—then you fill in the spaces where “P” appears. It would look like this: _PP_E
  5. Wrong guesses: Each time your partner gets a wrong guess, you draw another line onto your hangman.
  6. Hangman: The hangman is traditionally drawn with a circle for the head, followed by a vertical line for the torso, then two lines slanting out for the legs, then two lines slanting out from the torso for the arms, and finally a diagonal line above the head for a noose. It should look like this:
  1. Game over: The game is over if your partner guesses the word correctly before the hangman is finished or if they do not guess correctly and the hangman is hanging.

#7. Name that Tune

Test your group’s knowledge of music and movies! This one is fun for everyone, even those who consider themselves tone-deaf. All you need is a mobile device and access to music apps like Spotify or iTunes to play.

How to play:

  1. Pick a song: Choose a song—from a movie soundtrack, a favorite artist, or anything, really.
  2. Play the song: Play a small section of the song out loud. If you’re traveling on a smaller minibus rental, you can play it from your device’s speaker. If you’re traveling on a full-sized motorcoach, you can use an auxiliary cord to plug into the bus’s sound system.
  3. Keep it a secret: Do your best to keep the song title and artist a secret from your fellow passengers!
  4. Guess the song: Let everyone try to guess the title and artist. This will be relatively easy with well-known pop hits, but you can crank up the difficulty with lesser-known movie soundtracks or indie bands.
  5. The winner: Whoever gets it right picks the next song and plays it for the group.

#8. Tell Me a Story

Have fun building a completely spontaneous story with your fellow charter bus passengers. A story can be as long as your group wants.

To start playing:

  1. Choose a group: Gather your group of storytellers. If you’re on a small bus, you can include everyone! If you’re on a larger bus, break up into smaller groups of five or six people each. You may also want to choose a moderator to keep time and make sure everyone stays on track.
  2. First person: The first person to start the story will say four words. They can pick any four words at random to set the story. For example, they might say, “Once upon a…”
  3. Second person: The next person in the group will add four more words. For example, they may add “…time, there was…”
  4. Third person: The third person will add four more words. The story may now look something like: “Once upon a time, there was… a princess…”
  5. Keep it going: Have each person add their own four words. If someone fumbles up by taking too long or by saying a phrase that’s fewer than four words, they’re out!
  6. Add restrictions: The moderator can add rules to make the game more challenging, like requiring everyone to use a specific theme such as “horror” or “fairytales” or a time period like “ancient Egypt.”

#9. 20 Questions

This is a great game to play with a new friend, a family member you haven’t seen in years, or even a random stranger sitting next to you. The rules are simple: one person thinks of a person, place, or thing, and then everyone else gets to ask up to 20 yes-or-no questions to figure out what it is.

If you’re playing with younger children, you may want to give them a few hints to get them started. For example, instead of saying “I’m thinking of an animal,” you might say “I’m thinking of a mammal with black and white stripes.”

#10. Memory Game

This game is perfect if you’re traveling with a large group and need to find something everyone can participate in at once. The first player will start the game by saying a word or phrase. The second player will repeat that word and add another. The third player will then repeat those two words and add a third. Keep playing until someone forgets what words came before!

For example: The first person says “apple,” the second says “apple, banana,” the third says “apple, banana, cherry,” and so on. It may seem easy, but the list can get long and difficult to remember. Don’t be surprised if everyone makes it to 15 words before someone fumbles!

#11. Charades

This classic game is a fan-favorite for a reason! To get started, split your group of players into two teams. Then, each team member will take turns acting out a word or phrase—no talking allowed!—while their teammates try to guess what it is. You can set a time limit for each round, usually one minute. Each team will score a point when they guess correctly, and you can even add friendly stakes to the game by betting snacks or drinks!

You can even have fun theme ideas for Charades! Try focusing on well-known movie titles, characters, or animals. You can also write down your word choices ahead of time or be spontaneous and choose words as you go. Whatever your group chooses, you’re sure to have an entertaining and collaborative bus ride with this classic game.

#12. Two Truths and a Lie

This game is all about trying to fool your opponents. To play, each player will come up with three statements about themselves—two of the statements will be true, and one will be a lie. Then, they’ll share their three statements with the other players, who must guess which one is the lie.

For example, your statements could be: “I was born in France,” “I have six brothers,” and “I can speak four different languages.” Two of these statements must be true and one must be a lie. This game is fun because you get to learn interesting facts about your fellow travelers—and maybe even uncover a few white lies.

#13. Finish the Lyric

If your group has a few music buffs, this is the game to play to pass the time. The first player will play a song on their phone or computer and then pause the track mid-song. Then, the rest of your group must try to guess what the next lyric will be!

For example, if the track is “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and the player stops the track after “See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen,” everyone in the group must figure out the next lyric in the song. The answer is “Friday night and the lights are low.” Sharing your favorite music is a fun way to learn more about your fellow travelers and may even spawn a sing-along or two!

Pro Tips!

thumbs up

So your group has picked their favorite games and is ready to have some fun during your trip. If you really want to make your charter bus journey comfortable and entertaining, keep these additional travel tips in mind:

  • Organize a pre-trip poll: Create an online poll to get a headcount of who plans to participate in each game ahead of time. That way, you won’t waste time with everyone digging in their bags for decks of cards or explaining rules.
  • Choose games suited to your travel distance: If you have a four-hour charter bus trip, maybe you won’t have enough time to play all of the games. Pick a few favorites or play a simple, quick game like Tic Tac Toe before moving onto a more in-depth one.
  • Don’t forget your supplies: When it comes to packing for a trip on a bus rental, don’t forget the little things like pens and paper or a deck of cards if you need them.
  • Bring along chargers and earphones: Most charter bus rentals will be equipped with power outlets so passengers can charge electronics, but it’s always a good idea to bring backup chargers just in case. If you’re playing games on your phone, like Heads Up, be sure to bring earphones as well so you don’t bother other passengers.
  • Set up prizes! Winners at the end of each game can get their pick of snacks or even get to choose the next movie to play on your bus’s TV.

Book Your Charter Bus Trip with Price4Limo Today!

Planning a group trip is always an exciting time! If your organization is looking for a reliable group transportation service, let Price4Limo help you get to your destination. Our nationwide charter bus rental network can provide minibuses and full-sized charter buses for a plethora of occasions. Whether you’re headed to a wedding, organizing a school trip, or want to travel for a local sporting event, Price4Limo has a bus rental to meet your needs.

When you call our offices at 1-866-265-5479 you’ll be connected with one of our reservation experts who can answer any questions you have about booking, pricing, and more. We're here 365 days a year to make sure you have a great experience!