5 Ideas for Recreational Games on the Bus

5 Ideas for Recreational Games on the Bus

For bus companies or bus operators like ourselves at Patsornchai Tour, whether it be shuttling people to seminars, or group travel among friends, we always aim to leave a good impression of your journey with us. One of the methods we employ in order to do so is to play simple, recreational games onboard. Us organizers are often concerned, particularly for long journeys, of our passengers succumbing to boredom, so we do our best to liven things up, even in the confined space of the bus. With a little ingenuity and engagement, even the bus can become a little playground for all of us to have a bit of fun in.

Recreational activities on the bus. What are some of the advantages?

While we believe simple games can be played on any kind of journey, we think the most effective uses of playing recreational games is twofold: Patsornchai Tour is often hired to provide delivery of company personnel to training or work, and we find that a lot of the time, playing simple games to as a way to relax is effective before and after a stressful day of working. Another good big reason we are advocates of onboard activities is that the passengers get to know each other and learn to trust one another, which is especially useful when we are providing for tours and everybody is not yet familiar with each other, though this can also easily apply to work functions to strengthen professional relationships. To go into just a bit more detail:

Helps relieve stress and reduces travel fatigue

There are times when long journeys are inevitable, and the only mode of transport available is the bus. Sitting in a confined space with not much to do for extended periods of time, waiting for the journey to end, or simply looking forward to the next stop along the way can easily lead to feelings of boredom, fatigue, or even stress for some. Not only will simple recreational games take your mind off of things for a while, they also encourage camaraderie with your fellow passengers, as well as allow you to stretch your muscles as you move around during the activities, which we alternate with periods of rest in between, so you get the most relaxation onboard as well. We find this combination of activity and break lowers stress and significantly relieves fatigue as well.

Helps builds relationships and breaks the ice with your fellow passengers

Particularly applicable to this scenario is when we are asked to provide shuttle services for companies, or when tour agencies employ Patsornchai Tour’s services. One of the secondary objectives of group travel, and especially for companies whose personnel must work closely with each other, is to foster better relationships and build a rapport that will carry into the working environment. We think time spent on the road is the perfect opportunity to get started, since everybody is already in close proximity with each other, and will be for quite a while. We think that with the right activity and engagement from the passengers, even the most mundane journeys can be made that much more meaningful.

5 Ideas for Recreational Activities on the Bus

1. Karaoke

The hottest recreational activity of a bus trip has to be singing, or karaoke. There are few methods that are as effective to get to know someone in a limited amount of time: it is expressive in its performance, people’s love of music is near universal, and the activity is inclusive by nature. Of course, the best way to get involved is to have a turn and sing, but if you are not the type, simply swaying to the beat, or just listening to your fellow passenger is also taking part in the fun. Karaoke is also highly customizable, and the organizer or guide can easily change things up to keep things interesting. Some of our favorite examples that we have seen include singing team battles, pass the microphone games to encourage everybody to participate, and finish the lyrics challenges. Our responsibility as bus operators is to ensure all the proper equipment is in place for this to even be possible: the microphones, speakers, and audio controls must all be in place and functioning by the time you are onboard, and you can rest assured knowing that Patsornchai takes our preparation and vehicle checks very seriously.

2. Simple word games and a massage forfeit

This is a paired activity and the massage is the forfeit for the loser. This is a simple word game and is most commonly played with your “neighbor”, i.e., the other passenger in your paired seating. The games master, or indeed this could simply be decidedly collectively, or as a pair, must mention the name of a category that they will be competing in, and have the players take turns in reeling off the relevant names, e.g., the category might be car brands, and players 1 and 2 will take turns saying a car brand until one of them is unable to come up with a name, or time runs out; and repeating is not allowed. The possible categories are endless: Korean movie stars, soap brands, ingredients in a recipe, etc. The game might sound simple, but can easily turn very competitive, especially when both players are very well-versed in the relevant category. The forfeit could be anything, but generally is a simple shoulder or hand massage. This little bit of skinship goes a long way in building more trust in your playing partner. This also has the added benefit of moving and stretching in your seat.

3. The “People” Bingo Game

There is a good chance that you are already familiar with some variation of Bingo: you cross off numbers on a 3×3 grid, and win by announcing “Bingo” if you cover 3 consecutive squares either diagonally, vertically or horizontally. The equipment required is minimal, and is a popular enough game that explaining the rules should be quite straightforward, so just plain Bingo would actually suffice as a good recreational activity for on-the-road entertainment. At Patsornchai Tour however, we like to add a twist to the classic game: we call it “People Bingo”.

Everybody should have a standard 3×3 grid in front of them, populated with the names of your fellow cabin mates, and you may choose whichever names to fill your grid in with. The next step is to write your own name on a small slip so that a games master may draw your name from a hat. Apart from these 2 points, the same Bingo rules apply: drawn names are stricken from your Bingo sheet (if you have their name written down), and the winner is the first person to cover 3 consecutive squares either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, and the winner gets a small prize. This simple twist means that you have to at the very least learn each other’s names, and the prize can also be adapted. We think this is a simple and effective way to build a friendly rapport with your fellow cabin mates, and we have seen firsthand that it works.

Name that category! “Red fruits” Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

4. Name that category! “Red fruits”

This is a simple category game where the players are required to name objects. This is another activity that is easy to learn, fun to play, and everyone can participate. The most typical category, and thus we will use as an example here, would be “red fruits”, and the winner will be the last player who can name a red fruit that had not been said before (i.e., repetition is not allowed). For example, Mr. A answers with strawberry, and the game leader counts to three. If nobody can come up with a different red fruit, Mr. A will be declared the winner and they receive a prize. But if someone can continue to answer, for example, Mr. B continues with cherry, then the game continues until nobody can name a different red fruit. How many red fruits can you name? Part of the fun is that everybody tries to clamor for the quickest answer and is very easy to get involved in, but the game also often leads to unintentional, funny wordplay. This game is simple to start, as no teams are needed here, but is possible with teams as well. It is easy to learn, and flexible enough to suit a variety of people, and is especially good if there are children, as it practices their recollection skill, and with simple categories even works with shy children who would otherwise be afraid of making a mistake, and encourages them to speak up. This inclusivity makes the game ideal for strangers to play together, and all you really need to get started is simply a microphone.

5. Passing-the-Ball Games

This simple game is more applicable to passengers who already have some level of familiarity with each other, and might require a bit of preparation beforehand, but can easily be improvised. The idea is that someone must prepare a ball (or anything else easy to carry and pass onto another person) to be used to pass on to other people in the car. The games master will play music and the ball should be passed around the cabin while the music plays, the pass can be to anybody in the cabin; and should stop when the games master stops the music, which is done at random. Whoever is holding the ball when the music stops loses, and that person must perform an agreed upon forfeit. The forfeit should ideally be simple and safe to perform in the confines of a bus, but importantly does not have to be a “forfeit” in the traditional sense: this activity was designed for team-building and positivity, so we suggest playing this game as a way of reinforcing relationships. For example, the forfeit could be to name something you liked about the trip so far, or one member of staff you are particularly thankful for. The possibilities are endless.

Preparing for Recreational Activities to do on the Bus

There are unique circumstances and obstacles to overcome when designing and preparing for recreational bus activities when compared to say, outdoors or in a room, including limited space and equipment. This kind of problem and indeed their solutions require a bit of thinking-on-your-feet to work around. At Patsornchai Tour, we pay particular attention to:

1. Coordination with our passengers. We often help our passengers design, or plan their trip with them, in order to provide them with the best possible experience. Nowadays, most buses come with a microphone and speakers as a standard, but we often aim to provide that little bit extra, like wireless microphones, or simple tools and equipment to facilitate any onboard activities the passengers might have designed themselves. These includes other activities not yet mentioned like a lucky draw, holding an on-the-go conference, or even other accommodations, such as those required by special needs passengers or young children.

2. Timing. Road travel can feel especially taxing, particularly after a long holiday getaway, or perhaps a stressful seminar. In cases like these, the best course of action might just be the simplest: letting the passengers relax and taking a nap. The point we make here is that we do not rigidly follow a routine: we often switch things up in order to accommodate to the situation, and of course to the passengers as well. We find that variety is often the best method of keeping everybody engaged and relaxed: music, movies, games. We notice that the best time for recreational activities often falls in the time people are just getting on the bus, so everybody can get acquainted, and when the journey is coming to its end, as it gives everybody one final memory of their cabin mates.

Recreational activities on the bus can make traveling more fun, as they make passengers feel more at ease, and more familiar with their cabin mates. The 5 activities we have outlined so far are simple, easy to prepare, and often have the intended result they are designed for, like learning more about your fellow workers, or building a friendly rapport with your tour group. All that is left is to choose a good bus rental service with the proper equipment and you are on your way to your next best journey!

To rent a bus with Patsornchai Tour, connect with us through our

  • Call Center. 02-537-8881
  • Official Line: @patsornchai
  • Address: Patsornchai Tour Company and Transport Co., Ltd.
  • No. 7/391, Soi Vibhavadi 19, Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Chatuchak, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

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