Group Planner: Games for Charter Trips


Bonding is a key reason people hit the road together. They want that shared experience of being in a group and having a new adventure.

We would offer that bonding on group travel can be expedited by a little healthy competition. More than likely you’ll have hours on your charter bus to fill before you reach the destination, so let’s take a look at some games that will prompt some spirited trash talk and enhance the group trip, regardless of their ages.

Bingo may be the best game for group travel as you can tailor the game specifically for your group. Consider filling in the blocks with key words about your trip, sights that you’ll pass along the road or even tie it in with a movie that you may be showing. Or, if you prefer to be a traditionalist, check out the rules of the game here.

Scattergories could easily be played for the entire trip and can also be tailored for your group’s travel. If you don’t know the game, you can read up on it. Essentially, players are provided a list of different categories, such as school supplies, actors, cities, etc. A funny shaped die with every letter in the alphabet is thrown to determine what letter will be used for that round. Then, everyone has one minute to fill out each line with a word starting with that letter. Categories for the trip could be a landmark at our destination or name of someone on our charter bus. Be prepared for the groans when you roll the letter “z.”

If you prefer a musical excursion, consider recreating “Name That Tune.” You can use the aisle to split up the teams and have them alternate picking song titles from the basket. Then, one lucky player gets to hum that tune until one of their team mates guesses correctly. Alternatively, try selecting categories tailored for the trip and then team members go back and forth with songs that reflect that category. An example for a New York trip could be musicals. Then teams would musically duel it out with the lyrics from “Rent,” “Music Man,” and, hopefully limited stanzas from “Cats.”

Other suggestions for keeping the group occupied with activities onboard the coach bus (and which keep the “are we there yet’s” to a minimum) include…

Get-to-know-me games:

Develop trivia games based off of your travelers. Have them provide unique details about themselves (“I worked in a mortuary in college.” “I babysat Robin Williams.” “I can do a perfect turkey call.”) Develop questions and then prepare your best Bob Barker impersonation.

Buzz Word Bingo:

Develop bingo cards with cells filled with key words related to your trip or sights along the way.

President’s Game:

Give each passenger a piece of paper with 44 blank lines. See how many people can list our President’s. A similar game can be created to reflect your trip’s theme: Disney movies, museums in the Smithsonian, American authors, etc.

Dueling Apps:

Find an app that works on most phones (Angry Birds, Tetris, etc.), and create a bracket set up like the NCAA tournament. Set up a time frame of play and then let them go head-to-head.