7 Cool Tricks to Learn on a Bus

You know the drill. You’ve booked yourself a 20 hour bus journey through some rough and rickety terrain, and as much as it’s always worth it once you arrive at the next amazing destination, those hours can drag big time while you’re en route.

So, how do you entertain yourself for that long trip? Your iPod is an obvious choice, but won’t last for the whole journey. A book is a good option, although after an hour it’s likely to become travel sickness central.

Of course, looking out of the window and taking in the incredible scenery is the number one thing to do on a long bus journey (it is the very reason you’re all those miles away from home after all) however, your brain will probably need some variation, even from that.

Marc van Vuren / Shutterstock.com

To help you out, I’ve clubbed together a selection of pretty useless, but very cool tricks that you can spend time perfecting and then use to impress your mates for years to come. I’ve even included some handy YouTube clips to help you perfect your technique.

What Will Be Your New Party Trick?

Coin Rolling

Val Kilmer did it as the character Doc Holliday in the Movie Tombstone and many have been trying to replicate it ever since. For an impressive — although admittedly quite frustrating — way to spend those cramped hours, teach yourself the new skill of coin rolling.

Warning: It looks a lot simpler than it actually is. Here’s the technique, now you just need to practice.

Card Shuffling

As every traveller knows, a deck of playing cards is a backpacking necessity. While away rainy evenings in hostels with new friends and impress them with this awesome trick you can teach yourself on any long journey, just make sure you have an understanding person sat next to you ready for the inevitable card spillage.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to do ‘the spring’, watch and learn…

Beat Boxing

Ok, I admit that if someone was sat next to me on a long journey practicing their beat boxing skills I probably wouldn’t be too impressed. But if you’ve got a dab of the entertainer gene give it a go – you might end up being amazing. Better yet get the entire bus to join in with you, that wouldn’t be annoying at all.

Pen Spinning

It looks like it should be easy peasy, but in reality it’s going to take a bit of practice. It is however, the perfect way to engross yourself on a long journey and make the hours fly by. Everyone has a pen in their bag (don’t they?) Just don’t fling it about too vigorously or you may end up with someone’s eye on the end of your pen, and that would not be good…

Here’s a short video to help you on your way.

Hand Massaging

This particular skill needs a willing participant to reap the reward (*solo travellers take note – the fellow approachable traveller boy/girl sat next to you on the bus – ok, the 50 year old local Indian man sat next to you on the bus – probably not ok).

It’s simple to learn, requires no props and could make you a very popular travel companion indeed. Check out this simple technique for hand massaging and put your new skills to the test on the hottie sat near by.

Playing the spoons

There’s something about playing the spoons which is quite endearing and let’s face it – a little bit funny. It’s the slightly geekier equivalent to getting out a guitar and playing a few songs around a campfire, and you know what? I reckon it’s just as fun. How could you not love someone who can entertain his or her fellow travellers with a rendition of a classic Oasis tune on the spoons?

Guaranteed to brighten up any journey and bring a smile to people’s faces as you navigate those potholed roads. I mean seriously, these two in this clip are clearly loving it.

Balloon Sculpting

Balloons may not be anywhere near the top of your list when packing for your trip, and I can understand that – there probably won’t be much call for them in the middle of the Aussie bush (or anywhere else for that matter).

Bear this in mind; in return for the minuscule amount of space they will take up in your back pack, and the effort it would take to practice the skill of balloon sculpting (but you have hours to kill anyway right?) can you imagine the look on the child in the next village’s face when you arrive and whip them up a balloon aeroplane in 5 mins flat? Priceless.

So there you have it, 7 simple (ish) tricks to help you while away the time on those long cross country bus journeys. Subscribe to the blog now for more posts like this one.