Long bus trips can seem dreadful. We get it. The thought of being cooped up on one vehicle, in one seat, for hours on end can seem like the most mundane experience. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case. Lots of charter bus rentals come equipped with plenty of amenities to keep you and your group entertained while onboard: namely, A/V and DVD setups! Whether you’re traveling with a student group, headed to a remote wedding, off to a corporate conference or office offsite, or are quite simply taking a long road trip with friends or family, there’s a way to beat on-the-road monotony through the magic of film.
When you rent a coach, mini coach, or school bus, oftentimes you will have the option of requesting additional features to upgrade your experience, from air conditioning to DVD capabilities. Our suggestion? Go with the DVD setup, particularly if you’re planning to be en route for more than a couple of hours.
Here are our top crowd-pleasing film recommendations to beat long bus ride blues!
Films for the kids
Whether you’re traveling with your own kids or you’re organizing a field trip, keep the kiddos onboard occupied (and quietly behaved – fingers crossed!) with these full-length feature children’s films.
Coco (2017, 1h 49min)
Follow young protagonist Miguel through his adventures in Mexico and into the Land of the Dead to prove his musical talent to the world. Coco is a colorful animated Walt Disney Pixar film is guaranteed to keep all youngsters’ eyes glued to the screen for nearly two hours.
Matilda (1996, 1h 42min)
Entertain kids and adults alike with this classic film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s literary masterpiece. Matilda is no ordinary girl, particularly when she discovers her magic powers! Follow along with this heartwarming story about what it means to belong while embracing your true self – oh, and how powerful books can be.
Coraline (2009, 1h 40min)
This film adaptation from Neil Gaiman’s children’s novel is sure to spook all viewers (in the best way possible). A stop-motion 3D animated film, Coraline follows the story of a young girl named Coraline who discovers an alternative universe within the new home her family moves into.
Hook (1991, 2h 24min)
Calling all adventurers! For all those with a love of Peter Pan and his crew, Hook is a classic that needs to be added to everyone’s to-watch lists. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Robin Williams as Peter Pan and Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Hook covers the story of what happens after Peter Pan grows up and returns to Neverland. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
The Princess Bride (1987, 1h 38min)
This film may have been released a few decades ago, but it’s a tale that will captivate the hearts of audiences for years to come. A film adaptation of William Goldman’s novel, The Princess Bride is a classic fantasy romance follows a beautiful young woman on her quest to find her one true love, encountering mythical obstacles along the way.
Harry Potter (series, 2001–2011)
There is perhaps no more popular cinematic (and book) series that is as beloved by kids and adults alike than J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Follow along on the magical adventures of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the Hogwarts gang as they encounter otherworldly obstacles that not even be conjured up in your wildest imagination. If you’re planning to be on the road for several hours at a time, a HP marathon could be just the thing to keep everyone entertained – there are seven films in all! It’s also definitely the best way to get in the mood if you’re visiting Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Romance on the Road
Get your wedding party in the mood for love even before you arrive to the ceremony. There’s no better way to prep everyone onboard for a day’s worth of celebrating your happily ever after than with these romantic movies!
The Big Sick (2017, 2h)
The Big Sick is a story about an unlikely man and woman who fall in love, despite all of society’s cultural constructs. Starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, it’s a film that will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately get even the skeptics seated among you to believe in true love again.
When Harry Met Sally (1989, 1h 36min)
Directed by the legendary romcom queen Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally has been a film favourite among the masses for years. Starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, it’s an admirably quirky story about going from hating someone to befriending them to sleeping with them to hating them again to ultimately realizing that you actually are in love with them. Realistic enough.
Father of the Bride (1991, 1h 45min)
A highly relatable comedy for everyone in a wedding party (especially the parents of the bride and groom), Father of the Bride stars Steve Martin and Diane Keaton as the parents of their bride-to-be daughter. It showcases a possible (dramatic) reality of the impact a marriage can have on a family, from the worried father to the minutiae of wedding planning details. It’s a comedy for the whole family – and will maybe even get the severely detail-oriented of your wedding party to take a chill pill and instead just enjoy the experience, to put it lightly.
Save the Last Dance (2001, 1h 52min)
Adolescent romance. Troubled pasts. Dancing. What more could you ask for in a teenage love story? Get ready to see Julia Stiles bust a move in Save the Last Dance.
Magic Mike (2012, 1h 51min)
The Holy Grail of bachelorette party films, Magic Mike is sure to entertain even those not so into male strippers. Play this during your ride to your bachelor(ette) activities and prepare for your guests to lose their minds (and maybe shirts) over Channing Tatum.
When you’re on the road on your way to a sports tournament, it’s vital to get the energy pulsing and your team psyched for all their wins ahead. Here are some top sports films that’ll get your team spirit going!
Mighty Ducks (1992, 1h 44min)
The Mighty Ducks stars Emilio Estevez as lawyer who gets arrested for drunk driving turned reluctant kids’ hockey coach in order to pay off his community service time. This classic sports movie follows Estevez as his heart eventually warms up to the young athletes, coaching his team to victory and rediscovering the joy of the game.
Bend it Like Beckham (2002, 1h 52min)
A story about breaking barriers to do what you love, Bend It Like Beckham follows the inspirational story of Jess battling her traditional Indian parents’ disapproval of her love of soccer. When Jess gets recruited for a semi-pro soccer team, she has the chance to show off her skills and follow her heart.
A League of their Own (1992, 2h 8min)
Possibly the most badass feminist sports movie out there, A League of their Own follows an all-female Midwestern baseball league that crops up following the depletion of the men’s baseball league during WWII. Starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, this film can serve as inspiration to all.
Field of Dreams (1989, 1h 47min)
A fantasy-sports film, Field of Dreams follows Kevin Costner as Ray, an Iowa Farmer who builds a baseball diamond on his farmland after hearing a voice that told him “if you build it, he will come.” Shortly after, ghosts of famous baseball players past begin to appear on the pitch and teach Ray a few important lessons.
For the Adults
Before you embark on your corporate bus trip, make sure that you have these films at your DVD disposal!
Crazy Rich Asians (2018, 2h 1min)
Based on the highly successful book trilogy by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians follows the story of Rachel who joins her boyfriend at his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. There, she discovers that her boyfriend, Nick, is the country’s most eligible bachelor from the richest family, and she suddenly finds herself in the midst of other women competing for Nick’s love (and money).
Jackie Brown (1997, 2h 40min)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Jackie Brown is the story of a flight attendant (of the same name) who gets caught smuggling cash for her boss (an arms dealer played by Samuel L. Jackson). Given the choice to either face jail time if she didn’t leak information or execution if she cooperated with authorities, Brown instead chooses her own path and runs off with the money.
Big (1988, 2h 10min)
A tale about what it means to desperately want to grow up when you’re a kid (and then seriously regret it), Big is all about being grateful for what you’ve got – and reminds us that the grass is always greener on the other side. This movie stars Tom Hanks as a kid-turned-adult-overnight who suddenly is thrust into the grown-up world with adult responsibilities after making a wish through an animatronic fortune teller.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, 1h 40min)
One of director Wes Anderson’s cinematic masterpieces, The Grand Budapest Hotel revolves around a majestic European resort in the 1930s and certain members of its staff, including a bellboy named Zero. Zero soon becomes a favored protege by the resort’s concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and ultimately ends up playing a much larger role in the story than anticipated.