How to Keep Your Customers Occupied While They Wait?


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Photo by Alex Jones, CC0 1.0

Bus rides, under certain circumstances, are usually boring. While the journey is usually the most important part of any traveling experience… sometimes charter bus rides are plain uneventful. Without the right party, atmosphere or service, these experiences can leave bad, plain vanilla memories.

Unless you have a knack for being social, striking up a conversation with strangers can be a chore, too. I’m personally awed by people who can begin talking with people like it was nothing!

It’s remarkably easy for people to remember the good experiences they saw during these bus rides. However, it’s worth noting that an average adult spends 270 days waiting in lines/traffic. 270 days in a life-time? That’s nearly a year wasted doing nothing but impatiently waiting for nothing! Especially when it comes to long bus rides (be they charter, luxury, etc.) Here are several useful ways to ensure their journey is a positive one.


Do you consider your service space modern again? Think again, because if you do not have a plasma screen installed enabling the waiting customers to engage in a fun videogame contest, you need to get an upgrade already! Do your guests, patients and customers a tremendous favour: don’t leave it on a TV station or movie. Especially don’t leave it on a TV station that plays morning shows, talk shows or the news.

Both consumers and staff can get all the news and shows we need on our RSS feeds and Netflix. Instead, try involving passengers to a game of Super Smash Bros (if the vehicle allows). This all-time classic N64 game is amazing for providing fun and entertainment – and up to 4 players can battle each other! Making video games a terrific equaliser among strangers.

It doesn’t have to be Super Smash Bros (or n64), either. Do you have an old game console at home that nobody uses, and allows 4 players? Bring it in (along with some games) and hook it up to bring some extra zest and gusto for the next trip. I’m partial to the N64, though. Some other crazy multiplayer n64 games you can bring in include:

  • Road Rage 64
  • Mario Kart 65
  • Wave Race
  • Mortal Kombat
  • (…pretty much any game you fancy.)

Games are perfect for both kids and adults. Over 80% of adults play video games on a regular basis, often aged between 18-49. We live in a video game culture, and (luckily) it’s not going anywhere. Why not embrace it in your next business trip?

Free Snacks

The popular airline United Airlines designed chef-inspired, fresh items for their Choice Menu. Passengers were finally able to feast their gullets on more substantial food than soups, crackers and the usual, hardly-filling appetisers.

While your business may or may not have the budget to offer such chef-made entrees, you still have options. Sandwiches are the perfect “go-to food” for many people across the world. They’re easy to make, affordable and possible varieties are endless!

Whether you’ve rented a charter for a day or a week, I’ve personally never met anybody who refused a free snack (unless they were allergic). This is an excellent strategy to use during long bus journeys. While not necessarily filling as a chef-made meal, whipping up a few dozen or so sandwiches every hour (thus keeping them fresh) helps guests feel more comfortable. For now, there’s no way to go wrong with the classics such are:

  • Tuna
  • Bologna
  • Egg salad

Want to know what else would be a great idea? Several kegs of juice, Kool-Aid, or lemonade! Every single charter bus I’ve ever been in has an endless supply of these delicious, nutritious drinks.

Magazines Make Time Pass

Wonder what can be equally annoying as kept in the prison? Well that’s waiting in the waiting room to avail a service for which you have to pay for, sacrificing on your valuable time. So why not make that time worth for professionals and students from every walk of life by providing them various magazines and journals instead of just People, Cosmo or Oprah.

Several magazines include:

  • Entrepreneur and Forbes for business-minded professionals.
  • National Enquirer is a must for fast-paced people who absolutely need to know what’s going on in celebrity’s worlds.
  • PC Mag is a perfect match for your technologically-advanced customers keeps them updated with what’s happening in the tech industry.

These are just a few varied magazines. These varied magazines are perfect for non-people people, or people who are intrinsically fascinated by the written word and other lives. Why go for multiple copies of the same magazine while you can opt for variety of magazines!

Become the Hottest Hotspot in Town

Nobody needs to remind us that we live in the age of Smartphones and the Internet of Things. One could almost make the statement: “Without Wi-Fi, a business is done for.” A statement like this isn’t far from the mark, is it?

The truth is you may not have to do much to help your customers pass time. Setting up a solid Wi-Fi connection for them (that won’t drop signals randomly and has enough bandwidth to support an unlimited number of people) may be all some people need. Since a reported 5 billion people will own smartphones this year, investing in portable Wi-Fi is a smart move for your travelling party.

Afraid of lurkers and leechers stealing your signal? Make a password for your Wi-Fi! Post a sign on your walls that lists your SSID and password. This way only passengers can connect to your Wi-Fi.

Get People Off Their Butts

There’s no way to beat around the bush: a lot of journeys can be downright boring no matter how often you engage in activities and distractions.

This is why layovers and turnovers are a Godsend for people who rent a bus to drive. Sometimes there are 2-5 hours spent in a sitting position. This wreaks havoc on our legs, which simply need optimal blood flow to keep us young, limber and free of heart attacks and diseases.

When our blood circulation slows, it increases our chances of brain damage. (Which doesn’t need to be said: brain damage is serious.)

To counteract this, there are a few healthy, full-body exercises you can perform while you’re waiting during layovers. Many of these can be performed in under 4 minutes, or all the way to 10 minutes if you prefer!

Encourage passengers to participate in a fun group activity that involves most muscles in the body. These exercises are:

  • Burpees
  • Static lunges
  • Lateral jumps

There are plenty more low-impact, highly-beneficial bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere. Such as push-ups, squats, and leg raises. However, those might be too taxing for certain customers and passengers.


There is no reason whatsoever why people should stare aimlessly out their windows during bus rides. By keeping everyone entertained in a bus ride maybe, you will be successful to keep the good spirits alive in passengers and staff once you bid them adieu.

Himanshu Agarwal
Himanshu Agarwal is the Founder & CEO of a Digital Marketing firm SmartWeb. He is an online market analyst, startup strategist and a writer. He has written on several topics including content marketing and technology. When not writing or on laptop, he loves spending his time reading inspiration books and watching movies.


  1. I believe that you had quite a reflection during one of your bus rides, Himanshu! These are really fun ideas and I could only imagine how great it would be to have these while waiting. Games, food – that might encourage more people to ride buses more. But I think what I love about your article is that it can be applied to any business with customers waiting on the line. Clinics, spas, etc. I wonder what suggestions do you have for customers waiting on the phone, though. It’d be an interesting read in the future. Nice job, Himanshu!


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