Fun road trip games for busting boredom
Road trips are a great way to see the country, but no one wants to hear the dreaded “are we there yet?” question. Try these family-friendly games to keep everyone entertained as you make the drive.
Guessing and question activities for travel
Check out these choices to keep everyone’s brains sharp during your trip.
Would you rather?
The original “this-or-that” is fun for all ages. Take turns asking passengers which thing or activity they’d rather have or do. Go silly with choosing chocolate-covered pickles or mayonnaise-drizzled ice cream or stick with regular questions like preferring to Bungie jump or scuba dive.
This question game can be played in a couple of different ways. You can allow travelers to ask each other 20 questions, which is great if you’re traveling with people who want to know each other better. Another way is to create a guessing game where one person thinks of a person, place or thing and other players get 20 questions to guess what it is. The winner gets to pick the next item for guessing.
Name that song
Have each person say or sing a line of a song and see who can guess the song first. Up the stakes by naming the artist or album.
Never have I ever
Start this game with each person holding up 5 fingers. With each “never have I ever” statement, everyone who has done the thing mentioned puts down one finger. The first person to make a fist is out until there is only one person left.
Guess the year
This trivia game is fun for teens and adults. Name an event, a song or a movie and have others guess the year it happened or was released. Bonus points if they can also name the month or even the exact date.
Competitions for road trips
Ready for some friendly competition? See who can be victorious on the road with these favorites that involve searching for things through the car’s windows.
This classic can be played in different ways. For kids who know their ABCs, have them look for the letters in order on road or store signs. Make it easier by allowing license plates for some hard-to-find letters like Q, X and Z!
Road trip bingo
Find and print a bingo card or create your own and have everyone check off items they see during the trip such as RVs, police cruisers or even a horse in a trailer. The first one to get five in a row wins!
Similar to road trip bingo, a scavenger hunt involves searching for things you might see during the trip. Have everyone keep track of what they see while traveling and give the winner a special prize or a privilege such as getting to pick a restaurant for a meal.
License plate game
Looking at license plates can yield a few different activities. You can find the alphabet in the letters, look for all the states, or make up funny phrases with the letters and numbers. For example, BBD 765 could be “Beautiful bald dinosaur has 765 wigs.”
Choose something outside the car for a session of “I-Spy” and then describe it to the passengers using a color or another feature. “I spy with my little eye something green” might describe a car or the trees by the interstate. When someone guesses correctly, they get to have the next turn. Tip: Make sure to pick items that will stay in sight during each round.
You can choose to do a counting activity in many ways. A common theme is to have kids count a certain type or color of vehicle or restaurant signs. You can also challenge them to count as high as they can before getting distracted.
Word and story entertainment for travel
Do you love words and stories? Try these games to pass the time.
Try tackling some tried-and-true tongue twisters (or make up one!) and keep score for who can get the most right five times in a row.
Start with a word and have other travelers say a word that relates to it until someone gets stumped. Dog — house — sitter — baby —bottles — soda, you can go on and on!
Have any good spellers on the trip? See who can spell the most words correctly. Make it more fun by including cities or sites you’ll visit during the trip.
Tell me a story
Go around the car with each person contributing one or two lines to a story — the sillier, the better! Have a passenger record the exchange on their phone for some fun memories later.
Truth or fiction?
Take turns telling true or tall tales and have others guess which ones are real or fake. Whoever gets the most correct is the winner!
Create a fun road trip story mad libs-style. Find a template online or create your own for a one-of-a-kind story to laugh about.
A hit with younger kids, take turns rhyming as many words as you can. Stick to road trip favorites like “car” (jar, mar, tar) or try destination names like “Maine” (gain, pain).
Other engaging car games
Unsure what to play next? Check out these fun options to keep everyone happy.
You might have heard that everyone in the world is connected to actor Kevin Bacon by no more than 7 connections. Put that theory to the test with other celebrities or familiar people.
Calling all jokesters and comedians! Have a contest of who can come up with a clever knock-knock joke or retell the funniest joke they’ve heard.
Ready to showcase your voice? Take turns performing favorite songs or singing together for some musical entertainment to pass the time.
Pictionary (car edition)
For kids who love to draw, have them play a car-friendly round of Pictionary with road trip-related items to draw such as suitcases, cars and sightseeing attractions.
Have all travelers (except the driver!) put on a blindfold or close their eyes for this fun contest. The driver describes a scene and asks everyone to draw it without looking. Then the driver will pick the best drawing at the next rest stop.
Travel board games
Miniature (and often magnetic) versions of board games are enjoyable in the car. Shop at your local retailer or order sets online like Clue®, Connect 4® or Battleship® to keep passengers entertained.
When the kids won’t stop fighting, it might be time to change the attitudes in the car. Have each kid take turns stating 3 things they like about the other until everyone is all smiles.
Quiet as a mouse (improved)
You’ve probably heard of the game where everyone must stay quiet and the first one to make a noise loses. This improved version challenges kids to remain silent while also making silly faces at each other. See who breaks into giggles first!
Road-tripping a long-distance move?
If you haven’t already done so, get a free online quote from U-Pack and then learn how to turn your move into a fun family road trip.
What are your favorite road trip games?
Let us know in the comments!
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