One of the biggest challenges to a road trip is making the car ride enjoyable. Especially if you’re traveling with kids, you don’t want to hear, “Are we there yet?” on day two. So here are 10 of the best road trip games to pass the time and make your journey just as fun as the places you’ll visit.
Let’s dive in!
Why Do People Go On Road Trips?
Some people choose to go on road trips because it’s generally less expensive and more accessible than other modes of travel. Once you add up flights, a vacation can be costly for a family. Fuel is generally less expensive than airline tickets. Plus, you have more control over your itinerary. Should the airline decide to cancel your flight, you have no control over that. Your trip is delayed or won’t even happen.
But most people who go on road trips just love the thrill of traveling. It’s an adventure. From one stop to the next, there are new things to see and experience. If you fly across the country, you miss all the beautiful landscapes, savory cuisines, and popular attractions.
Should you want to pop into a local diner and have lunch, you can. If you want to grab a selfie at a roadside attraction, you can do that. If you travel by plane, train, or bus, you don’t have the luxury of being able to see and do what you want. Additionally, once you get to your destination, you have your own vehicle to get around instead of relying on taxis and rideshares.
Some even upgrade their standard road trip travel by adding in an RV. An RV road trip tends to be cheaper because nightly campground fees are less than hotels. When traveling in an RV, you can stay overnight at a Walmart or Cracker Barrel if something derails your plans one night. Then you can continue your trek the next day.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Road Trip?
While cheaper than some modes of travel, fuel costs of a road trip can add up depending on how far and where you’re traveling. In addition, although you cover a lot of ground and might be able to do a lot of things along the way, you don’t have time to spend much time in one place.
We’d argue that the biggest drawback of a road trip is the amount of time you spend sitting in a vehicle. Road trips take a lot more time than traveling by plane. This can wear on travelers because they spend so much time in the car with short fuel breaks to stretch their legs. Your legs can get restless, kids get antsy, and attitudes can get grumpy after days of traveling. Fortunately, we have phones, books, and fun road trip games to help pass the time!
Pro Tip: Make planning your road trip easy with this guide on How to Use RV Trip Wizard to Plan an RV Road Trip.
Fun Road Trip Games to Pass the Time
If you’re on an 8-, 9-, or even 12-hour road trip, you need a variety of things to break up the monotony. While games on phones and even books can help pass much of the time, occasionally, you’ll need to give your eyes a break and perhaps interact with your fellow travelers. We suggest learning several road trip games to help pass the time and entertain everyone in the vehicle.
The best road trip games can be played without any additional supplies, so you can play them anywhere, anytime, on any road trip. These road trip games are great for couples, families, or friends traveling together. Just find a few that bring the most fun to your traveling companions.
1. I Spy
Didn’t you play “I Spy” when you were a kid? There’s no need to stop just because you’re an adult. Enjoy a nostalgic game on your next road trip. You can “spy” colors, states on license plates, animals, and all kinds of things as you journey down the road.
2. License Plate Game
If you’re traveling along the interstate, one of the most fun road trip games is the license plate game. The point is to find as many states represented as possible. You can challenge your traveling companions and keep score or play the game together, trying to find as many total states as possible.
3. Scavenger Hunt
There are so many scavenger hunt road trip games. You can buy a set of scavenger hunt cards, a scavenger hunt board game, or create your own. Kids will have a great time playing this game as they search for things like something smooth or blue, a hotel, or a dirty car.
Like scavenger hunt games, you can purchase different types of travel BINGO games. The travel size makes them easy to transport, and you don’t have to keep up with pieces because most travel BINGO games have “windows” to close once you find an item. This is another great road trip game for children.
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5. Word Train
There are a couple of different ways you can play Word Train. First, you can choose a category like animals. Then each person has to connect the last letter with the first letter of the next animal, like the “r” in bear and rabbit and the ‘e” in turtle and elephant.
Another version of this game is to choose two-word phrases or compound words. Then each person has to connect the second word from the previous person with the first word of their word. For example, playground will connect to groundwater and waterfall to fall leaves.
6. Two Truths and a Lie
Like “I Spy,” two truths and a lie is often played during childhood and adolescence. It’s time to bring it back on a road trip adventure. Each person gives three statements about themselves – two truths and a lie. The others in the car have to figure out which statement is the lie. You might learn a few things about your friends or family members!
7. Alphabet Game
The alphabet game is great for all ages because you can make it as difficult or easy as you want. Choose a category like foods. Start with A and go through Z, naming different foods alphabetically.
You can do sports teams, companies, first names, and so many other categories and play this road trip game repeatedly.
8. Would You Rather
Although you can buy the card game “Would You Rather?” from Amazon, you can also make up your own questions. Have fun with your traveling companions by coming up with the craziest choices you can think of.
Would you rather take a bath in slime or take a bath in mud? Would you rather eat yogurt mixed with mustard or salsa mixed with ghost peppers? You’re bound to have some laughs with this road trip game.
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9. Name That Tune
Just like the old game show, you can play “Name That Tune” on your next road trip. Choose a song from Spotify or iTunes and see how many seconds your traveling companions need to guess the title. Or hum a tune if you’d like to have a few laughs instead of playing songs from an app.
10. I’m Going On a Picnic
Finally, one last road trip game that’s fun for everyone involves repetition and memory. One person starts the game by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m taking a (blank).” The next person echoes what the previous person is bringing and then continues. Usually, the order follows alphabetically.
For example, it can go, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m taking an alligator. I’m going on a picnic, and I’m taking an alligator and a baseball. I’m going on a picnic, and I’m taking an alligator, a baseball, and a couch.”
How far will your crew get before someone fails to remember all the items mentioned?
Is Going on a Road Trip Right for You?
Although road trips can be fun and exciting, they’re not for everyone. They can be dangerous because you’re spending so much time in the car. They can also be exhausting since you’re only staying a night or two in one location and stressful on relationships if you’re traveling over weeks or months.
So if any of these cons outweigh the pros of having control of your trip and being able to experience things along the way, a road trip probably isn’t the best way to travel for you.
Pass the Time With Fun Road Trip Games this Year
But if you’re ready to start planning your next road trip, grab a few travel games from Amazon or Walmart to help pass the time. Take a trip down memory lane with a game of “I Spy” or “Name That Tune.” Don’t be afraid to be silly and have some fun. The road trip games will keep you entertained no matter how long your journey is.
What’s your favorite game to play in the car? Tell us how to play in the comments!
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