30 fun road trip games for kids and adults to play on long rides
Instead of playing computer-related games such as the long drive game on your smartphone or tablet, there are scores of road trip games that friends or families can play to kill boredom on a long journey. While kids and adults can play most of these games together, others are best suited to specific age brackets.
Are you looking for things to do on a road trip? Forget the seemingly endless hours of music and podcasts. There are numerous road trip games that can make your journey way more enjoyable. If you have an upcoming trip, check out these fascinating game ideas to keep everyone entertained.
Interesting road trip games
What games can you play on a road trip? Here is a look at the most interesting ones.
1. While you were sleeping
The aim of this game is to create the most believable story when someone falls asleep. First, one of the passengers must fall asleep. After five minutes of slumber, the rest of the passengers begin to create a story collectively.
Once the passenger wakes up, you have to get them to believe the story. If somebody breaks character, they lose a point. If somebody goes off script, one of you should ask, "Are you sure?" and then that person is silenced and loses two points.
If you successfully fool the person who was asleep, each storyteller wins three points. If the sleeping passenger fools the rest and joins their story correctly, they steal their current point total.
The person with the most points at the destination wins.
2. In my suitcase
This is a popular camp game that can be easily adapted to a road trip. The game begins with one of the passengers saying, "I am going on a vacation, and I packed an item that starts with the letter A such as an alarm clock.
The second person repeats the sentence, mentioning what the first person is bringing, and adds an object starting with the letter B. This continues with everyone repeating all of the previous items, before adding an item that begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
See if you can get all the way from A to Z, or who forgets an item the quickest!
Example: "I am going on vacation, and I packed an atlas."
"I am going on vacation, and I packed an atlas and a broom."
"I am going on vacation, and I packed an atlas, a broom, and a chocolate bar."
3. The alphabet race
One passenger starts the game by pulling a letter alphabet out of a container. Whoever spots that letter out the window first (on a billboard or license plate, for example) gets to keep the token. Whoever has the most tokens at the end of the journey wins.
4. I spy
I spy is an old fascinating road trip game that most people have come across at some point in their lives. Each occupant takes a turn to find an item outside or inside that car and making the rest of the passengers guess what it is by stating its first letter.
If an item proves hard to find, additional clues can be given to make it easier. Whoever wins a particular turn gets to choose an item for the next round. I spy is undoubtedly one of the most exciting travel games for kids.
5. Fortunately, unfortunately
One person begins with an 'unfortunately statement' and the next with a 'fortunately statement.' Here is an example of how the game can start and progress.
"Unfortunately, there is a spider in the back seat."
"Fortunately, he has his seat belt on."
Fortunately, unfortunately, is one of the most fun games to play in the car for older children and teens. The more bizarre the statements, the more fun this game becomes.
6. The number plate game
For this game, you will need a car full of kids, a few pads of paper, pens and the open road. The aim is to find license plates from different geographical regions. Scribble down the plates you find on paper.
The person that has the most plates written down wins. You can raise the stakes by giving double points for naming the capital city of the county or state spotted, and you get triple points for diplomatic plates.
Spotting a presidential envoy guarantees one an automatic win.
7. Guess the song
Turn the radio on or put your music player on shuffle. Whoever can shout out the name of a song first, wins. Remember to cover you your radio screen if it displays the song names as they play.
8. 21 questions
The game involves guessing what a person is thinking by making use of 21 questions. Someone in the car thinks of something, the rest of the passengers then start to ask the 'thinker' questions to help them figure out the thought.
One cannot repeat a question that has already been asked. Whoever guesses it right gets to start the next round
9. What am I counting?
One person starts counting something out loud as they see it without telling anyone what they are counting. The rest of the players have to figure out what they are counting.
You can make the game more exciting by letting players choose between different things to do on a road once they win a round.
10. Would you rather
This is a fascinating Disney-inspired road trip games for kids. The game has kids' questions related to Cinderella's glass slippers, the seven dwarfs, and more. For example, which would you choose between Elsa's blonde braid and Merida's red curls?
11. Car bingo
Car bingo is one of the most kid-friendly games to play in the car. It requires a bit of preparation before getting started on your journey, but the outcome is worth it especially if you need to keep children entertained on a long car trip.
To begin, create a list of things the kids are likely to during the journey. This might include deer, helicopters, combine harvesters, and so on. Give this list to each of your children once the journey begins.
During the journey, the kids can cross things off as they see them, which only distracting them from boredom but also encourages them to look around and learn new things about the places they are visiting.
12. Never have I ever
This is one of the coolest travel games for adults on a road trip. The game reveals some things about the players. Each person takes a turn and says the phrase, "Never have I ever..." For example, "Never have I ever been in prison."
The next player guesses if the statement is true or false. The person with the most accurate guesses wins this game. This is one of the most interesting road trip games for couples.
13. Quiet game
This is a true trump card in attempting to restore order in a car full of squabbling siblings. You have ignored the incessant arguing over whose turn it is to play Candy Crush on the iPad for the past 80 miles, but no more.
How about a game of "Let us see who can stay quiet the longest?"
Everyone in the car gets to make one irrational rule, such as "every time we cross a river, everyone needs to yell" or "each time I put my cap on everyone has to tap their neighbour."
Every time a particular rule is enforced, everyone but the last person to catch on gains a point. Whoever has the smallest number of points when you get to your destination loses.
15. Cows on my side
In this game, everyone has to holler when they see a cow. When you see a cow on your side of the road, you have to yell, "Cows on my side!" Every time you yell this, you get a point. If you see cows on the other side, you say, "Cows on your side!"
If you do this before the person on the other side sees them, you steal a point. If anyone sees a cemetery, they scream, "Ghost cow!" and take all the other side's points.
This is one of the best road games to keep passengers entertained on a long journey.
16. Six degrees of movies
To begin this, one family member names any actor. The next person names a movie in which the actor appears. The following person then names someone else in that movie that has not already been said, and so on.
Keep going back and forth between movie titles and actors until someone is unable to answer. Six degrees of movies is one of the most engaging and fun driving games.
17. Disney guess who
Challenge your kids to figure out which Disney character you're talking about by using home-made Disney game pieces. Print the pieces on a magnetic paper.
18. Secret place map
The secret place map is an interesting game that also helps kids learn how to use printed maps. Pick a hard-to-find place on a map and have the kids locate it.
This can be extremely exciting, especially if locating the secret place is crucial for the driver to get to the destination.
Also known as 'gossip,' this game works for kids of ages four and above. The first child whispers a concise story to the person next to them in the car. The story continues to be whispered from person to person.
The last child says tells the story out loud. The fun comes in when everyone hears how much the story changed as it was passed from person to person.
20. Hot seat
This one is distinctly for grown-ups, but still a lot of fun. Every person in the car takes a turn in the 'hot seat.' Once you are in it, other passengers will ask you five road trip questions that you must answer.
Usually, you can veto one of the questions, but you can see how wild this game could get. Try avoiding giving an answer that is going to annoy fellow passengers and create an awkward atmosphere for the next few hours.
21. People watching
Look for a nearby car that you can watch for a few minutes travelling on the road near you. Make up fictional stories about car's occupants. What are their names likely to be? What do they do for a living? The sillier and more detailed the story, the better.
22. The alphabet game
The aim of this game is to go through the alphabet using words on signs. All passengers try to find words in alphabetical order. You can use billboards, business, and road signs but not license plates. The first person to get to the end of the alphabet wins.
Once a word is said, nobody else can repeat that word.
23. Miles of smiles
From a fun road trip book of the same name, Miles of Smiles is simple. Everyone in the car smiles his or her biggest, cheesiest smile at passing drivers. Keep track of how many people smile back. Waving is allowed, but no silly faces.
24. Drawing game
Encourage your kids to be creative with these drawing prompts, which challenge them to think about what might be inside the trucks they are driving past or what is coming down the road.
This is arguably one of the simplest yet most fun car games for kids.
25. Regional food game
This is one of the best road trip challenges for the foodies. Spanning the entire duration of a road trip, buy as many local snacks as you can at every stop during the journey.
Make sure you take photographs of each snack so you can view your collection at the end of the trip. Do not forget to take some weird and yummy treats home for family and friends to try.
26. What rhymes?
One of the adults in the car picks a single-syllable word, and everyone else takes a turn saying a rhyming word. For example, an adult says "wig" and the next player says "fig, then the third player says "pig."
A word cannot be repeated, and if someone cannot think of a word in five seconds, they are out. The person who wins a round picks the next word.
27. Guess the time
Take turns guessing how long it will take to reach your destination. Just do not let the driver use GPS before making their guess.
Every passenger takes turns in creating fictional school-related superlatives such as 'most likely to become a soccer star,' 'most likely to marry a musician,' 'most likely to end up living in a foreign country,' and so on.
Everyone in the car then points to whoever they feel the description suits best.
29. Rock paper scissors
The perfect car game because no supplies are needed. Up the stakes by placing bets on the winners or keeping score throughout a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament.
30. The name game
This is one of the best car ride games to keep your brain occupied during a long drive without being too strenuous. If passenger one says Mike, passenger two might say, Ellen.
If you have made any new friends during your road trip, include their names in the game to make it more interesting.
Which of the road trip games mentioned above did you find most interesting?