The Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Games

Road Trip Games For Kids

Family Road Trip Games

Adult Road Trip Games

Road Trip Word Games

At first glance, traveling long distances in a car might seem like an exciting adventure.  However, after the first 100 miles you are quickly reminded that road trips can get boring fast.  Well, be bored no longer — here is the ultimate guide to road trip games.  We’ve got road trip games for the kids, road trip games for adults and road trip games for the whole family!  These games will make even the longest road trips fun and exciting.

Why Play Road Trip Games?

You might be thinking why bother with road trip games — surely everyone has a smartphone or tablet to keep them occupied during the journey?  Well, road trip games have certain advantages over staring at electronic devices during a journey:

  • They help you form a closer bond with friends and family
    When you play road trip games, you will be laughing with the other passengers, learning new things about each other and creating great new memories.  For some families, a road trip might be the best possible time to have deep conversations with your kids and learn what their favorite things are.
  • The trip goes much faster!
    Most road trip games require participants to solve puzzles and engage with the other people in the car.  As everyone knows —Time flies when you are having fun!
  • Laughing reduces stress
    Most road trip games are a ton of fun and guaranteed to generate lots of laughs.  Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress levels and turn a long journey into a fun-filled trip with friends or family.
  • Your kids will be learning new things
    If your children are playing a road trip game that involves puzzles, they will have to use  their problem-solving skills and harness their creativity.  Your children will also be improving their communication skills during the journey and learning more about the world.
  • Passengers will be paying attention to their surroundings
    Many road trip games ask participants to look for certain things around them, like specific types of cars or objects.  Everyone will be carefully scanning the locations they are passing through — which really helps them notice interesting and unusual things.  Participants will learn a lot more about the world instead of being glued to the Twitter feed of some celebrity.
  • Facebook is boring (and stressful)
    Aren’t you sick of reading people’s inane posts about what they had for dinner or where they are staying?  Recent studies suggest that Facebook use can even increase stress levels!  Taking a Facebook holiday will help you de-stress and enjoy your trip.

Road Trip Games For Kids

If the adults in the car are busy driving, sleeping, or listening to music, the kids can still play some road trip games together.  These road trip games are simple to learn and a ton of fun!  They will keep the kids occupied throughout the journey, making it feel like the car trip is shorter and more enjoyable.

I Spy

This is perhaps the most well-known road trip game of all time!  I Spy is the perfect game for kids to play in the car.  They will be looking out the window, engaged in conversation with each other, and having a great time.

To play I Spy, one person looks at their surroundings and chooses an object that the other players have to guess the name of.  They tell the other participants what letter the name of the object starts with or the color of the object.  The player who correctly guesses the name of the object goes next.  Tell the kids to choose something which they can see for more than 10 seconds and not just items that are flying past the car at 60 miles per hour.

Would You Rather

Would you rather is a simple game where participants are asked to choose between two undesirable things.  For example, you could ask someone if they would rather be completely bald or completely covered in hair.  They should also be asked to rationalize their decision — is being hairy better because you can be incognito?  Or is being bald better because people will think you are Professor X from the X-Men?  There are also some great Would You Rather card decks which are designed for young children.  Players simply draw a card from the deck and answer the Would You Rather question.  This pack has some hilarious questions that will have the adults in the car laughing hysterically.

Another great product that the whole family will enjoy is Tabletopics To Go.  It contains 40 question cards that everyone in the car must answer.  It helps the family learn more about each other and is a blast to play!

Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game

The Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game is guaranteed to keep the kids busy during a long road trip!  It is incredible fun and simple to play.  Each player takes five cards from the deck and tries to locate the objects that are written on each card.  There are also “feel it” “smell it” and “hear it” cards that encourage kids to use all of their senses while enjoying their car trip.  The kids will be so busy during the journey that they won’t complain or ask “how long till we get there”!

Rock Paper Scissors

A road trip is the perfect time to find out which of your children is the current rock paper scissors champion.  To play this game, each child makes a fist and shouts out “Rock Paper, Scissors” — swinging their first down each time they say a word.  They then make the shape of a rock (closed fist), paper (an open hand) or scissors (making a V with their index and middle fingers).  Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, and paper beats rock!  They get one point for each win, and the first to reach a designated total (the first to 21 works well) wins the game.

FRYE Men’s Oliver Billfold Wallet

This great product will make your road trip with the family, interesting, funny, and enjoyable!  The Melissa & Doug Family Road Trip Box of Travel Questions Game has 45 separate conversation starters and twenty-five quiz cards.  It also includes 10 game-instruction cards, which tell you how to play other classic road trip games.  If you are planning a road trip with the family this year, these travel questions will make the journey a blast!

Slug-a-bug

This is a simple game that will keep the kids busy scanning the road and looking at the other cars.  Participants have to look for Volkswagen Beetles on the road.  Traditionally when they see one, they would give another family member a punch in the arm.  However, if you don’t want the kids whacking each other during the journey, have them tally the number of bugs they see.  The person who spots the most bugs could get a candy bar at the next stop!

Boredom Buster (Lonely Planet Kids)

Lonely Planet has been helping people explore the world for decades with their handy travel guides.  They also make some great books for kids who are traveling to new places.  This book contains dozens of road trip word games, memory games, counting games, solo games, and spotting games.  The kids will find a few games that they love — keeping them occupied and happy during the journey.

Ultimate Sticker Puzzles: License Plates Across the States

This is a fun-filled activity book that will keep the kids occupied for hours!  It contains travel games, puzzles, mazes, word scrambles and trivia about the 50 states.  This book also has full-color license plate stickers to make playing the license plate game easier.

Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Hangman Game

If you are traveling with young children, this hands-on wooden hangman game is a great game to take with you.  It includes a wooden frame with 37 wooden flaps and an erasable white board section to enter answers.  This game helps the kids have fun while improving their vocabulary.

Sweet or Sour

This is another classic car game that has been around for decades.  The kids simply wave  at people on the street or other motorists to see if they wave back.  If they wave back, they are sweet, if they don’t they are sour!  Keep a tally to see if the journey had more sweet or sour people.

Spot It! on the Road

This exciting card game tests the reaction speed and observational skills of players.  Spot It On The Road is also easy to learn, making it perfect for people of all ages.  It includes fifty-five circular cards in a small tin (perfect for traveling).  Each card has a number of symbols on it.  One of the symbols on the card is guaranteed to have something in common with symbols on other cards.  Players must quickly identify which symbols two cards have in common.  There are five different scoring systems that can be used.  It is very fast-paced and the perfect game for kids to play in the back seat.

eeBoo Travel Bingo

This is a super fun game that encourages the kids to look out the window and spot different objects.  When they see each item on their bingo sheet, they mark it off until they get the items need to win. It comes with a sturdy carry case, 4 pads of markable bingo sheets and 4 pencils.

Family Road Trip Games

These road trip games are simple to learn but interesting enough that adults will enjoy playing them.  They are an excellent choice for families that are playing together.

21 Questions

Our family loves to play 21 questions on road trips — it’s challenging, easy for the whole family to learn, and a ton of fun!  A person has to think of a person, place or object.  The other participants then have 21 questions to find out what that person, place or object is!  If a questioner correctly guesses the item, they will be the next person to start the round.

Rubberneckers: Everyone’s Favorite Travel Game

Say goodbye to “100 bottles of beer on the wall” — you can play Rubberneckers instead!  This travel game has hundreds of different challenges and fun mini-games that you can play while sitting in the car.  Some of the challenges in the game include spotting particular items — like weathervanes or satellite dishes.  The family will become eagle-eyed adventurers who are exploring the world.  Your road trip will become an exciting exploration of the world instead of a mundane journey.

Don’t Say It!

This is another great game for the entire family, because it has simple rules.  The passengers in the car think of five words that they should not say during the journey.  I they say any of those words, they will be penalized in some way.  You can be creative about the penalty — it could be something silly like being forced to sing an embarrassing song or donate 50 cents to the road trip’s candy fund.  Choose words that are often said during a road trip or words that certain passengers frequently say.

Melissa & Doug License Plate Game

This exciting road trip game is guaranteed to make your family feel like they are exploring the entire country from the car!  This game includes a sturdy wooden board with a map of the United States.  Players are challenged to learn the location and name of all fifty states in the mainland.  They are can also spot license plates from different states to complete the map.

Fictional Families

This is a hilarious road trip game that the entire family will enjoy.  It really harnesses the creativity of your passengers and is guaranteed to draw a few laughs along the way.  Whenever someone sees some interesting-looking people in another car, they say “Fictional Family Spotted”.  Your family then takes a good look at the occupants in the other vehicle and creates an imaginary back story about them.  The more exciting and creative the back story is, the better!  Your family will create some hilarious stories that can become a running joke during the journey.

The Geography Road Game

The best part of being on the road with the family is that they get to learn a lot about the geography of the United States — if they are not glued to their smartphone!  Help the kids learn more about the location of counties, cities and states with this simple geography game.  The game starts when one player names a location, for example Nebraska.  The next person must name a location in the United States that starts with the last letter of that word — the letter “A.”  You can score this game if you like — making states worth 1 point, towns or cities worth 2 points and national parks, waterways and mountains worth 3 points.

Fortunately/Unfortunately

This is a funny game that will generate some laughs and stimulate your children’s creativity.  The first person in the car thinks of something fortunate that is happening soon.  The next person has to think of something unfortunate that is tied to the first event.  Each occupant of the car continues saying fortunate/unfortunate things until the story comes to a conclusion.  The crazier the events are in the story, the more enjoyable it will be!  For example:

“Fortunately, it’s a beautiful sunny day today!”

“Unfortunately, it is bombarding us with deadly gamma rays”
“Fortunately, we can absorb those rays and become the next hulk”

“Unfortunately we’d probably destroy all of the other cars on the road”

“Fortunately, we’d get to date Jennifer Connelly or Scarlett Johansson because they have been girlfriends of the Hulk in movies!”

The Furthest License Plate Game

This games tests both the eyesight and geographical knowledge of participants!  The goal of the game is to look at the license plates around you and choose one from a state that is as far away as possible.  You can either play the game over the duration of the entire trip or have “one-offs” where you have 5 seconds to spot a far away license plate then yell it out.  It is great fun to be traveling in Florida and spot a car with an Alaskan license plate next to you!

Complainers

You might think the last thing you want to hear during the journey is a complaining child!  Surprisingly, voicing outrageous and silly complaints can actually be a fun road trip game.  Each participant gets two minutes to complain about any inane or silly thing they can think of.  For example, some ridiculous complaints you make could include:

“This beautiful sunny day is giving me skin cancer why can’t it be wet and miserable?”

“My feet are too cold and my head is too hot!”

“This shirt is itching so much it feels like I am covered by cactus leaves!”

“I hate peanuts! I just hate them!”

“Pugs aren’t cute they are annoying and have fat, wrinkly faces!”

Name that celebrity

This game can be quite funny and makes time fly while on the road!  Passengers have to look for other people who look like well known celebrities.  When they see one they have to yell out the location of the car and the name of the celebrity.  The person “must have” a resemblance to the celebrity.  The other occupants of the car can either agree or disagree.  They can also name an alternate celebrity who has a closer resemblance to that person.

Adult Road Trip Games

If there are no young kids in the car, you might be looking for more advanced road trip games that have more complex puzzles or require more knowledge.  These games are useful for road trips with adult friends or road trips for families with teenage children.

Never Have I Ever…

Normally played as a drinking game, Never Have I Ever works well as a road trip game and makes monotonous journeys fun!  To play the game, one person makes a statement start with “Never have I ever…” then everyone who has performed that action in their life has to have a drink.  Try to think of questions that are interesting, unusual or funny.

For example, “Never have I ever cheated on a test” or “Never have I ever eaten someone else’s lunch” can provide some interesting responses.  The people who answered yes to the proposition then have the option of providing the back story to the event.  It is a great way for people to learn more about one another!  You can also play the Loaded Questions Card Game, which has 200 creative and interesting question cards plus a scoring system.  Also check out the Never Have I Ever Conversation Starters card pack — it contains over 150 cards with interesting questions on them

Cards Against Humanity

Described as a “party game for horrible people” Cards Against Humanity poses some tricky and politically incorrect questions to each player.  The deck contains black cards and white cards.  At the start of the round, a chosen player (The Judge) draws a black card from the stack.  This card contains a question that must be answered with one of the white cards.  Each player must use one of their ten white cards to answer that question.

Players hand their white card answers to The Judge.  The Judge then chooses the answer that they like the most from the responses.  The player with the chosen answer gets a point. The tricky part is that the responses don’t go very well with the questions!  They are often politically incorrect and distasteful.  Players feel like horrible human beings, but they are guaranteed to have a few laughs.

You can play this game in the car, with the driver being the Judge — they just have other people read them the questions and answers on the cards on their behalf.

Human Jukeboxes

If everyone in your car is a music lover, you can give Human Jukeboxes a try.  To play this game, one passengers  starts singing a line from their favorite song.  The next person must think of a different song lyric that starts with the last word of the first song.  For example:

“’Cause you make me feel like I’ve been locked out of heaven”  (Bruno Mars)

“…Heaven only knows, Heaven only knows” (John Legend)

The Movie Game

This is the perfect road trip game for passengers who are film lovers.  It’s also very easy to learn!  The game is started by someone saying the name of a random actor.  The next person must say the name of a movie that the actor starred in.  The next person must say the name of another actor in the same movie.  The game goes on until someone cannot think of the name of a matching actor or movie.  The person who cannot answer or gets the answer wrong is out of the game until the next round.

Radio Roulette

If you are enjoying a road trip around America with your family and friends, you should make sure they experience as much culture as possible!   One way you can do so is by playing radio roulette.  Randomly change the radio station that you are listening to every 10 minutes.  You will hear everything from classical jazz to evangelical Christians and crazy people talkback radio!  There are some pretty bizarre radio stations out there and forcing yourself to listen to them makes the road trip much more interesting.

Explain a film plot badly

This is another one for the film fanatics!  A person in the car explains a film plot very badly and the other passengers have to guess what the movie is.  Here are a couple of examples:

“Unhappy billionaire terrorizes mentally ill man” — Batman

“Man destroys family heirloom” — Lord of The Rings.

“I’m not supposed to talk about it” — Fight Club

“A boy becomes friends with a monk, goes into space, kisses his sister and kills his dad” — Star Wars

Road Trip Word Games

Road trip word games can be great fun for people of all ages.  They can help expand the vocabulary and creativity of participants — which makes these games a great choice for families with young children.  Here are a few of the best road trip word games.

Mad Libs on the Road

Mad Libs is one of the world’s most popular word games.  Participants are presented with a story or song that has a few words missing.  They must fill in the blanks to create an original piece of work.  This is a book containing dozens of mad libs for the family to enjoy while on a road trip. The songs and stories that are created from filling them in are often hilarious!

Round Robin Story Game

This game involves participants crafting an interesting story one word at a time!  Most stories are fairly short — usually four or five sentences long.  Some of the stories that are created are quite memorable and funny.  It’s usually good idea to record the stories on your phone, so you can play them back later for a few laughs.

The game starts with a player saying the first word in the story.  The game then goes around the car in a circle, with each player contributing an additional word.  Players can also contribute punctuation to complete a sentence.

For example:

Person 1: It Person 2: was Person 3: a Person 4: dark

Person 1: night Person 2: in Person 3: Tennessee Person 4: and

Person 1: the Person 2: clowns Person 3: were Person 4: everywhere!

The Related Words Game

To play this game, participants are given a starting word.  They must think of a word that relates to this starting word.  They then continue thinking of words that relate to the previous word in the list — with the goal of coming back to the first word.  The winner of the game is the player who uses the shortest list of words.

For example, if the word is orange:

Person 1 says: Orange, fruit, cup, drink, juice, orange.

Person 2 says: Orange, fruit, food, Cheetos, orange.  (Winner!)

I’m going on a picnic!

This game is a fantastic way to improve your memory and language skills.  If you have some kids in the car, it can really help them improve their vocabulary!  The game starts with a player saying: “I’m going on a picnic and I am bringing…” then the name of an object or animal that starts with the letter A.  The next person then says: “I’m going on a picnic and I am bringing…” then mentions the first item and another item starting with the letter B.  The game continues through the alphabet.

If a player cannot remember the names of all of the items in the list, they are out.  If you are playing with younger players, you can offer them a few hints if they can’t remember a specific item.

Spot the alphabet

This is another great game for the whole family.  Each player is looking for road signs, shop names or billboards that start with each letter of the alphabet.  They start at “A” and work their way through to “Z”.  For example, if someone spots a sign for “Appalachians Mountains” they mention it — completing the letter “A” and moving on to “B”.  The object must be spotted on your side of the car and each object can only be used once.

The Rhyming Game

This is a simple road trip word game that will test your vocabulary and ability to rhyme.  A starting player says a word that is easily rhymed, then players take turns thinking of other words that rhyme with it.  Each player has 3 seconds to think of a word and words cannot be repeated.

We hope you enjoyed reading The Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Games!  These games are so much fun that you will be looking forward to your next road trip instead of dreading it!