36 Road Trip 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, such as:
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.
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.
SUSSED Wacky Would You Rather Card Game
- Would You Rather’ meets ‘Who Knows Who Best’!
- Easy to Play: Ask each other mysterious questions and try to figure out which answers everyone has picked!
- Multi-Award Winning: Play for hours as you experience 220 new conversations. Each deck contains 110 cards
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.
Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Briarpatch Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game for Kids, Activities for…
- The Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids from University Games is great fun on a car trip
- Kids love whiling away the miles searching for the objects found on the cards
- Can you find a red car, a license plate with the letter ”Z,” or a stop sign?
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.
Travel Questions Game
Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Bingo Game – 2 Wooden Game Boards, 4…
- Road trip travel bingo for two players for fun on the go
- Choose among four great travel themes (signs, country, town and city, vehicles) on eight double-sided cards
- Bingo cards store inside the two wooden game boards with windows that flip open and closed to cover the items players…
Slug-A-Bug / Punch Buggy
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 Kids (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 128 Pages – 04/19/2016 (Publication Date) – Lonely Planet Kids (Publisher)
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 States
Ultimate Sticker Puzzles: License Plates Across the States: Travel…
- Tallarico, Tony (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 24 Pages – 04/21/2005 (Publication Date) – Price Stern Sloan (Publisher)
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.
Flip to Win Hangman Game
Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win Hangman Travel Game (Wooden Word Game,…
- GUESSING GAME: Kids will love playing this classic word game with a twist!
- NO LOOSE PIECES: This travel-friendly wooden word game includes an erasable whiteboard, a self-storing dry-erase marker,…
- PLAY AND LEARN: This wooden word game encourages friendly competition, spelling practice, and fine motor skills.
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.
Shotgun! – The Hilarious Family Card Game for Road Trips
Shotgun! – The Hilarious Family Card Game for Road Trips
- Family Fun: This family game is designed for ages 12+ and is encouraged to be played with 2+ players (of all ages).
- How to Play: Nominate someone to be the card reader (person sitting shotgun, we’re lookin’ at you). If the car setup allows, you can rotate the reader. Read the card and play based on the prompt! Play until you reach your destination or until you stop for fast food.
- What’s Inside: Contains 200 cards, 1 drawstring pouch and instructions.
This exciting card game is fun for all ages. Shotgun! is also easy to learn, making it perfect for people of all ages. It includes two hundred cards and a drawstring pouch (perfect for traveling). One Amazon review said, “I have two teenage boys that are pretty hard to impress. When I first announced we were going to play Shotgun on our road trip last week I won’t lie, I had a 19 yr old rolling his eyes and a 15 yr old that didn’t want to take his headphones off. By the time we got to the third card we were all laughing hysterically, and 2 hours of our trip flew by! I highly recommend this game for your next road trip. My teens both thought it was a lot of fun to play!” There you have it! What’s better than a mothers honest review? It is very fast-paced and the perfect game for kids to play in the back seat.
Regal Games Original Travel Bingo 4 Pack – Great for Family Vacations…
- This durable 4 Pack Assorted 6.75 x 6.5 inch Travel Bingo Cards are perfect for Roadtrips (Includes a mix of Auto Bingo…
- Spot Items from your Travel Bingo card from the Backseat on your Roadtrips
- Mark the Items with the Fingertip Shutter Windows
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.
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
- Lore, Matthew (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 68 Pages – 02/01/1999 (Publication Date) – Chronicle Books (Publisher)
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.
License Plate Game
Melissa & Doug U.S.A. License Plate Game (Wooden “Flip to Win” Travel…
- WOODEN TRAVEL GAME: The Melissa & Doug U.S.A. License Plate Game adds excitement to travel with a wooden game board…
- DURABLE AND EASY TO USE: The U.S.A. License Plate Game helps kids learn the name and location of all fifty states,…
- TWO PLAYER GAME: Color-coded edges allows for two-person play.
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.
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.
Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Memory Games
Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Travel Memory Game – Wooden Game Board, 7 Double-Sided Cards
- WOODEN TRAVEL MEMORY GAME: The Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win Memory Game includes a wooden frame with 25 flaps and sliding scorekeepers, and 7 double-sided, laminated, themed game cards.
- DURABLE AND EASY TO USE: This matching game features a bungee-hinge design that helps improve the durability and strength of this game. It is also easy for smaller hands to use and safe for kids 5 to 7 years.
- GREAT GIFT FOR KIDS 5 TO 7 YEARS: The Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win Memory Game is an exceptional gift for kids from 5 to 7 years. Add the Melissa & Doug Secret Decoder Deluxe Activity Set as an engaging option for screen-free fun.
“Choose from among seven fun themes, slide a card into the gameboard and start looking for matches. This handy memory game includes one game board, seven double-sided game cards and a two-player scoreboard. There are no loose pieces and everything conveniently stores in the board. Great for travel. This matching game features a bungee-hinge design that helps improve the durability and strength of this game. It is also easy for smaller hands to use and safe for kids 5 to 7 years.”
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!
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
Cards Against Humanity
- Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.
- This is the main game. Buy this first.
- Contains 500 white cards and 100 black cards for maximum replayability.
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.
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.
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
Cornhole Rules and Regulations
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
- Put the laws of motion to the test with our patented Q-BA-MAZE 2
- 0 Stunt Sets
- The ingenious pieces interlock in endless configurations, while double-exit cubes keep you guessing which way the…
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.
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.
Whether you are taking a family road trip across the country or only taking a short trip with some friends, consider unplugging and enjoying your time with others to the fullest with these fun travel games! Find the game from the above list that will work for you and your family! Never be bored on a long trip again!
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!
Do you have any fun road trip games we didn’t list? Comment below some of your favorites!
Featured Image via Freepik
To tell the truth, traveling with children is quite not an easy task because you always need to provide for many nuances, including looking for some ways to entertain your kids. I am really happy to read your article because soon we will go on a road trip and now it is no longer a problem what to create to satisfy the desires of my children and get rid them of boredom. Before this time I couldn’t even think about such a wonderful possibility to take magnetic board games with us. It is the best decision to spend your time with usefulness and fun at the same time, without any chance to lose some particles. Also, I really liked Wikki Stix because it is such an unusual and fascinating idea. Children can develop their creativity and create something absolutely unique from waxy sticks. It is thrilling.
// Marina Teramond @ NMPL