Most of the time, we prefer driving over flying to our destinations. We have tried many different games and activities to keep our kids occupied on trips, and these are the best.
Tablets have a time and place, but we prefer to spend our car time doing family activities, even in the car. Doing these Road Trips Games will help create memories before you even get to your destination.
We have listed six completely free road trip games and five very affordable road trip games. Here they are!
Free Road Trip Games
This is one of the most classic games to play while traveling on the road. The premise is simple: Each person in the car says “I spy something (insert color).” Then everyone in the car needs to try to figure out what the person chose. If you have younger ones in the car, you can modify the rules to spy things that are inside the car.
What Color Is It?
Each person in the car will take turns listing a bunch of items that all have the same color (lemons, the sun, corn, etc). You will continue listing items until someone yells out the color of the items. Make it a challenge and see how many items it takes before someone guesses your color! The person with the longest list of items before someone guesses is the winner!
This is a personal favorite in our house! The rules of this game are very simple, but can last for many miles. Starting at the letter A, you try to find road signs, billboards, highway markers, etc that have a word that starts with the current letter. For example, if the current letter is “A” and someone sees a sign for Applebees, they would yell out Applebees, then move on to the letter “B.” The first person to complete the alphabet wins!
Top Ten Game
Whenever we play this game, we always end up with endless belly laughs, especially if your kids have crazy imaginations! The rules are basic. You pick a topic and go around the car and ask things such as “What are your top ten favorite songs.” One way to change the rules to add an extra element of fun is to ask your kids what THEY think YOUR top tens are! Some of the things they will say are simply hilarious.
Name That Tune
This classic game can be played regardless of the age range in your car. If everyone in the car is a bit older, you can play the game with the classic rules where the first person to recognize a song title can shout it out. If you have younger kids, you can modify the rules and give each kid their own song and see how long it takes them to guess the song. For best results, have playlists picked out before the trip. This keeps you from having long, awkward pauses while you are searching for a new song. We have a playlist ready for each boy, as they each have very different likes. If you are feeling daring, you can have them pick songs for you to guess also (you might want to make sure explicit content filters are on 😉 )
This is another fantastic game for eating up tons of miles on the road. The rules are simple and any age can play. One person will pick a person, place, thing, etc. Then you go around the car and each passenger can ask a yes/no question to try to guess what the first person chose as their thing. Taking notes is encouraged to avoid asking the same questions twice. The first person to guess correctly will then be the next one to choose the person/place/thing. It is so fun watching your kids critically think as they try to guess correctly!
Purchased Road Trip Games
A book of Mad Libs can provide HOURS of entertainment. If your kids are older, they can each have their own book and go back and forth with having each one complete the other’s story. If your kids are on the younger side, you would just need a parent to facilitate the completion of the story. Regardless of age, Mad Libs are virtually guaranteed to result in plenty of side-splitting belly laughs as you read through the often ridiculous stories. If you are lucky enough to have younger boys, you are already well aware of how often you can work “farts” “stinky” and “butt” into a Mad Libs story. If you want hours of laughter in your car, make the purchase now.
Our boys discovered bingo last year when our older boy had a school function where they had charity bingo games. They were hooked. Luckily, bingo is a game that can easily be adapted for the car. Travel bingo cards are made with windows that can pull over the numbers as they get called, eliminating the need for chips or daubers. With smartphones, there are apps that can be used to call the numbers. This further reduces the need for clutter in the car. Be sure to have prizes! Be the cool parent and your set here.
Knock Knock Game Pads
The premise behind these books is so simple, but the hours of fun they provide is invaluable. These books are filled with pages that allow your kids (or adults) to play some of the most classic games ever created. They contain tic-tac-toe, hangman, road trip bingo (the cards have pic of things you’d see while driving), word searches and more. There are different versions available based on age levels. Get yours here.
These are primarily found inside the Highlights childrens’ magazines, however they can be purchased on their own without a Highlights subscription. Our boys absolutely love when their new Highlights come in the mail each month, mostly because of the Hidden Pictures. Some of them are pretty challenging! Our boys enjoy solving them together. When you have a book full of them, it can provide hours of entertainment.
What we like about Simon is that not only does it fill plenty of time on the road, but it challenges the boys’ minds and recall ability. The boys will go back and forth and challenge each other to see who can go further. We have seen different Simon games in small travel sizes, but even the traditional version is still convenient for travel in the car. The only downside to Simon…the beeps, dings, buzzers, and other noises do get a bit old after a while. During Simon battles, this may be a good time to put in some headphones, cancel out the noise, and listen to some music! Pick one up here.
What To Do Next?
Try some of these road trip games at home! These games work just as well on rainy days at home as they do when taking those long road trips!