20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

Jul 29, 2020

20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!
By Erik Sandberg

20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

Your epic vacation road trip is just around the corner and you’re looking at 6 plus hours of highways and byways in the car with your lovely friends and or family. As lovely as your fellow passengers might be at the onset of your trip, you are bound to come across some uglier moments that might put a damper on your road trip and vacation ahead; seasoned road-trippers, you know exactly what I am talking about. So, how can one avoid Road Trip land mines such as, "Are we there yet", "Stop bugging me", and "I am telling"? Well it’s quite simple…Games!

Road Trip Games To Make The Time Fly

There are so many fantastic games to keep children of all ages (you too Grandpa!) preoccupied on your fantastic voyage to vacation nirvana! Don’t worry about racking your noggin or scouring the internet for road trip game ideas, we’ve got you covered. Our list of 20 games for your next road trip consists of everything from classic word games and competitive rest stop physical activities to a roadside cuisine hunt and the ever-important game that forces contestants and would-be winners to close those noisy yappers.

So, whether you’re trucking on down with your RV to a glamping paradise in sunny Florida, riding on over to hike the Great Smoky Mountains, or heading cross-country to Nevada for a lengthy stay near the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, our list is chock-full of endless fun and entertainment for even the most road wearied traveler. So, without any more delay, here are 20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

1. I Spy

The classic road trip game known the entire world over, and to this day ceases to get old. For those of you living under a rock and don’t know the rules, passengers take turns picking an object either outside or inside the car and then state, “ I spy with my little eye something beginning with the letter…” that letter being what ever the objects spelling begins with. For us little kids who may not be the greatest spellers you can also play I Spy objects of certain colors, “I Spy with my little eye something green!” Well, I’ll tell you what I Spy… endless entertainment!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

2. Would You Rather

Another classic that keeps those antsy passengers occupied is Would You Rather. The great thing about Would You Rather is the ease to curate it towards various age groups, feel free and keep it as G rated or bombastic as you like! Now if you need a refresher on how to play, it’s pretty simple, take turns asking each other whether you would rather do one thing or another (for example would you rather go to Disney World or Universal Studios?) the best part of the game isn’t necessarily the answers given, but the explanations as to why each contestant answered the way they did, this is where the hilarity ensues.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

3. Car Bingo

This one involves a little pre trip preparation, but it is worth it! Before you go on your trip write out a few lists of things you’re bound to see while on the road, for example a red car, a barn, cows, the world is your oyster. When the passengers begin to get a little restless, hand out the lists with a pen or pencil and they can begin crossing off things that they see on the list as you drive on by; whoever finishes the list first wins! Oooh, that’s a Bingo!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

4. Punch Buggy or Slug Bug

This is a game I personally believe should always be played, whether on a road trip or not. Slug Bug or Punch Buggy, whichever one you call it, works the same way. When you see a VW Beetle, what you do is shout Punch Buggy and whatever color the car is, then you give the passenger closest to you a gentle love-tap to the shoulder. So, if you see a blue VW Beetle yell, “Punch Buggy Blue!” and then give your neighbor a nice gentle jab to the shoulder. If the touching thing is causing issues, which to be completely honest it can, you can resort to just shouting out, “Punch Buggy!”. To add to the competition, keep tabs on who gets the most, also feel free to get creative and give extra points for certain rare Slug Bug colors, “Slug Bug Pink for 100! Whammo!”


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

5. The Complete Food Menu Game

Here is another great game that involves a small amount of pre-trip prep. Print out sheets with all the different food/restaurant types you’ll come across on your road trip in a grid against each traveler. Whoever first spots that food/restaurant type wins that category. Once the sheet is filled, you tally up to see who the winner is. This game works best when you are driving through a lot of towns as opposed to the highway, but you can always make it work with rest-stops, highway restaurant signs, and billboards.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

6. The License Plate Game

Hand out the pens and paper you packed before and let the license plate spotting begin! The person with the most states and or provinces (Here’s looking at you Canada!) wins! Be sure to get creative and add additional points for plates furthest away from their home, “Hawaii for the win! The car goes wild!”


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

7. Car Rules Road Trip Game

Here we have the classic game where everyone gets to make up there own silly rule, for example when you go through a tunnel you have to tug on your ear, or when you see a billboard for Cracker Barrel you start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance ( or if traveling in Canada, when you see a Tim Horton’s start singing one of my personal favorites, O Canada). You get the idea, the wackier the better!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

8. Pick One Car road trip game

In this game you only have one shot for the entire road trip to get it right. The premise is simple, each contestant must pick one car that they see on the trip and pick that car as their greatest One Car. Now obviously this can all come down to taste, but once some one picks their car, they “own” that car for the remainder of the trip. Tough choices will be made; you not only must be patient and discerning, but also quick, so as not to lose out on your One Car to a fellow passenger.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

9. Road Sign Bingo

Another game with a little bit of pre travel prep. Now you can hand make your Road Sign Bingo cards and I am sure they will be amazing, but if you’re like me and looking for quick and easy, there are plenty of these waiting to be printed free of charge on the internet. So, how to play? Very simple, hand out the Road Sign Bingo cards and whoever fills in their card from the signs they’ve spotted first, shouting Bingo, wins!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

10. 20 Questions

Another road trip classic, you simply have one fellow traveler start by picking a random object, while the other passengers take turns asking 20 yes or no questions to guess the object. The winner is whoever guesses the object correctly and they then choose the next object to be guessed upon. Now, if no one guesses correctly after 20 questions the original person gets to choose a new object and the game begins again. Rules are simple, you may pick any object to be guessed, but remember anyone caught lying when asked the yes or no questions must pay for gas at the next stop!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

11. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

Here now with the Road Trip Scavenger Hunt, you truly can be as creative and goofy as you want to be. My favorite rendition of Road Trip Scavenger Hunt works best when you are traveling with multiple vehicles. How it works, you create a list of tasks, and each group must perform said task, for example, “When gassing up at the next station take a picture by the sign” and so on, you really can get as nutty as you like with this. At the end of the trip, whoever managed to complete the most tasks wins!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

12. Padiddle

This game obviously works best at night during those extra-long road trips. The goal for this game is very simple and that is to be the first passenger to shout “Padiddle” when you see a car with only one headlight. There is one major land mine in this game, if you shout “Padiddle” and it ends up being a motorcycle, you lose a point, so don’t be too quick with your Padiddle.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

13. Sweet or Sour

What we have here is more of a social experiment than a game, but fun none the less. Passengers wave to people passing by, if they wave back, they are sweet, if not they are sour. The competition starts when you break up the car into two halves, contestants on the right wave to the right side of the street, contestants on the left wave to left side of the street; front seat passenger keeps score and who ever gets the most sweets over their sours wins! Driver, just a word to the wise, do a loop and go back down the street to give each side equal opportunity to score. Contestants, please remember, try your best not to distract other drivers.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

14. The Alphabet Game

Now this is a good one. First, each passenger lists out the alphabet in alphabetical order on a piece of paper. Then as the game commences, each contestant finds a letter, he or she must call out the letter and the word. For example, if you see the word “apples” on a road sign, you must say, “A in apples.” You can use road signs, billboards or anything outside the car with words on it. Passengers must find each of the letters in alphabetical order. Only one player can use a letter from the same word. The first player to complete the alphabet wins. There are many variations, for example, you can only use road signs, or only billboards, or only license plates, or even start the game with the alphabet in reverse! Also, don’t fret if you get behind, since the letters J and Q act as an equalizer to slow speedy contestants down. The greatest equalizer though, if you choose to play this way are graveyards. If you pass by a graveyard, first player to shout out “Graveyard!” forces all the other passengers to start at the beginning. If, though, graveyard is shouted out and there really wasn’t one, the person who shouted graveyard goes back to the beginning.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

15. Rest-Stop Mini Olympics

Have the kids gotten out of hand or they’re just buzzing with too much vacation anticipation and excitement, all hopped up on what ever sugary snack they got from the previous rest-stop? Well, have I got a game for you…Rest-Stop Mini Olympics! When you reach the next rest-stop set some goals for each contestant, like how many pushups or jumping jacks they can do in a minute or have them race and see who can do the most laps in 5 minutes. Either way, everyone is a winner, the kids get some much-needed exercise, and parents you will appreciate your mini Olympians tuckered out and snoozing quietly down the road.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

16. Tunnels & Bridges

Tunnels & Bridges is another great game that can be played throughout the duration of your road trip, and if you’re like me, super competitive, you’ll be playing for the rest of your life. The rules are easy, whenever driving through a tunnel or over a bridge, players hold their breath, whoever holds their breath to the end or the longest wins a point. Just a friendly cautionary tip, be careful on those extra-long tunnels and bridges.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

17. The Hidden Word Game

Here is a game you can play anywhere, but it is an excellent one for your road trip. The rules are simple, first start with a short root word such as “aqua”. Contestants then take turns and try to find as many words as possible that contain “aqua” in it, for example, “aquarium”. Each word found scores one point and you can continue until no more words can be thought of or set a timer. The Hidden Word Game is a great road trip game, that will test your wordsmith talents!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

18. Guess the Make & Model

Guess the Make & Model or Car Spotting to some, is a great game for everyone including the driver, and can even help the driver stay awake on those extra-long legs of your road trip. The goal of the game is to be the first person to identify the make and model of cars that are far in the distance before the other contestants. Guess right and you earn a point, guess wrong and you lose a point. The contestant with the most points at the end wins!


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

19. The Banana Game

This game is all about yellow! Who doesn’t love the color yellow? Well, the rules are quite simple, spot a yellow car and you get a point, the person with the most points wins. If you’re driving into a city, say New York, who has a lot of yellow cabs/taxi, to make things more interesting you can make a rule that deducts points for spotting a yellow car if it ends up actually being a cab.


20 Games to Play on a Road Trip For All Ages!

20. The Quiet Game

Quite possibly the most genius Road Trip game ever created, especially for parents with young kids excited to be at the destination instantaneously. So, are you tired of hearing “Are we there yet?” or “Billy won’t let me have the iPad!” or “Don’t look out my window, that’s my window!”? Ah, the list can go on and on, but don’t fret you have the Quiet Game! The rules are simple, as you can imagine, which ever contestant speaks, is out, whoever is quiet for the duration of the game, wins. Now, you can make it more interesting by promising the winner a prize or letting them choose where to eat during the next rest stop, what ever works to get those little noise makers to be more quiet and give you a little peace during your road trip.

Road Trip Gaming and Making Memories

As you can see there is no shortage of fun games that can be played while on your road trip that will keep passengers of all ages occupied and having a wonderful time. So, whether it’s your kids being extra noisy and rambunctious or you’re just looking to lighten the mood with your fellow passengers, remember games are a great way to build lasting memories and keep your road trip vacation running smoothly.


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