30 GAMES FOR THE PERFECT ROAD TRIP

ROAD TRIP GAMES

Majestic mountains, rolling meadows, and the bored family that is constantly bickering. Does this sound all too familiar on your family road trip? Well, we’ve got the solution to your problem: 30 fun road trip games that are great for everyone!

These games are a great way to keep everyone off of social media, allowing them to just live life with the people they love! None of these games can be played alone, so make sure that you have space for all of your friends in the car.

1. ROAD TRIP TRIVIA 

Road trip trivia is the perfect game for those individuals who like to learn things about the places that they have been and the places that they are going. Road trips are never boring when you are competing to prove who has the most random assortment of knowledge.  

HOW TO PLAY

The game comes in a metal tin to contain the mess when you’re not playing. Simply choose a card, read aloud the question, and take turns answering. You may choose to play with random locations, or you can use the locations that you are near. 

2. SHOTGUN 

WHAT DO YOU MEME? Shotgun! - The Hilarious Family...
  • Hit The Road: This card game is perfect for your next long drive!
  • Family Fun: This family game is designed for ages 12+ and is encouraged to be...
  • How to Play: Nominate someone to be the card reader (person sitting shotgun,...

Shotgun is the perfect game for any age group. This game can easily keep younger players occupied, while older players will be just as entertained.

HOW TO PLAY

The player riding Shotgun is the designated card reader for the first game.

You can play a DIY version of the game by making your own cards before the road trip. Alternatively, the game has over two hundred question cards that allow players to complete a variety of actions to earn points. Of course, the player with the most points wins the game when the road trip ends!  

3. NAME THE ARTIST 

Name the Artist is a game that is perfect for the musically inclined family. It keeps the road trip interesting by giving everyone a chance to play their favorite type of music and possibly even discover some new music.

HOW TO PLAY

When a song comes on the radio, you must yell the artist of the song before any other player.  If you’re the first player to do this, you score a point.  

If the game gets boring, you can spice it up by choosing a player to play random music from their phone. Additionally, to make things more difficult, you could only allow a few seconds of the song to play before you announce your answers. Either way, you get to listen to sick jams while also enjoying wholesome family time.  

4. WOULD YOU RATHER ROAD TRIP 

Would You Rather is a classic game that can be played in any party or group setting. It also happens to be one of the best road trip games for those who want to learn a little more about the people that they are traveling with!  You will bond with the players who play Would You Rather for the rest of your life.

HOW TO PLAY

Present the players with a “would you rather” option, and they must choose one of the two options. Fair warning: this game can get gross and out of hand quickly because anything in the world is an option. As the game progresses, the players will come up with ridiculous choices that the others must choose between. 

If you aren’t able to come up with questions on the fly, you can purchase a deck of Would You Rather cards, and then you can draw randomly from the deck. You will quickly get into the heads of your car-mates, so be prepared!

5. THE LICENSE PLATE GAME 

The License Plate Game is a fun game that can be played as a background game on a road trip. This means you don’t have to be exclusively playing this game, as it can be played throughout the entire road trip.

HOW TO PLAY

The goal is to spot as many license plates from as many states as possible! They have to be confirmed by other players before they are allowed to count them! This saves the group from having to worry about cheating.  

This game is great for kids and adults alike as you travel through many cities and states. To make keeping score easier, you can print a map of the United States before heading out on your road trip and use crayons to color in the map when you see a state’s license plate.

Once a plate is called, it cannot be called again, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. The players will quickly become excited as they realize that many of the plates from the same state do not look the same! 

6. I SPY 

I Spy is a classic game that many families love to play. It can also become an awesome road trip game, keeping everyone engaged and interested in their surroundings. This game can be as complicated or simple as you make it, making it perfect for any age group. 

HOW TO PLAY

First, you must say, “I Spy,” and then give a random quality of the object that you have chosen. The other player must be able to see the object so it cannot be something hidden. Everyone will then begin to guess what you have spied. The other players get three tries before you receive a point. If the players spot the object, then they earn a point instead! 

7. THE GROCERY GAME 

The Grocery Game will have everyone in the car giggling by the end. This game is similar to I Spy, but it easily takes the place of I Spy when you are experiencing the boring stretch of a road trip, like the desert. This game uses imagination rather than actual objects in the surrounding space. 

HOW TO PLAY

To play, first think of something you have seen in a grocery store. Remember, grocery stores have lots of things, even toys! The other players must then ask questions regarding the object. Questions could be about its shape, its color, or its purpose. The questions must be yes or no questions.

The questions will have players laughing, and so will the random things that pop into people’s heads! 

8. ALPHABET GAME 

The Alphabet Game is a perfect game to practice alphabetical skills with younger kids, and it is more of a challenge than one would think! 

HOW TO PLAY

The goal of the game is to find signs that begin with each letter of the alphabet. The catch? It must happen in alphabetical order. If you think you will have trouble keeping up with everyone’s place, then you can print a sheet online or even do it yourself! This allows players to mark off each letter as they find a sign beginning with that letter and write down what the sign was beside it.

The best time to find new signs is when you are stopping to eat or when you pass food places. Everybody else may be caught up in city limit signs, but food places are where it’s at!

9. IN MY SUITCASE 

In My Suitcase is another fun alphabetical game. While it is a perfect road trip game for younger kids, the entire family will have a laugh playing In My Suitcase.

HOW TO PLAY

To play, each player will attempt to finish the following statement: “I’m going on vacation, and in my suitcase, I have….”.  

You first state an item that begins with the letter A. The next player will make the statement, mentioning an item that begins with the letter B. See how long your group can go! When someone gets stuck, and they do not have a word that matches the letter that they are on, then the round ends. 

If you don’t have many exciting things packed in your suitcases besides what you wear, everyone can spice it up by stating items that aren’t actually in their bag. This will quickly lead to gut-wrenching laughs. 

10. SING ALONG CHALLENGE 

The Sing Along Challenge is another game that is directed at musically inclined families. It’s a super fun game to play with classic and well-known music, but even funnier with more obscure choices!

HOW TO PLAY

First, choose a song and play a portion of it aloud. Whenever you want, you can pause, and any player that you choose will then begin to sing from the same place in the song.  

If the player you choose is able to sing the next line, they win a point. If they aren’t, then you win a point. Every player has to be chosen before a player can be chosen again. This helps to avoid singling anyone out!  

11. ROAD TRIP BINGO 

ROAD TRIP BINGO

This is another road trip classic that can be played with everyone except the driver, of course. If you’re driving, just have someone else cross off things you list. 

HOW TO PLAY

This is a pretty obvious one: you can download a sheet off the internet or create your own. Make a bingo sheet of different things you might see along the road, for example, different gas stations, fast food places, and even famous sights. The possibilities are endless, and this game can be played throughout the trip, too! 

12. GUESS THE TIME

GUESS THE TIME

Guess The Time is a fun way to get people looking forward to certain destinations that could otherwise be boring. The good thing about this game is that it can be prepared before the road trip, and all you have to do is keep track of the points.

HOW TO PLAY

To play this game, simply make a list of the cities you’ll be passing through during your road trip. Then, have everyone guess at what exact time you’ll be passing through each destination. For example, what time will the car pass the sign saying “You are now leaving Ohio”? 

The person with the closest time (down to the minute) wins the round.

13. WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

This is one of our favorite games to play during road trips. It’s especially fun if you have someone in your car who loves to nap.

HOW TO PLAY

Once someone falls asleep during your trip, then the game begins. The rest of the people in the car will make up a fake story that supposedly happened while the other person was asleep. 

You can wake the player after a while or just wait until they wake up themselves. Then, you start to tell the made-up story. Each player then has to add their own part to the story. Whoever breaks character or is caught by the sleeper loses a point. If you all successfully convince the sleeper, then you each get a point.

As this is not really a game, you can do it too many times on the trip, and you can up the stakes by saying whoever loses has to do the dishes.

14. THE PRICE IS RIGHT

PRICE IS RIGHT

The beauty of this game is that gas prices are constantly changing from state to state and even from gas stations within each state.

HOW TO PLAY

To play, everyone must try to guess the price of regular unleaded gas at the next gas station whoever guesses the price correctly to the nearest tenth wins. It is especially fun for players who don’t drive since they rarely pay attention to gas prices. 

You can have the player who is furthest away buy a snack for everyone inside the gas station!

15. SPIN A STORY FROM THE PAST

SPIN A STORY

This is a great game for the players in the car who are good at making up stories. It is essentially “who can lie better.”

HOW TO PLAY

You begin by telling a story about your past, and another player has to say whether you are telling the truth or spinning a story. Each player gets two follow-up questions, and then they have to guess. A good strategy is to tell a real story but then add something that didn’t happen. This makes it easier to follow the “lie.”

If they guess correctly, they get two points, and the first player to reach 10 points wins. The loser has to tell an embarrassing story that actually happened. 

16. RIFF OFF

RIFF OFF

Riff Off is similar to The License Plate Game but with a fun twist. You can think of it almost like Scrabble with license plates!

HOW TO PLAY

To play this game, you have to find a license plate whose letters could make up a word. For example, if the license plate is PKN48, you could yell, “Pumpkin!” Another player can challenge you by creating a longer word with the same letters.

If you want to make the game a bit more difficult, you can say that the letters have to be in the correct order to make up the word, not scrambled. If someone spots a vanity plate, they get an extra two points. The first player to 10  points wins.

17. CHANGE ONE LETTER

CHANGE ONE LETTER

It seems like movie references are a big part of road trip games. This game is super fun to play, especially for those extra creative people. This game doesn’t have an exact title, but Change One Letter seems to work the best. 

HOW TO PLAY

To play this game, choose a film, TV show, video game, or book, preferably something well-known. Then, change one letter of the title and describe the plot of the newly created title. Everyone else has to guess what the title is.

You can add or remove a letter as long as the title is made up of real words. For example, you might change Fight Club to Flight Club. Then, make up a plot about men who secretly take flights around the world together and then have to become pilots and fly the planes filled with their secret friends as passengers.

18. 20 QUESTIONS

20 QUESTIONS

20 Questions is a classic road trip game that can be played almost anywhere. The best part is that the object chosen is only limited by your imagination.

HOW TO PLAY

Similar to the grocery game, except there is a limit of only 20 questions. Pick an object, person, or place and allow the other players to guess what it is.

They may only ask yes or no questions, and they only get a total of 20 questions and only 3 guesses total. If they don’t guess in 20 questions, then you win. If someone guesses, they win, and they get to pick the next object.

19. DID YOU HEAR THAT…

DID YOU HEAR

Did you Hear That is a great game to play, especially if you keep up to date with pop culture and news. If you don’t, then you may have some trouble unless you are a good lie detector!

HOW TO PLAY

In this game, you are trying to fool your opponent and make them believe your story is true. You start by asking, “Did you hear that (blank) happened?” Your opponent will then either say, “That didn’t happen,” or “Tell me more.”

If they guess correctly that something didn’t happen, then they get two points. If they guess incorrectly that something didn’t happen, then you steal one of their points and gain two of your own!

However, if they say, “Tell me more,” you continue with the story and the points are doubled at the end of your statement!

20. THE SINGING GAME

SINGING GAME

Let’s get another game for the singers in the group. This is especially fun when everyone joins in and sings along to each song.

HOW TO PLAY

This game is played in a chain. So you start singing any song you want. The next person now has to sing another song that begins with any lyric from your song. This continues until someone messes up or they get stuck. 

Here’s a good example:

  • “Don’t go breaking my heart…”
  • “…will go on and…”
  • “…Find, that what you’re looking for has been here the whole time…”

21. THE MOVIE GAME

MOVIE GAME

This game is like a word association game but with movies and actors. It will go very well for film buffs, but for everyone else, well, good luck.

HOW TO PLAY

The rules of this game are quite simple. First, start with any actor you can think of and say their name aloud. The next player then has to name a movie that that actor was in. Then the next person says another actor who starred in that same film. This continues until someone is incorrect. They then sit out the next round. 

An example would be:

  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • The Silver Linings Playbook
  • Robert DeNiro
  • The Godfather

22. EXPLAIN A MOVIE PLOT BADLY

MOVIE PLOT BADLY

As I mentioned before, movies come up a lot during road trips. We love that, but how often do we get to describe movies badly?

HOW TO PLAY

In this game, you simply pick any film; again, known films are usually better for this one. Now, describe the plot of the film in a terrible way, but that is also factual. The others have to guess the film. If they guess correctly, they get a point; if not, then you get a point.

Here’s our favorite example, “Two 90yr old men fight when one of them can’t remember who the other is.” (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

23. ESSENTIALLY THE SAME MOVIE

ESSENTIALLY THE SAME

Yes, believe it or not, it’s another movie-based game. It’s just so much fun to incorporate films into road trip games. This game is so fun, but it also makes you see how similar a lot of movies are! 

HOW TO PLAY

The game starts with you naming any film you want. The next person then has to name another movie that has the same basic plot. Some examples are Volcano and Dante’s Peak, or No Strings Attached, and Friends with Benefits.

The play continues until someone gets stumped. The last person to be able to name a film that fits is the winner.

24. FORTUNATELY, UNFORTUNATELY

FORTUNATELY UNFORTUNATELY

Fortunately, Unfortunately, is a fun game to play, especially for those who are good at improv. The best part is that it takes no preparation at all and can help kids with their creativity!

HOW TO PLAY

The game is really easy to play. All you do is make a declarative statement that begins with “Fortunately.” For example, “Fortunately, we are passing through Las Vegas soon.” Then, the next person follows that up with an “Unfortunately” statement. For example, “Unfortunately, It’s now underwater!” Then that continues until someone can’t think of anything or until you get bored.

25. REGIONAL FOOD MASTER

REGIONAL FOOD

You know I couldn’t leave out games for the foodies out there. This game is much easier if you’re playing with adults, but if the kids are playing, you’ll just have to cover the bill.

HOW TO PLAY

The object of the game is to collect the most regional snacks between the start and the end of your road trip. There are a few rules to make it a bit more interesting. 

  • You have to get a snack at each gas station you stop at.
  • You can only choose one item per gas station.
  • The food item has to be created in the region where the stop was.
  • Duplicate cities do not count.

The person who has the most snacks at the end of the trip is the winner!

26. THE COUNTING GAME

COUNTING GAME

The counting game is one that can be played anytime, anywhere. It can even be played as a drinking game, but obviously not during the road trip. There is no limit to the number of players. However, the more players there are, the more chance there is to mess up.

HOW TO PLAY

Start the game by saying the number one out loud. Then, another person follows with the next number at random. This continues until you reach the number 20. The rules are: if two people say the same number at the same time, then you start over. If there is more than a five-second pause, start over. Trust me, this is harder than you might think.

27. FAMOUS NAME GAME

FAMOUS NAME

This is another association-style game. If you know the names of lots of famous people, then you’ll love this game. 

HOW TO PLAY

You’re trying to connect the first and last names of famous people. Start by saying any name out loud. Then, the next person has to say another name of a person whose first name starts with the first letter of the previous last name. For example, you say Chris Hemsworth, the next person can say Harry Stiles, and so on. 

If someone says a name that has the same letter as their first and last name, for example, Lindsay Lohan, then the order of players reverses. The first person to mess up loses and is out for the round.

28. BATTLE OF THE BANDS

BATTLE OF THE BANDS

This game is super fun for the whole family. It works especially well if someone has their phone connected to the car and can create playlists.

HOW TO PLAY

Two people are going head to head in this game to have their song chosen as the best in a category. One person is going to give out a theme, for example, “love songs” or “best fight songs.”

Two other contestants have one minute to choose their song. Each player then plays their song, and everyone in the car judges which song is better. Whoever wins gets one point, and the one with the most points wins.

29. WORD ASSOCIATION

WORD ASSOCIATION

I love games that make your brain work hard. This one will definitely do that and can also help kids with creativity. It can be played anytime you have some downtime, so the car ride is perfect!

HOW TO PLAY

The game is simple: start with a word, and the next person thinks of a word associated with it. The next person does the same with the previous word. 

For example:

  • Haunted house
  • Prairie
  • Meerkat 
  • Disney

The game is over when someone says something crazy or can’t think of anything. However, if they can defend their answer, then the game can continue.

30. COW ON MY SIDE

COW ON MY SIDE

I absolutely loved this game as soon as I heard about it. It’s another one of those games that you can play throughout the trip and not be actively playing. Be sure to keep an eye out!

HOW TO PLAY

Throughout the road trip, anytime you see cows, you shout out, “ Cows on my side!” You get a point every time you call it out. If you see cows on the other side, you can yell, “Cows on your side!” If you call this before the other person sees them, you get to steal a point.

The person with the most points at the end of the trip wins. My favorite part of the game is if you see a cemetery and scream, “Ghost cow!” you get to steal all the other side’s points!

31. TRIPLE THREAT

TRIPLE THREAT

This is another one to help out with creativity. It is super fun to use random words that don’t coincide to make it a bit more difficult.

HOW TO PLAY

To play, you say three random words out loud. Then, each player has to tell a story using the three words. You get to be the judge and decide who told the best story. 

The winner now gets to choose three words for the other players, and play continues. 

YOUR NEXT ROAD TRIP WILL BE A BLAST!

Road trips are a must for families who want to make memories together. Although they can be boring at times, with enough initiative, the road trips will create memories all on their own. Families will laugh, joke, and play games, making the trip seem faster than it is!  

From trivia games to singing challenges, these are some games that will work for any family. Any age group can participate in these games, as many of them can be modified for younger players. 

If you’re looking for games more appropriate for parties check out the 10 best drinking games article.

Alan Lemus
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