Are you preparing for a big road trip? Maybe you’re moving across the country or taking an extended holiday trip. Road trip games give your passengers an activity that keeps them distracted and occupied throughout the journey, whether you’re on the road for less than an hour or for several days. Here are six of my favorite road trip games that are easy to customize for your family’s ages and preferences.
1. Track License Plates
As long as they can see out the window, kids of all ages can play the license plate game. One variation requires players to find the letters of the alphabet in order while another allows players to cross letters off a pre-printed sheet in any order. You could also customize the game and collect license plates from as many states or international locations as possible or give players a phrase like, “We’re moving to Oregon” or “See the cow run.” The first person to cross off all the letters in the phrase wins. This road trip game is easy to customize and can be played from the start to the finish of your trip.
2. Write a Story
Imaginary stories help the miles pass quickly, especially when you travel with creative passengers. In this game, the driver starts the story with a short blurb. The passengers take 30-second turns to embellish the story in whichever way they choose. Decide in advance if you’ll give each person a set number of turns or if the story will end when you reach a certain mile marker. Give each person a chance to start and stop the story as you exercise creativity and pass the miles away.
3. Play Travel Bingo
Create laminated Travel Bingo cards and pack a few washable dry erase markers as you get ready for fun on the road. Players find the items on their Bingo cards and win when they’ve found all the items on a diagonal, horizontal or vertical row. Young children need picture templates and easy items like a blue truck, cloud, bird or sandwich. Older players can use templates with written words and find items like an orange Acura, a pink apartment building or a National Hockey League magnetic emblem. If you want, switch cards after each round for variation as you play Travel Bingo.
4. Make Alphabet Soup
Whether you compete against each other or pair up into partnerships, Alphabet Soup gives passengers of all ages an enjoyable game that passes the time. You only need to find all the letters of the alphabet from A to Z. Consider adding variations that require players to use only letters they see on their side of the road, to select only one letter from each sign or to collect letters in alphabetical order. The first player or team to make Alphabet Soup wins the game.
5. Punch a Bug
Of course, you may want to punch any flies or spiders that happen to be traveling with you in the vehicle, but the Punch a Bug road trip game refers to Volkswagen Beetles, not literal bugs. The first passenger who spots a Beetle calls out the color. Instead of punching each other, though, passengers can tap the seat beside them or keep track of the number of Beetles they see on a piece of paper as you play a peaceful and semi-quiet game of Punch a Bug.
6. Go on a Picnic
Interactive games like Go on a Picnic test everyone’s memory and are especially fun when driving through unoccupied areas with little scenery. The first player says, “I went to a picnic, and I brought” something that starts with the letter A. The next player says, “I went to a picnic, and I brought” something that starts with the letter B and player number one’s A item. The game continues through the alphabet. The player who can’t remember the items in the correct order is out as you play Go on a Picnic.
Keeping passengers occupied during a road trip requires creativity, but these six popular road trip games can help. Use them during vacations or on moving day as you keep everyone entertained. I know I can’t wait to try a few of these during our next family road trip.
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