Taking a road trip with your family can be a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time together – away from life’s daily distractions and stresses. Perhaps your family goal is to get away from the glare of smart phone, tablet, and TV screens to spend some time bonding. Without turning to technology, we have some great road trip games that can minimize the “I’m bored” sighs and maximize good old family fun in the RV.
15 Road Trip Games Without Batteries
Road Trip Games #1: The License Plate Game
This is one of those road trip games that will require that you have a complete list or map of all fifty states. Each time a license from one of the states is spotted, that state can be crossed off the list or colored in on the map. The goal is to spot a plate from each of the fifty states (though you may find Alaska and Hawaii a bit more difficult)! This can be a family project as you build your collection of license plates together or it can be an individual challenge with a contest winner. There is a great printable PDF to help here.
Road Trip Games #2: Car-I-Oke
If you are a singing family, this is a great game to add to your repertoire! Whether you’re singing acapella, singing along with the radio, or have a car karaoke set like this one, singing is a fun activity with kids – as long as no one is too tone deaf! Car karaoke sets now come with a CD of kid- and adult-friendly music (less the vocals) with a book of lyrics, other musical activities, and much more.
Road Trip Games #3: Mad Libs
For mad libs, first you fill out a list of random words by parts of speech, then you plug those words into a story for a hilarious time! While these word games can teach kids about grammar, sentence structure, parts of speech, and vocabulary, they can also simply bring on a serious case of the giggles. Mad Libs workbooks are available for kids of all ages, and can be great family fun in the car. This is one of the road trip games that you can get quite a bit of mileage out of for people any age!
Road Trip Games #4: Bingo
A typical Bingo set might be difficult to bring on a road trip, but travel bingo brings all the fun with you! Each board contains pictures of things you might see on the road. Each time you spot one of the items on your board, you slide the window over that picture. The first to get BINGO wins!
Road Trip Games #5: Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock
A challenging twist on the classic game! Players each have one palm face up laying their other fist on it. After the count of three, each must gesture their weapon of choice: rock, paper, scissors, lizard, or Spock. The rules to remember: scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitate lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, rock crushes scissors. Do you think you have it? Either way kids love road trip games like this it and adults pretend not to but find it fun all the same.
Road Trip Games #6: Group Storytelling
The story must be told line-by-line, so you never know where it’s going to go! One person in the car begins the story by stating the first line. The line can be simple like “once upon a time” or it could be more unconventional or unexpected. Each person then adds a line, building a story as they go. To make the game more challenging, you can rule that all the lines must rhyme.
Road Trip Games #7: Fortunately-Unfortunately
Like line-by-line story telling, this is a game of silly hypotheticals in which each person in the car says one line, alternating between an unfortunate statement and fortunate statement. For instance, you may begin with “Unfortunately, I forgot to pack extra underwear.” To which another may respond, “Fortunately, we wear the same size” and so on. The more exaggerated and silly the statements are the better!
Road Trip Games #8: Find 100
This is one of the most simple road trip games. It requires a sharp eye and dedication. Simply have each person choose an object at the beginning of your trip. It could be anything, from American flags to cows to churches. Then begin to count your object as you spot it. It’s a race to see who will spot 100 of their item first. Variations exist for those with short attention spans. The game can change to Find 50, 25, or whatever number you arbitrarily select!
Road Trip Games #9: Virtual Hide and Go Seek
Imagine you are in your house. Now, quick, find a place to hide! You can be any size, so hide wherever you can imagine. Your sock drawers or in the refrigerator aren’t off limits. The seeker(s) must ask yes or no questions to find the hider.
Road Trip Games #10: The Alphabet Game
Pick a category – be it types of food, types of animals, or girl’s names. Going through the alphabet from A to Z, each passenger must name an object from that category that corresponds to their letter. To make the game more challenging, have everyone name an object for the same letter until someone cannot think of another!
Road Trip Games #11: Word Sequence
Time to pick another category. Be it TV shows, places, or fruit. The first player has it easy; he or she only has to name something in that category. The next player has it a little harder; he or she must name something in that same category that starts with the last letter of the first player’s thing. The game continues as such until someone can’t think of a word. To keep the game going, simply eliminate players as they miss their turn. Remember, no repeats!
Road Trip Games #12: I’m Going on a Picnic
“I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” The first person must name an object they are bringing that begins with the letter A, such as apple pie. The next player must then repeat the first player’s object and then add their own that begins with the letter B, such as “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apple pie and a banana. This continues from A to Z until a player cannot remember the list of items.
Road Trip Games #13: I Spy
“I spy with my little eye…” You’re all together in a confined space. Can you spy something no one else does? Give them a clue. It could be the object’s color, shape, or texture. Let them guess until they’ve spotted it, too.
Road Trip Games #14: Twenty Questions
This is an old favorite. Think of an object. Is it a person, place, or thing? Now the rest of your road trip companions have only 20 yes or no questions to uncover your object. Can they narrow it down to a correct guess?
Road Trip Games #15: Counting Cows (or Horses or Sheep or Deer)
Driving through rural country? Passengers must count the number of cows they spot on their side of the RV. No stealing cows from the other side! If you pass a cemetery, that side loses their cow count and must begin again. The side with the most cows, horses, sheep, deer, cats, or anything else at the end of the road trip wins.
Road Trip Games Wrap-Up
Most of the these games require little or no money. They are very helpful for children but can be enjoyed by all. We have certainly played many of these around a campfire as adults (perhaps with a refreshment or two). We are just big kids anyway right? We hope you have a wonderful road trip and travel safe!
If you enjoyed the list please share it with your friends and family. If you want to take the list on the road, you can download a PDF for printing here!