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10+ Best Road Trip Games To Play

10 mins read
Best Road Trip Games To Play
Photo by Sake Le from Pexels



It is always fun to go on long car rides, but there is something that adds even more entertainment to the road trip – games!

Imagine this – you are in a car, zooming across a coastal road, the windows rolled down, wind in your hair, the smell of the sea in your nose. You can hear the music blasting from the speakers as well as the laughter of the other passengers and see the nasty (but jealous) looks of the people whose car you pass. You are on a road trip somewhere beautiful, and life is good.

A road trip is an incredible way to let loose, have tons of fun, and connect with the people you are traveling with, be it friends, family, or your significant other. There should be many places you can take a road trip from wherever you live – a simple Google search should turn up all your options.

There are plenty of things to do on a road trip, from curating the perfect playlist and listening to it at the maximum volume to just breathing in the fresh air and admiring the scenery. Of course, everyone’s favorite activity is road trip games!

There is a vast array of road trip games to choose from, even when it comes to road trip games. Whether it’s a long car ride or less than an hour, there is something to occupy everyone. We have listed some below – peruse and decide as per whatever suits your fancy, and start playing!

Fun Road Trip Games

1. The License Plate Game

The License Plate Game is a classic road trip game and something that everyone can enjoy. The rules are pretty simple to understand – all you have to do is keep an eye out during your long car ride for a license plate from each state of the country! I would recommend it for both kids and adults.

Keep track of the states from which you have already spotted a license plate – this can be done via a checklist or just noting it down on a piece of paper. The first person to spot license plates from all fifty states of the USA wins!

You can play various twists to the game to make it more enjoyable. For example, you can play either alone or collaboratively. Moreover, you can even make words using all the letters included in the license plates you find – this will put a little Scrabble spin on the game.

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Photo By: Thomas Millot/Unsplash. Copyright 2017

You could even implement a points system. For example, a car from a state that is quite far from where you are driving gets more points, or a car in a quirky color gets you more points too. This is a fun game, as well as easy and time-consuming!

You can even play this game simultaneously with another one. Remember: keep your eyes sharp, and be on the lookout!

2. Memory Game/Shopping List

This is another one of those fun games that will require just the right amount of concentration to enjoy. One person starts by saying, “I went to the shops, and I bought…” or “I am going on a picnic, and I am taking…” or even, “I am going on a road trip, and I am packing…”. After this, that same person needs to name any item, thing, or person!

The following person continues by saying the exact starting phrase; then the person repeats the item that the first person bought, then adds their item. So on, so forth. The game continues with the list getting longer and longer – and hopefully more bizarre by the second! – as people struggle to remember the list correctly.

The players are eliminated one by one as they miss out on a specific item or two. The last one standing in crowed the memory game champion! Both kids and adults will relish this game.

3. Movie Game

This game is the perfect one for all my film buffs out there! It is a great game and will ensure lots of fun if played with the right people. The game starts with one person naming any famous (or not) actor. The following person has to name a movie or show that the actor starred in. The person after that has to name another actor who starred in the same movie, and the game continues by naming actors and movies relating to the one named previously.

It might not be fun for the younger kids, mainly because they most likely would not recognize most of the actors being named – nor would they know all the movies they have starred in. However, for teens and adults, it is a great game.

It would create a few laughs if played with family, as the kids and parents might be naming movies and actors from different generations all together!

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Photo By: Samuel Regan-Asante/Unsplash. Copyright 2021

4. Scavenger Hunt

The good old scavenger hunt game can double as a favorite road trip game too! It is a classic that people of all ages can enjoy.

All you have to do is prepare a list of things you may spot during your road trip. If you know the route well, you can customize it with things you can spot on that road trip. If you are traveling on a new road, no fear! You can still add everyday things like a motorcycle, a police car, a school bus, a stop sign, and others quickly spotted anywhere.

Every person has to tick off the things that they have spotted. If someone spots all of them, they are crowned as the grand champion! If not, the person who has spotted the most is the winner.

5. Word Association

Word association is not only one of the most famous road trip games, but also very enjoyable and easy to play!

In this game, one person starts by saying a word. The following person has to say a word associated with the first word in some way or another. It continues like this, with each player saying words they associate with the previous word.

It can lead to big laughs, especially if a time limit is imposed – say, five seconds – in which the next person has to give their answer. It is a fun game for people of all ages and can also be played with family members.

Here is an example:

Batman – Bruce – Hulk – Angry – Calm – Ocean.

And so on! Have fun with it, let your imagination go wild (but make sure it still associates!).

6. Guessing Game

There are quite a few variations, and you can choose to play any of them – they are all great fun!

One of them is the absolute classic game of I Spy. I am almost sure that everyone will know how to play this, but let us go over the rules anyways: one player has to choose something visible to all the passengers and then say, “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the letter…”. Or you can even choose to say, “I spy with my little eye something that is the color…”

The other passengers have to guess what the first person is talking about. Not to worry – we have a game for them too! It is one of the most accessible games for kids to play, although it might bore older kids.

Another form is 21 questions. One person thinks of any famous person, and the others have to guess the person they are thinking of. To achieve this, they have 21 questions that they can ask the first person, but these have to be yes or no questions only. The person who thought of the name will only answer yes or no.

At the end of the 21 questions, the players have to guess (unless they are sure of the answer beforehand, in which case they can guess before), and the person has to reply to their guess with yes or no. Get creative with your questions, but make sure you do not waste any! Also, remember all the information you have received from the person.

Some example questions that you can ask are:

  1. Are they American?
  2. Do they have blond hair?
  3. Are they a singer/dancer/actor?
  4. Are they married?
  5. Have they starred in any movie/more than 5 movies?
  6. Are their parents’ famous people?
  7. Are they millennials?
  8. Are they alive?
  9. Have I ever mentioned them?

Do you like them?

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Photo By: Avinash Patel/Pexels. Copyright 2018

7. Song Battle

This is a fun road trip game for all the music lovers! It is a fantastic game that combines listening to music and playing. To start, you have to choose any two people to face off against one another – you can do this by picking names out of a hat or a box.

Next, the other players decide on a theme to give to the two people. Alternatively, you can make chits with various themes on them beforehand and pick them out when needed. You can even include situations to make it more fun! Both the players have two minutes to find a song they want to enter in the battle and play it for the others.

The others have to choose one song that wins that round, and the person that played that song gets the point. All the players need to keep track of their points, and the person with the most points at the end wins!

Here is a list of reference themes or situations that you can use:

  • Greatest love song
  • A breakup song
  • A song you would play at the funeral of your enemy
  • A song that can make anyone dance
  • A song that reminds you of childhood
  • The song you would play for the first dance at your wedding
  • A song in which the lyrics do not match the music’s vibe

8. Fortunate and Unfortunate Situations

This is one of the road trip games that I only got to know about recently, and now I want to go on a road trip to play it with my carmates! It is almost sure to give us a good laugh.

In this game, the person starting needs to say, “Fortunately…” and then say a situation that can be considered fortunate. The second person needs to follow up by saying, “Unfortunately…” and then add something unfortunate about the situation mentioned by the previous person. The game continues, with everyone saying fortunate and unfortunate parts of the previous situation mentioned by the other players!

Here is an example:

Fortunately, I managed to finish all my mom’s snacks for me.

Unfortunately, I finished it in a day when they were supposed to last a week.

Fortunately, there is a pizza shop where I am going.

Unfortunately, the only pizza they sell has pineapple on it.

Fortunately, I love pineapple pizza.

Unfortunately, that was the reason my girlfriend broke up with me.

So, you get the idea – start playing!

9. Spelling Bee

You can play many types of word games to pass the time. One of them is Spelling Bee – one of the most famous road trip games (for a reason!).

One judge can be in charge of searching up hard words on their phone, and the player whose turn it is has to spell words given to them by the judge. Points are added up, and the winner has the most points.

To add a fun twist to the game that will surely excite even young kids to play the game, you can add a theme to the Spelling Bee! Think of a show, movie, game, or sport that the whole family or group enjoys, and then think of as many words relating to that as you can.

It is great fun to play and puts an extra “Whose the biggest fan?” element to the game, too!

10. Hangman

Another word game for the whole family to play! It can be classified as a car game, as all you need are a piece of paper and a pen (hey, even a hand or fogged-up window will do the trick!).

Choose one person to be the host. This person will choose a mystery word, and then on the piece of paper, they will draw several dashes that will show how many letters there are in the world. They also have to draw a simple upside-down ‘L’ structure that will represent the place where the hangman, or the stick figures, go.

The other players have to guess the letters that are in the word. Then, the host will ask the players to guess the following letter. Whoever guesses correctly is rewarded by the host adding the letters in the correct place, while incorrect guesses are punished by the host drawing more parts of the hangman.

The host can draw a circle, two eyes, a mouth, a neck, two hands, and two legs, one for every incorrect letter guessed. When the hangman is complete, the players lose if the word is not. This is one of the best road trip games for kids, as it is exciting and will keep them occupied.

11. While You Were Sleeping…

This is one of the few road trip games to play only when someone else is asleep. Sounds strange, I know, but read on for the instructions, and you will be desperate to play it as soon as possible!

After one of the passengers had fallen asleep during the road trip, the others had to quietly and quickly come up with a bizarre story about something that took place at one point while the person was asleep. When the unwitting participant finally awakes, the others have to tell them the story saying, “While you were sleeping…”.

All the players have to uphold the charade extremely well and convince the person who slept that their fabricated story did occur. The first person who breaks character will be punished by doing a household chore when they arrive at the destination.

If no one breaks character, and you manage to convince the person who slept of the story you made up, then that person will fall prey to the household chore. Come up with creative stories that are crazy but believable enough to have happened!

12. Quiet Game

One of the best road trip games for groups traveling with younger kids. I cannot even remember the number of times I had invoked this game when I just needed a break from the constant babble of the children around me in the car!

All you have to do is call out, “Okay, quiet game, 1, 2, 3…go!” Everyone has to shut up, and the person who talks first is the loser. It can get quite competitive, especially when playing with siblings (trust me, I have experienced), and provides a much-needed breather for everyone. Not going to lie; it is probably the best family game out there!

So, there you go! 11 fun road trip games to play on all the road trips you take with your friends and family. Road trip games can range from an alphabet game to a word game, a name game, and various road trip car games, and they are all tremendous fun.

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Photo By: Dominika Roseclay/Pexels. Copyright 2018

Be sure to sure this article with the best road trip games to play with all your road trip buddies! Whether you are playing with grown-ups or kids, these are fun car games for all to play. If you liked this article about road trip games to play, check out 19 Best Romantic Getaways in Washington State.

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