Guide To The Best Road Trip Games

2 kids playing road trip games
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Nadav Levy

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Are you tired of hearing, “Are we there yet?” Are you wondering what you’ll do on the next family road trip to keep the kids and the entire family entertained? I assembled a list of the best road trip games that will make your next trip a breeze.

When relevant, I’ve added links to the games or apps. I haven’t tested all of them personally, but I always checked reviews to make sure they truly improve your trip.

Disclosure: If you purchase some of the products listed in this post, I might get a commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you for helping me keep this website going.

Why Playing Games is Important For Families on the go

Games are an excellent way to bond with family members while on the go. If you’re not used to playing games at home, you’ll find this time invaluable. Games provide a sense of security and togetherness that is unlike any other. The reason for this is because they encourage social interaction, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. In addition, playing board games with your children provides an opportunity to teach them valuable life lessons without even realizing it.

Why You Should Bring Games on Any Trip – And What to Bring

Anybody who has ever traveled knows that it can be tiring. And traveling by car can make it even more tiring. But with the right games, you can make your car trip more fun and less of a chore.

Strategies on Packing the Perfect Game Kit

It’s always nice to have some entertainment options on the go, but it’s also important to keep light packing. If you decide to bring some games, try looking for a traveling version of that game. Usually, it’s more compact and has magnetic parts. In this post, you’ll find plenty of games that require no equipment at all.

Best Games for the Car or Flight

This list includes some of the best games that can be played in a car or during a flight.

Games that require no special equipment

Name the artist – Get your playlist ready, or turn on your favorite radio station. Play a song, and the first person to identify the artist or group playing the song gets a point. Keep playing until you reach your destination, set a timer, or decide on the number of points the winner has to reach in order to win.

Hangman – All you need is a pen and paper (or a foggy window). A player picks a word and keeps it a secret. He then draws an empty poll like this:

hangman game on the go sketch - start
The Ultimate Road Trip Games Guide 9

Next, draw small lines, according to the number of letters in the word or sentence he chooses. The rest of the players, in their turn, say a letter they believe appears in the word or sentence. If they guess correctly, the player writes the letter in the appropriate line. If not, he writes it in a line at the bottom and crosses it so players won’t say the same letter again. In addition, he draws one line of the hanging figure. At any point, the players can guess the word. If they guess correctly, they win. If the hanging figure drawing is completed without anyone guessing correctly, they lose.

hangman game on the go sketch - completed
The Ultimate Road Trip Games Guide 10

The grocery store – Choose the first player and ask them to think of an item they can buy at the grocery store. Now each one takes a turn guessing what item he thinks of by asking a question. For example, is it something I can find in the fridge?

Guess the color – One person, prefer one of the adults, list different items that have the same color. For example, “egg, cottage cheese, milk…” and so on. Keep going until one of the kids yell, “White!”

A to Z – The goal here is to find objects or signs that begin with that letter of the alphabet, starting from A. You can either play as a group from A to Z or keep score, checking who found the most items first.

I Spy – Choose who goes first. Ask the player to select something either on the road or in the car, without revealing what it is. Then they have to say, “I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter…” or “I spy with my little eye something with the color…”. The other passengers then try to guess what it might be.

I spy game colorful text with drawing of an I in a magnifying glass
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Who am I – The first player thinks of a famous person, animal, place, or object. Then, all other participants have to guess what it is by asking yes or no questions. Whoever guesses first goes next.

The little author – The adult state three nouns. The kids should tell a story that includes all three. This could get really funny. If you want to spice it up, try the songs writing version. Same thing, but the kids have to write a song with the three nouns.

Don’t say it – This game will keep your kids alert for a long time. To start, an adult decides on 3-5 (go for 3 with little kids) words that are forbidden for the rest of the trip or for a specific time or until an event you’ll decide on happens (e.g., until we see or stop in a gas station). Then, the adult counts each time someone uses any of these words. The player with the least amount of points at the end of the game wins.

Car color – One person states a color, and the first one to find a car in that color gets the point. This is a straightforward game, very suitable for younger kids.

Would you rather – The first player asks a “Would you rather” question. The player can direct the question to a specific player or everyone in the car. Need some inspiration? Check out these 100 Would You Rather Questions.

Word Association – One person asks, “What do you think of when I say ….? (pick any word, character, animal) The first person says something, and the next person has three seconds to associate the word with something else. If someone takes longer than three seconds, or the word they say doesn’t make sense, they are out. If you play with small kids, skip the three seconds time limit.

Sing along challenge – Everyone loves to sing in the car, and this is just the game to get you going. Choose the first player and ask them to sing the first line from a popular song. Then, the rest of the group guest the song and sing it.
A more digital version – Put on your playlist (on Spotify, Youtube Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or any other app you love), play the first few seconds, and let everyone guess the song.

Sing along challenge for older kids – In this version of the game, a person sings the first line of the song, and the rest must pay attention to the last word he sang and then sing another song that begins with the same word.

Smartphone Apps for family game time

I personally prefer to avoid electronics on a ride, but if it’s a long ride or flight, you need to keep the kids busy, and sometimes a phone or a tablet can save the day. So here are some fun apps to step up your road trip.

Trivia Crack – This is a great quiz and trivia game for your mobile. Choose your level and test your knowledge on different topics like art, science, entertainment, geography, and much more.

Heads Up! – This is the digital version of the classic guessing game, providing endless fun for everyone. Each player takes turns guessing the word that appears on the screen based on other players’ clues.

Smule – Singing along is always a fun way to pass the time on a road trip (not on a flight, please). Smule is a karaoke app where you can find millions of songs and even record your family singing together. If you’re brave enough, you can also live stream for your followers.

World Atlas – It is a great way to find out what another country’s flag looks like and learn about their capital, currency, and other details. The World Atlas app is a fun, educational way to learn more about the world around us.

Audible – Audible offers an endless selection of audiobooks. Before the trip, pick a book the entire family will enjoy (or at least the kids) and make sure you downloaded it for offline use in the Audible app. A good story could easily pass the time in a fun way.

Pro Tip

Remember to bring your chargers and external battery with you if you plan on using electronics.

Box Games for Traveling

These games might already be listed above, but it’s packed in a dedicated box to make things more fun and exciting. Other games are simply games I found incredible. I’ve added links to online stores, so you can easily purchase them. Please don’t go crazy buying or carrying too many games.
Make sure the games you choose are suitable for the travelers’ age groups, and there are no small parts that will probably get lost. Look for magnetic parts or parts that are connected in a ring or other method.

Road Trip Kit – A small box that contains cards, markets, and other parts with different games to play on the road.

Tangram Puzzle – Travel Tangram Puzzle challenges players from 3 years and up to form a specific shape using magnetic blocks. Challenge the entire family with this awesome familiar game in travelers pack.

I SPY Travel Card Game – This well-known game, now in cards version so you can play it on the plane or hotel. Recommended for ages 4 and up, kids can practice building their vocabulary and reading skills with this game.

Scavenger Hunt Card Game – Another classic game. This time in an advanced cards version that kids will spend hours playing. It’s suitable for ages kids age 7 and up.

Shotgun! – This one is for families with older kids. This game is intended for ages 12 and up and encourages players to complete dares, trivia, challenges, questions, and tons more.

Memory Game – Test your kids’ (and yours) memory with this two-player memory game, intended for 5 years old and up. It comes with seven double-sided cards to mix up the challenges and features a robust frame with durable flaps.

To summarize…

Some families love to give a small prize to the winners, especially when there are small kids. If that’s works for your family, prepare some small gifts in advance. You can get a box of mini gifts according to your budget. Check out some examples on Amazon.

Pro Tip

Remember always to keep a piece of paper and some writing tools handly to keep score or simply to draw.

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Last update: February 2022

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