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52 exciting road trip games!

These fun road trip games will keep you and the family going for hours on a long car ride. Literally!

We all know road trips can be long and boring, no matter how excited you are to reach your final destination. So, spice things up by playing one of these fun car games with the gang, or taking some of them with you to play on your vacation.

Whether you are on a car ride, or hurtling down the highway in an RV, or setting up camp for a week and looking for activities to play together, get ready for a whole lot of fun with this list of 52 fun travel games for a road trip!

VW combi van on a road trip
On the road! Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

We’ve broken these games into categories, so scroll down to the section that works best for you.

Classic Road Trip Car Games

Below are some classic long road trip games that the driver can also partake in and join the fun.

Some of these games have Amazon links. If you buy from my links I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my blog!

1 I-Spy

Is any road trip complete without a round of the classic game I-Spy? This game would have been played on more family road trips than any other, but I had to list it! In case you don’t know how it goes: One person picks something in sight, and says “I spy with my little eye …” with a clue of what you’re looking at. Then, the remaining players must guess what object they spotted. A great one for little kids.

2 The License Plate Game

The goal of this famous game is to find license plates from each one of America’s 50 states (or if you’re not in America, find a plate starting with A, B, C and go through the alphabet). Since the winner is decided based on who spotted the most, keep track as you go along. 

Children in car
Keep them entertained!

3 20 Questions 

A fun way to pass the time: pick one object, person, or place, and allow the rest of the players to guess. The rule is answers can only be “yes” or “no” and if it’s not guessed in 20 questions, you win! It is similar to I-Spy, though more ideal for long car rides since your imagination is even more endless than traffic. 

4 The Alphabet Game 

Keep an eye out for road signs for this one! While going in alphabetical order, shout out every time you see a road sign with the same first letter your group is up to. The winner is the first person to get to letter Z. (This is also a great game to play when watching live sport on TV while the rest of your family cheers for the players!)

Road sign alphabet game
Pick the letters from the road sign!

5 Car Bingo 

Car bingo consists of marking down notable destinations, signs, emergency vehicles, or animals until you reach “BINGO,” of course! This innovative approach to bingo allows the whole family to play without leaving their car. Download pre-made road trip bingo sheets from Etsy or design your own with easy-to-use templates from Canva. 

6 Punch Buggy 

When you spot a Volkswagen Beetle, (lightly!) punch the person next to you, saying, “punch buggy, no punch back.” It is much more challenging to find Beetles on the road in 2022, making this classic road trip game all the more exciting when you actually find one. Besides, who wouldn’t want an excuse to punch their siblings? 

VW beetle on road
Spot a Beetle! Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

7 The Sign Game

Similar to the Alphabet Game, you will want to look for signs/brands along the way in alphabetical order. We suggest pulling over when you can, as the state signs boast great photo opportunities you can look back on after your road trip is over. Someone pick which sign you’re looking for next, and first to spot it wins.

8 Name The Artist

This simple yet fun road trip game is perfect for music lovers! The first person to correctly answer the name of the artist or group playing on the radio scores a point. And no using Shazam to cheat!

You might also like this post on the best travel quotes – and come up with some of your own!

9 In My Suitcase 

This memory game is on theme and so easy to play. The first player begins by stating, “I’m going on vacation, and I packed…,” with an object starting with the letter A. The second person adds to the list alphabetically, still repeating the original items listed beforehand, and so on for each player. The first person to mess up the packing order loses the game!

Cat in suitcase
Why not pack a cat in your suitcase!

10 Road Trip Scavenger Hunt 

Ditch car bingo and, instead, embark on a road trip scavenger hunt that lasts throughout your whole trip. This game may require making some stops, depending on what you list in your scavenger hunt. For example, some choose to put items like “coffee from a rest stop” on their list.  This game can be prepared in advance by very organized parents!

11 Who Am I? 

Choose a famous person, whether a historical figure or celebrity and have the other players guess who you are. It is similar to 20 Questions, though this time, the original player is a person. You can determine whether they must be living, or include historic people.

Guessing game
Also works as a drinking game!

Imagination Road Trip Games 

Some of the best car ride games call for using your imagination. A great excuse to put down the tech and challenge each other. The options below are perfect for all ages.

12 Telephone Whisper Game

This is fun to play for all ages, and the bigger the group the better. Someone makes up a story and whispers it to the next person, they then whisper it to the next player and so on, until the last person is reached who then tells out loud what they heard. Play it on the plane, in the classroom, in the car!

Children whispering
Playing the whisper game! Pic Unsplash

13 The Categories Game 

This famous word game, also known as Scattergories, consists of choosing a category, such as an animal, city, or sport. Then, you and the remaining players will list words that fit into said category in alphabetical order. Once someone cannot think of a word, the players will move on to the next round. 

14 Mad Libs 

Mad Libs is a classic, imaginative game in the form of a fill-in-the-blank book. There are numerous editions to choose from, such as Mad Libs On The Road, featuring stories about road trips, car songs, and historical sights. You select a bunch of your own nouns, adjectives and adverbs, then write them in order on the blank spaces in the pre-written story. Crazy funny.

15  Spot The Cracker Barrel 

While this is not a traditional road trip game, my family and I used to count how many signs for Cracker Barrel we would see driving from the East Coast to Florida. Whoever spots the most when you reach your destination wins a free breakfast at your next Cracker Barrel pit stop! Since there are a bunch of these restaurants across the United States, we are sure you can keep the game going the entire drive. Or, swap Cracker Barrel out with your favorite fast food restaurant. 

16  The Movie Game

You will adore this imaginative road trip game if you are a movie buff who loves The Alphabet Game. The first player will suggest a letter. Then, each player must name a movie that starts with the corresponding letter of the Alphabet. 

17  Count The Animals Game

Before your road trip, choose an animal that you want to keep an eye out for on the road. Popular choices include seagulls, deer (tough one), geese, and squirrels. Once you spot the animal, shout it out. The first person to do so scores a point. When you reach your final destination, the person with the most points wins the game!

Cute squirrel
Spot the squirrels! (Pic from Pixabay)

18  Two Truths and a Lie

This one might not work well for family members, but is a fun one to play even just sitting around the campfire with mates: Test how well you know your friends by catching them in a lie. Each player reveals two truthful statements and one lie. It is then up to the others to guess which was the lie. If you get the answer right, you get the point. But if you guess wrong, the player who lied receives the point (or a drink – if you’re not driving that is!)

19  Road Trip Olympics  

Kids (and adults) can get restless after spending hours in the car. So, make your rest stops more fun by turning them into the Road Trip Olympics! Select a challenge to try playing at each stop, whether push-ups, jumping jacks, or something else. Tally up who got the most wins to award the gold! 

20  Color Search

Choose a color at the start of your road trip. Then, keep an eye out for any objects, signs, or cars in that shade, like red fire hydrants. Shout it out once you see it to ensure you score a point. Most players tend to stick with cars to keep the game more challenging, especially if you choose a random color like purple, which is rare in cars. Great for younger kids.

fire hydrant
Pic Unsplash

Fun Word Games

21  Triple Threat  

Triple Threat is the ultimate imaginative road trip game. Let the driver start by naming three things; the remaining players must use those words to create a story. Think Mad-Libs, but in real life (and with less context)! 

22  The Grocery Game

Don’t play this game if you’re hungry! The first player will choose an item they would find at a grocery store while the remaining players attempt to guess what it is by asking a question. For example, they might ask, “Is it something in the produce aisle?” The initial player can only answer with “yes” or “no.” The person who guesses it correctly wins.

Grocery store for grocery game
Go crazy on your grocery items!

23  Would You Rather 

This easy game can be as short or as long as you want. Simply ask your fellow passengers, “Would You Rather…” followed by a question. The questions tend to be outlandish, which keeps things interesting. I’m not going to lie, this also makes a great party game with a couple of drinks! 

24  Name The Most

Start with a category (like capital cities, beaches, cake flavors, candy bars), and see which player can name the most corresponding items during their turn. Whoever runs out of related words to say loses that round. If you really want to make things interesting, cap the time to 30 seconds per player. Then, the score is based on who named the most items during that time. 

25  Fortunately, Unfortunately 

This is my favorite road trip game. Similar to Triple Threat, players will take turns telling one story when playing this game. However, each player must begin or end each sentence with “fortunately” or “unfortunately,” which the next person then builds on. This game results in lots of unforeseen plot twists! 

26 Starter For 10 Drawing Game

I made this game up when I was kid. Each person starts with a blank piece of paper and one person draws a crazy shape on their paper, then traces it onto everyone else’s piece of paper. You all have 1 minute to turn that shape into something. Add eyes, limbs, wheels, hats. It’s the time limit that adds the pressure. Such fun!

Scribble head drawing
It’s amazing what a scribble can become! This pic is from Pixabay, but you get the drift.

25  The Counting Game

The Counting Game is simple and exciting. Each player states a number, aiming to be the first player to reach 20. Players may only say one to three numbers at a time in chronological order. So player one starts and says “1,2,3” the second player has to start from “4” but could just stop there. There next player starts with “5” and could say “5,6,7” – it’s all strategic to see who is the player who gets to say “20”.

28  Guess Whose Playlist 

Instead of assigning Aux to one passenger, compile a list of everyone’s favorite songs and guess whose playlist it came from. It is a great way to learn more about your friends’ music tastes and gives everyone a chance to sing along. Plus, playing this game is even easier with the help of Spotify’s remote group sessions, allowing your friends to share and upload songs to the shared playlist.

Girls road trip
Guess that song!

Card Games for Road Trips

Check out the terrific card game options below, from regular ol’ playing cards to immersive card games. These games are good fun for RV road trips, but most don’t need to lay the cards down so can work for the long car ride too.

29  Blackjack 

Who says you can only play this classic card game in the Casino? The goal of Blackjack is to reach 21, or as close as you can to it. If your cards total more than 21, you will bust. If no players hit 21, the player with the closest total receives the point. 

30  Carpool Chaos

Carpool Chaos is an exciting card game designed with long road trips in mind. The 160 playing cards feature actions, hypothetical questions, and group challenges. Even the driver can participate in the fun since none of these challenges require physical movement. 

Family in car on road trip
I won dad!!

31  Do You Really Know Your Family?

See how well your family really knows each other with this fun card game! Cards either contain a trivia question or challenge that involves the entire group. If anyone guesses wrong or fails to complete their challenge, they lose their card. 

32  Go Fish 

Go Fish is the perfect card game for young children since it is so easy to follow. A player will ask for a card, saying, “Do you have the queen of hearts.” The rule is that the asker or “fisher” must have at least one card in the same suit in their personal pile. If the other player does not have the requested card, they will “go fish” by drawing a card from the main deck.

33  Hearts

All players receive the same amount of cards and begin to take turns following suit, starting with the 2 of clubs. You can play the next highest card if you do not have the same suit. The Queen of Spades and heart cards cannot be played in the first round. Instead, they can reveal heart cards later when they do have the same suit, “breaking” the heart. 

34  Cards Against Humanity

“A party game for horrible people”! The goal of Cards Against Humanity is to have the funniest answer to the black prompt cards using terms from the white cards dealt. The person who picked up the black card is in charge of choosing the winner, alternating with each player. Note, this card game is recommended for teens and adults since answers are sometimes a bit naughty. That being said, you can also check out this family-friendly version, Kids Against Maturity

35  Slapjack 

This family-friendly version of Blackjack is even more fun than the original. Each player is dealt cards until the deck disappears. These cards should be kept hidden from the other players, gradually taking one out per turn. Once a jack enters the center, the first player to slap the card collects it and the cards underneath. The first person to lose their cards has one last shot at winning if another jack is revealed in the central pile. 

36  “Shotgun!” The Road Trip Game

Much like Carpool Chaos, this game was designed for road trips. Each card presents an action or question, including some dashboard-friendly cards to keep the driver involved. Since it’s a part of the What Do You Meme? Family, we are sure your group will giggle the whole car ride. 

37  Trivia

Trivia is an excellent way to stay entertained on road trips, especially for those who binge TV shows like Jeopardy. Various trivia card decks are available online, from classic Trivial Pursuit to family-friendly All of Us.

38  UNO

UNO has been a personal favorite game of mine for as long as I can remember. Each player is dealt seven cards, taking turns playing or picking up cards if nothing matches. However, things get more interesting when players start to throw down “Skip,” “Draw 2,” “Reverse,” and “Draw 4” cards. When you have one card remaining, shout “Uno” before the other players catch on or risk picking up another card from the deck, starting the whole process over. 

39  Taco vs. Burrito

Developed by a 7-year-old named Alex, this exciting yet strategic card game is perfect for travelers of all ages. Cards either contain an action or “food” item for extra points. It is super fun to play, especially when you pull out a “food fight” card!

40  We’re Not Really Strangers

Are you looking to get deep on the road? If so, you and your partner, family, or friend group will enjoy the “We’re Not Really Strangers” interactive adult card game, in which each card poses a question or activity. These questions are divided into three levels: Perception, Connection, and Reflection.

Board Games for Road Trips

While board games may not be the best option for a traditional car road trip, they come in handy when traveling by RV. These games are fantastic for keeping your kids (or yourself) engaged longer on the road.

41  Connect Four

Connect Four is always fun, regardless of your age. Each player aims to match four colored discs in a row (up, across or diagonally) before the other, alternating turns every time. If nobody succeeds, you start again until someone wins! There is also a mini version of Connect Four which will work better in the car.

Kids playing Connect Four
Connect Four is always fun!

42  Hedbanz, Blast Off!

This board game takes the classic “What Am I?” up a notch. All players wear headbands with cards stating what they are. Then, you take turns to help each other guess what item is on your headband’s card.  

43  Monopoly

While this game may be infamous for causing fights, a game of Monopoly will keep your group entertained for at least two hours (unless someone flips the board). We usually do not suggest bringing board games with many tiny pieces on the road. Still, this iconic board game deserves an exception. Or you can get a magnetic version!

44  Jenga

This simple game consists of removing blocks and re-stacking them until the entire structure comes crashing down. Whoever causes the drop is the loser of the game. What’s even better, you can invest in a giant Jenga set made of wood that stands three feet tall to double as an outdoor game at your campsite. 

Toy playing jenga
What a great Jenga pic!

45  Pictionary

One of my favourite all time games! Pictionary has remained a popular game since the mid-1980s. It is pretty similar to charades, but with drawing rather than acting out. Plus, it is the one drawing game where being a mediocre artist actually pays off since the other players might have trouble guessing your answer. 

46  Memory Match Game: Summer Camp Edition

Memory matching games are ideal for the little ones. This camping and wilderness theme version features tons of items you will likely encounter around your campground (except the bear card, hopefully). 

47  The Upside Down Challenge

This game may have nothing to do with the Upside Down in Stranger Things, but it is equally as entertaining. Players take chances wearing special upside-down goggles, competing in tasks against their fellow players to see if their vision makes things more complicated. 

Mobile App Games You Can Play On The Road 

I know most of us like to unplug on camping and road trips. However, these interactive mobile games are a great way to entertain the entire family on their devices until you reach your final destination!

48  Heads Up

This famous mobile game, created by Ellen Degeneres, consists of holding your phone over your head (with the app open, unveiling a series of cards like in Hedbanz). At the same time, fellow players help you guess what the card says. The other players cannot use the term when providing you with clues. There are many categories available, from animals to celebrities to miming actions. Plus, the app records your fellow players, meaning you can look back on the hilarious memories made while playing.

49  Duolingo

Home schooling on the road! Improve your language skills while on your road trip using this popular (and free) mobile app, Duolingo. Lessons are straightforward and entertaining. It is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

50  Findery

While Findery is not technically a road trip game, it is a useful app for documenting your trip photos and locating points of interest nearby. So, instead of doing deep-dive Google searches of the town you plan to stop in, learn all about it on Findery! A good one for curious passengers who want to educate everyone as you drive.

51  Trivia Crack

This colorful and straightforward mobile trivia game is a great way to keep your children busy during long car rides. The questions are super easy and can be upgraded to more challenging for older kids and adults. You can also play on a TV or iPad screen through Netflix’s version, Trivia Quest.  

52  Wordle

Have you played Wordle yet? New York Times bought Wordle from an English man who created it years ago and it’s among the most trending online game right now. The goal is to correctly guess the daily word based on the number of letters available. Now, this game may not keep you entertained for the entire car ride, but it is an excellent way to see who your group’s wordsmith is. 

Playing Wordle
Warning: Wordle is addictive!

My top road trip posts you might like to read next!

Los Angeles to San Francisco : with a free downloadable itinerary to print out

Utah road trip in 7 days featuring Zion and Bryce

New England road trip in Fall

Florida Keys : Miami to Key West drive

The Ultimate New Zealand itinerary

Ireland road trip : Dublin to Galway in 5 days

Driving through Denmark

France road trip in 2 weeks

Utah road trip through Zion
Zion National Park in winter

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!