Eight Car Road Trip Games the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Summer is officially here. Let the Road Trips begin! When I was younger and we took our annual summer road trip (usually to Vegas in our case), my dad had a few traditions. One included getting ice cream or some sort of treat mid-afternoon and the other was that we would be in the pool by 4 p.m. But that is not to say that being in the car was awful. We always had a decent time (less when the arguments with my sister that she was on my side, being loud, or whatever other thing I could blame on her). We didn’t have the luxury of movies or smart phones. Those are great for entertainment – but after a while, even those will cause a certain amount of boredom. So here were a few that we came up with that are still viable options today (yes, I’m old).

  1. Mobile DJ. In my car, we would play DJ and take turns choosing the song. Each person would get an opportunity to pick one out then the ipod/plug in would go to the next person. The rule was that in any leg of the trip no song could be re-played AND the person who picked it (at least) had to sing along. We also took this a step further and the next person in to pick the song chose the “better” song from the previous two. A bit of a personal battle of the bands.
  2. Audio Book. There are tons of great stories that are available for FREE on DigitalHoopla (they also have music and movies), which is part of your local library!
  3. Old school songs – do you remember the ditties from when you were little? Can you sing them still? What about if everyone had to take a turn and sing only one word at a time? It gets sort of silly (or maybe we were always a little slap-happy when we tried this).
  4. We would name a category, i.e. Breakfast Cereals. Each person would have to name one that was not a repeat from someone else.
  5. Grandma’s Trunk. Still an oldie but goodie. Name something that “Grandma” would put in her trunk to take on a trip starting with the letter A. The next person needs to repeat what item “A” is and add another item that starts with B. Then the third person repeats items “A” and “B” and adds item C. And so on through the whole alphabet. It is a good memory game as well as learning the alphabet (especially for smaller kids).
  6. I Spy or 20 Questions. These games are pretty similar. You pick an item or an idea. The others in the car get to ask only yes/no questions and try to guess what you saw or what you’re thinking of (in 20 questions or less).
  7. Making up stories. Our favorite was “while you were sleeping,” where we try to convince the person(s) that were sleeping that something happened or that we saw something spectacular. We would also just try to make up a story but each person would take just a line or thought to add to the previous part of the story.
  8. Who’s in that car? As you approach another car (preferably from behind). Try to guess what that person is like driving that car. Are they a man or a lady? Young or old? And any other details.

No matter what games you play or if you don’t play any at all, summer is meant to be fun. The road trip is an All-American Summer tradition. Make some fun memories with the family and enjoy your summer road trip.


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