Road trips are not just about getting to your destination. It’s also about all the fun you can have on your journey to your next stop.
These road trip games will bring laughter and excitement to your next road trip.
Let’s dive into some of our favorites.
Play I Spy
Alright, we know this is one of those classic games to play on a road trip that everyone has heard of, but have you ever really dug into it?
I Spy has a lot of versatility. It’s not just that one-dimensional game you remember from your childhood. This is a game that you can mix up and cut loose with. Try adding time limits, creating I Spy themes, or just killing some time with a class road game.
You probably know the rules, but all you need to do to play this game is pick something you and your friends can see and have them guess until they get it right. You’ll say, “I spy something that…” and add a clever clue that gives a subtle hint about what you’re looking at.
The key to playing this game as an adult is to focus on those clever hints. That’s where the fun is!
20 Questions is one of those games that has plenty of versatility. Let’s look at a few ways to enjoy this game while on a road trip.
You play 20 Questions by assigning one person to be “it.” That person thinks of a person, place, or thing, and everyone else has 20 questions to narrow down their guess and get it right.
You can spice up 20 Questions by making it themed, personal, or romantic. It all depends on who you’re traveling with.
Like many road games, this game is best played in short bursts. You want to mix up these classic road trip games, so you don’t burn out on any one game.
Would You Rather
Would You Rather is another excellent game to play while on a road trip.
The goal of this game is to give someone a ridiculous and near-impossible choice between two options. You can ask them to pick between their favorite hobbies, a million dollars or perfect health, or anything else you can think of!
This is also a great game for getting to know someone new. It’s the perfect icebreaker for couples and helps you explore topics that matter to the people you travel with.
Mini Board Games
Mini magnetic board games are fun games to play in the car, but they are also adorable.
You and your travel companions can enjoy Scrabble, chess, checkers, or mini Monopoly.
There are travel-sized versions of just about every board game out there. Throw one of these in your bag, and you’ll hardly notice the extra space it takes up. Besides, it will generate way more fun than you might expect.
Travel Scavenger Hunt
One of the most fun things you can do when heading out on your road trip is to set up a scavenger hunt.
You need to do some planning ahead of time for this game. Think about some interesting or challenging items you and your travel companions can hunt down or see on the road together.
These can be wrappers from regional snacks, landmarks, road signs, or anything you can find along your road trip route.
Here’s a tip for setting up a scavenger hunt. Come up with a low-stakes prize for the winner, which could be anything from a Starbucks gift card to a coupon for a free back massage.
Playing trivia games on the road used to mean taking several decks of cards with questions and answers on them. However, your phone is full of game apps to keep you entertained on your road trip.
There are trivia apps like Popcorn Trivia, SongPop, and countless others. These let you play trivia games based on movies, music, and even history with your travel buddies.
Don’t get caught thinking these games are trivial; they are some of the most fun games to play on a road trip!
Related Post: Best Road Trip Game Apps
Here’s another exciting game that takes a little preparation before you hit the road.
You can set up a travel bingo game for everyone you will be on the road with. This bingo game can be full of fun inside jokes, sites along the way, and all the ups and downs of a long car ride.
Travel bingo is a great way to add a little lightheartedness to some of the challenges of taking a road trip. Why not lean into these awkward moments and add a square on your travel bingo card for awkward smells or getting stuck in traffic?
The winner of travel bingo can get a little prize, but there’s no prize more fabulous than the satisfaction of being the travel bingo champion.
Gas Station Stop Gourmet
There are plenty of travel games about embracing the unique and sometimes weird cuisine you can find while on the road.
The goal of this game is to make the most of the limited culinary options you have at your average gas station. Players should be given a budget and are challenged to come up with the most exciting meal they can think of.
Imagine you’re on a Food Network competition show, but all you can do is create a fine dining experience using a convenience store and a few fast food diners.
This is a great game to help people think outside the box and not get stuck snacking on the same pre-packaged chips for the entire ride.
Fictionary started hundreds of years ago with the Victorians in England.
This word game is all about obscure words and the definitions that they “should” have. Play works like this.
One player picks an obscure word that few people know, like “mycorrhizal” or “sozzled.” Everyone else writes down their made-up definitions. Whoever gets the most laughs wins!
Six Degrees of Separation
Here’s another road trip classic, especially for movie buffs.
Six Degrees of Separation got a second wind when it became an iconic meme in the early days of the internet known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
The point of the game is straightforward. One player names two actors, and the other must connect them in six degrees of separation or less.
Here’s a classic example using Kevin Bacon.
“Kevin Bacon and William Shatner.”
William Shatner was in Festival in Cannes with Maximilian Schell, who starred in Telling Lies in America with Kevin Bacon.
There’s even a website called The Oracle of Bacon that can generate these degrees of separation if you two get stuck!
Fictional Road Trip Families
One of the most fun things about a road trip is the people you will meet on the way.
However, some people you “meet” drive past you on the road at 60 miles an hour. While you need more time to meet them adequately, you can still tell a fun story about their lives.
The next time an interesting-looking car drives past you, collaborate on a fictional story about the family inside that vehicle. Take turns adding story elements and see where it will lead you.
The Movie Game
Here is another one for film buffs.
This game starts with one person naming a movie and another person naming an actor who starred in that film. The next person then picks another actor from that movie and a different movie that the actor starred in. The second player then repeats the process, and play continues until no one can name a new movie.
For a twist on this game, players can go back and forth naming actors, writers and directors, and production staff on movies until they cannot name anyone else involved with a given film.
Here’s a game for the musically inclined pair on a road trip.
Human Jukebox starts with one player singing a line from a song. Then the other player uses the last word of that line to connect it to a brand-new song.
Here’s an example:
Player 1 starts with a line from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody: “So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye. So you think you can love me and leave me to die. Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby.”
Player 2 connects it with Britney Spears’s classic “…Baby One More Time.” When I’m not with you, I lose my mind. Give me a sign. Hit me, baby, one more time.”
And the song goes on!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is more than a fun game. It’s a great way to get to know your travel companions.
Here’s how the game works:
Name two truths about yourself and one lie. For example, you could say, “I used to have blue hair, I once designed a video game, and my aunt is a world record holder for women’s rodeo.”
Your traveling companions will then have to guess which is the lie and which is the truth. And the fun part is that you can make your truth and lies as straightforward or as challenging to guess as you’d like.
This game is a fun way to explore your traveling companion’s personal history and discover unique and fun details about their life.
Fortunately Unfortunately is a game that can get weird pretty quickly. Therefore, it’s a great game if someone in the car has their crabby pants on.
It starts with one player saying something that starts with “fortunately: that’s positive, and then the next saying something negative about that same event starting with “unfortunately.”
Here’s an example:
“Fortunately, we got time off of work for this road trip.”
“Unfortunately, your boss got replaced by a zombie.”
“Fortunately, all those George Romero movies I watch have prepared me for this day.”
Continue this back and forth until you are ready to move on to the next game.
The Road Trip Memory Game
Here’s a fun game to test your memory skills.
The game starts with the first player saying, “I’m going on a road trip, and I’m bringing…”
They can name any person, place, or thing they want to bring on this road trip. Let’s say they said, “my guitar.”
The next player continues the game by saying, “I’m going on a road trip, and I’m bringing my guitar and…” and adding their own item.
The game continues until someone forgets items on the list. Consider this game as a safe way to forget what you need to bring on your next road trip!
Radio Roulette can be an exciting way to find new music you love or a challenging endurance test.
All you need to do is turn on the local radio stations and pick one randomly. You have to keep this station on for an unbroken 10 minutes to complete a round of the game. After 10 minutes, you switch to the next radio station and keep playing.
You might find yourself in love with some local Polka you would have never thought to listen to. Or you might be battling through 10 minutes of local talk radio.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
In the mood to win $1,000,000? Well, there might not be a stack of hundreds on the table, but you can have fun playing along.
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire app is a great way to play a game with just two players on your next ride. One player gets to be the host of this iconic game show, while the other gets to be in the hot seat with a shot at a cool million dollars.
Bad Film Plots
Usually, when you play a game, you want to do everything right. However, Bad Film Plots has you intentionally doing everything wrong.
This game aims to explain a movie’s plot as badly but as accurately as possible. The other players must guess the film you’re talking about correctly.
Let’s say you wanted to badly explain the plot of Terminator II: Judgement Day. You could say: “A down-on-her-luck working single mother makes an unlikely friendship as her son discovers a father figure.”
That may be tricky, but that’s the whole point of the game.
Local Trivia Night
One of the most significant advantages you have when taking road trips today is that you’ve got the whole internet by your side while you’re on the road.
Use that to your advantage and do a local trivia game while traveling.
One player gets to be the trivia master asking questions about the state you’re driving through.
Try Out Some Nintendo Switch Games!
Some of the best games to play on a road trip take advantage of today’s technology.
The Nintendo Switch offers plenty of variety, including two-player puzzle games, action, and RPGs with compelling stories. You can even download classic Super Nintendo video games and enjoy nostalgia while on the road. The Switch has games for kids and adults, so you don’t have to worry about not finding the right game for you.
Name That Tune
No list of road trip games would be complete without a game designed for music lovers, as singing and enjoying new tunes is one of the best parts of a good road trip.
And SongPop 3 is one of the best game apps for long car rides for music lovers. This app plays a song clip and has you guess what you’re hearing.
These are real clips from actual songs. And you’ll hear everything from Cardi B to Queen. You can even play in dedicated music genres to focus on your favorites.
You can spice things up a little by trying to sing the next lyrics in the song.
Words With Friends
Words With Friends is one of, if not the, most popular word game app. The secret to this app’s success is that it is Scrabble but for the smartphone age. Being a digital Scrabble allows Words With Friends to give you more options to play while traveling.
You and your traveling partners can play together using your own devices or challenge friends and family back home. Since it’s basically Scrabble, you know what you’re getting into with this app.
License Plate Game
The License Plate Game aims to find as many license plates from the 50 States + the District of Columbia as you can during your road trip.
The best thing about the License Plate Game is you can make the rules to fit your road trip needs. Plus, you can make it enjoyable by finding prizes for the winners or an award for the first passenger to spot a license plate from Mexico or Canada.
You can make a list of all 50+ states, or there are phone apps to help you keep track. Our favorite is PlateSpot.