If you just sit there and ride, a road trip can become long and boring, especially for kids. One of the things that makes road trips so much fun for both kids, and people of all ages, are those silly road trip games that you play when confined to the car for long periods of time.
After all, you can only look at so many cornfields or trees without going crazy. So having a few games to play, when the scenery becomes boring, is not only a great way to kill time, but can provide for a lot of laughter and fun as well.
Here are some road games that are perfect for people of all ages.
Don’t Open That!
Before leaving on your road trip, buy inexpensive gifts – one for each person going along. Wrap them in plain brown paper with a message on the outside that no one should open their package until you’ve reached a specific location on your route.
But give them the package right at the start of the trip so anticipation builds. If you make the gifts something like a deck of cards or a game that can be played by everyone (but the driver, of course), you can set different locations along the route for different packages to be opened.
Each package will present a different activity, providing surprises and something for everyone to do all along the way.
Count Some Cows
This simple counting game is perfect for young children, but even teenagers and adults can enjoy the game if you turn it into a competition.
The idea is to count the number of cows you can spot from your side of the car between one set point and another. You can make it competitive by setting a prize for the person who counts the most cows or a penalty for the person who counts the least cows.
You might also need a penalty for anyone who exaggerates his count!
Prizes can be something as simple as the person getting to choose where to have the next dinner or a small inexpensive item purchased somewhere along the way.
Penalties can consist of being the last one to shower or cleaning up the trash from a picnic lunch at a rest area.
Count Some Cars
A variation of counting cows is to count certain types of cars. It might be a certain color of cars, or only pick-up trucks, or cars with one headlight out (if traveling at dark). We used to call those “pop-eyes”. The first person to shouted “pop-eye!” got to count that one.
Have a Travel Scavenger Hunt
Make one or more lists of things you may see as you travel along your route. The lists can include things you might encounter both while in and out of the car.
Then have everyone try to spot and check off each item on the list, noting exactly what time it was seen.
The person who checks off the most items in a given amount of time, or from one location to another, wins a small prize.
Is That a Question?
Set a time period when everything everyone says has to be in question form. For example, if someone needs to stop to go to the restroom instead of saying, I have to go to the bathroom, they might say, Do you think it’s time for a potty break? To answer that, instead of saying that a rest area is coming soon, you could say, Is that a rest area up ahead?
Catching one another and making them change their comments to questions can spark a lot of laughter and some really imaginative communications.
Don’t Say That!
There are certain words and phrases that can be particularly irritating on a road trip such as Are we there yet? and Whatever. General complaints can be very annoying as well.
Set a couple of words or phrases that no one is allowed to utter during the entire trip, and then keep score who utters those words or phrases and when. The one who utters the fewest taboo words or phrases can win a small prize or reward of some kind.
There are many more road games that people can have fun with. Finding the ones that your family or travel companions enjoy the most will add an additional element of fun to even the longest road trip.