Twenty Plus One Travel Games for a Long Road Trip
Twenty Plus One Travel Games for a Long Road Trip
We all have memories of long road trips when we were kids, having to put up with our parents’ choice of music and staring out the window for hours waiting for the next toilet stop. Thankfully there have been improvements since those days (e.g., portable DVD players) when all we had was a few sheets of paper, notebooks, and the faithful Walkman. However, nothing beats old-fashioned preparation.
Keeping the kids (And adults) Entertained is still one of the keys to a successful trip. If you have a list of games you can play, especially if you are planning a driving holiday that includes lengthy road trips, you will be a step ahead when the inevitable whining and ‘are we there yet?’ questions begin. Below is a list of travel games and activities that are easy to explain, as short or long as you want them to be, and no doubt will become topics of conversation years down the track.
1. I Spy
There is no such thing as a long road trip without a game of I spy, even if it only lasts a minute. This game can go on and on until a parent has enough of guessing an abstract object that you passed ten minutes ago. It will keep the kids entertained for a good amount of time if you are clever. For those who were deprived of this great travel game, just say, ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with'(Letter of the alphabet)’ and your companion will have to look around and guess the object. You can make rules as you go, like only outside the car, or not guess the same object twice.
2. Who am I?
It’s simple enough. You think of someone famous and can only answer yes or no to questions that everyone else in the car asks you (One at a time). To vary it a little you can move to only cartoon characters, movie stars or someone who’s not even famous at all. It just helps if everyone knows who it is. Whoever guesses the correct answer gets the next go. You can also guess animals, or things, and change the question to ‘what am I?’
3. Scavenger Hunt
Get the kids to prepare these cards before the trip begins. This will add to the fun of playing. Draw or simply write the name items such as a yellow car, a stop sign, a service station etc., then hand out five cards each during the trip. As soon as the item is spotted, you move on to the next one. The first to finish their five cards wins. You can vary this game to just spotting types or colors of cars, or more or fewer cards per game played.
This is always a fun game to play with paper and pencil the only requirements. Someone calls out a street name (preferably longer than four letters) and everyone has two minutes to write as many words as they can using the letters of that street name. After the time is up, everyone adds up their scores to find the winner. To score, you get two points for every word but only one point if the word was used by someone else. It’s so much fun you will want to keep playing every time you see a lengthy street name.
5. Alphabet game
This is a lot of fun especially if you are passing through a number of towns and activity, not for the long, lonely stretches. Everyone has to find words beginning with letters of the alphabet, beginning at a and ending at z. The words can be on street or shop signs, and whoever spots it first must claim it, so the others know it’s been taken. First to get to Z wins.
This game that needs to be prepared before you leave but is very easy to play. Just draw up grids for each person (Apart from the driver) With objects on the squares that you would normally see on a long trip, ie truck, cow, stop sign etc. Use stickers to cover the square when the object has been spotted. It won’t be long before someone will be able to shout bingo.
A designated person would start by saying an animal of their choice (e.g., dog). Then the next would have to say an animal starting with the last letter of that animal (e.g., goat). The next would have to start with the letter t. It goes on until someone can’t think of an animal and they are out. There are a number of variations of this game. You can start the same way, but you have to repeat the animals that have already been called out (e.g., dog, goat, tiger, etc.) Whoever forgets an animal is out of the game.
8. Game Bags
Every child loves to have a special bag with surprises in it. This is a great idea if you have the time before the trip begins. Just fill it up with a new pack of pencils, small coloring-in book, chocolate bar or lollipop, small games, torch, a piece of paper, just use your imagination and choose your time carefully when you hand it out as it will be received well especially if they are bored and starting to fight.
9. License Plates
This is lots of fun for the imaginative. Every license plate that you are driving behind has three letters. Every passenger has to think up a different meaning of the three letters. There are so many combinations that you could keep going for a while until someone gets really tired of thinking. This is one of those travel games that start and stop when you least expect it. It’s fun trying to beat each other to think up the meanings, as some of them can be tricky, especially the v’s and q’s.
This is an old favorite we can’t forget. Just make a number of lines for each letter of a word or words of your choice. Then a designated passenger has to guess the letter which corresponds to your word. If they are wrong, you start drawing the hangman. This drawing consists of a straight vertical line, followed by a line to the right, then a hangman’s noose and a stickman figure. The aim is to guess the word before the last leg is drawn.
11. Dictionary Game
Another word game, but it’s the perfect time when there are no other distractions except the passing scenery. Just pick out an unusual word from the dictionary, and everyone has to write out their own definition. All the definitions are read out, and everyone has to guess which is correct. The results are hilarious as wrong meanings are guessed, and the actual definition is finally read out. Allocate a point to whoever gets their meaning guessed.
Always bring a pack of cards when you are travelling. Not only is this much-loved card game a no-brainer, and easily played with most travelling partners, there are adaptations to make it more exciting. Instead of Snap, you can say a different word… or you can say Snap, then a new word every time to help test your memory. Inevitably, you will then remember another card game and time will fly before you know it. It’s a good idea to bring a travel table for games such as this.
Everyone knows how to play scrabble. Hunt around for a magnetic travel scrabble version, which will be a worthwhile investment in family fun. This will give you at least an hour of enjoyment during your journey. It would not be recommended to bring a non-magnetized game, as the pieces will inevitably become lost. Another game you can play with Scrabble is to make up as many words as you can by a designated time limit. It’s quicker and just as much fun.
14. Scissors Paper Rock
This has to be included seeing as it is played all around the world. Do we even need an explanation? Just say “scissors, paper, rock,” and then your hands will either seal your fate or your victory. Scissors is two fingers extended out and three enclosed. Paper is hand outstretched, and rock is hand in a fist. If both players have the same, then you start again. Scissors and rock mean rock wins as scissors are blunt. Paper and rock win as paper covers rock. You can go on and on. It’s a lot of fun especially when you get faster.
15. Mobile Phone Games
It’s the century we’re living in now, every second person has a mobile, and they all have games on them. So, if your mobile is up and running why not let someone have a few contests on the games panel. These are addictive, so you may need a time limit depending on how many phones are owned.
How well do you know each other? Depending on the age range of everyone in the vehicle you each take turns asking someone a question about themselves. Then, after about ten or so questions have been asked, you have to repeat as many answers as you can remember. You will learn a lot about each other, especially with questions such as, ‘where were you born?’ and ‘where did you go to school?’ find out who in the car has been listening as inevitably someone will remember all the questions that were asked.
17. Tongue Twisters
Try out as many tongue twisters as you can and make your own up. This is lots of fun for the whole family. You can even buy board games with tongue twisters already printed up on cards. Just bring the cards with you when you have run out of other ways to fill in the time.
18. Art Attack
This is a great way to make the most of the passing scenery. You may discover a budding artist or two as you appreciate each other’s artwork. Allocated five or ten minutes to sketch the first thing you see out of the window. It could be a simple sketch of a tree or a bridge. When the time is up everyone has to show each other their drawings. Another game is one person starts their drawing, and others have to be the first to guess what it is. Children will love the chance to become creative especially if you buy them a small sketchbook. This is ideal for any age group.
This list would not be complete without sing along. Use the radio/CD player for backup as you try to remember favorite songs and their lyrics. Another great idea is to surf the local radio stations until you come up with a song you like. Every person gets to choose a song the rest of the group has to listen to. Make up your own words to the tunes. You’ll find after this you will be humming the rest of the trip.
20. Memory Game
Find a number of small items around the car or next stop (e.g., Band-aid, coin, phone, etc.) and place them all on a tray or travel bench so everyone (Except the driver) Can memorize them. Then cover them with a towel or cloth. Everyone then has to write down as many items as they can remember. The winner is the person who has remembered the most items.
21. Travel Diary
Although it is not a game, it is an essential item if your child can write, and also for anyone who likes to record special holiday moments. Encourage them to stick in whatever they want, even entry passes or flowers. At the end of the trip, photos and pictures collected along the way are included, and you have lasting handwritten travel memories.
These should be more than enough for helping you out keep the whining out and the smiles in. And, if you suffer an accident, you can call us (866) 598-5548 at any time!