5 Fun Road Trip Games to Play with Your Kids

by Country Inns & Suites
Friday, April 12, 2013

The suitcases are packed, the cooler of snacks and drinks is stashed in the backseat, your GPS is programmed, and the kids are all buckled in. You’re ready for a road trip, right? Not quite yet! As any family with children knows all too well, they are not always the most patient travelers. Without proper entertainment, a simple two-hour road trip can turn into one long chorus of “Are we there yet?” from the little ones. Are you unsure how to keep your kids happy during your next trip? We’ve found five simple and fun road trip games the kids – or even the whole family – can play to help pass the time on the road:

1. The License Plate Game

This is a classic game that has been played longer than we can remember. The rules for this one are simple. Kids list out all 50 states on a piece of paper (you can also find printable lists online), and look at the license plates of passing cars. When someone spots a license plate from one of the states, the kids can mark it off on the sheet. The goal is to spot license plates from every U.S. state – you can even add Canadian provinces to the list to make it more difficult. To make the game educational for older children, print out a map of the United States instead of just a list. Finding the license plates won’t just be a fun game; it’ll also be a geography lesson!

License Plates

2. 20 Questions

Like the License Plate game, 20 Questions is a classic road trip game for kids. To play, everyone in the car takes a turn coming up with a person, place, or thing for the other players to guess. It can be anything you want, and the harder to guess it is, the better. Players then take turns asking a question that can be answered with a “yes” or “no,” and are allowed one guess at the answer after each question. The goal of the game is to guess the answer in 20 questions or fewer.

3. I Spy

The “I Spy” game for road trips is an adaptation of the well-known children’s game. Family members take turns choosing an item in the car that all of the players are able to see – except the driver, who may need to sit this one out! Once the object is chosen, the person says “I spy with my little eye, something _____,” and fills in the blank with a clue about the item. The other participants then take turns guessing the item. This is a great game for younger children to participate in, as the rules are very simple.

4. Punch Bug or Slug Bug

Many of you have heard of this popular road trip game. To play, you’ll need a piece of paper and a pen. Everyone except the driver keeps an eye out for Volkswagen Beetles on the road. Unlike the version you may have heard of, which includes “punching” or “slugging” another passenger in the car, this version is much more family friendly. When a Beetle is spotted, a passenger can either tap another player on the shoulder or simply yell out “Punch Bug” or “Slug Bug” to claim the point. One player is in charge of keeping track of points and marks down each point earned. To make the game more exciting, you can put a time limit on finding the cars, such as one hour, and reset the game once that time is up, or reward extra points for classic Beetles, convertibles, or ones with unusual colors or paint schemes.

VW Beetle

5. The ABC Game

This is a great memory game that the whole family will enjoy. Players take turns picking a category – such as animals, groceries, or names – and start off the game with something from that category that starts with an A. The next player will repeat the A object, and then come up with something for the letter B. If a player gets the object of a previous letter wrong, the game starts from the beginning of the alphabet. To complete a round of the ABC game, players must reach the end of the alphabet having recited the object for each of the previous letters correctly. This game will test your memory skills, keep everyone laughing, and help the time in the car pass quickly.

What is your favorite game to play on a long road trip? Tell us in the comments section!