Are you looking for the best games to play on a road trip?
Well you just landed on the right blog post.
Car adventures, especially long ones can really take a toll on someone in regards to being tired or experiencing slight or too much boredom that will literally take away your sanity.
In one of our articles that gave tips when planning for a road trip in a car, we suggested packing entertainment gadgets or items, which includes carrying games your loved ones can play on board including a few other fun activities to do while on the road for a long haul.
It is almost a necessity. Children also have short attention span and need to be entertained every minute they are not taking a nap, thus the many games complied in this listicle.
They will get your children's eyes from electronics for long which is obviously not good for them, and get to know more about your friends and family; as Richard Lingard would say in a letter of advice to a young gentleman leaving the university concerning his behavior and conversation in the world, “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”.
You can also be sure that these top road trip games are quite flexible and cover any age. They also cover the aspect of choosing to have an actual competition or just keeping things light hearted just to pass time.
To keep you and your loved ones such as your family, relatives or friends entertained and occupied, we have compiled some of the best games to play on a road trip.
13 Best Games To Play On A Road Trip
#1. Snakes and ladders
Snakes and Ladders is a global classic that involves two or more players, for people of all ages.
A number of ladders and snakes are pictured on the snakes and ladders game board, with numbered squares that are connected to each other by either a snake or a ladder.
It has three genres that define its play that include:
- Board game
- Race game
- Dice game
I.e. the dice game will have each player rolling a dice and the one who gets the highest number gets to play first. The player starts from square one, moving from left to right at first.
The number of moves the player gets to make depends on the number the dice rolls on. Landing on top of a snake’s mouth will have you sliding down to the square that is on the tip of its tail.
If you land at the bottom of the ladder, you climb up to land on the square on top. The vice versa of both means you do not make any move and remain there till it’s your turn again.
The winner is the one who is the first to get to the highest number on the board game which is 100. If the player is close to 100 but rolls a higher number more than the one needed to get to 100, he or she has to remain there till he or she rolls the exact number; or moves to 100 and moves back the number of steps remaining. E.g. if number 4 is rolled but only 2 steps are needed to get to 100, the players, moves to steps or 100, and two back.
What variation to use while playing snakes and ladders will depend on the players' choice or the game purchased.
The bottom line is, avoid the snakes and get a chance to shortcuts by taking the ladders.
#2. Master Chess
Chess is a very popular strategic board game that involves a checkered board and two sets of playing pieces of contrasting colors (marking two warring kingdoms) that are moved strategically according to precise rules.
The ultimate goal that also determines the winner of the game is to place the opponent's king under direct attack from which there is no probable escape. The game can also end at a ‘draw’.
There are however many who find it hard to play chess in a vehicle due to the movement of the vehicle which can lead to movements of the pieces.
A solution to this can be playing chess on a laptop, tablet or any screen that can be shared. If you do not prefer a screen, the magnetic travel chess set is the best option due its amazing magnetism that keeps the pieces stable if playing outdoors during a windy weather or while travelling.
The other amazing features and qualities are its portability and travelling size since it can be folded and unfolded when playing.
#3. I spy
I spy is purely a guessing game where the player, who is given the title, ‘the spy’ sees something that has to be in sight for all the other players and announces the first letter of the object, beginning with these exact words, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” or “I spy with my little eye…”
The other players will try guessing the object in turns by asking e.g. ‘is it a wheel?’ till one can correctly guess it.
The one who correctly guesses the item gets to be the next spy and the game starts all over again. The objects must be within an eye range and the spy is not allowed to change the object once he or she has said it but can provide clues such as the color of the object or the direction.
To make it more engaging and fun, begin with something vague like the color of something and have the players narrowing down their options to that object by asking questions that will give the clues.
#4. Never Have I Ever
Never have I ever is popular among teenagers and is mostly a drinking game. Among children and family however, instead of taking a shot when you have done the action in questions, the players count scores on their fingers or on a piece of paper to determine the winner.
The first player starts by stating something like “never have I ever gone skiing” and anyone who has performed the action at some point, takes a shot or raises a finger depending on the rules.
The questions should be a mix of ordinary activities and really bizarre ones to add to the fun. The context of the never have I ever questions depends on the players such that they can either be intense or light hearted or can be family friendly.
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Family friendly questions will be quite different from questions among friends or teenagers. Either way, it is a common game among most people that is immensely fun.
The victims can also give a description of the action they have stated to have done to make it much more interesting.
Never have I ever is one of those conversation games that helps you know your friends or family better.
#5. Two Truths and a Lie
Depending on how intense the game is or what truths and lies about your life you choose to tell, the game can include old and new friends or family.
Each player gets a chance to make three statements in which two of them are truths and one is a lie. The other listening participants have to guess which one is the lie and what the two truths are.
After every participant has guessed, you can then reveal what the lie is and what the truths are.
Other than telling truths about your life and getting people to know you better, the game can also be inclusive of road features that will make the players be observant or know the geography of the area by noticing afar features, studying buildings or people on the way.
It can also be educational in terms of knowing your surroundings or familiarizing your kids on events or names of their relatives, stories they have read before or their personal favorite tales.
You can play for as many rounds as you all want by picking each person who guesses correctly to play next.
#6. Guess the Song
A single player from the group picks a song within the theme the group has agreed on e.g. Disney songs. Once he or she silently picks a song, the song is played as a 20 second clip or less and not more.
You can play the song on the radio, on a CD, on Spotify or whatever the medium.
Guess the song game is similar to the game ‘name the tune' that is basically played the same way with the same set of rules.
In this one however, the one giving the song has to hum the tune instead, and the rest guess the song and artist from the tune. If you all decide to hum, the game becomes ‘name the tune'.
As soon as one knows the song, they have to say it. The faster you can guess, the more points you get and at the end of the game, the one with the most points wins the game.
Better yet, you all can take turns singing the songs by yourselves and let the other guess the song and artist. And what songs are better to sing than actual toad trip songs?
#7. Would You Rather
Would you rather can be quite flexible according to the age group, whether it's youths or children, and you can curate it towards any topic.
They can be downright philosophical, silly, serious or weird and very hard to pick from such as would you rather be homeless or be in prison.
You get to ask the most ridiculous questions as each player shoots a questions that compares two things the other players would rather do.
Once the players answer, they also get to explain why they gave the answers they did sparkling an intense yet healthy debate.
It is also one of the ways to get to really know the other person.
#8. The license Plate Game
The license plate game is fun road trip game that has the players having scores by awarding points on how many license plates one can spot that are registered to different states during the drive.
The winner should have spotted license plates registered to all the 50 states. There is however another alternative depending on what the players decide.
You can assign a time limit and the winner gets to be the one with the highest points scored in that given time limit.
It is from the license plate game where we get the license plate bingo, if bingo is your thing. The first part of the game will use letters on the license plates of vehicles to mark off on the kind of game card you have.
You can also formulate the bingo cards by using license plates that are from different states.
If your road trip is taking place at night where it makes it difficult to probably play some of the games listed above like the license plate game, the padiddle is the best game for you.
You have to shout ‘padiddle' whenever you see a vehicle with one headlight, faster than the other players.
The catch is saying ‘padiddle' on a motorbike not knowing it is not a vehicle therefore you have to be careful before you shout, else you lose points.
Depending on the rules of the game or the players, you can also hit the ceiling of the car when you spot a car a with one head light, or a missing taillight. Hitting the ceiling was the classic move and the original game plan.
#10. The Alphabet Game
It is a pretty popular game for those on road trips and can be played by anyone. You are supposed to find all the 26 letters of the game on words on objects outside the vehicle like on license plated, billboards, signs or buildings.
Each player is assigned a list of the 26 letters to cancel out each letter they find and the winner is the one who has all cancelled out by the end of the game or road trip.
You have to announce which letter you are all looking for, and keep going till you are done. Once you get to z, start over but in reverse.
#11. Disney Guess Who
Disney guess who is the classic guessing Disney game that is a favorite to all kids that are fans of Disney.
If your kids are not Disney fans (which is hard to believe), you can pick any theme or film your kids want or even include only Disney princesses for girls that are big fans.
You can purchase this game from stores or make DIY and give the mystery character’s description of something they are related to in the film and have the players guess who the character is.
The players can narrow down their options by asking yes or no questions that do not give out as much for example “does she have blue eyes?”.
#12. Tunnels and Bridges
In tunnels and bridges you have to be careful even though kids are obsessed with testing their physical abilities especially in a competition.
As per the instructions, players have to hold your breath when they cross a bridge or tunnel.
The person who holds his or her breath the longest in a tunnel or bridge, however long, gets to win. It does require one to not have to try to go past their limit or overdo.
#13. The Hidden Word Game
The hidden word game will test your word skills as it is both educative and fun. You have to start with a small simple word for example art that you announce to your players.
The players then have to find as many words as possible that contain the previously mentioned word.
Each word you find scores you a point and you keep going till you cannot think of anymore words. You can even set a timer for each word.
Conclusion: Best Games to Play on a Road Trip
You are sure to find at least 10 best games to play on a road trip with your family or friends.
There is no being bored anymore with these road trip games that will keep everyone in the vehicle all goofy or amused, get their creative juices flowing, or show off their smarts in a certain game.
If you are on a road trip with children, you do not have to be smart with them by playing the “who can stay quiet the longest” game anymore.
It takes the fun out of a road trip, whether you are on a road trip with your kids or friends.
The best part about most of these games is they only require little to no equipment or resources at all to play.
You can also purchase road-trip-game kits that hold infinite games in one pack e.g. carpool games chaos, let's mingle, road trip games kit, how game are you?, and a thousand more depending on what tickles your fancy. Some of them have a storage shaped well enough to fit in the seat or door pockets
Do not forget to have fun in the midst of all this. “Life is more fun if you play games”, said the wisest man ever… probably Roald Dahl.
I hope you found this article on the best games to play on a road trip helpful.
Now I would like to hear from you.
Which of these road trip games are you going to try first?
Let me know in the comment section below.
Also don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family looking for awesome road trip games to play.