Road trips can be a time of bonding, discovering new roadside attractions, and memorable meals. However, they can also become monotonous and dull, which no carefully curated playlist can save. Thus, we’ve put together a list of things to do on a road trip to smooth the journey.
Here are 27 fun things to do on a road trip:
- Audio Books
- Ban A Word
- Black Stories
- Catch Up On Unanswered Emails
- Ghost: A Spoken Word Game
- Interviews For Family Lore Journals
- Memorize Digits Of Pi
- Rap Battle
- Road Trip Riddles
- Story Dice Tales
- Turn It Into A Documentary
- Would You Rather?
- Play The Movie Game While Driving
- Never Have I Ever Is Perfect For Road Trips
- Make Those Phone Calls While On The Move
- My Cows: A Family Road Trip Game
- Listen To Podcasts While Driving
- 9 Fabulous Podcasts For Adults On A Road Trip
- 9 Fabulous Podcasts For Families On A Road Trip
- Have A Road Trip Rap Challenge
- Entertain With Road Trip Riddles
- Create Spoken Word Poetry On The Road
- Tell Story Dice Tales During The Road Trip
- Turn Your Road Trip Into A Documentary
- 20 Questions Is A Car Trip Classic
- Ask, “Would You Rather?” On A Road Trip
Table of Contents
1. Listen to Audiobooks
Audiobooks were made for road trips. Regardless if you are trying to catch up for the next book club or just keep the kids quiet in the back, load up a good story to pass the time. Excellent places to find audiobooks are:
2. Ban A Word For The Entire Journey
Add a sense of challenge to the adventure by selecting a word that is commonly used amongst your group and banning it. Possible examples:
Then add some gravity to the challenge with an agreed consequence for the one who loses. For example:
- Buys a round of drinks
- Makes dinner at your destination
- Will wash the car
Keep a running tally of who utters it during the road trip. Once you reach the final destination, tally them up, and then the loser must fulfill the deal.
3. Play the billboard alphabet game
The billboard alphabet game is a road trip classic. Starting with the letter “A,” keep a look out for billboards that contain the letter you require. When you spot it, you must shout out the letter and the word you found it in.
For example, if you pass by a sign saying, “Welcome to Oregon,” you could say, “O for Oregon.”
4. Play Car Bingo
Make some customized bingo cards for the car ride. These can be used with kids or adults, although somebody might need to help the driver with their card.
On the card, make things that people might spot along the ride (age-appropriate, of course):
- Red Ferrari
- Somebody not wearing their seatbelt
5. Use the Black Stories app to Discover Murder On The Road
Black Stories is an excellent way to kill time while on the road.
- Download the app to have access to “dodgy and gloomy” tales based on true events
- The narrator reads a full story on dark history to themselves
- Then they read the short version to their fellow passengers
- People try to unlock the mystery by asking straightforward “yes” or “no” questions
A similar game on the Apple app store is Dark Stories.
6. Use Road Trips To Catchup On Emails
Road trips can be productive, such as using them to catch up on email. Inboxes have become unmanageable. There are all the unread messages that need deleting and others that need to be organized and filed. But you never have the time.
Well, you do now, so long as you’re not the one behind the wheel.
7. Free Up Memory On Your Phone During The Ride
Phones never seem to have enough memory. Passengers can use road trips as an opportunity to free up storage space on their devices:
- Go through old photos and delete the unmemorable past
- Get rid of music you haven’t listened to in six months
- Kick off those apps you never use
- Liberate your contacts so you can’t drunk text
8. Play Ghost: A Spoken Word Game
Ghost is the perfect car game for Scrabble lovers. The aim is to keep building potential words without being the person who finishes it. You can’t just add nonsense. Each letter has to be on the path to a possible word.
- The first person begins with a letter
- A second person adds on
- Keep going until a word is built
- If a person completes a word, they lose a finger
- The first person to lose five fingers has lost
- We recommend putting a finger down as if making a fist rather than chopping them off
9. Interview Family On Road Trips For Keepsake Journals
Use the road trip as an opportunity to interview your family for keepsake journals. Just record your conversations as you ask them questions. Use the space to record beloved stories you’ve heard a million times and discover new tales they’ve never shared before.
Alternatively, you can have your questions guided by a journal that includes prompts. Examples include the following:
- Tell Me Your Life Story, Papa: A Grandfather’s Guided Journal
- Mom, What’s Your Life Story: 126 Question Guided Journal
- Stories from Grandma
- 100 Questions For Dad
10. Learn A New Language While On The Road
Take your language skills to new heights while on the road. While most are interactive, they often have bonus features that you can listen to while driving. Some are free, while others have a subscription price.
When choosing a language app, consider your goals:
- Do you want to become fluent?
- Do you just want to gain some key phrases?
- Are you a visual learner?
- Are you looking for quality feedback?
- Are you better motivated by a game-like style?
Top language apps to check out:
11. The License Plate Game Is A Road Trip Classic
The License Plate Game is nearly as old as automobiles. While driving down the open road, try to spot as many state license plates as you can. You win if you spot Hawaii while not in Hawaii.
12. Mad Libs Makes Car Trips Fun
Mad Libs has been making us laugh since 1958. Now there are more ways to bust a gut than ever before.
- Animals, Animals, Animals (5+)
- Dinosaur (5+)
- Dog Ate My Mad Libs (8+)
- Mad Scientist (8+)
- Meow Libs (8+)
- Shark Attack (8+)
13. Road Trip Challenge: Memorize Digits of Pi
Road trip challenge: how many digits of Pi can you memorize? There are people who easily rattle off more than a hundred. Some have memories that are stickier than flypaper. Others use songs, such as this cheerful ditty aptly named The Pi Song. Lastly, there is, of course, an app.
14. Play The Movie Game While Driving
Pass the time while driving by playing The Movie Game.
- The first person names an actor
- The next person names a movie the actor was in
- The person after that names a different actor in that movie
- Then the following person names a movie that actor was in
- And on and on it goes…
15. Never Have I Ever Is Perfect For Road Trips
Never Have I Ever isn’t just a drinking game. In fact, when you’re sober, you’re probably more likely to remember what your friends have silently confessed to having done or never. But instead of taking shots, just lose a finger (by putting it down, not chopping it off).
It’s always fun to ask questions you’re burning to know about the other occupants. However, should you be stuck, you’ll find plenty of questions here.
16. Make Those Phone Calls While On The Move
Road trips are the perfect time to make those phone calls. Haven’t chatted with your mom in a while? You know she’d love to hear from you. That friend you keep thinking about? Give them a ring. Remember to use hands-free options so these conversations won’t be your last.
17. My Cows: A Family Road Trip Game
My Cows is an easy and family-friendly road trip game.
- Appoint a scorekeeper (not the driver)
- Decide if you are playing first person to X points or most points within Y amount of time
- Keep your eyes peeled for a cow or a herd of them
- Once you spot one or more, yell, “My cows!”
- The first person to utter (not udder) the phrase earns a point
- 1 point per sighting
- Seeing multiple cows within a herd does not earn extra points
- In addition, keep an eye out for graveyards
- If you see a graveyard, yell, “Dead cows!”
- The first person to yell the phrase keeps their points; everyone else loses their points
18. Listen To Podcasts While Driving
Podcasts are an excellent way to pass the time while driving. They can be short and sweet, comedy gold, fictional dramas, or educational.
19. 9 Fabulous Podcasts For Adults On A Road Trip
There are as many podcasts as grains of sand, but here are 9 that would make fabulous company on the open road.
- An Interview With An AI Explores Storytelling: Spark Hunter
- Excellent Eco-Thriller With Soundscapes: Forest 404
- Feast On True Crime: Redhanded
- Find Out How Airport Bestsellers Wrecked Our Heads: If Books Could Kill
- Hangout With Celebrities & Laugh: Smartless
- Hear The Juiciest Gossip About People You’ve Never Met: Normal Gossip
- Reconsider Events And People: You’re Wrong About
- Thrilling Audio Drama: Homecoming
- Travel While Traveling: Black Woman Travel
20. 9 Fabulous Podcasts For Families On A Road Trip
We’ve got 9 podcasts to help you enjoy the family road trip.
- Answers To Questions Only Kids Would Dream Of: The Happy Podcast For Kids
- Best 5-Minute Episodes Serial: The Radio Adventures Of Dr. Floyd
- Discover Overlooked Heroes And More: Who, When Wow!
- Histories And Mysteries: Unspookable
- Greek Legends Reimagined For Younger Minds: Greeking Out
- Science For Kids Even Adults Will Understand: Brains On
- Sooth Sleepy Ears: Story Time
- The Past Reborn: Stuff You Missed In History Class
- When you are out of knock-knock jokes: Ear Snacks
21. Have A Road Trip Rap Challenge
Have your very own rap battle right in the car. Just put on some beats, appoint a judge, and then unleash your creativity.
22. Entertain With Road Trip Riddles
Challenge your fellow road trip crew with riddles and brain teasers. Yes, feel free to come up with your own. But if you’d like a nudge, check out:
23. Create Spoken Word Poetry On The Road
Compose and perform spoken word poetry for each other during the journey. You could speak from the heart or turn it into a challenge by subjecting each other to a poetry prompt generator.
24. Tell Story Dice Tales During The Road Trip
Entertain each other by telling prompted stories within a time frame. For example, each person takes a turn using a story cube (dice) generator, as 30 seconds to think and 3 minutes to tell a tale. However, when it is the driver’s turn, you might want to read them the prompts, rather than have them look at a screen.
Some story cube generators to consider:
25. Turn Your Road Trip Into A Documentary
Turn your road trip into a documentary by recording the sites, interviewing your fellow companions, and practicing your monologues for voiceovers. Decide how seriously you’ll take it and your goal.
- A serious project that requires high-end equipment and a lengthy editing process
- Fun to do, and you’ll edit it all…someday
- A family or friend memories project, where it is semi-casual, but you really will edit it
- Semi-serious for a school project
- Loading up each night’s footage on YouTube or highlights on TikTok
26. 20 Questions Is A Car Trip Classic
20 Questions has been keeping children and adults entertained on road trips since the days of the Oregon Trail (that might not be completely accurate). But if you are new to our planet (welcome, stranger), here are the general rules:
- One person thinks up a simple answer (i.e., camping)
- People take turns asking yes or no questions
- The car gets a total of 20 questions
- The person who guesses correctly “wins” the chance to think of the answer for the next round
27. Ask, “Would You Rather?” On A Road Trip
Playing “Would You Rather?” won’t just help pass the time on a road trip but also shine a whole new light on your fellow passengers. After a few rounds of this revealing game, you’ll never look at your friends and family the same.
So, make some memories and scandals by asking the unexpected. Stuck for ideas? Here is a link to get you started. But if you’re trying to spend less time on the screen, there is a book version of prompts.