Keep the entire car entertained for the whole trip!
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? On the way to adventure out on the open road, boredom is inevitable, coupled with questions and complaints like “When will we be there?”, “I’m hungry”, and “I have to use the bathroom”. Instead of juggling cranky passengers in between pit stops with today’s technology, remember why you’re on a road trip in the first place – to spend time with these people!
We believe road trips are all about the journey, and to keep the journey humming along happily, we’ve searched far and wide and have personally tested which road trip games are the best for keeping boredom at bay. Each of these can be modified to increase or decrease the difficulty to appease your passengers, and remember – some of the best road trip game rules are made up and unique to each family!
The Classic Alphabet Game
Requirements: Knowledge of the sequential English alphabet
Find letters in order using billboards, businesses, road signs, license plates, the side of big rigs, etc. The first player to Z, wins! Increase the difficulty by looking for words that start with the letter or only using one type of sign, or make it kid-friendly and let participants find the letters anywhere (hopefully you’re passing by famous California town Zzyzx!)
Requirements: A list of things you will possibly see on your trip
Easy road trip scavenger hunt lists can be found online, and include things like big trucks, road signs, wildlife, etc. While creating your own list requires a bit of planning, making lists specific to the participants different ages and interests will make the game last longer! Have adults find unique road signs, while teenagers search for unique types of cars and kids keep their eyes peeled for animals, plants, and recognizable landmarks. The first person to find all of the items on their list wins.
Cows on My Side
Requirements: Ability to see far and a familiarity with cows
Great for couples and small families! This game sounds simple, but is an ongoing Camp-California favorite! When you see a cow on the side of the road, announce “cow(s) on my side!”; cows called on your side of the car are one point. If you see a cow on the other side of the road, say “cow(s) on your side!” and collect two points. If someone calls a cow, but it is another animal, they lose one point. If you see a cemetery, call “ghost cow”, and steal all of the other person’s points! A good rule to follow is if the cows are in the same pasture or herd, they cannot be called twice. There are lots of other rules and amendments that can be added to this game, including spotting ice cream shops, cow trucks, hamburger restaurants, cowboys, etc. – it is always fun to see what you can come up with to make the game your own!
I’m Going Camping
Requirements: A basic knowledge of the rules, imagination, and creativity!
The first person must think of a rule, like “all items must start with M”, or “all items must be white”; you do not share this rule with the other participants. The more creative your rules are, the more difficult the game is! The person who created the rule(s) starts the game by saying “I’m going camping, and I’m bringing…”, and states something that adheres to their rule(s). The next person starts with the same phrase and adds a guess, and the first person determines if the rule was followed and lets them know if they get to come on the camping trip. This continues throughout the group until everyone is correctly guessing items that follow the rule.
Requirements: Ability to see the color yellow
This game was shared with Camp-California from the Smoke Jump Ultimate Frisbee team at the University of Montana! As your road trip begins, inform each passenger to keep their eyes peeled for yellow vehicles. When a yellow vehicle is spotted, one passenger shouts “CLICK-IT”; this earns one point. If a yellow kayak is seen strapped to a vehicle, the passenger who spots it can take one point from someone else and apply it to their score. If a yellow boat is seen, the finder receives two points. If someone calls CLICK-IT for a yellow commercial vehicle (like a taxi), they immediately lose all of their points. If a yellow Hummer is spotted, the passenger who calls CLICK-IT wins the entire game, regardless of points. There is also a rule for spotting an elusive yellow limousine that makes the finder win for life, but this takes all the fun out of future games!
The Name Game
Requirements: Adequate knowledge of celebrities and notable famous personalities
This game is great for older kids and couples, and starts with the name of anyone famous. The next person says a person whose first name starts with the first letter of the previous person’s last name (this can also be played where the second person must name someone who’s first name starts with the last letter of the previous person’s last name.) The game ends and restarts when someone cannot think of a new name!
Example 1: Tom Brady – Billy Joel – John Lennon – Leonardo di Caprio…
Example 2: Will Smith – Hillary Swank – Kanye West – Tim Allen…
The Memory Game
Requirements: A good memory
The first person starts with a theme, and names an item that applies to the rule. The following person says the first item, and another item that adheres to the rule. The game continues with participants adding on relevant items until someone messes up or says something totally off-theme!
Example: BASEBALL – “I have a bat”. “I have a bat, and a glove.” “I have a bat, a glove, and cleats.”…
Did You Hear…?
Requirements: Knowledge of current events and an imagination!
The purpose of this game is to try and fool your opponent into thinking what you are saying is true. Start by asking “did you hear about…?”, and your opponent can either say “that didn’t happen” or “tell me more”. If they correctly guess that it did not happen, the opponent gets two points. If they incorrectly guess it did not happen, you get two points and steal one of their points. If you are prompted “tell me more”, the point values double at the end of your new statement.
Team Story Telling
Requirements: Imagination and creativity
Start with a story opener – “Once upon a time” is always good. Each passenger then adds a line and continues to build the story for minutes, or hours!