road trip gamesWhen you say the words “road trip,” what image comes to mind? Thelma & Louise? Chevy Chase’s Vacation? Screaming kids in the back seat? If the idea of a road trip with your kids makes you break out in a cold sweat, check out my favorite ways to keep kids engaged, entertained and (mostly) happy.

Scavenger Hunt Travel Card Gamealt: This is my favorite road trip game. Each person is dealt five cards depicting various things you might find on the road. There are the usual items, such as stop signs and hotels, but there are also some fun ones, like a “person with orange hair,” a “really dirty car,” and a “person wearing sunglasses.” When you see the item on your card, you call it out, put your card aside, and draw a new one. There are also swap cards that let you exchange cards if you’ve got a particularly difficult one in your hand. The first person to find 10 items wins. The game goes pretty quickly and my kids always ask to play again. I love that it makes everyone really look at their surroundings.

Miles of Smilesalt: This book is full of fun facts, trivia and games that will keep kids and adults talking and laughing. One of our favorite games from this book is called “What Am I Counting.” One person starts counting something out loud and the rest of the passengers have to figure out what they are counting. It’s a tough one!

Carschoolingalt: Another excellent book that offers not only travel games, but opportunities for learning. There are so many unique ideas in this book for turning travel time into a fun way to learn math, science, language, geography, and more – even phys ed with “Rest Stop Olympics” and “Car Seat Calisthenics.”


Of course, there’s the license plate game – whatever version happens to be popular with your family. I print out the alphabet and numbers 0-9 and the kids have to check off each letter and number in order as they find them on license plates. First one to get them all wins. We often skip Q because it’s nearly impossible to find, but one time my son found one on a vanity plate and he was so psyched! You’ll find lots of printable scavenger hunts, bingo games, and more at MomsMinivan.

What are your family’s favorite road trip games? Share them in the comments!