Are you headed out on a road trip this year? Well, don’t leave home without these 50 car trip activities to make the time fly by! And grab your free road trip activities printables!
How to Survive Car Trips with Kids!
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All moms and dads dread hearing “Mom are we there yet?” on a road trip! But let’s be honest, sitting in a car for hours on end is never fun unless of course, you make it fun! Some of my best memories as a kid involved road trips to Disneyland!
There was the time where we would always sleep in the big ol van at the rest stop on the way to Disneyland because we had scraped and saved every penny we could for the actual trip and my brothers would stay up all night watching to keep us safe!
And then there was the time where my dad stuck his head out the window and started yelling at someone in LA because they cut him off, surely I was a little scared that day!
Then there was the “Banana Runt” highway… This always seemed to be the place where my brother Mark would toss banana runts out the window (he hated the yellow ones) and we were for sure that banana runt trees would be there next time we went by!
Like I said some of our best memories were on road trips!
It’s true we had so much fun on road trips, but there was also a lot of complaining, bickering, “are we there yet” also. Road Trips can be stressful! So, we are giving you 5 things you need for every road trip and 50 road trip activities that are sure to please the kids!
Snacks are a MUST HAVE for any road trip. If you don’t want to stop every two seconds and spend tons of money on fast food and gas station finds, then you have to have snacks. If you have enough room you can even pack a cooler or mini cooler to pack some cold snacks like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, and hummus. You can also keep your drinks in there to keep them extra cold.
Some great road trip snacks are things that take a while to eat like suckers or mints. It keeps those mouths busy for a longer period of time which means more time passes before they are asking for something else to eat or do. If you are going to eat in the car be sure to pack napkins or wipes, and trash bags to put all the trash in!
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Whether it’s a book on tape or a new-to-you library book you will want to pack some books for the kids to read. Pack them in a cute little bag for your kids to dig through. We always have books in the car and it is amazing how long kids stay occupied looking at books. Books are sometimes the secret weapon you need for a road trip!
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Music is another must have for a long road trip. Make sure it’s something that everyone likes listening to. We love to let the kids take turns playing DJ in the car so everyone gets a turn listening to something they like! So, crank up your tunes and have a singing and dancing party in the car! Pretend you’re in a music video or a pop star and rock out.
Who says that road trips need to be uncomfortable? Yes, you’ll be stuck in a car for hours but why not make the best of it with some comforts from home? Bring their favorite blanket, pillow, or maybe a travel pillow! Make sure to wear comfy clothes too. You don’t want to be stuck in the car wearing restricting clothes. Road trips are the best excuse to bust out your yoga pants or sweatpants. We all know that we wish we could wear this every day (and many days I do!) so take advantage of your road trip and get comfy!
Road Trip Bordem Busters
Are we there yet? The age-old (annoying) question. I used to do it all the time as a kid and now as a parent, I can see why my parents would be so annoyed when we would ask! Road trips can be so fun! But they can also be really boring if you aren’t prepared with lots of fun games. That is why we created these Boredom Busters (which of course you can download for FREE) With 50 prompt boredom busters you can all take turns pulling out an idea and doing it together!
50 Car Trip Activities for Kids
Play the License Plate Game
To play the license plate game grab your United State Road Trip Map and your dry erase pen. Then set a timer and see how many different license plates you see in that amount of time. Every time you spot a license plate from a different state cross it off on your map. When the timer goes off, count up how many states you crossed off. The person who crossed off the most states wins!
Find Each Letter of the Alphabet on Signs you Pass
This is a great game for your little ones to play! It gives them practice recognizing letters and it keeps their attention for a long time. All they have to do is look out the window while you drive and see if they can find all 26 letters of the alphabet on any sign they see.
Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are so popular now and no wonder because they can be so fun and interesting! Find a podcast that everyone will like listening to and see if you can learn something new.
Play Name That Tune
Test your musical knowledge with this fun game and see who knows the most songs! Have someone be in charge of the music and the rest has to guess which song is being played.
Learn a New Language
Traveling is a great time to learn something new, especially a new language! See how many words or phrases you can learn in another language before you get to your destination. Bonus points if you can use those phrases once you get there! There are some great programs out there to learn as well as apps.
Play I Spy
I Spy is another classic road trip game that everyone can play! One person says, “I Spy with my little eye…” and then names something that they can see (either outside or inside the car). Everyone else has to try to guess what it is the fastest. The first person to guess is the winner! Then, someone else takes a turn! You can also pick up some fun I Spy books for “quiet time” in the car.
Take out those pens and pencils and start drawing! You can either draw by yourself for fun or make it a competition and see who can guess what you are drawing the fastest. There are also some fun learn to draw books that will entertain your kids as well!
Read a Book
Don’t underestimate a good book! If your kids don’t feel like reading a book then have them write one. See what they can come up with while in the car. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired and write something awesome!
Play Travel Games
There are so many great travel games that are portable and fun to play. Some of our favorites are these magnetic board sets. It comes with 12 games that are fun, easy to carry and something that the whole family will love!
Take a Nap
Sleeping is one of the best ways to make the time fly while on a road trip. You can just close your eyes and then when you wake up you’re there! Now you are all rested for all the fun adventures you are going to have at your destination!
Play Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is a classic party game that helps you learn so much about each other with lots of laughs, but sometimes the questions are so questionable! So, grab this truth or dare for kids because you won’t cringe with the questions or the dares! And everyone is guaranteed to have a good time!
Play “Never Have I Ever!”
Never Have I Ever is another fun game can be so much fun, even when you are in the car. We have everything all ready for you to print out, so check it out here! Get to know your family by playing this game that everyone can play!
Document your trip with pictures! Traveling across the country can be breathtaking so why not capture it on camera?! You can then make a scrapbook or a collage out of it!
Play the State Capital Game
Think you know all the state capitals? Test your knowledge with this game and see who knows the most. You can either play where you have to name all the state capitals or just the state capitals that you drive through. The winner is the person who can name the most correctly!
Play Tic Tac Toe
Everyone can play Tic Tac Toe, which is why this game is so great! All you need is some paper and pencils and you are good to go! We love this tic tac toe wooden set to take on trips as well because it doesn’t get lost!
Learn the Alphabet Backwards
Do you know someone who can sing the alphabet backwards? Crazy, right?! See if you can learn it and impress all your friends!
I remember learning this as a kid and to this day I can still sing it Z-Y-X-W-V…
Take turns making each other laugh by telling jokes! Grab a book of jokes and have at it. This is a great way to pass the time that uses your imagination and creativity.
Reusable Sticker Books
Reusable Sticker books are a lot of fun and keeps those hands busy for a long time. The great thing about the reusable sticker books is that they can peel and stick over and over again!
Travel Etch A Sketch
Etch A Sketches are classic toys for a reason! They are super fun and super easy to play with. Even the youngest of kids can have fun moving the knobs and drawing a picture.
This was basically everyone’s life in middle school, right?! Figure out which house you’ll live in, who you’re going to marry, how many kids you’re going to have, what job you’ll have, and so much more by choosing a number and crossing over everything that lands on that number over and over again until you are left with one item in each category. Here are directions on how to play MASH.
How fast can you solve the Rubik’s Cube? Find out on your road trip and see if you can beat your personal record.
Mad Libs are so fun! You get hilarious stories that the whole family will love. Take turns filling in the blanks and see what kind of stories you come up with.
Looking for a different way to draw for a car trip activity?! Try Scratch Art! Just scratch the paper and see what creations you can make.
Need something to talk about? Check out these Family Conversation Cards! These cards are a great way to get to each other better and it’s fun for the whole family.
Complete the Picture
Take turns drawing something and having someone else finish the picture. See what crazy, silly, fun drawings you can come up with!
Spot it is a blast to play on car trips! Each person gets a card with different pictures on it and the last person who spots something on their card loses! There are even different versions for hours of entertainment.
Like we mentioned before, snacks are a must! So, bust out those snacks and keep your little ones full and happy. Try buying a special snack that your kids can have after each hour of the road trip if they are good and don’t fight with one another. Or, you can make cute individual snack bags to give out each hour of the trip!
I love the Boogie Board because my kids can draw for hours without going through hundreds of papers or having to sharpen the pencil a million times. It’s the perfect compact way to draw on a road trip!
Play 20 Questions
Come up with something and have people ask you yes or no questions to try to guess what you’re thinking in just 20 questions! If they can they win, if they don’t you win! I had this 20 Questions game as a kid and we played it all the time!
Who said you can’t have arts and crafts on a road trip?! Create lots of things with Wikki Stix! You can mold, shape, and create for hours of endless fun!
Play Slug Bug/Beetle
You need to be fast in this game! Every time you see a beetle car you punch your opponent in the arm and say slug bug! Every kid’s favorite, every mom’s nightmare. Have Fun!
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
Before the trip come up with a list of things to find on the road. The person who can find all the items on their list first wins! Grab this super cute Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printable!
This Play Categories game is loads of fun! See how much you can come up. You’ll be surprised at how much you know!
Guess What Animal I am?
Think you know all the animals in the animal kingdom? Try to trick your family by choosing a lesser known animal and having them try to guess what you are by giving them clues.
Play Going to Grandma’s House
I remember playing going to grandma’s house as a kid all the time! The gist is to remember what you pack for grandma’s house.
It starts by saying, “I was packing to go to grandma’s house and in my suitcase, I packed…” Then the first person puts in an item of clothing, ie shoes. Then the next person would say “I was packing to go to grandma’s house and in my suitcase, I packed shoes and a ____________.”
The list keeps growing and growing until someone messes up and forgets something or says the wrong thing! We used to come up with the funniest things to throw each other off. We would pack brown pinstriped dress pant with purple stitching or a V-neck blue and white striped t-shirt. The possibilities are endless!
Play the Quiet Game
Are the kids getting a little too rowdy? Have them play the quiet game and see who can stay quiet the longest. The winner gets a treat!
Play Add on Story
Create a story together as a family! Have one person start the story and have each person add on to it until the story is complete. See what crazy adventures you can come up with!
Play Rock Paper Scissors
When it comes to car trip activities, rock paper scissors is a classic game. It is fun, easy, and doesn’t take anything else to play besides your hands. It’s perfect for when you are tight on space and don’t have a lot of room to pack a lot of games.
Have one person say a word and see if everyone can come up with a rhyming word. If they can’t they lose!
Need a brain teaser to keep you busy on long road trips? Then try word searches! They have them on all different subjects and different levels that suit all levels and interests.
Alphabet Game: Categories
Another classic game we played in the car as kids! Basically one of us would pick a category like vegetables. Then the first person would have to name a vegetable that starts with an A, then the next person would say a vegetable that starts with a B. Around the car we would go until someone got stumped on the letter! Watch out if you have to come up with a vegetable that starts with a Q!
This is such a great game to play on road trips because you see so many things while driving. See if you have the eye to win it all! This Travel Bingo game is perfect to grab for any car trip!
Grab a notebook and document your experiences! Write down your thoughts about your trip, what you see, what you do, everything. Think of how fun it’ll be to look back and see all the fun things you did!
Don’t Say It!
This game is SO fun and harder than it seems. You try to get your team to say a certain word but you can only give certain clues. It’s a great game that is fun and gets you to use your brain.
No car trip is complete without karaoke! I mean Is it even a car ride if you don’t sing karaoke? So for this car trip activity, crank up those tunes and show everyone what you’re made of! Just don’t forget those signature dance moves of yours.
Who Am I?
Pick a person and see if your family can guess who you are with only certain clues or by asking yes or no questions.
Have Electronic Time
Play Hot Seat
Think you know your family? Then play Hot Seat and see if you can guess what they put down for each question.
Road trips are a GREAT time to make some lasting memories with your family and now you no longer have to be intimidated by those long hours thanks to these great tips. So, don’t forget to print your road trip boredom buster cut them up throw them in a handy jar and draw fun activities to do as a family all along the way! These car trip activities will save your sanity for sure!
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WHAT CAR TRIP ACTIVITIES DO YOU LIKE TO DO? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!