55 Ways to Enjoy a Long Car Ride

Ever get bored on those long road trips – or worse – do your kids? Here are 55 games and activities that ensure your next one will be more fun!

Challenges

1.     Take turns filling the blanks in this sentence, going one letter of the alphabet at a time and without breaking the pace. “[Letter of the alphabet] my name is [name] and my best friend’s name is [name].  We come from [city / county / state / country] and we sell  [noun].

2. One person starts “I’m going to [name of next destination] and I’m bringing [item A]. The next person repeats the sentence, but says “I’m bringing [item A] and [item B]. And so on.

3. Same as above, but the items must progress in alphabetical order.

4. See how high you can count when everyone in the car contributes one number at a time, without taking turns. Example: Sue says one. Silence. Bob says two. Jill and Dave say three at the same time! Back to zero.

5. Fortunately / Unfortunately. One person makes a statement, and the next person has to counter. Example: Person A: Fortunately, we have lots of snacks in the car. Person B: Unfortunately, they’re all covered in mold!

6.     Spelling bee.

7. In-car talent show. Who has weird skills they can show off in the car? Examples: all those weird tongue tricks, double-jointed tricks, etc.

8.     Name that tune.

9. Dump / Marry / Date. Name three famous people and decide what to do with them.

10. Connections. Take turns naming two people / places / things and see who can come up with a connection between the two. Note: whoever names the two things has to be able to think of a connection when challenged by another player, or… he…. LOSES A POINT.

11.    Name a country. The next person has to name a country that begins with the last letter of the previous country.

12. Pick a word and go around having each person think of a word that rhymes. Whoever drops the pace… LOSES.

The Old Fashioned Way

13.    Sing!

14. Sing! In a round.

15. Sing! Disney songs. Let’s face it – who doesn’t know all the lyrics.

16. Sing! Make up your own lyrics to old tunes.

17. Sing!  Show tunes. Or TV show openers.

18.    Books on tape.

19. Or, have someone (with a strong stomach) read out loud.

20. Take turns reading out loud (NOT the driver!)

21. Listen to… THE RADIO. Remember that thing? Some of my favorite stations are the ones in the middle of nowhere.

22.    Tell jokes. Even bad ones. Especially bad ones.

23. I Spy. But you MUST preface what you spy with “I spy with my little eye” or it doesn’t count.

24. Play Telephone.

25. Play Broken Telephone.

26. Car Colors. Everyone picks a color, and each person counts all of the passing cars in that color. Whoever reaches X number of cars first wins.

27. Use fingers to write mystery notes / phrases / words on each other’s backs.

Use Your Imagination

28. Where in the World am I? Pick a place to hide (in your imagination only – since you can’t physically leave the car) and see who can guess where you are -the more specific the better.

29. What in the World am I Doing? Same concept as above.

30. What is the worst _____. Take turns thinking of categories and have everyone answer. Example: What is the worst Girls’ name?

31. What is the best _____? Same concept as above.

32. Would you rather X or Y? Best game ever. All parties MUST answer. Example: Would you rather be able to read minds or be invisible? (Muahahaha)

33. Did you know? Have every traveler share a fact no one else knows. Personal or general.
Example: Did you know Amaxophobia is the fear of riding in cars?

34.    Two truths and a lie. Each person shares three statements, two of which are true and one of which is false. Everyone else has to guess which is the lie.

35.    Build a story. Each person contributes one sentence at a time to a story.

36.    What does that stand for? Use passing license plates to make phrases.
Example: ZOL = Zebra On Land.  Ok, I would probably lose this game.

37. Make up mathematical relationships between the numbers on passing license plates.

38. Pick random words from billboards and signs. See who can come up with the best short story or poem using all of them.

39. Alternative uses. Take turns choosing categories and see who can think of the weirdest – but possible – uses for whatever items are within reach.

40. Virtual cooking – who can think up the most delicious sounding recipe / meal? Warning: Do not play on an empty stomach.

41. That cloud looks like…

42. If [Steve] were a [kitchen utensil] he would be a…

43. If [Paul] were a [garment] he would be a

44. Same game, pick your own category …man.

45.    Talk… In an accent / Like a relative / Like someone famous / Like a pirate.

46.    Charades!

47. Complete the following statement: “If I do X” and see who can come up with the most entertaining consequence.

48. Fill in the blank “Sitting in this car is better than _______.”
Example: Sitting in this car is better than being locked in a gas station bathroom stall.

Just a Few Supplies

49. Cat’s Cradle and all those other games – all you need is a string. And fingers.

50. Take pictures of each other with a digital camera, trying to make it look like you are having THE BEST TIME EVER.

51. Use dry erase markers to draw on the car windows. Not the windshield.

52. Use dry erase markers to write (friendly) messages on the window for other travelers.

53. Use dry erase markers to play tic tac toe and / or hangman.

54.    Pictionary! Or some form of it.

55. Make weird things out of pipe cleaners. Note: You need to bring pipe cleaners along for this activity to be successful.

Have any favorite games you don’t see on this list?  That’s what comments are for!

If you liked this, you might also like 20 ways to Screw Up Your Labor Day Road Trip (applies to Memorial Day as well!)

67 thoughts on “55 Ways to Enjoy a Long Car Ride”

  1. Man I love long journeys and road trips, keeping me occupied is easy, give me a cup of Java a steering wheel and just watch me loving the road, The kids and Mel are different deal though, I’ll suggest these to them

  2. Some pretty good ideas here – particularly like the dry markers ideas, but most of them will end with me saying the following: Don’t make me hurt you!! ;)

  3. one game i enjoy playing with a few friends in a car, or in a boring class…get a pad of paper and a pencil and each person draws one feature of a person, animal or whatever you want. the end result is usually extremely strange. and something you can laugh about afterwards.

  4. I especially like the game where 1 person is thinking about a person…ie: a friend, celebrity, politician, athlete, or any character and the other party has 10 questions to guess who it is.

  5. We are military and moving from California to Virginia in 6 weeks. This is going to be so helpful!! Maybe even the 14 year old will enjoy LOL.

  6. Hi military mama. I was one too. Are you career? What part of VA are you
    going to? I am leaving in 2 days for a few days near Lynchburg where my daughter and family live. Would be fun to chat with you and see how you
    like your new area. I have a retired colonel friend in Charlottsville and a
    granddaughter just finishing a year at Roanoke college. My husband died
    of service connected cause so I belong to Gold Star Wives of America. I have a son in law who was a marine for 12 years. Good luck to you.

  7. I am a 13 year old and I particularly like playing “Would you rather”. You say things like “Would you rather eat pipe cleaners or smell jungle toes?” It’s a lot of fun to play, especially for long car rides. My 5 other siblings also find this a great game. :D

  8. Thanks so much for posting! MY family will be going on a 7 hour trip in a couple of weeks to vermont. I’m 11 years old and both me and my 14 year old sister get really board in the car. We both love these ideas!!!
    Thanks!

  9. I’m 19, going on a trip to GA from TX (13 hours +) with my boyfriend, sister (14) and mother. Games will be great to have! It’ll definitely be tense with 3 women in the car on the same cycle. I have an awesome boyfriend…he also doesn’t know we’re uhm…similar in that way, so this’ll be fun! :D Great post

  10. cool post
    i like your writing and the games were all fun
    a game i like to play is you have to choose a number between 1-100 or something and the oother people have to guess it

  11. thanks this may work since me and my brother are going on a 13+ hour car ride from tx to tennessee

  12. gr8 post! im 12 and going on a 7 hour trip with my grandma and my dog. but i like to play a game in which u look out the window and serch 4 things that go in the abcs …..Exp. A…apple tree B…bike C…car
    D…dog and so on.

  13. 6 kids and a 20 hour straight through trip….just printed this and put my pre-teens in charge of entertainment! Thanks for the great list!

  14. Me and my family like to play the “sign game”. Each person has to go through the alphabet finding each letter in alphabetical order anywhere on a sign. However, no person can use any letter in the same word on the same sign that another person has already spotted. Its a good way to pass the time, and good luck finding a Q!! :)

  15. These games will surely help me! I’m 11 and need entertainment in car rides! I I’m going on a 7 hr. car ride from Texas to Oklahoma…. car rides are usually REALLY boring! (especially with my 7 yr. old brother!) Thanks so much!

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  17. I hate going in the car since my mothers car in so small in the back and my younger sister moved to the back and she is in a car seat i get so bored and not have alot of room so am glad this is up

  18. You could bring some boardgames and blu tak to stick the figures down and that sort of thing like monopoly with blutak under the pieces!

  19. This helps me a lot! My kids always get bored (and often whine. A lot.) on roadtrips so this works a treat! One of my favourites is a game called 1,2,3

    See how high you can count when everyone in the car contributes one number at a time, without taking turns. Example: Sue says one. Silence. Bob says two. Jill and Dave say three at the same time! Back to zero.

  20. Thanks for sharing this. I am a travel freak and have a 9 yr old child, so your tips are really helpful.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you!

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  22. this is a great help!
    thank you so much for the ideas!!
    *another one i like to play i actually learned as a grounding exercise but works as a game as well.
    you pick a letter & then a category
    (i like to use food, but something like tools or articles of clothing would work too)
    & then think of all the items you can that start with your chosen letter;
    for example: for B one could list bacon, broccoli, bologna, beans, etc…
    rotate who chooses the letter & take turns listing items until you can’t think of any more.

  23. this is so useful. it almost makes me want to leave rn.
    im going on a 16 hour trip to michigan from oklahoma with my sister (17) and little brother (8) and we would’ve been bored if it wasnt for your awesome ideas.

  24. Pick any song and take out random words. Without telling anyone the song, ask them to replace the word by saying for example, a noun.

  25. Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are very helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lot. Next year Alaska is on my card.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness., and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Next year I definitely want to explore Albany.
    People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you

  26. This is a meh, unless you have a twin, or a sibling that is extremely close in age, these don’t often work out. Because for example, I have a older sister and she is 9 years older than me. You know how teenagers are right? They are often very distant and don’t like to hang out with their younger siblings very much, because they are often annoying. So these don’t often work for me and a lot of other kids and or families.

  27. I will be going on a two and a half day train ride next month and even though my friend will be there I will still need something else to entertain me, and if a book doesn’t help some of these things should!

  28. Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are very helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lot. Next year Alaska is on my card. I have a children and i can relate to you.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness., and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Next year I definitely want to explore Albany.
    People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you

  29. I like to play a game called “spot the McDonalds sign and shut up” because we see McDonalds signs everywhere on the road. so if you see a McDonalds sign you have to be quiet until you see the next McDonalds sign and so on.

  30. A car game my family played was we each get a turn looking at the billboard and try to find each letter on the alphabet. Everyone else has to keep an eye because if they miss 2 billboards then it’s on to the next person, some letter.

  31. You should put the squiggle game on here. Someone draws a bunch of squiggles on a piece of paper. You pass the paper around and each person makes one squiggle into something. Then you give it back to the person who drew the squiggles and he/she judges.

  32. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR ALL OF THESES TIPS!!!! ME AND MY 8 PERSON FAM & FRIENDS ARE GOING TO DRIVE 2 HOURS 15 MINUTE DRIVE TO GO ON OUR FAMILY FOURWHEELING TRIP! WE WILL REALLY ENJOY THESE TIPS!!! THANKS SO MUCH!

    ( IGNORE THE MEAN COMENTS THIS POST IS GR8!)

  33. This was VERY interesting to look at and possibly do some of these things that you list. And also, I had to look up some of the games on here.

  34. That would be a very fun part., Make the wired thing out of Pipe Cleaner.Thank you for your awesome tips and ideas , it is very helpful to me . We diffidently will start using it for our next trip.

  35. Oh yes, These things will helpful for me and I think for others also. but for a long drive, you must have one comfortable car.
    Well, if anyone wants to buy the best car within their budget then you can contact with car selling expert”Lance Cook”. His profile link is in my profile you can visit there and contact with him.

  36. I make playlists with music everyone loves to sing along to. Bluetooth rocks! I also make sure I have a movie I love and a few books I have been wanting to read on my Kindle. Before I know it, we are there!

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