18 Best Road Trip Games for Kids to Play While Traveling (+Activities)

Most parents fear traveling with their kids, be it on a road trip because it involves keeping them entertained throughout the journey.

If you’re planning to do a family road trip or just some traveling with kids, you’ll want to plan some activities before you leave, so you’re prepared for the journey. With plenty to keep them busy, even young children are likely to remain well-behaved during the trip.

The following activities are just a few that your kids are likely to find enjoyable as you travel to your destination. Some of the most fun things you can do during a road trip with kids. This article offers a list of activities you can do while on a family road trip.

It’s easy to keep the kids busy on a road trip with their iPads and other gadgets. But you can make your road trips a way to unplug and connect with each other as a family by playing the following travel games, which are entertaining for the kids and the adults too.

But it’ll be totally ok for you to add those items to your packing list for your family road trip since some of the games have a mobile app!

18 Best Road Trip Games for Kids to Play While Traveling (+Activities)
Unplug from mobile devices and connect with each other as a family by playing the travel games discussed in this post, which are entertaining for the kids and the adults too

During vacation, students can relax and enjoy life without worrying about schoolwork. This is particularly true for kids who struggle with school and find it exhausting. Meanwhile, summer is also a time when math facts are forgotten.

To keep your children up to date in a fun and educational way during the holidays and road trips, you can, for example, let them play multiplication games at MultiplicationGames.com

Traveling, especially long distances, can get pretty boring whether you’re alone or with friends and family. Seeing the same scenery hour after hour when you go from point A to point B can be exhausting, so it’s important to keep yourself entertained to make time pass quickly.

They say that the journey is more significant than the destination, but those who say that have clearly not traveled on trains that passed by nothing but fields for the entire duration of the journey.

With the advent of electronic devices, it is easier than ever today to be occupied with different apps and games. A mix of traditional travel games and new ones are sure to keep you from falling asleep in the backseat of a long road trip. So, get your car ready for the road trip of your life!

Don’t Know What to Pack?

I’ve been traveling for over 30 years, and know exactly what you need, check out the essential things to pack for a successful trip.

Fun Activities to Pass the Time

Travel Games

Many traditional board games that families have long enjoyed have been redesigned in travel versions. You can visit BreakingGames.com to find travel-friendly board games that your kids can play together in the car. With so much fun to be hand with simple gameplay, children aren’t even likely to notice as the miles slip by.

Lap-Top Desk

It can be tough for kids to keep occupied when the vehicle space isn’t conducive to activities. A lap desk can provide kids with the surface they need to perform all sorts of activities. They can even enjoy snacks atop their lap desks.

Art Supplies

For kids who enjoy arts and crafts, a bag filled with art supplies can help them pass the time. Drawing paper, colored pencils, and crayons are ideal items for a road trip. If you’re going on a family vacation, you can even encourage children to make a scrapbook of their favorite activities during the long journey.

Book on CD

For families who enjoy reading, consider listening to an audiobook together on the trek. There are many books that are sure to appeal to both children and adults, like the Harry Potter series or even the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Your local library is sure to have a collection of audiobooks that you can borrow for the duration of your journey. You might even want to procure several if your journey is a long one.

Electronic Devices

If you have tablets or other electronic devices, you can bring these along to keep your kids occupied during the journey. Before leaving, however, you might want to load them up with special apps that are ideal for road trips.

Depending on your children’s interests, you’re likely to find hundreds of useful apps and programs that are designed with kids in mind.

Conversation Cards

If you’re hoping to lure your kids away from their electronic gadgets, consider putting together a stack of conversation cards. This is a great way to spend quality time with your kids during a drive. Include conversation starters like dream vacations, favorite snacks, and funniest memories.


If your vehicle has a DVD player, consider playing a family-friendly film during your road trip. Once your kids get bored with other activities, a good movie can be just the rescue you need to keep them occupied and less likely to whine as you journey toward your destination.

Top 10 Travel Games for Long Plane Rides or Road Trips
The travel games suggested in this post are great for kids and the family when on long plane rides or road trips

Road Trip Travel Games For Kids

1. Travel Scrabble

Scrabble is one of the most popular board games and since you cannot carry a regular scrabble on a road trip, a portable edition is designed specifically to keep it with you when you’re traveling.

Travel scrabble is foldable with a tile-securing platform to prevent letters from falling and being lost. For the younger kids who might be new to the game, you can allow them to use an online tool like Unscrambled Words to help them.

They can discover new words by entering scrambled letters and they can expand their vocabulary while they play.

While being entertaining for your kids, travel scrabble is also educational as it improves vocabulary and promotes intellectual thinking.

2. Punch Buggy

You can’t let your kids carry their paintball pick and shoot their siblings for fun but you can let them punch each other but only lightly.

This fun game dates back to the 1950s and is often played by children. The rules are simple, whoever spots a Volkswagen Beetle on the road trip has to punch their partners and say punch buggy out loud.

3. Mad Libs

This word game is an amazing way to kill time during a road trip for both kids and adults. Mad libs also improve your kid’s vocabulary without compromising their fun.

All you have to do is to make sure the blanks in each sentence are filled with any word resulting in hilarious sentences.

Mad libs are fun and educational for kids as they improve their reading skills, promote imagination and creativity.

4. Travel Scavenger Hunt

This is another great card game for a team of at least 2 to 4. This game is played like a regular scavenger hunt but with cards and inside your car. The cards have certain objects or signs which you will find by looking outside the car window.

This game will keep your kids entertained for a long time while enhancing their cooperative and creative skills

5. UNO Cards

This classic card game is the best travel game and should be a must-have on your travel-game list. This game is also very popular among kids and is the simplest way to have fun with your kids.

UNO cards make a very convenient travel companion as they are very cheap and can be stored in your purse or your car’s compartment.

Get a pack of UNO cards for your next road trip to keep the kids entertained for hours.

UNO cards make a very convenient travel companion as they are very cheap and can be stored in your purse or your car’s compartment.
UNO cards make a very convenient travel companion as they are very cheap and can be stored in your purse or your car’s compartment.

6. 20 Questions

This is another easy and fun way to keep the kids occupied and entertained.  Can be played on a device or traditionally. In the traditional version, called 20 Questions, one of the players thinks of something in a given category (such as food, celebrities, music, so on), and the others have to use 20 questions to ask about the thing.

The player who guesses within the 20 questions wins. In the app version, the phone already provides the subject in a category, and a player is chosen who can’t see the phone but guess what is on the screen. The other participants give them as many clues as possible to help them guess in a time frame.

Playing 20 questions on a road trip is the easiest way to spend time, and you don’t require any equipment to play it. This game also helps your kids to bond with each other.

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out Entertaining Games That You Can Play Online While Traveling.

7.  Travel Spirograph

The genius mathematical game can be played by your kids wherever they go. It consists of six spirograph wheels, two pens, and a notepad. The kids can draw spirograph pictures with pens and even fill them in with colored pencils or crayons.

This is one of the best travel games as its lightweight, and its pieces can be stored conveniently in a container.

8. Story Time

This is the classic game of an unending story, where the first player starts by saying a sentence and ends with “and…”. It moves on to the next player, who adds one more sentence and says “and…” to continue the story. In some versions, the players each can narrate four or five lines before stopping at an important part and handing over the story to the next player.

This is a great game because it is suited for both kids and adults, and also for two players, since there’s no need for four or more, as is the case with many board games. Ideally, the game ends when the destination is reached.

9. Would You Rather

The beauty of this game is that it is available as an app, and it is also possible to play it without a mobile device. The premise is to present to the players two completely unlikely and imaginative scenarios, both of which have some sort of catch.

The players will have to choose between the two situations what they would rather do. If you feel like you can’t come up with scenarios on your own, you can download many versions of this game for free as an app on your phone. And some games use math for children to help them learn in a fun way.

10. Did You Hear That?

 This is a points-based game, which is talks about recent events and pop culture. One person starts by saying, “did you hear that?” and adds a news story that is either real or fake. The other players will say “that did not happen” or “tell me more” depending on whether they believe the story. If the player is right, they get two points, and if they’re not, the person with the news gets to steal one point and get two more.

11. Fortunately/Unfortunately

 The rules of this game are simple: one person opens with a situation and makes it fortunate, and the next makes something unfortunate about the previous situation. The players alternate with “fortunately…” and “unfortunately…”. The last person standing when the other players cannot think of ways to further the game is the winner.

12. The Foodie Game

 This one is a little different, as this game doesn’t really involve being busy while you’re traveling somewhere, but doing so when you’re actually experiencing your trip. The goal is to collect as many regional foods as possible on your trip, from the beginning to the end.

This could be a locally grown food item at a supermarket, food stop, or gas station. It’s not a matter of who collects the most that win, but the one with the most locally made food succeeds.

13. Never Have I Ever

 Although the traditional way of playing this game is to present a “never have I ever…” situation and take a sip of your alcoholic drink if you have ever, having booze on a journey isn’t ideal, especially if you’re on a road trip and the one driving the car.

There is, however, a card game that is better to play on the go. The Never Have I Ever card game has rule cards and play cards, and the first player to get 10 play cards – meaning they have, in fact, participated in the scenarios mentioned in the play cards – wins.

14. Chain Game

 This is a good game for those traveling in large groups, as it’s simple, light, and fun. A person picks the name of a celebrity, and the next one will have to come up with another famous name with the last name of the first celebrity.

It should keep going smoothly, and those who stumble or take too long are out. If someone mentions a person with the same letter for the first and the last name, the game reverses.

There are many games that you can invest in before a road trip with your kids to keep them entertained and reduce their screen time.
There are many games that you can invest in before a road trip with your kids to keep them entertained and reduce their screen time.

15. Word Association Travel Game

For those who are aspiring to be wordsmiths, this game can keep the group at it for a long time. The idea is to start by choosing a random word, any word at all, and then the next person will say something that is associated with it (“desert” followed by “suntan lotion”).

The game ends when a player takes too long or associates something which is far off.

16. Solitaire

Card games have long been a great source of entertainment, especially with downtime such as a road-trip. However, playing cards in the car is a messy experience. Solitaire games such as Solitaire, Spider, Freecell, Scorpion, provide endless entertainment. You can also play solitaire online.

17. Hearts

One of the most iconic card games of all time can be played in person but Hearts also is available on your device, for free. Hearts is a game of strategy, and a bit of luck. Players swap cards through a series of rounds, attempting to have the lowest score to win the game.

Higher valued cards such as the Queen of spades are to be avoided, or swapped at the correct time. The popular card game is available online in single and multiplayer modes, making it perfect for a road trip.

18. Minesweeper

One of the classic computer games is available, Minesweeper is now on your tablet or phone. Minesweeper’s objective is to uncover all the squares on the grid without hitting any mines. It’s a great game for downtime because it offers a mix of strategy and logic, keeping your mind engaged and providing a fun challenge to solve. The game is available in beginner, intermediate, and expert modes.

Bonus Mention. Online Jigsaw Puzzles

We all know that usually jigsaw puzzles aren’t travel games, but fortunately, now there are tons of online puzzle sites, like Im-a-puzzle.com. Choose from thousands of jigsaw puzzles sorted by category to pass the time on a long car ride.

You can even create your own jigsaw puzzle with this tool by uploading an image and selecting the number of pieces.


These are a few games that you can invest in before a road trip with your kids to keep them entertained and reduce their screen time.

Keep these ideas in mind the next time you intend to take a long drive with your children. By preparing activities in advance, you’re sure to keep kids happy and occupied all the way there.

Victoria Wallis is one of those moms who was simply born to be a Mother. She loves nothing better than raising her kids, teaching them, educating them, and hopefully raising happy healthy individuals.

What are your top tips for a great road trip with kids?

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission for any purchases made through the links. Your trust is important to us, and we ensure that all products or services we recommend meet or exceed our editorial standards.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023

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