Imagine blasting 1980s rock n’ roll as you cruise by the Grand Canyon, sticking your body out the window of a Volkswagen bus allowing your slightly sun-kissed skin to glow in the afternoon sun, and your dirty blond hair to majestically blow in the wind. Most of all, imagine spending hours constantly laughing and exchanging funny stories with your closest friends.
That may be how road trips are depicted in movies and on Tumblr, but in reality road trips are typically long and boring car rides that end up making you momentarily dislike your fellow passengers. Sure, there are times when you and your college roommates will all shamelessly belt out the lyrics to Prince’s Purple Rain, but most of the time, everyone will either be sleeping, reading, staring at an electronic device, or complaining. However, there are a few games that you can play to help pass the time. Check out these 7 road trip games that will help you and your fellow travelers survive the drive!
1. I Spy…
This is a classic family road trip game. The rules are simple: one person in the car chooses an object around them and gives the rest of the people in the car a hint by saying, “I spy with my little eye (insert a clue about the object they are looking at).” The rest of the people in the car then have to guess what that person is looking at, alternating between people guessing and receiving more clues until the object is guessed. Although this game can be played pretty much anywhere, it is particularly challenging in the car because the person spying the object has to choose something that won’t be passed too quickly and the other people must guess the object before it is out of sight!
2. Would You Rather?
You can never go wrong with this classic. Whether you play a watered down, PG version, or you go all in and play a little more explicitly, this game never fails to make me laugh. To play, have passengers take turns offering various options to each other. They can be hilarious, gory, sexual, disgusting, romantic, you name it! Most importantly, take this time to find out the little details that you would normally never have the chance to ask someone in a regular conversation. Warning: this game is super addicting… You won’t want to stop playing! Before you know it, you’ll know more random facts about each passenger than you ever expected and you’ll have arrived at your destination!
3. Story Time
Although this game might be a bit intrusive, it is completely harmless and so much fun. Start by choosing a car on the road and nonchalantly observe the person(s) inside. Once you’ve taken a good look, get creative about who these mystery individual(s) are. If there is more than one, how is each person related to one another? What is each individual’s story, personality, marital status, job, eating habits, etc? Where are they headed? Where are they coming from? Although you’ll never find out if you’re right, it’s a fun and easy way to kill time.
4. Alphabet Categories
How it works: This is not the Alphabet Road Sign Game. Instead, to play this game you start by picking a category (food, movies, celebrities, beach items, etc.) and travel down the alphabet listing things in the category. To make the game harder use more specific categories.
5. Travel Bingo
Growing up, this has been my favorite game to play on our family road trips. It’s simple, either buy or print your own travel bingo sheets before hitting the road and bring some pencils to cross off the spaces. The game is simple and you play it similar to how you would regular bingo. Instead of numbers and letters, everyone gets a card that contains different road signs, landmarks, restaurants, cars, etc. To play each person must look out the window and then mark off a space once they see that particular object. Different websites offer different bingo sheets that can be printed for free, but I recommend checking out Pinterest for thousands of different options.
6. Licence Plate Decoder
To play this game you must first pick a license plate of a car. Then, pretend that each license plate is a personalized message and that you must decode. You could pretend that the message is about the person in the car, is a personalized message for you, or just a funny phrase! For example, if the car’s license plate is “PKC-712’, you could pretend the license plate stands for “Professional Kale Chewer, prefers 7 leaves opposed to 12” or “Penelope Kidnapped Curtis, she has 7 teeth, 1 working eyeball, and 2 thumbs on her left hand”. If the license plate is “WGA-694” you could decode this as “World’s Greatest Apple Picker, picked 694 apples yesterday and headed to the market”. Get creative!
7. Punch Buggy (or Slug Bug)
Let’s be honest, if you haven’t played this game at least once in your life, you haven’t really lived. I feel like everyone knows the rules of the game, but I’ll go over them just in case. Every time someone spots a Volkswagen Bug, they shout, “Punch Buggy!”, and can punch everyone else in the car. If you want it to be a little less violent, then adopt a different action, such as tapping, instead of punching. There are tons of different variations to this game, but no matter how you play it, it is a fun way to kill time and relieve some road rage.
Next time you’re about to kill your best friend as she begins her story about losing her virginity for the third time since you’ve left, shut her down and try one of these fun games. The more people who get involved, the more fun it will be. Taking a road trip can be the experience of a lifetime, you just have to know how to survive the drive. Oh, and don’t forget to pack snacks. Yeah, snacks are a must. Happy travels!