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10 awesome road trip games that aren't 20 questions.

Elizabeth Bromstein May 19, 2016
A happy family going on a road trip. Mother on passenger seat looking towards backseat at young child. Father is driving and smiling.
Heading out for a long car ride with the family? Looking to avoid hearing an endless chorus of “I’m booooored!” and “Hey! He’s on MY SIDE!!!” Sure, you can put on a movie – I’m not anti-screen time myself – but if you don’t want the kids to spend the entire time staring at a screen, here are some fun road trip games you can play to keep everyone occupied and build some fun memories at the same time.

I assume you know how to play I Spy and 20 Questions. So, I skipped those. Here are 10 more.

Scavenger Hunt.

Make a list of items such as chain restaurants (Tim Hortons, Harvey’s), makes of cars, types of birds and animals, and people wearing green shirts. Be creative. You can have more than one of each item on the list (eg: three vultures) and hand it out to each player with pens for keeping score. The first person to spot all the items (usually by shouting out each item as they see it and marking it down) wins.

Alphabet Hunt.

Players try to spot items beginning with sequential letters of the alphabet until one makes it all the way through. Creativity should be encouraged – eg: Honda “A”ccord, “B”lue van, “C”ar… (You might skip X unless you want the game to last forever).

Five in Thirty.

My husband and I have been playing this on long trips since before we even had a kid. Choose a category. One player uses a stopwatch to count to 30 while another player has to name five things in the category in that time (or 10 in 60 seconds. Rules are yours to play with). Five types of fruit, five movies about dogs, five renaissance artists. The older the players the more difficult you can make it.

Name That Tune.

Turn on the radio and start flipping stations. Whoever names the song first gets a point. Whoever names five songs first wins.

Radio Words.

Each player chooses a word. Then the radio is turned on and the person whose word is heard first – spoken, in a song, in a commercial – wins.

Would You Rather.

Players are presented with two choices from which they MUST choose one option and explain why. So, for example, “Would you rather be a cat or a dog?” Or, for older kids, “Would you rather be immortal but poor for eternity or super rich but die after 100 years?”

Group Story.

Each person delivers one line of a story, making it up as you go. Choose a number of lines it can last before someone has to come up with an ending.

Last Letter.

Players choose a category such as food or places, then take turns naming items, each beginning with the last letter of the previous item. Eg: Player 1: “Hamburger.” Player 2: “Rutabaga.” Player 3: “Apple.” Player 4: “Egg” Player 5: “Guacamole…” When someone can’t think of anything that player is out. Last player standing wins.


A great game if you have older kids or only adults in the car. Play is kind of complicated to explain (but easy once you know it) so fortunately there is this blog to explain it to you. Otherwise we’d be here all day.

Bonus. The Quiet Game.

The person who can stay quiet the longest wins.