Every trip I’ve been on where we made the effort to have some kind of road trip game going on was a blast. It really takes the whole thing to the next level. If you’re in a rush and sticking to the highways trying to get there in time, an ongoing game or a couple of different games will make the miles fly by.
Road trip games also get everyone involved, keeping each person from going off in their own little corner of the car with their Game Boy or iPod or Crackberry. When you’re all playing a game and getting a little friendly competition going, you become a real unit and your road trip becomes a bonding experience.
There was one road trip game my best friend from high school and I used to play when going on trips to see her boyfriend’s band play at various parties and clubs. The game was called “Piddidle”. It was pretty simple and you could only play it when it was dark enough for people to put on their headlights.
Everyone would keep their eyes peeled for a car with only one headlight working – a “Piddidle”. Whoever yelled “Piddidle” first got the point. If you said it at the same time as someone else, no one got a point. If you said it and you were wrong (said it too fast without checking) you lost a point. Miles and miles of “Piddidle” brought out the competitive spirit in all of us – the war was on!
To this day, I’ve caught myself saying “Piddidle” when I’m driving alone and see a car with a headlight out, it’s such a habit. Every time I do it, I laugh just remembering that game. See what I mean about car games? They’re addictive and they make your trip even more memorable.
Treasure Hunt is a fun and very competitive game that’s all about what’s inside your car and figuring out what’s “treasure”. Perfect for long road trips with lots of stops along the way, you’ll find yourself looking forward to getting back in the car!
Looking for a game where the focus is on the road? Look no farther than License Plate Lottery! Win (fake) money while you bet on your lottery state license plate. Every license plate has an assigned value and it changes as your trip progresses.
For those trivia buffs, I’ve included Trivia Wiz. Test your trivia knowledge and win a fun prize at the end of the day. My husband and I are addicted to trivia games – I wouldn’t be surprised if you and your family and friends get just as crazed!
Scavenger Hunt is definitely a card game that can run for an entire road trip and the larger your group, the more entertaining it will be. Detailed tips are given for selecting your list, tailoring it to your trip so that it becomes “yours”. This is a team game and it’s excellent for building even closer friendships with your gang.
Want some simpler games that even the youngest members of your family can play? Boredom Busters to the rescue! These simple – and silly – games will keep the kids (and the adults) entertained for miles and require none of the preparation that the other road trip games here involve, so they can be played anytime and anywhere.
For even more excellent games for children, I highly recommend MomsMinivan.com for road trip games and plenty of great advice from a mom who’s been-there-done-that and knows all about the challenges of traveling with kids.
For those on the cutting edge of road-tripping – or those who want to be – you’ve got to join in on a new road trip game sweeping the globe: GPS geocaching! Check out this article for a geocaching tutorial (as well as an essential resource link) to get you started on a road trip adventure of a lifetime.
Okay, what about road trip songs? No, I don’t mean you have to start singing “1,000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”! When I was growing up we actually did sing songs on trips, but most people don’t anymore. Maybe it’s American Idol-inspired anxiety?
I’m talking about songs that will make up the “soundtrack” of your trip. I recommend you compile a list that’s all your own and either load an MP3 player or burn CDs for your road trip.
The value of this is that every time you hear those songs, it will work like time-travel, bringing you back to the fun times you had on your trip. Whenever I’m having a bad day, one of my road trip songs picks me right up! My article Road Trip Songs: Selecting Your Soundtrack offers tips to help you create your personal road trip compilation.
What are some classic road trip songs? This list of the best road trip songs ever will help you get started on your playlist. This list has a little of every kind of music – from classic rock to country to pop – so there’s bound to be something you’ll like.
Before you go and even while you’re on your trip, there’s nothing to get your motor revved like seeing a great road trip movie. This list of the top ten greatest road trip movies of all time will help you select something inspiring or just plain fun!
Road trip games and songs are what make your road trip special – otherwise, it’s just another boring haul to your destination. Combine these with a well-mapped trip (see my article Road Trip Planning: Map It! for tips) and you’ve got an amazing vacation ahead of you!