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Top 10 Road Trip Games for a Long Drive

by Staff

The humble road trip has historically been depicted in nearly every movie genre and countless songs. To some, it may even be considered a significant American pastime and cultural activity. Although traveling has changed in innovative ways (hello, airplanes), road trips are still a popular way to get around. Whether travelers are road-tripping to save money, exploring the great outdoors or simply due to a fear of planes, there is no reason the long journey ahead has to be boring. 

Families and friends embark on road trips to tighten their bonds and explore the open road together all the time. While that may sound like a drag to some, there is always a way to liven up the crowd (in the car). Fun activities have been a part of long road trips since the first “Are we there yet” was ever muttered. In between rest stops and bathroom breaks, here are the best ways to keep a road trip group occupied. These games, for both traditional and modern tastes, will keep the group morale up and bored groaning down. 

Classic Games

These games will be fun for an array of age groups. With practically no props, cards, or complicated instructions, these classic games will surely excite road trippers. These games are free to play and either utilize the environment or are an opportunity to get to know other travelers better. 

I Spy 

I Spy is one of the most popular classic road trip games travelers can play. The game goes like this: one person picks a thing (person, place, animal etc.), and then the rest of the travelers try to guess the thing. Once the object is selected, the first person picking says, “I spy with my little eye…(insert vague description of the object)” and the game begins. This game is very interactive because everyone is in a moving vehicle, so they have to pay close attention since the object can be big or small. As the object can be challenging to find, some travelers prefer to set rules so the game is not never-ending. We recommend setting the rule that the object has to be in the car. 

Punch Buggy… No Punch Back!

This game is a fun and popular activity for extended time in the car. 
pictured: A  silver Volkswagen Beetle on the side of the road

This game is known to many and can start a bit of controversy (if travelers do not abide by the rules of the game). To play punch buggy, travelers should try to spot a Volkswagen Beetle on the roads. Once a Beetle is spotted, a traveler can turn to the person beside them (or an especially targeted victim like a sibling) and give them a light punch in the arm while they say punch buggy. But travelers should be sure to end their proclamation with “no punch back,” so their punch victim cannot use the same car to get them back. 

Since these types of cars are a bit less common after they were discontinued around 2019, this game can be fascinating and spontaneous. This game can be played constantly and is more of a long-term passer of time, but the surprising gotcha moments never get old. 

20 Questions 

20 Questions is another excellent way to pass the time while traveling in the car. To play, one player picks an object, person, place, or thing, and then the other players must guess it correctly to win. But the trick is that the other players can only ask yes or no questions. Within 20 questions, the other players try to guess the thing that has been selected successfully, and if they do not guess it correctly, the selecting player wins. This game is similar to I Spy but is a bit more complex since the object does not have to be close by, and the other players accumulate clues through their questions.

These traditional games are great ways to pass the time on extended road trips. 
pictured: A family sized van driving along a one-way road near snowy mountains

Name the Artist: Radio Edition

For music lovers, this game will be an intriguing activity. To get a fair mix of music, travelers should listen to the radio, not a specially tailored playlist that one person knows by heart. Once the jams are playing, everyone in the car should try to guess the artist or group that is playing. 

No cheating (aka secretly Shazaming the songs) is allowed. Players who guess correctly score a point. There are many different ways to play this game, so some groups may prefer to create teams or have everyone play individually. Some groups even change the radio station every few minutes or make it harder to win by setting the goal amount of points higher. Either way, those who are musically inclined will appreciate this game.

Two Truths and a Lie

Whether traveling with family or friends, Two Truths and a Lie is sure to be a fun game to play during a road trip. The game can be easy or hard to play depending on how well the fellow travelers know each other, which means this game can be a great opportunity to get to know fun facts about each other. Upon their turn, each player should think of two truths and one lie about themselves. Players can be imaginative or tell quirky facts about themselves to confuse opponents. Once they are announced, other players try to call the player’s bluff and call out the lie. Those who guess the lie correctly score points, but if the lie is never guessed, the player with the lie gets the point. 

Modern Games 

These modern games provide great entertainment for long road trips. 
pictured: A jeep rolling by a stunning view of the clouds and sun, on a tall hill

These types of games are technologically advanced and offer something for everyone. These mobile games are perfect to help pass the time and engage the whole family (or group). Travelers should be sure to charge their devices and connect them to car WiFi or cellular data to play these games. 


While trivia is nothing new, road trippers are playing trivia more modernly. While the concept of asking questions about niche subjects or topics stays the same, the updated version of trivia involves the game Trivia Crack. Instead of sourcing trivia questions the traditional way, by thinking of them or finding them in trivia books, travelers can instead use an app. 

Trivia Crack, one of the most popular trivia games available as an app, is a great addition to road trips. Trivia Crack 2 is an updated version that allows users to play as a team or individually. To conquer the thousands of trivia questions and categories on the app, players can take turns reading out the questions and award the team or person with the most knowledge as the winner. 

Heads Up 

This classic game has had a digital makeover. Travelers should acquire the Heads Up app to get the fun rolling. To play, one player uses their mobile phone and places it above their head. Once the game begins, a word (or person, place or thing, depending on the selected category) is shown on the screen. The person holding the phone can not see the word and tries to guess it based on the clues the other players give them. Without saying the actual word, other players try to help the person guess. Players can play the game on teams and alternate who holds the phone, but ultimately this collaborative game picks your brain.

Check out the digital games that will make a road trip go as quick as ever. 
pictured: A green lush valley with rolling hills and a long winding road during a beautiful sunny day


Karaoke is a fun activity for many, which traditionally is not a game. But now, singing whizzes can enjoy a family-friendly version of karaoke while in the car. Sing! Karaoke is one of the top-rated karaoke apps available. With this app, travelers can sing along to some of the most famous road trip songs or even their favorite songs. The app provides song lyrics and professional voice effects and has different karaoke settings like solo, duet, and group songs. 

The Movie Game 

This game is for long road trips with a car full of people. It technically has no end, so it often ends with the group reaching their destination. It is a mix of the alphabet game (where people search for objects by each alphabet letter) and a simple movie marathon. Going in alphabetical order, each member of the group gets to select a movie starting with a letter of the alphabet. They get to select whatever movie they want (which is age-appropriate) as long as it starts with the correct letter. This game is fun since it allows players to get out of their entertainment comfort zones.  

Switch Games 

The Nintendo Switch is a gaming system that has become popular for its portability. So, it is no surprise that many travelers take their Switches nearly everywhere they go. Since the console quickly switches between home (or traditional television use) and on-the-go gaming, it is a fun option for long car rides. Once charged, the console can be used for multiplayer gaming for a few hours. The Joy-cons, which detach from the base screen, serve as controllers and allow wireless play. A popular choice is Super Mario Party, which can be played with up to four players. 

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