Kids Activities Vacations

20 No Prep Road Trip Games

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Sure you’ve packed your clothes… but have you taken care of how you are going to entertain your kids in the car, plane, or train for hours and hours? Here are 20 FUN road trip games your whole family will love!
20 Road Trip Games - so many fun, easy to play kids activities for cars, planes, trains, and boats. Great for family vacation, summer road trips, and more. #roadtrip #familyvacation #vacation
Ah, summer time… Kids and parents are out of school, and it’s time for everyone’s favorite thing to do…Road trip!
Whether you’re going out of state, or a few hours from home,  the kiddos are going to cause a ruckus with lots of “He’s looking at me!” or “She’s touching me!” or some other such complaints. There’s also the famous “Are we there yet?” Those are fun.
I’m here to help save your road trip with some fun games for the whole family that can be played in the car.

Road Trip Games

License Plate Game (Who can find all 50 states first)

Everyone be on the lookout for the most states! Everyone keeps a sheet of paper or notebook, and write down all the state license plates that you see. The person who finds the most states by the time you get to your destination wins!
Hint: We like to use this Melissa & Doug License Plate Game Board

Scavenger Hunt for Road Trips

Think of interesting things that you’ll see between your home and your destination like fences, farm animals, different color cars, etc. Make up your list before leaving the house, and give everyone
a copy.  The person to find the most items wins the game.
Hint: Get this pre-done Roadtrip Scavenger Hunt if you have trouble coming up with ideas

Gymnastics Competition at Rest Stops

You’ve been pent up in a car for hours, and your body has to be stiff! Have everyone do arm circles, leg lifts, lunges, race around the rest stop, any exercises to help get your muscles working again. See who can do the most before it’s time to leave.

Mad Libs 

A great game that you can purchase on Amazon. A bunch of stories already written for you to choose nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc to make the funniest

Travel Bingo 

You can purchase the boards, or you can make your own. Find things like fire trucks, mail trucks, or anything else you see on the go. Don’t forget to yell BINGO! when you win!

Restaurant Race

This game requires everyone in the car to choose their favorite fast food restaurant chain. Then each person keeps track of the number of times they see their choice and the person who sees their restaurant the most time wins the game.

Jacob’s Ladder/Cat’s Cradle

This game is pretty old school, but still a ton of fun. Make sure you bring a cutting of yarn or twine, and each person tries to make shapes like Jacob’s Ladder or the Cat’s Cradle. You (the parent) may want to show your little ones how to make the shapes before you leave.


If you’re going to be traveling at night, padiddle is great fun! Watch for cars with one headlight out, and smack the ceiling of the car, yelling Padiddle! See who can find the most cars.

Spelling Bee

If you have kids who love to spell or even kids who don’t, what’s better than a spelling bee? The kids can brush up on their spelling skills. The younger kids will get smaller words, and the older ones bigger words. You can bring a dictionary or thesaurus to help you come up with words, or find the kids old spelling lists from the last year of school.

I Spy

This one is pretty self-explanatory… The “spy-er” finds something with their “little eye” and everyone tries to figure out what the item is. Great game for long car rides.
road trip games for kids of all ages

I’m Going On a Picnic

This game is fun to play. It starts with “I’m going on a picnic” and every player has to come up with something that you’re taking on that picnic following the alphabet. For example “I’m
going on a picnic, and I’m going to bring an apple!” The next person would choose something that starts with b, and so on. If you’re in a car full of older kids or adults, try to make it harder by making everyone come up with a food or beverage that starts with the corresponding letter. If there are smaller kids, let them choose anything.

Cookie Sheet Lap Boards

This works for quiet time when you’re tired of playing games. You can purchase cheap cookie sheets at the dollar store, and give one to each kid. Pack coloring books, crayons or markers, sticker books, etc. that require a hard surface. This way there’s less mess and less crying about not being able to color or write.

Road Trip Bags

This isn’t really a game, but it does help for keeping a bag at the ready with everyone’s favorite toys or games to take on road trips. Just keep them close to the door and ready for your next road trip!

Movie Game

In this game, each player chooses a character from their favorite cartoon or movie, and everyone guesses the movie or cartoon they appear in. If the kids are older, choose actors, and try to guess every movie/show they’re in until no one can come up with anymore.


For this game, you come up with crazy things that could possibly happen while on your trip. For example, “There’s a tiger in the backseat!” Well, fortunately, that tiger doesn’t eat little kids!”
and so on. Great game for using your imaginations!

Cows on My Side

Divide the car into sides. When you see cows (or horses or whatever you choose), you yell I see cows! The person with the most cow spottings by the end of the game wins.

Quiet Game

See who falls asleep first lol. This is best played when everyone is tired and cranky, usually by the end of the  trip, or on the way home.

This Looks Like That

For this game, Everyone finds a hill or cloud that looks like something else. Describe what you think it looks like, and have everyone do the same.

20 Questions

Players come up with anything they can think of…The passengers get 20 questions like: Does it bark? to guess what it is.


See who can hold their breath the longest when going through a tunnel. This could be a bad idea if you’re going through really long tunnels,
but for the short ones, it could be fun!
Road Trip Games for Kids

20 FREE Printable Road Trip Games

Print off these 20 free printable road trip games to play along your drive. (black and white) So, there are 20 fun games to choose from for your next road trip. Do you have any favorite games you played as a child with your parents on road trips? Let me know in the comments!

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! Beth is also the creator of where she shares Kindergarten spedicif worksheets,& educational ideas.

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