They say it’s about the journey, not the destination. But let’s be honest: Sometimes, the journey can be dull. Road trips mean long stretches of sitting in a seat and staring ahead of you for hours at a time. Especially when you’re driving through the middle of nowhere.
Of course, the go-to road trip pastimes these days include listening to podcasts, jamming to music, or watching movies (if you’re not driving). At HearHere, though, we like to keep it old school.
Road trip games pass the time and liven the mood, inspire camaraderie between the passengers, and create lasting memories. Trust us, games on the road provide a far more memorable experience than anything you can put on the stereo. That’s what road tripping is all about, right?
Even better, road trip games aren’t just for kids. Whether you’re traveling with kids, your significant other, or a group of friends, road trip games can turn into treasured pastimes. Here are our favorite games to play on the road.
1. 20 Questions
We don’t have to tell you how to play this aptly-named classic. While you may not have played it since childhood, we promise it’ll be just as fun. In fact, 20 questions is even more fun to play with adults due to the broader, more obscure figures you can choose from.
As a fun twist to the game, pick only people that you and your fellow passengers know personally. It can even be someone in the car! The more obscure the questions, the more laughs, and the more fun.
2. Story Circle
Another classic, this game is sure to keep your brains firing and create a lot of laughs. It begins when one person says a word to begin a story. Then, everyone else takes turns adding single words to add to the story.
This is a perfect game for a larger group, as it brings out the best of everyone’s creativity and personality. To keep things interesting, set a time limit of 30 minutes. It’s harder than you think to keep the story alive for that long, and it makes the end even more satisfying.
A similarly creative game to story circle, this game focuses on the highs and lows of your road trip. The game starts when the first player says something fortunate, either true or fictional, about what has happened on the trip. The next player then has to counter that statement with something unfortunate. That statement then has to be countered by something positive and so on. For example:
Fortunately, we arrived at our destination sooner than expected!
Unfortunately, it was invaded by the Canadian military.
Fortunately, they fed us poutine!
Unfortunately, the poutine was poisoned.
4. Name the Song
Music is a staple of any road trip. Someone says, or sings, a song’s lyric, and everyone has to guess what song it is. You can make things more difficult by limiting how many lyrics can be sung, or, instead of lyrics, try to describe the songs in other words.
You can even incorporate your stereo into this game. Everyone takes turns playing a snippet of a song that everyone else has to guess. The shorter the snippet, the harder the game. This is an excellent choice for encouraging teamwork.
5. Would You Rather?
Remember how much fun you had playing this game in high school? Well, it is just as much fun for adults. Our advice: Leave your maturity at the door.
The best part of this game is the weirdness and obscurity that each question can inspire. The weirder and more obscure, the better. From life-and-death scenarios to equally gross decisions, this game is sure to have everyone laughing and cringing.
Here’s a good start: Would you rather be attacked by one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
6. The Hot Seat
Another trip down nostalgia lane, this game is best played with a lack of maturity and dignity. The game is simple: Each passenger is put on the hot seat for five minutes. For that five minutes, they have to answer any questions that the other passengers ask.
There’s nothing better than laughing at the embarrassment of your friends, right? Plus, you may learn something new about your fellow travelers.
7. The Rhyming Game
This is another game that is sure to keep your brain cells alive. It starts when one player chooses a word. Then, everyone takes turns saying a word that rhymes with the initial word. When you can’t come up with a new word or say a word that has already been said, you lose.
While you can make this game more difficult by choosing an obscure word, simple words make the game last longer, making it even more intense.
You can up the stakes by setting a three-strike rule. Whoever is the first to lose three rounds has to buy dinner.
8. The Category Game
The Category Game is similar to the rhyming game; but instead of words that rhyme, you must come up with words within the specified category instead of words that rhyme.
For example, the first person will say a category such as cars. Then, everyone will have to come up with cars (Ford, Honda, Audi, etc.) until the last person can’t think of another car. If the category is candy, each person has to think of a kind of candy (Hershey, Redvines, Reese’s, etc.).
9. The Movie Game
This game starts when a player names an actor. Then, everyone takes turns naming a movie that the specified actor has been in.
However, you can make this game more interesting with a few twists. For example, the first player will name an actor, and then the second player will name a movie that the actor has been in. The third player (or first player if there are only two) will have to name another actor that has been in that movie. Then, the fourth player (or second player) will name another movie that that actor has been in. The game continues like that until someone cannot name either a movie or actor.
10. Bad Movie Summaries
This is another game that engages everyone’s creativity and generates a lot of laughs. It begins when one player explains the plot of a movie very badly. Then, off that bad explanation, the other players have to guess what that movie is. For example:
A teenage boy has to teach his dad to be cool so his mom will stop coming on to him.
The answer? Back to the Future.
11. The Sensor Game
Unlike the other games on this list, this list can last throughout the entire trip. When you first hit the road, come up with a word that no one can say. When you slip up and say the word, you lose. To make the game more difficult, choose a common word such as “but.” This will really make you think before you speak!
A fun twist on this game is choosing a unique word for each person.
12. Never Have I Ever
Another childhood favorite, this game is perfect for adults. Each player holds up five fingers. Then, you take turns saying something you have never done. For example, “never have I ever been in a car accident.” All of the players who have done that put a finger down. The first player to lower all five fingers loses.
This game is sure to get the group laughing while you learn more about each other. The crazier the scenario, the better!
13. Road Trip Trivia
Road trip trivia is perfect for a trek that crosses multiple states.
When you enter a new state, the designated “host” will have a set of trivia questions about that state. You can then divide into teams or work as individuals to answer the questions.
This is a perfect way to learn more about your destination.
No More Boring Road Trips With HearHere
Maybe you’ve played every game on this list, and you’re looking for something new to keep you entertained in the car. The radio just isn’t going to cut it, and you have a loooong way to drive. Here’s a suggestion: Download HearHere. With hours of compelling content about pit stops and major destinations, you won’t have to listen to the sound of your own breathing or mind-numbing talk radio on your dream road trip.
HearHere can make your trip one of a kind. We curate content based on your interests – from sports to history to local culture – and package it into a high-quality “road trip companion” you can access at any time, so you don’t miss a thing.
Check out HearHere today. The world is waiting for you.