While planning your cross country trip, make you have some road trip games and entertainment options ready. You should definitely check your trip routing for things to do along the way. There is always some sort of free entertainment. From nightly dances at local Indian Reservations to free hiking trails and breathtaking scenic overlooks. To have a fun and successful cross country driving trip, it’s important to stop and explore every now and then.
Redeem your Tax Dollars!
While planning your entertainment can be nice, many have found that being spontaneous during a road trip is even better than planning. Your tax dollars have been put to work by creating scenic overlooks, historical markers, and information centers. You might as well use them! Most people just pass these places up without a thought. But some scenic overlooks are truly a sight to behold, and they are located right along your trip routing. Just keep an eye open for the signs. Historical markers are usually filled with some very interesting facts, and information centers or welcome centers are a gold mine of free or cheap entertainment options. If all else fails, play some road trip games in the car (see below)) Your road trip doesn’t have to be boring!
Give yourself a reason to stop with Geocaching
There is a cool thing I discovered a while back. It’s called Geocaching. Check out the video below for a cool 24 hour Geocaching Road Trip idea.
With smartphones these days, you don’t need a fancy GPS to go Geocaching. Just look for a Geocaching application on your cell phone. Almost every rest area and scenic overlook have a hidden Geocache. You just have to find them!
This is a ton of fun that a solo person, a family, or a group of friends can enjoy. You don’t need to drive far away from your road trip routing, and it’s a fun way to do some walking and stretch your legs.
Check out Geocaching.com for more info.
Entertainment while driving
Unfortunately, you can only stop so often. After all, you do have a destination in mind. Lucky for you, some creative people have thought about road trip games to play while you’re driving.
Furthest license plate game
Compete with your car mates to find license plates from the furthest state possible. Whoever spotted a license plate from the furthest away at the end of the trip wins! My sister once spotted Hawaii while we were taking a road trip to Florida from Illinois. No joke!
What does that license plate say?
Vanity plates have become more popular over the years, and people have become very creative with them. Almost too creative! Many plates are clearly vanity plates, but are very difficult to decipher what they actually means. Take a guess and see if anyone thinks it’s something different.
Point out a car next to you, and begin making up a story. Where are they going? Why are they going there? What are they doing? Add a twist to this game. Start off with a sentence (once upon a time there were 4 people driving in a blue SUV), then have another person in the car create the next sentence, and keep going around adding to the story. Try it! It’s fun and usually turn hilarious!
Remember this little classic? Start with “eye spy with my little eye” then name a color or the first letter of an object you see. Let everyone guess what it is.
2 Truths, 1 Lie
Tell 2 true thing about yourself, followed by a lie about yourself. Have everyone in the car guess which one is the lie!
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Yup, another classic! You know it’s been a while since you’ve played. No better time to show off your skills than during a long car ride!
Start with a word that can be easily rhymed with, then take turns going around the car. Everybody gets 3 seconds to come up with a rhyming word that hasn’t been used yet. If they can’t think of anything, or repeat a word that’s already been used, they lose!
Moving Scavenger Hunt
Before you leave on your road trip, create a long list of items to locate during your drive. This is a great road trip game. Things such as a statue, flashing traffic light, school bus, license plate that starts with “Z”, a red barn, etc. Get creative! Come up with the list together, and keep track of who finds the items first!
Dollar Store Surprises!
A reader once gave me this great peice of advice. Go to a local dollar store and buy some real cheap toys. When the kids start getting bored, surprise them with a cheap toy. It’ll keep them busy for a little while. Once they get bored with it, boom! Give them another one! Keep “surprising” them for as long as it takes. Eventually they’ll fall asleep!
Name a Movie
Traveling with friends who enjoy watching a lot of movies will find this very entertaining. Here, one passenger names a movie, then the next one will name an actor who starred in that movie. The next passenger will name another movie where the given actor is part of the cast, and the next one will name another actor from the last movie, and so on. You can even include writers and directors if you are really into the film industry.
The Cloud’s Look Like
I always enjoy playing this with little kids. All you have to do is look up at the sky and imagine what a cloud looks like. The excitement doesn’t last long but it should be enough to keep restless kids busy. Plus, it’s always a surprise how imaginative kids can be through this game.
Another interesting form of entertainment is making up stories about the people in other vehicles. This is entertaining on busy highways. You can even act out and lip-sync people who are talking, making up conversations that are witty and even out of this world!
This one’s really fun! You start with each passenger proposing a certain nonsense rule. For example, I say “every time we pass by a red car, everyone needs to clap” or “when someone coughs, everyone should reply with “Aye Captain!”. The first one to remember the rule gets a point (or the last one to catch on will get a demerit – it’s up to you). The points will keep piling up and depending on your predetermined cognition, winners can get a prize or losers get a punishment once you reach your destination (i.e. those who lose can pay for gas, or hotel accommodation, or the winner can get a free meal from the loser).
Talk with your friends and family
Of course, this isn’t really a road trip game. But one of the best parts of a road trip is having the ability to just sit around, take in the scenery, and catch up with your friends and loved ones. Turn the radio off and just talk! It’s been a while since you’ve done that, hasn’t it?