Fun Road Trip Games

Road trips allow you to see the world but sitting in the car with your kids (or even friends) can wear on the nerves. Consider no-prep road trip games to keep busy between destinations.

Long road trips, whether with kids or your best friends, can be tiring and eventually boring, the plague of death. In between stopping to see the world’s biggest ball of yarn and the next bathroom break, consider playing fun road trip games to keep the spirits high and excited. Forgot the paper and pencils? No problem. The following five games require no previous preparation.

Never Have I Ever…

Never Have I Ever is a great game to play during road trips with three or more people. Excluding the driver, who must keep track mentally, each player holds up 10 fingers. Decide who will begin the game. The first person shares something he has never done in the form of “Never have I ever…” For example, “Never have I ever had a sibling,” “Never have I ever played a musical instrument,” and “Never have I ever been on an airplane.” (Warning: With adult players, the game tends to turn to non-kid-friendly subjects quickly.) Any player who has done the activity or has the item must put a finger down. Play passes clockwise. The game continues until all but one player is eliminated. The last player holding fingers up is the winner.

Memory Games

Played in a couple different formats (or you can make your own), memory games are challenging and competitive road trip games. Start with “I went to Grandma’s and I packed…” Let’s say you packed a pair of socks. The next person must say “I went to Grandma’s and I packed a pair of socks and…” Play continues until somebody skips an item or gets stuck. If there are more than two players, you may continue to play until one person is left standing. As an additional challenge, have the almost-winner repeat everything that was packed for Grandma’s in order to claim his title.

Another way to play this type of memory game on road trips is to follow the alphabet, which will give the game a definite end point if all players have great memories. Start with, “I went to the grocery store and I bought an apple.” The next player must say, “I went to the grocery store and I bought an apple and a (something that begins with “b”).” If no player(s) has dropped out by “z,” call the game a draw.


Often played with states, countries, cities or natural barriers (rivers, lakes, etc.), geography is a road trip game that requires some thought. Pick the category. If cities was picked, the first player may say Philadelphia. The next player must name a city that begins with the same letter the previous word ended with. The second player might say Akron. The third player, or the first player if there are only two, must now name a city that begins with “n.”

Geography can be played with a variety of other categories, including animals, plants, people you know or famous people, boys names, girls names, and careers; however, you may need to re-name the game.


A road trip game for two or more players, Fortunately-Unfortunately is a game of fortune and misfortune. The first player decides whether he wishes to start his sentence with fortunately or unfortunately. Suppose he picks unfortunately. He may say something along the lines of “Unfortunately, we are losing more time because Lisa needs to use the bathroom again.” Lisa may then say, “Fortunately, we are making great time because you are speeding.” The third player (or first if there are only two) must create another unfortunately statement that relates to the previous statement made by Lisa. “Unfortunately, we got stopped for speeding.”

Fortunately-Unfortunately can also be completely made up. “Fortunately, we didn’t hit the pedestrian.” “Unfortunately, we hit the one before.” “Fortunately, we hid his body in the trunk.” “Unfortunately, there’s a cop following us.” “Fortunately, I have invisible spray.”

Group Stories

How creative can you and your friends and family get? Find out by playing Group Stories on your next road trip. Decide if players will add a word, a few words (limit the number), or a sentence to the existing story. If you decide to add one word at a time, see how long you can make a sentence rather than a story. If adding sentences, the game might go something like this: The first player may feel awkward in starting the game and say, “One day, we decided to go on a road trip.” The second player may add, “We left right in the middle of a thunderstorm.” The first player, who has gotten his act together, may say, “My girlfriend’s white tee shirt was soaked by the time we got in the car.” And play continues. The game ends when players are tired, can’t remember the story line or are laughing too hard to continue.

Road trip games keep everyone occupied and having a great time both before and after destination point. Who’s ready to play?

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James R. Coffey
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Posted on Nov 2, 2010