Having already discussed the benefits of using an online road trip planner, it's time to upgrade your car trip from tolerable to fun (or at least more tolerable). How? With those three magic words: Road Trip Games.
I planned to present a list of some of the best road trip games but, when doing my research, I discovered there are several sites that cover road trip games much better than I ever could. After weeding through the dozens of sites that offer the same old lineup of I Spy, The License Plate Game, and Punch Buggy, I created a list of five websites with some unique road trip game offerings:
- Mom'sMinivan.com: This is the mother of all road trip game sites. Pages of different games, including several (like car bingo, scavenger hunt, etc.) for which you can print out pre-made game sheets. It's also one of the few sites that does a good job covering appropriate entertainment for different age levels, including babies and toddlers. My favorite game here? "Counting Cows", in which you divide the two sides of the car into teams. If you pass cows on your side of the car, you count as many as you can and your cumulative total is your "score." But, if you pass a cemetery on your side at any point and the other team shouts out "Your cows are buried" you go back to zero. Most cows when the trip is over wins.
- RoadTripPlanning.com: Okay, most of the 18 games listed on this site aren't exactly new, but you could probably drive peacefully from New York to California if you played every one of them. My favorite game here: "Buzz", a counting game in which you try to reach 100 without making a mistake. Sounds simple, but for the fact that, every time you get to a number that's divisible by seven (7, 14, 21) or has a seven in it (17), you must say "buzz" instead of the number. If you master sevens, you can always use a different number as the "buzz" number. Should you remember this one from your college days, you'll note it's slightly easier when not played as a drinking game.
- Kidshealth.org's Road Trip Boredom Busters: This site's boredom busters offer some ideas to really exercise your kids' creative muscles, like journal jotting and team storytelling. My favorite game here: what they call "word play", where your kids write down words they spot on road signs, bumper stickers, storefronts, etc., and then create a song, story or poem from these words. I can easily see this one passing the time until at least the next rest stop.
- About.com's Family Vacation Section: Next to Mom's Minivan, About.com had the most comprehensive coverage of road trip games. It too has a good list of games to print out (including some different ones from Mom's Minivan) and also does a good job providing age appropriate entertainment ideas from babies to grade schoolers. My favorite game here: an easier, faster version of the "license plate game" in which you simply need to find a license plate that starts with each letter of the alphabet. In other words, a car with the plate QVT120 and a car with the plate SRD218 will knock Q and S off your list, even if they are both from Pennsylvania. This is especially helpful to play when driving through a state like Texas, where you can go hundreds of miles seeing only Texas plates.
- Are We There Yet Auto Travel Game: This last entry isn't for a road trip game site in general, but for one particular game. Since several people have mistakenly stumbled upon this site looking for the road trip game "Are We There Yet," I figured the least I could do was post a link to the game. I can't say I've played it, but if the name is any indicator, I'm sure it's fantastic.
Hope this list helps the miles pass by quickly and enjoyably.