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8 Great Road Trip Games for Your Holiday Drives

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Hitting the road with the family this holiday season? Whether you’re traveling with small children or teenagers, it’s easy to get bored in the backseat on a long drive.

Road trip games can bring smiles to your family before you reach your destination and can help stop backseat bickering. You can add a holiday twist to your games to get everyone excited for the holiday season. Keep the whole family entertained with these eight road trip games for your backseat passengers, while you keep your eyes on the road.


1. License Plate Game

The license plate game is an old staple for most drivers. As you drive down the road, be on the lookout for license plates from different states. Keep a list of which states you see and try to get all 50. Add an extra layer of fun by printing out a map of the US and having your children color in the states as they see license plates.


2. Category ABCs

To start the Category ABCs, pick a category to follow, such as restaurant names or colors. Go person to person and try to name something that fits in the category and starts with letters in alphabetical order.

  • Person 1: Anaheim
  • Person 2: Boston
  • Person 3: Cincinnati

This game is perfect for a holiday drive because you can choose categories that fit holiday themes. Try naming famous holiday movie characters or Thanksgiving dishes.


3. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

This game is similar to the license plate game, but you look for objects instead of license plates. Before you leave for your trip, make a list of things you might see while out on the road. The family can look for objects together as you travel and mark it off the list. Make it as difficult or as simple as you like. For example, you could include a stoplight as an easy one and a tire along the road as a more difficult object.


4. Highway Bingo

Highway bingo has the family looking for objects like the road trip scavenger hunt. Instead of checking off a list, however, you’ll check objects off a bingo card. The first person to get five in a row is the winner. Like the scavenger hunt, you can make bingo as difficult or easy as you like. Print off your own bingo cards with a 5 x 5 grid. Put a different object in each box and make the center space a free space.

Make holiday highway bingo by adding things you might see around the holidays. You could have spaces for Christmas lights, a snowman and a car with reindeer antlers. Get creative and add a few holiday spaces with normal objects to increase the difficulty.


5. I’m Going on Vacation…

This game is a travel version of the popular camp game “I’m going on a picnic…” The first person starts by saying, “I’m going on vacation and I packed…” They end the sentence with an object that starts with the letter “A.” The next person repeats the first sentence and adds an object that starts with the letter “B.” You continue person-to-person trying to remember all the things that are packed.

Add a holiday theme by choosing objects related to a holiday or season.

For example:

  • Person 1: I’m going on vacation and I packed an apple.
  • Person 2: I’m going on vacation and I packed an apple and boots.
  • Person 3: I’m going on vacation and I packed an apple, boots and a coat.


6. What am I Counting?

This game is simple to play, but difficult to win. Each person takes a turn to be the counter or the guessers. As you drive down the road, the counter begins counting out loud each time they see an object. They don’t tell anyone what is it they’re counting. The guessers have to try and guess what the counter is counting.

If the counter is counting semi-trucks, they’re probably counting sporadically. On the other hand, if they’re counting exit signs, they’re probably saying a number regularly.


7. Sing-Along String-Along

This game is a little more advanced and makes it great for teenagers or adults, but any music lovers should enjoy it. The game starts with the first person singing a line of a song. The next person must then sing a line from a song that starts with the word at the end of the previous song line. The group takes turns adding lines from new songs each time.

Try this game using holiday songs, a certain genre or just any song you can think of. As the game goes on, it can get incredibly difficult to think of a song. Make it a little easier by allowing transition words.

For example:

  • Person 1: All I want for Christmas is you.
  • Person 2: Do you hear what I hear?
  • Person 3: Just hear those sleigh bells jingling.


8. Miles of Smiles

This is a really simple game to get the whole family in the holiday spirit. All you do is put on your happiest, cheesiest smile each time you pass a vehicle or another person. Each player keeps a list of how many people smile back at them. Try to see how many smiles you can spread on your holiday drive.


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