No matter where you’re headed, a road trip can be a lot of fun or a lot of boredom. It is up to you to make your own fun. There are the old classics like car games, but why stop there? There are tons of fun things to do on a road trip to make that never-ending car ride feel swift and exciting.
Whether you’re driving for a few hours or going cross country, you can try all of these things to make your time on the road a lot more fun, no matter who you’re with.
[Read: 7 life lessons you can learn from a really good road trip]
The best things to do on a road trip to create a memorable experience
Not all of these things will be suit everyone, but with such an extensive list I’m sure you’ll find at least a few things to occupy your time on your next road trip.
#1 Watch a movie. Obviously not if you’re the one driving, but a fun movie for everyone to enjoy together is better than everyone just staring at their own phone the whole time.
#2 Mad Libs. This may seem cheesy but it can be super fun. Whether you’re two people or a group, go around with a Mad Lib book or make up your own. It’ll be a funny memory to share.
#3 Vlog it. The best part of a road trip is the memories you make. Capture those memories in a video you can rewatch for years to come and take plenty of photos to look back on. [Read: Why traveling is the best test for relationship compatibility]
#4 Use a real paper map. Of course, use a GPS so you don’t get lost, but track your route on a map with a marker. Then you can frame the highlighted portion and hang it as a memento.
#5 Call your friends. You may be on the road but you also have a lot of free time. Take some time to reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while or have a nice long phone chat with someone like your sibling or mom.
#6 20 Questions. You can play this the original way where you think of something and the other person has twenty yes or no questions to ask you to figure it out or try my way. Ask each other 20 questions about each other. Ask things you want to know like their favorite food or something funny like their most embarrassing moment. [Read: 20 funny get to know you questions to bond with anyone instantly]
#7 The letter game. I don’t know if this is the real name for it but I played this all the time as a kid. You’d go around the group in alphabetical order and say something like, “A my name is Amanda, I live in Alabama and I grow apples.” You would then go around with B, C, and so forth while repeating what everyone else said first. If you can’t remember, you’re out, and the last person going wins.
#8 Share jokes. You can share old knock, knock jokes or full-on limericks.
#9 Car games. Eye spy and license plate bingo are road trip essentials but they can get old sort of quickly. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them for a bit.
#10 Audiobooks. This probably takes the least planning and effort. Just buy some audiobooks and listen to them. This way everyone can enjoy it. [Read: 15 reasons why you should travel somewhere at least once every year]
#11 Make up stories. You may not be camping but that doesn’t mean you can’t share some ghost stories. Come up with your own stories and share them. Or you can start a story and then pop it off to someone else to carry it on and then someone else to finish it.
#12 Categories. This is another ABC game but it is loads of fun. Pick a category like car brands, TV shows, or fruits and go around trying to name one for every letter of the alphabet.
#13 Eat. Get some neat, car-friendly road trip snacks and eat up. You want to stay hydrated but not overly so or you’ll have to take a lot of pit stops. Go for healthy snacks like apples and nut butters to keep your strength and not get groggy by eating too much junk food. Then again, this is supposed to be fun, so pig out.
#14 Plan stops. Plan stops to see some sights or explore national parks. This is totally subject to where you’re going and what your route is like, but pencil in some fun things to do before you get to your destination.
#15 Be spontaneous. This definitely isn’t something I would do but for those who love to live life on the edge, don’t make any plans. Just get on the road and see what you feel like doing in the moment.
When you see a sign for a man with a beard made out of bees, take that exit. [Read: 18 easy ways you can be more spontaneous in life and experience it better]
#16 Sing-a-long. Forego the boring sing-a-long songs and crank up the radio with the soundtrack to Hamilton or Frozen.
#17 Sleep. I know this is boring but you all need your rest, especially if you’re switching off whose driving.
#18 Take the scenic route. Research the time difference between taking the highways and main roads versus the back roads. You can see a lot of amazing things by going off the beaten path. Just be sure you have plenty of gas, phone chargers, and an emergency kit if you’ll be far from traffic.
#19 Scavenger hunt. This is sort of like eye spy but different. Before getting on the road, make a list of things like a dog, a green truck, a place car, a horse, a goat, etc. Everyone keep track of what they saw and whoever completes their list first wins.
#20 Blindfold challenge. Everyone who’s in the car should bring a weird food or food combination in the car. Whenever you feel like it, blindfold everyone, but the driver, obviously. Then feed them the food and have them guess what it is.
#21 Stretch. Seriously, be sure to stretch and keep your body moving as much as you can. We all know sitting is the new smoking, but in the car, you can get so stiff and sore.
#22 Let someone know where you are. This may not be the most fun advice for a road trip but be sure to keep checking in with someone at home and where you’re headed so someone knows your general area just to be safe.
#23 Keep track of your stops. Write down everywhere you’ve stopped. This could be a town, a restaurant, or an antique shop. Keep track of it all to share with anyone back home, to tag in Instagram posts, or just for your own memories. You can also go back to the places you enjoyed most on your next road trip. [Read: 14 fun things to do with your best friends and create memories]
#24 Try the local cuisine. It is easy to stop at the fast food restaurants on your way because you are familiar with the menu, but take an extra road or two and try something local. Support a small business.
#25 Make an exercise game. Pick 1-3 words that no one is supposed to say during the ride. If anyone says one of the words they have to tally up how many times, and for each word they have to do a different exercise at the next stop. Maybe the word ‘car’ is a push-up, the word ‘deer’ is 5 jumping jacks, and ‘horse’ is a burpee. This will keep your body moving when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time.
#26 Leave a penny. Leave a penny at each location you stop at and if you are coming back the same way, make those stops and see if the pennies you left are still there.
#27 Make a trash can. Do not forget to create a trash can for wrappers or any car sickness. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did it. Also, be sure to bring, cleansing wipes, paper towels, and other cleaning products you’ll need. A tiny vacuum for crumbs and spills also wouldn’t hurt.
#28 Make friends. Okay, you shouldn’t talk to strangers but when you take a pit stop or explore a small town, try to chat with the waitress or others in town. Getting to know new people from new places expands your horizons. And who knows? Maybe you’ll want to come back for a visit and it’ll be nice to have a friendly face. [Read: How to start a conversation with a stranger and say all the right things]
#29 Open a window. Get some fresh air and smell the scents from each area. You don’t think about this often but driving in the midwest will have a much different smell the south or the coast.
#30 Try online dating. You can make your own profile or do it for each other. Start chatting and see who’s out there. You may match with people way outside your general area, but you never know what might work out.
#31 Make jewelry. Make friendship bracelets with string. You can braid them in any way you want and make one for everyone on the road trip to remember it by. Just don’t bring beads because one pothole will cause a lot of damage.
#32 Collect something from each spot. Bring a mason jar and collect some dirt, sand, or grass from every stop. This will be a cute piece of memorabilia from your road trip. It is also cool to see the difference in nature from everywhere you go. Or even buy a silly keychain from every gas station. [Read: 32 crazy things to do with friends because life is short and you need some crazy!]
#33 Practice your knitting. Practice your knitting skills and by the end of the trip, you could have a scarf or a weirdly shaped hat if you aren’t too good at it.
#34 List movies. List all the movies that feature road trips and see how many you can come up with.
#35 Keep a journal. Forget posting on social media. Go back to the past and keep a journal of your travels. Write down what the trip was like, what you did, who you met, what you ate. One day when you look back on this, it will remind you of some of the details you forgot.
#36 Film one second an hour. Film one second every hour. It can be of the landscape you’re driving by, your friends snoring, or anything. Edit all the clips together at the end of the trip.
#37 Try camping. I am all about staying in a warm and safe hotel on your trip, but if there is a campsite on your route, why not try it? You could lay down the seats in the car and sleep there. Or bring sleeping bags, a tent, and try to start your own campfire. [Read: The different types of vacations to create romance and bring two people closer]
#38 Know how to change a tire. Learn how to change a tire before the trip, or else you’ll have to find out during. And be sure you have the tools you’ll need for that, plus a spare.
#39 Talk about the future. Share your dreams and wishes for the future. Talk baby names and retirement goals. You don’t need to make plans but just talking about things far off can be exciting. [Read: 25 topics all couples need to talk about to create a happy relationship]
#40 Have a spelling bee. Challenge each other and test your spelling abilities. They may not be as good as you think with every piece of technology fixing your spelling for you nowadays.
#41 Play would you rather. Some up with some crazy things like ‘would you rather eat a talking gorilla or a seeing-eye dog?’ *Yes, that is a line from Friends* [Read: 40 really gross would you rather questions that’ll leave everyone squirming]
#42 Rent cars. Instead of driving your own car, rent a different car after every so many miles. See all the features it has and try something new at each location.
#43 Look up the laws where you are. You’d be surprised about some of the weird laws some random towns have. Whenever you pass the sign that says “you are now entering…” look up what their laws or town ordinances are.
#44 Bring toilet paper. Sure, you’ll make proper pit stops but with all the junk food and gas station food you’re eating, you never know when you’ll have to pull over and pop a squat behind a tree. It’s best to have toilet paper on hand.
#45 Plan what you’ll do when you get there. Figure out what you want to do when you get wherever you’re going.
#46 Don’t be so rigid. It is good to have a plan when on a road trip so you make good time and are safe, but remember this is supposed to be a fun experience for everyone. If you all want to take a detour to see something cool, try to go with the flow, at least a little bit. [Read: 30 really fun ways to have fun with friends and beat the boredom]
#47 Do impressions. Do impressions of anyone and everyone you can and guess who the others are doing.
#48 Play never have I ever. This is a fun way to see how wild and crazy your friends and family really are. Whoever has done the most stuff loses, but really, haven’t they won? [Read: 15 fun games to play when you’re bored and want to do something more fun]
#49 Write the next great American novel. Or the next great novel from wherever you’re from. Take your experiences in these new locations and with new people and write a book. Who knows where that will take you?
#50 Buy souvenirs. And not just for yourself. Think of the people back home and what they would like. Also, think about who you’re staying with when you get where you’re going. Bring them something from your trip to show your appreciation.
[Read: Conversation games – 15 ridiculously fun games that’ll ensure a really great time]
Honestly, can you ever run out of things to do on a road trip? Pick a few from this list and give them a try. You’ll fid out just how fun things can get as you decide to play along and use these road trip activities!
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