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The Best Road Trip Games for Kids

Summer is here—and so are family vacations! These are the best tried-and-true games to keep your kids occupied on the open road.

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Packed interstate highwayKeep Smiling Photography/Shutterstock

Play the License Plate Game

The goal is to find license plates from as many states as possible. When we hit the road in the ’80s and ’90s, my family played with pen and paper, but you can buy a really cool magnetic version of the game that is a great option for road trippers of all ages.

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Cow grazing on a green summer meadow in HungaryMark Borbely/Shutterstock

Go on a Scavenger Hunt…

…from the back seat! Hunt for items on the road, like a yellow car, a dog with its head out the window or a dump truck. You can build lists for the kids or find a scavenger hunt card game on Amazon. Everyone can work together to find the items listed.

Want the best road trip games for adults? We’ve got those, too.

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Luxury baby car seat for safety with happy kidRuta Production/Shutterstock

Play Bingo on the Go

Easily one of the most popular road trip games for kids, this printable bingo game has been designed with your family in mind. You can take it on any trip (even just a short drive to the zoo!) to find a road sign with the letter Z, cars of various colors, cows and other animals, semi trucks and police cars and even houses or buildings of certain colors.

Download the free printable here.

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Adorable kid laughing in their car seatspass/Shutterstock

Start a Fun Conversation

Get to know everyone with cards like Travel Topics. The simple questions will become one of your favorite options for road trip games because you’ll discover so much about the littles you’re taking along for the ride!

Learn more about saving money on your next trip.

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Family selfie photo in car during summer vacationspass/Shutterstock

Keep Your Brain Active

Help your kids stay sharp with the Brain Quest car edition. While you all stay busy remembering state capitals and learning more about national monuments, you’ll eliminate at least half of the opportunities for someone to ask, “Are we there yet?”

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three little kids and mother in the mountainsaltanaka/Shutterstock

Make ’em Laugh with Mad Libs

This favorite of mine is also one of the post popular road trip games for kids. Refresh your grammar knowledge and crack up at the funny stories your family puts together with Mad Libs!

Take a snack break with these oat-rageous chocolate chip cookies on your next pit stop.

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Two adorable girls sitting in a car trunk before going on vacations with their parents.MNStudio/Shutterstock

Play Hangman

This popular way to stave off boredom is also one of the best road trip games for kids. You can use paper and pencil to build your own hangman, or check out Melissa and Doug’s hangman board.

Traveling with your pup? This will help you when traveling the road with a furry friend.

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Excited family on a road trip in carMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Ask 20 Questions

This is an old-school classic! To play 20 questions, one person thinks of an object and the others ask 20 questions to help them guess what it is. No pen, paper or game board needed.

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Cute boy, playing on tablet in the carTomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock

Keep Toddlers Happy

Finding road trip games for kids under five can be challenging. When you can’t stomach another Baby Shark singalong with the toddler in your backseat, turn to this Take ‘N’ Play matching game that is both easy to pack and keeps the smaller kiddos engaged.

Here are some other fun things for kids to do that might help keep boredom at bay.

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Adorable cute preschool kid boy sitting in car in yellow rain coat.Romrodphoto/Shutterstock

Color Across the Country

When you and your kids are all gamed out, turn to a coloring book like American Road Trip to learn more about the places you’re going to visit and the ones that are waiting patiently on your bucket list.

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Julia K. Porter
Dr. Julia Porter began her career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, NY and has taught college courses since 2008. Her personal interests include reading, writing, traveling and experiencing new cultures. She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter and a rambunctious Australian Shepherd.

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