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Insider Insights: Articles

Road trip games

Monday, January 27, 2014, 3:37 PM

“Are we there yet?” Wait five minutes…. “Are we there yet? I’m bored.”

You could easily pop in a DVD or hand out a colouring book and hit the road.

A few minutes of silence is nice, but it really isn’t a family road trip if everyone is doing their own thing.

RELATED: Keep your kids well fed and hydrated during a road trip

The whole point of a family adventure is to enjoy the trip as much as the destination. If your family spends the whole ride watching DVDs or reading a book, you might as well have taken a plane.

Road trip games should be entertaining. Allow the whole family to participate in a game while discovering the area you are traveling through.

Here are a few of the classics:

  • ABC game: Find letters on signs to get through the alphabet, and the first person to "Z" wins. You have to call out the sign you spot, only one letter from each sign. Variations include spelling your name and using license plates.
  • Counting Crows: (Or horses, cows, fire trucks, blue cars or even police cars). This is really simple: Spot the chosen object, and get a point.  The person with the most points at the next stop or the end of the trip wins.  If you spot and call out a cemetery first you can wipe out everyone else’s points. Variations include cemeteries wipe out the points for players on the same side of the car as the cemetery.
  •  Punch Buggy: A classic road game, spot a VW Bug and get a point.  Although in the original version you are expected to hit one of your passengers, most families prefer the no-contact version. Variations include extra points for new or older versions, extra points for VW vans, and if you call out a vehicle that turns out not to be a Bug, you lose all of your points. There are also versions called Bruiser Cruiser that works with PT Cruisers and Banana-Pokes for yellow vehicles.
  • Trivial Pursuit cards: One passenger is the card reader, and each person gets to pick a category. If they answer correctly they get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the trip or the next stop wins.  You can pick up various versions to fit your passengers ages and interests.
  • Paddiddle: See a car with one headlight out, punch the ceiling of the car and shout Padiddle! (watch out for the overhead console).
  • I Spy: This is a great game if you are travelling with children across a wide range of ages, and yes, the item must be outside of the vehicle.

Once everyone is all gamed out you can hand out the colouring books for a little individual time or even get everyone singing - I highly recommend a loud energetic rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody – Wayne’s World Style!  You get extra bonus points if you are traveling in a 1976 AMC Pacer.


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