If you’re going to be in a car for over three hours, whether you’re with kids or not, things start to get a little dull and your travel mates might start to get restless. When you’re not in the mood for snacks and you need to keep your kids or mates pre-occupied, here are a few games you can play with or without a smartphone:

Word Games

Test your vocabulary, spelling, critical thinking, and creativity! These brain teasers are sure to bring out the whole gang’s competitive nature and tickle your mind:

  1. Spelling bee. You’d be surprised at how much better some of the kids are than a lot of the adults.
  2. One word/sentence stories: take turns saying one word or one sentence to form a (sometimes incoherent) story. You’re bound to have a few laughs at the absurd things people come up with.
  3. Test out teamwork and patience and see how high your group can count when everybody can only contribute one number at a time.
    1. Example: Jeffrey says one. Silence. Dana says two. Carl and Xavier both say three at the same time. Go back to zero and start again.
  4. Categories. State a category (celebrity, fruit, etc.) and take turns saying words in that category. First one who runs out of words under that category loses.
  5. Name that ______. A variation of categories, except the next word should start with the last letter of the previous word.Example: Category COUNTRIES
    1. Jeffrey: Lithuania
    2. Dana: Afghanistan
    3. Carl: Nauru
    4. Xavier: Uganda
  6. Rhyming words: Pick a word and have each person think of a word that rhymes with the first word. Whoever drops the pace loses.


From nostalgia-filled and warm to frustrating because the song title is at the tip of your tongue, music games can keep you entertained for hours at an end. Here are a few you should try:

  1. Name that tune: Whether you’re using the car radio, an MP3, or are simply singing the song, you know how this works
  2. Categories (singing version): Pick a theme like “guitar”, and have everyone sing a line or song about or with the word guitar. Here are a few themes you can use:
    1. Show tunes
    2. Cartoon opening themes
    3. Broadway
    4. Revenge
    5. Laughter
    6. Movie theme songs
    7. Songs about family
    8. 80’s power ballads
  3. Sing along to Disney songs (not exactly a game but it’s oodles of fun)
  4. Create harmonies. If you’re with a bunch of musically gifted people, create everything from two part to eight part harmonies for acapella songs.

Getting to Know You

If you’re traveling with a few new friends, what better way to get to know them than with getting to know you games?

  1. Two truths and a lie. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Just take turns giving three statements (2 truths and 1 lie), and get everybody to guess which is which.
  2. What is the worst _______? Think of a few categories and get everybody to give you the worst name/food/experience/place or whatever you can think of.
    1. Example: What is the worst gift you’ve ever received?
  3. What is the best _______? Same concept as above
  4. What is the weirdest ______?
  5. Would you rather be ______ or ______? Everybody has to answer
    1. Example: Would you rather be smart but ugly or dumb but pretty?

Long car rides don’t have to be boring, awkward, or uncomfortable. As long as you arm yourself with a bunch of snacks, a smartphone filled with apps, a comfortable car hire, and a little imagination, you’ll be just fine. Happy Travels!