Save Your Sanity: Travel Games for Kids

Travel Games for KidsParents, there may be nothing worse than being trapped in a car with tired, cranky kids.  The miles stretch out before you, there is no end in sight, and pretty soon everyone in the entire car is irritable.  Have you been there?  Traveling between states
to visit relatives has put my family in this situation a few times.  Here are a few travel games that will help pass the time, make the miles fly by, and keep all passengers entertained and happy!  The best part…most require no materials and no planning!  Enjoy!

The Alphabet Game

Pick a category.  We picked Star Wars.  What can I say?  I have two fanatics in my family.  Anyway, the idea was to go through the alphabet, from A to Z, naming characters or places or creatures from Star Wars.  We alternated turns.  First my daughter gave a Star Wars word that began with A, then my son gave a Star Wars word that began with B, and so on.  You could do this with any category.  Animals.  Places.  Christmas words.  You name it!

I Believe It/I Doubt It

Each person takes a turn making a statement.  The rest of the players have to state either “I believe it” or “I doubt it.”  We’ve played this game in two different ways…serious and silly.  Both are fun!  For the serious version, you are trying to stump the other people in the car.  Make a statement that is difficult to determine if it’s true or not.  For example, my daughter said, “I had a bad dream last night.”  We really weren’t sure!

The other option is to be silly.  In this version, everyone can usually easily figure out if it is a believe it or doubt it statement, but the fun is in the silliness of the statement.  For example, my daughter said, “I sleep with worms under my pillow.”  We know it’s not true, but we sure had fun giggling about it anyway!

Pass the Story

My son loves this game.  He usually wants to keep playing it long after the rest of us have moved on.  🙂  Someone starts a story.  You can use any story starting sentence to do this.  Famous first lines work:  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…  –or– Once upon a time, in a far away land…  –or– The children were nestled all snug in their beds…  Or, you can think of your own first lines.  The idea is to start a story, and then you “pass” the story around to other players.  Each players adds on a new line.  As the story grows, crazy plot twists usually develop, adding to the silliness and fun!

I’m Going To…

This one is a fun memory game.  One person starts by saying, “I’m going to ____.” It’s fun to fill it in with whatever destination you are actually heading towards.  The first person adds on, “…and I’m bringing ___.”  He/she says they are bringing something that starts with the letter A.  The next person says, “I’m going to ___, and I’m bringing___.”  The twist is that they have to state the first object (that began with A) and also add on an object that begins with B.  The third person will add something that begins with C (but will also have to remember and state the A and B objects).  Play continues until someone gets stuck!

Name that Tune

This one is especially fun around Christmas-time, but it can be played at any time of year.  Someone begins to hum (or whistle) a song.  The rest of the players try to guess the song.  At Christmas-time there are so many Christmas tunes to choose from, that it works really well!  I suppose you could enjoy Christmas songs at any time of year, but this game would also work with nursery rhymes, children’s songs, or popular music.  Simple, but fun!

Would You Rather

This travel game requires some creativity, but it can certainly lead to a lot of laughs in the car.  Also, you will probably learn a thing or two about everyone in the process!  Someone starts by making a “Would you rather…” statement.  The statement lists two choices and the rest of the players have to state which choice they would rather make.  The game gets pretty fun when silly, or gross, or imaginative statements are made.  For example, my son has asked, “Would you rather eat a worm or a cricket?”  Well…I’d rather eat neither, but the idea is to pick one and to give your reason.  I suppose I’d rather eat a worm…it may just quickly slide down my throat whereas I may feel a cricket squirming if I tried to eat it.  Gross! But…fun to think about and hear everyone’s answers!

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A Few Oldies, but Goodies for Travel Games

The Licence Plate Game

This one is fun for long trips.  Keep track of the license plates that you see.  Try to record as many states as possible.  Hint…check out semi trucks for good variety! has a great printable map you can use to record the states you’ve seen.  Check it out HERE.  There is also a bonus license plate bingo game on that same link.

A to Z Billboard Game

My family used to travel every Thanksgiving and every Christmas.  To pass the time, we’d play the alphabet game using billboards and store signs that we’d see along the way.  Start at A…look for a word on a sign that begins with the letter A…when you see one call it out!  Then move on to B.  You can do this as a collaborative effort or as a competition.  Hint…it works well when you travel through major metropolitan areas.

20 Questions

This one is straight-forward, but always a hit!  Someone thinks of a person, place, or thing.  The rest of the players take turns asking yes/no questions to try to figure out what the mystery word is.  Each person gets to ask one question on his/her turn and take one guess on that same turn.  The game continues until someone guesses the person, place, or thing (or until everyone gives up!)

I hope these suggestions for travel games are helpful to you then next time your family takes a road trip!  Hey, they may even help if you have cranky kiddos the next time you take a trip to the local grocery store or library or any other time you are in the car!  Enjoy, and if you have any other suggestions for fun family travel games, drop me a comment.  I will add them to the list.  We can all benefit!  🙂

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8 thoughts on “Save Your Sanity: Travel Games for Kids

  • January 24, 2017 at 3:13 am

    I love the pass the story idea! We are headed overseas on a 14 hour plane ride. While all of these wont work, a lot of them will. Thanks for sharing!

    • January 24, 2017 at 4:19 am

      You are welcome! Good luck on the plane ride! 🙂

    • January 31, 2017 at 2:20 am

      Thanks! 🙂

  • January 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Awesome ideas here, I know some of them but not all. Great line up. Can never have enough ideas to keep kids busy when traveling, thanks for sharing these.

    • January 31, 2017 at 2:21 am

      You’re welcome! They have saved our sanity a time or two! 🙂

  • January 31, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Oh, I love some of these new games!! We moved from Hawaii to Louisiana so our travel time is a lot longer. This will help to keep the “Are we there yet” to a minimum. =)

    • February 1, 2017 at 2:04 am


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