Road trips are great opportunities to have fun, strengthen bonds between friends and family, or even create new ones! One small, common problem though: the ride is taking too long. Maybe the music isn’t to everyone’s taste, or you’re not that good at small talk. As such, you need some fun road trip activities to lessen the boredom and make you feel like you’re on a true adventure. Here are ten such pastimes to liven up the atmosphere!
#1 Play Word Games
Fortunately, there is no shortage of word games you can choose from. And you aren’t limited by rules anyway, so you can go the extra step and create an entirely different one from scratch. One of our favorites is “First letter, last Letter.” There are probably a dozen regional variations depending on the language. For families with kids – this is a great opportunity to improve your tyke’s vocabulary.
#2 Take a (Road) Trip Down Memory Lane
We all have cute little stories about ourselves that we laugh about and forget soon after. Make one of your road trip activities telling some of these embarrassing(ly funny) stories about you with your friends.
Reward the best misadventure with an ice cream to cool off – a little friendly competition ensures for some fantastic stories.
This is also a great “game” to play if you’re a bit buzzed from a can of cold beer or some of those small liquor chocolates. It definitely helps if you’re too shy!
#3 Sightseeing and Photography
This is one of the most obvious road trip activities that fortunately doesn’t cost anything to enjoy with the whole gang.
Except for the driver, sorry guys! In any case, every modern phone has a camera, so you don’t need an expensive one to “shoot” some great memories from the comfort of the back seat. If you have more than one phone among you, have a contest to see who’s the best photographer.
#4 Car Bingo
As was the case with word games, car bingo allows you endless possibilities for fun. It’s relatively cheap to print out some things you need to spot from the car. Birds, planes, domestic animals, car signs, maybe even make one with a dozen or so car brands. Think of it as a “scavenger hunt” and even a great image association game for the kids. Of course, you can also set a reward among you for whoever finishes theirs first.
#5 Blow Bubbles
No matter how old you are, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who hates bubbles. How could they? Bubble mixture bottles are pretty cheap for the amount of fun they dish out. Plus, you can also make some yourself with items you can find around the home. The benefit is that you can take gallons of it along for infinite bubbles!
Just make sure they don’t get in your designated driver’s face – that’s a surefire way to make someone hate bubbles (and nobody wants that).
#6 Stargazing with Star Chart Apps
On the dreamier side of road trip activities, there’s stargazing. Many people have fond childhood memories of traveling at night while one of the parents is driving. And you’re just sitting there with your “blankie” or teddy bear, wondering at the mysteries of the Universe.
Luckily, apps nowadays are clearing up some of those mysteries. You can pop one of those on your phone and they’ll come complete with interesting trivia about constellations, as well as maps to help you find them more easily. Make a list of some cool ones before you start your journey, and cross each one off your list as soon as somebody discovers it.
#7 Find Cozy Places to Eat
Pit stops are probably the favorite road trip activities of every wide-eyed wanderer. It’s a great time to stretch your legs and get a bit of fresh air in a new and unexplored place. Foodies have the benefit of discovering interesting new dining places along the road.
You’d be amazed what delicacies hide in some remote countryside places! Plus, you’re more likely to find actual “traditional” foods in these spots. Instead of the big cities where the cultures clash over who has the most delicious dishes.
Who says you need actual talent for some fun road trip activities? If nothing’s good on the radio, turn down the volume and take turns singing the tunes. Bonus points if you make it sound worse than it actually is.
Otherwise, sing-alongs are always fun for the group (if you aren’t taking yourself too seriously, that is.) Put on a few soundtracks to make you feel like you’re in a road trip movie, where you are the stars of the show!
#9 Get Creative with Your Map
If you’re using an old-fashioned map instead of GPS or an electronic one, you know how dull they can sometimes get. Get a set of colored pens and mark down your travel route on the map.
Doodle a few of the landmarks you found interesting along the way (like statues, churches, cozy meadows you’d like to visit again someday, and so on). If you’re really good at it, you can actually hand-stitch your route on the map for something more artsy you can hang up later.
#10 Make a Plant Diary
Here’s another opportunity to create something memorable – and at no expense! If you have an empty notebook that’s just gathering dust on the nightstand, take a small glue bottle with you on the trip. Whenever you’re having a break, take the chance to collect some leaves and flowers. Paste them in your booklet while marking down the location you found them in.
Of course, you can also take this opportunity to further enhance your map. Instead of just posting flower in your notebook, take small petals and paste them on your map wherever you found them. You’ll have a small art project ready in no time.