Keeping a little busy during a road trip can be a task in itself. It’s easy to hand them an electronic device, but some kids don’t do well with screens in the car and some families may want to opt for non-screen activities. From creative snacks to road sign games and map skill fun, travel activities can easily get your family from one place to another with entertainment and excitement along the way. Let’s take a look at 20 creative travel activities for your next adventure!
1. Snack Collector
Turn your pit stops into a fun game where you locate a local snack at every stop you make. From potato chips to candy, it can be both a conversation starter to a map-skills maker. Make a dot on a paper map or drop a locator and take a pic for your digital map.
Learn More: Escape Camper Vans
2. Magnetic Games
Never lose a piece again with pint-sized magnetic versions of your favorite games. If you have more than one kiddo, these are a must-have. Try checkers, chess, puzzles, and just plain magnets for hours of fun en route.
Learn More: Bon Voyage with Kids
3. Chenille Stems
They don’t look like much more than furry worms, but these bendy, fuzzy sticks provide a great creative outlet for kids. From braiding them into bracelets to threading them with cereal and making travel buddies, chenille stems to give your kids lots of outlets for fun on a long road trip.
Learn More: Kids Are a Trip
4. 20 Questions
This classic game has one person think of a mystery noun in a given category. The other players have to then ask 20 questions to guess what it is. They can only be yes or no questions and the category must be given in advance.
Learn More: Tiny Beans
5. Read Reviews
Pause at the rest stops on your way and pick up booklets and pamphlets from your destination. Have your kids read places and reviews of local restaurants to make a list of options for meals or activities. This way, they can work together to create an itinerary for future adventures.
Learn More: The Road Trip Expert
6. License Plate Game
Print out blank maps of the United States and get those peepers ready to spot license plates. The object is to find a license plate from all 50 states. A fun way to play is to color the state with the color of the license plate your kiddo sees.
Learn More: Travel Mamas
7. I’m Going on a Picnic…
This classic memory game will have your kids working to keep their picnic baskets filled! Each person says, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…” and then adds an item that corresponds with the next letter of the alphabet. The next person must state what the previous person is bringing and add an item to it.
Learn More: 365 Atlanta Traveler
8. Memory Photo Collectors
Give kids a disposable camera or let them use their mobile phones or an old mobile to collect photos from your trip. You can begin a hunt, having them take pictures of items only beginning with a certain letter, or let them collect photos that will eventually create a family scrapbook from your trip.
Learn More: iMOM
9. Tic Tac Toe
With a piece of paper and a writing utensil, you can play this classic two-player game anywhere! Make a hashtag grid and assign one person to be Xs and the other to be Os. Take turns writing your mark in an open square. The first to get three in a row wins!
Learn More: A Mom Explores
10. Goodie City Bags
Prep these bags of fun ahead of time with small toys, games, and treats for the road. Paper lunch bags make an easy surprise container. Label the bags with the names of cities you’ll pass and have kids watch for signs of that location. Once you pass a destination, they can then open the bag and have fun with whatever’s inside.
Learn More: It’s Always Autumn
11. Carpool Karaoke
Open up your voice boxes and sing together as a family. Create playlists ahead of time; either one giant car jam list or a list that each member of your household gets to curate. Turn up the volume and see who remembers the lyrics the best. There’s nothing like a good sing-a-long!
Learn More: The Winding Roadtripper
12. Car Tally
For the transportation fans, there’s nothing like a good car tally. Make a printable of the different types of vehicles your littles like to spot and then have them practice their tally mark skills every time they spot one. Be as specific as you like, such as spotting purple antique cars only, as you collect data.
Learn More: United Tires
13. Track Your Route
Make that first rest stop and ask for a paper map from behind the counter. Have kids follow along as you travel- highlighting your route. You can even have them attach fun souvenirs to each place you stop and write a small journal entry or draw a pic as you move along.
Learn More: What’s Danny Doing?
14. Podcasts or Audiobooks
You’ve got time on your hands, so why not get some literature or adventure into your trip with a podcast or audiobook? Use apps on your phone or access your local library’s collection of audiobooks. It’s a great way for kids to follow along with the print version as well.
Learn More: Live a Wilder Life
15. Mad Libs
Flex those parts of speech skills with a great collection of mad libs or write your own as you travel. These stories remove certain parts of speech and then the player’s volunteer options. When you finish the fill-in-the-blanks, read the story aloud for some hilariously wild tales.
Learn More: Pure Wow
16. Triple Threat Story
Creativity is unplugged with this classic storytelling game. Someone in the car picks three completely unrelated items- each of which can be any type of noun. The kids must then create a story that incorporates all three things without it being too much of a stretch or working it into a classic tale.
Learn More: Great Wolf Lodge
17. Travel Bingo
Buy a classic bingo board with revealing windows or print your own ahead of time. Have kids color them in as they see the items. You can decide that they have to fill the whole board to win or just complete any row or diagonal. Spot the crazy items while looking out the window.
Learn More: Parenting
18. Reusable Sticker Books
These modern favorites provide lots of tactile fun for littles. The stickers usually come in tandem with several fun backdrops. Have kids create stories as they move their stickers around the page and narrate the stories to their carmates. The books are generally themed so kids can trade on the way.
Learn More: Milwaukee with Kids
19. Snacks in a Sectioned Container
Pump up your snack game by putting snacks into a segmented container. Containers meant for embroidery floss or beads work well, though some companies are now making these containers specifically for kids. Go for a rainbow theme or match the snacks to a book or story you’re reading along the way.
Learn More: Baby Chick
20. LCD Writing Tablet
For hours of drawing fun that erases with the push of a button, try LCD writing tablets. They’re great for on-the-go games, waiting at a restaurant, or just drawing for fun. Draw with the stylus pen or use other fun objects to make shapes.
Learn More: Family Trip Guides