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5 Car Games to Kill Road Trip Boredom

The idea of a road trip is a romantic one. To be sure, road trips can be exciting, adventurous, and an ideal type of travel for solo, group, and family excursions. At some point though, scenery is going to lose some of its pull, the car is going to get hot, backs will ache, and boredom will threaten to kill any remaining buzz. Music and snacks are a must, and so are a few games to whittle away at some of those hours of highway stuck behind a cow trailer.

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These 5 games will help you and your travel crew keep sane until you can pull off the road to see a giant sombrero tower.

Name the Tune

If there is one thing a road trip cannot be successfully completed without, it’s music. With mobile technology these days, putting together playlists has never been easier, but streaming services such as Spotify make it simple to have commercial-free radio that plays music you love.

A game that’s easy to sustain and doesn’t require much from anyone is Name the Tune; the name of the game basically spells out how you play. Have the driver pick the first genre or station, and set a point limit. For every song title and artist a player guesses correctly, they earn a point. The winner gets to pick the next genre and station. This game is great for a group of friends with eclectic music tastes and can last for a good portion of most road trips.

Fortunately, Unfortunately

This game can get pretty silly, and is great for kids and adults alike. One person begins with an unfortunate statement, such as, “Unfortunately, we are going to drive over a cliff.” The next person counters with a fortunate statement, like, “Fortunately, I brought the parachutes.” Creativity is a must, and it’s perfect for igniting the imaginations in the car. The longevity of the game of course depends on the group of players. This isn’t really a competitive game, but is sure to spark some laughter, which is a surefire time-killer.

My Father Owned a Grocery Store…

I play this game on any car ride longer than two hours, and have since I was a kid. The first player begins by saying, “My father [or other family member] owned a grocery store, and in it he sold…” the player then follows up with a letter corresponding to their grocery item, like ‘g’ for ‘grapes.’ The rest of the group tries to guess what the item is. The game works best when players can think of more obscure grocery foods, like ‘kumquats’ or ‘turmeric;’ the point is to not make  it obvious. The player who guesses correctly gets to go next.

Song Titles

This is a game borrowed from ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ that translates well for a road trip. Someone starts a ‘conversation’ with any song title, and whoever is clever enough to follow up with another song title continues the convo. This game works well with a group of people who are in the same age range, although I’ve met some young kids who’s music knowledge can rival someone twice their age. This is another game sure to get the laughter rolling.

Who am I?

This game is a favorite in my group of friends whether we are waiting for a table, on a trip, or even in need of a drinking game. Drivers cannot really participate in this game, but it is a great one to keep the passengers occupied, no matter their age.

Each person gets a small piece of paper, and writes down the name of a fictional or non-fictional popular character. Everyone passes the paper to the left, and, without looking, sticks the piece of paper they were handed on their head. The first person begins by asking a yes or no question in order to figure out the name on their forehead. For example, questions could include, “Am I a woman?” “Am I living? “Am I known for being funny?” The first person to correctly guess their identity wins, although my friends and I usually play until everyone is able to guess who they are.

The Lost Art

In a screen-obsessed world, car games like these are becoming relics. Keep them alive during your next road trip, and rediscover how fun and awesome it is to actually interact with the people you love. Just don’t blame us for starting any 10-hour long rivalries.

Update: If all those hours in the car got you thinking about your financial future, perhaps it’s time to talk to a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find the right one. So many people reached out to us looking for tax and long-term financial planning help, we started our own matching service to help you find a financial advisor. The SmartAdvisor matching tool can help you find a person to work with to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and goals. Then the program will narrow down your options from thousands of advisors to up to three fiduciaries who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.

Photo Credit: sean dreilinger

Kirsten Jadoo Kirsten Jadoo is a writer and voracious reader. She is an expert in home buying, credit and budgeting. Kristin's passions for food and travel leave her in constant search of creative ways to make and save more money.
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