Ahh, the freedom of the open road and the promise of adventure — there’s nothing quite like a road trip! And as much fun as #vanlife looks, it’s easy to forget how fast boredom sets in when you’re stuck in the car for hours. Luckily, there are tried-and-true road trip games that even you, a grown-ass adult, can enjoy.
Remember how much fun you used to have playing “I Spy” and “Punch Buggy”? Well, these adult road trips games will keep you just as entertained but with a whole lot less cringe-worthy eye-rolls from the other adults in the car when you start playing.
So, the next time you find yourself wanting to zone out on your phone, give these games a try! Let’s squash that boredom and have some stupid laughs with your travel buddies.
- 1. Swear Jar
- 2. Hot Seat
- 3. Regional Food Master
- 4. Did You Hear That?
- 5. Left, Right, or Straight?
- 6. Sorry I’m Late
- 7. Explain a Movie Plot Really Badly
- 8. Fake Facts
- 9. While You Were Asleep
- 10. Never Have I Ever…
- 11. Fictional Families
- 12. Padiddle
- 13. One Minute
- 14. Questions
- 15. Guess Who (Travel Edition)
- 16. Coloured Cars
Adult Road Trip Games You’ll Actually Enjoy
If you think road trip games are childish, give them a chance. Games are an amazing way to pass the time, especially when you’ve already listened to all the music and podcasts and eaten all your snacks. You don’t wanna stare blankly out the window, do you?
I’ll be honest, some of these adult road trip games sound silly when you read them. Playing them, though, is a whole ‘nother story! You’ll get a kick outta them.
Besides, these aren’t boring ass kid games. We’re not gonna play eye-spy or bingo over here.
Adapting the Games
Before we get started, keep in mind that you can adapt all of these games to your liking — especially the rewards. Just keep it legal and safe.
1. Swear Jar
Some of the best road trip games are super simple. Swear Jar is a slow burn and is sure to entertain (and maybe annoy) everyone on your trip.
- Pick a few common words that are off-limits for the road trip. It doesn’t have to be swear words, but the more common the word, the better (think: road, gas, or bathroom).
- When someone slips up and uses the word, they add their name to the Swear Jar (a hat, jar, or anything else you have laying around can be the Swear Jar).
- Once you’re done for the day, tally the names in the Swear Jar. The person who “swore” the most buys everyone a round of drinks.
2. Hot Seat
Have you ever wanted to grill your friends, but never had a normal time to do that? Hot Seat is the perfect road trip game to ask your friends some hard-pressing questions that they’d usually think you’re a weirdo for asking.
- Pick one person to be in the Hot Seat.
- The other passengers ask this person five questions. No topics are off-limits (unless you set boundaries), so don’t be afraid to ask them things they’d usually never want to answer!
- Choose a new person for the Hot Seat.
3. Regional Food Master
I looove this road trip game! Why? Because you can only play it on road trips. The goal is to collect the most regional snacks or drinks during your trip.
- Every time you go to the grocery store or stop for gas, scour the shelves for a local snack or drink (limited to one item per stop). Photographs of the item or the physical product count.
- The food/drink has to be from the region.
- At the end of your trip, the person who’s collected the most item wins.
- Instead of regional snacks/drinks, collect the most unusual items you can find. These must be food/drinks that you can’t easily find at home.
My family has way too much fun wandering the aisles of Walmart finding chocolate marshmallows or squeeze cheese. The locals always think we’re nuts, but it’s a blast.
4. Did You Hear That?
This adult road trip game is perfect for those of you that are up on your pop culture or recent events. It’s basically a game of fact or fiction and the whole point is to fool your buddies.
You start by asking “Did you hear that…?” and your opponent says either “That didn’t happen” or “Tell me more”. Here’s how the points work:
- If your opponent calls you out on your shit correctly, they get a point.
- If they incorrectly call you out, you get a point.
- And finally, if they say “tell me more”, points double at the end of your story.
Up to you what the winner gets! I’m partial to snacks, but that’s just me.
5. Left, Right, or Straight?
If you’re not in a rush, this is such a fun game to explore a little more.
Every time you come to an intersection, the passengers tell the driver which direction to go — left, right or straight. Another option is to pre-select your choices and see what happens!
I love this simple road trip game because you get to go on a little adventure. We’ve even played it at home to just go for a drive.
6. Sorry I’m Late
I love adult road trip games that are easy and uncomplicated. Sorry I’m Late is basically a guess-the-movie game.
You say “sorry I’m late” and then give an excuse for your tardiness. The one catch is that your excuse has to be the plot of a movie. Your friends can ask questions and the first person to guess the movie wins.
7. Explain a Movie Plot Really Badly
Here’s another great road trip game for all you movie lovers. Just as the name suggests, this game is all about explaining a movie plot terribly and making your buddies guess the movie. The worse the description, the funnier!
8. Fake Facts
This game is just 100% crazy. All you do is make up the craziest, most outlandish facts you can and try to convince your friends it’s real!
To make it even better, don’t let them know what you’re up to. Your friends and family will be off guard and more likely to believe you.
We once convinced my grandma that the holes in the rocks at Capitol Reef were from deer hitting the rock with their antlers!
9. While You Were Asleep
We all have that one friend who falls asleep on the road (that might be me…). All you need to do is wait for that person to fall asleep and come up with a funny (but still believable) story with everyone that’s still awake.
Once Mr Sleepyhead wakes up, tell your story! Everyone should take turns adding details, without going too over the top. If your sleeper doesn’t catch on, don’t tell them what’s happening until you’ve reached your destination!
Or never tell them…
10. Never Have I Ever…
This game never gets old and works really well for road trips.
Someone in the car starts by saying “Never have I ever…” followed by a simple statement. Raise five fingers and for every action you’ve done, lower one.
Everyone that’s “out” contributes to the snack fund and the winner gets a snack at the next gas station.
11. Fictional Families
Let your imagination run wild with this fun adult road trip game!
All you have to do is take a good look at the people inside a car beside you. Then create a backstory about the people you just checked out. Who are they seeing? What’s their deepest, darkest secret? Why are they travelling? Some really funny stories get invented!
This is a nighttime (or tunnel) adult road trip game. Every time you pass a car with a headlight out, yell padiddle and slap the car’s ceiling!
The last person to yell and slap loses.
13. One Minute
In One Minute, someone chooses a topic and everyone else has to talk about it for a whole minute. No pauses, ums, or repeating yourself!
This is a great way of getting to know your fellow road trippers. It’s disguised as a game, but it’s actually a whole lot more.
Start by asking one another easy questions, but as time wears on you can get into deeper and more personal questions. If you’re not tied to it being a game, this is a great way to have interesting conversations.
15. Guess Who (Travel Edition)
Guess Who can easily be adapted into a road trip game and the good news is that you don’t need any equipment.
One player chooses a destination, such as National Parks, countries, or road trip routes, and keeps it secret. Everyone else can ask ten yes-or-no questions to try and figure out the destination. If the player keeps it secret, they win!
16. Coloured Cars
Spot as many weird coloured cars as possible. Sounds easy, right? Think again.
- Each person chooses an unusual car colour (think: teal, mustard, or mint). Pick wisely.
- Every time you spot a car in your chosen colour, you get a point.
- At the end of your trip, the person with the fewest points buy everyone a drink.
You get the idea! Talking and laughing are the best ways to pass the time… and to learn a bit about your car mates. Do you have a favourite adult road trip game? I’d love to hear about it, share in the comments!