Little boy smiling in car seat

Road Trip Rescue with Family Games

Say bye-bye to boredom and bickering with travel games for kids

Travel with kids. It can be loud, frustrating, stressful. But getting away from it all and making memories — that’s what makes it worth it. With just a little planning, and some fun travel games for kids, the journey can be enjoyable too. Here’s how.

Three tips to make car travel easy

Children Using Digital Devices On Car Journey

1. Snacks. No matter what, do not let the hangries visit.

2. Games. This is critical!  Check out the fun road trip games for kids below.

3. An exciting destination. Look for a resort to keep the kids active, with fun and food for the whole family on site — like one of the many Great Wolf Lodge water park locations across the country.

Travel Game Ideas for Kids

Two adorable little sisters exploring a map before going on vacations with their parents. Two kids looking forward for a road trip or travel.

Try these car games (or airplane games! Some can even be hotel room games!) to tamp down the “are we there yets” and keep everyone happy. Most of these ideas require zero or minimal gear, no screens, and little, if any, money. Some include free printables. Feel free to give prizes (snacks!) to the lucky winners, and be amazed as time flies by!


Where to begin? There are so many great family-friendly podcasts out there, some for kids as young as three. Storynory is popular, as is Story Pirates, Wow in the World and Brains On! Line up specific episodes that speak to your kids’ interests.

DIY Road Trip Bingo

There are plenty of free printable boards online, or you can make your own. If you’re traveling in the desert, be sure to have a spot for cacti. If you’re traveling during Halloween, make a square for spooky decorations.

Cookie Sheet Magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe

Grab a cookie sheet, some magnets (2 colors/styles, 6 each), and washi tape. Use the washi tape to make the 4 lines/grid of a tic-tac-toe board, and the kids can use the magnets to mark their spots. The cookie sheet makes a great flat surface for coloring or other games, too.

License Plate Hunt

How long will it take to spot a plate from each state, from Alabama to Wyoming? Use this free printable to cross off each state name, and color the state’s shape as you see it. Don’t think you’ll see all 50? Have a race to see who can get to 10 first.

Funny Business

Make up your own knock-knock jokes and riddles for a family laugh-a-thon. Or play “Two Truths and a Lie.” Each person takes a turn telling two true things, and one false thing, about themselves. Everyone tries to guess the lie. Whoever guesses correctly first gets to go next.

What games does your family play to make travel more fun?

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