Top 12 Family Car Trip Boredom Busters Ideas

Family road trips can be a trunk load of memories, fun, and…. endless, mind-numbing questions: Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?

But don’t let car boredom ruin the trip.  Stave off the incessant questions with some of these sure-fire car trip boredom busters.  Soon, your kids will be clamoring to get back into the car and head off on another road trip.

  1. Mobile Device Apps - Sure, we want family vacation time to be screen-free, but let’s face it - we’ll make a few concessions for our sanity.  Besides, there are a ton of family friendly apps that everyone can play at the same time.  Here are a few favorites:
    • State Bingo and Geography Crossword  ($1.99)
    • US State Capitals Trivia Quiz (Free)
    • State Plate Bingo ($.99)
    • Road Trip Bingo ($1.99)
    • Road Trip Scavenge Hunt ($.99)
  2. Trivial Pursuit on the Go – Grab the deck of cards from a Trivial Pursuit game and start asking away.  Keep score on a piece of paper. There is a Trivial Pursuit edition for nearly every interest and age level.
  3. Mad Lib – Remember the old time fill in the blank?  The sillier, the better!  For even more personalized fun, before you leave home create your own family version of this fill in the blank story with the kids as the main characters.
  4. Around Me– Another great App to download.  Search almost any category in the app to find places nearby.  Pick a new ‘Around Me’ Captain every 30 minutes, and learn about the places you are passing by.  Need a break?  Let the Around Me Captain find the nearest playground, ice cream shop or another spot to take a pit stop.
  5. Audio Books – Pick a classic that the entire family will enjoy like Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter, or Treasure Island, then pop in the tape and start some quiet listening.
  6. 60 Seconds – Stock a brown paper bag with different topics written on pieces of paper.  One person picks a topic, then they have 60 seconds to convince everyone of its merits.  Some topics:  No homework; ice cream for dinner; adopting a dog; getting your ears pierced.
  7. Spelling or Math Bee – Come prepared with a list of age appropriate words and start your own Car Trip Spelling Bee.  With younger children, practice math facts with addition and subtraction or multiplication and division questions.
  8. Old Fashioned License Plate Hunt – All you need is a lined piece of paper and a pencil and then keep your eyes peeled for all 50 states on license plates.  Keep it in the glove compartment so it’s there for all your future car trips.  For added fun, when you find a new state, guess the population of the state, state bird, and capital.  Look up the answers to these questions (and more fun facts about the state).
  9. Password –Split into two teams, then pick a piece of paper out of the bag; each piece of paper has ten different words on it, such as duck, dinner, popcorn, etc.  Set the timer for 60 seconds, then one teammate describes the word using clues, while the other teammates guess.  Team with most correct guesses wins!
  10. Historic Marker Spot and Learn – Look for the brown Historic Marker signs along the road, then Google and learn about the history of where you are.   For some added fun, have everyone guess why they think the marker is important THEN look it up.
  11. Trip Advisor - Trip Advisor can be your best friend while you are on the road.  As you are heading into a new town, simply look up the name and see what tourist attractions are nearby.
  12. Quiet Game - When all else fails, play the quiet game. One, two, three – who can be the quietest the longest!  Funny faces allowed - but no talking!  (Perfect time for Mom to take a nap!)

Written by Jenny Tananbaum, Suburban Mom