If you've ever driven for more than a few hours to get to your travel destination, you know that sometimes conversation runs dry, and there's only so much to say when all there is around you to discuss are trees, trees, and more trees. Especially when there are younger children involved.
To beat the road-trip, car-ride, nothing-but-fields-and-trees blues, we've put together a list of our favorite road trip activities perfect for any age.
1. Audio Books
Have you ever lost track of time in a great book? Snuggled into bed at 9pm, only to find you're ten chapters deep by 3 in the morning? An audio book, believe it or not, can do the very same. While they can be pricey to purchase, most public libraries carry a wide selection for you to rent just for the purposes of your road trip.
2. Scavenger Hunts
It's sort of like I-Spy, but with a bit more competition! Create your own hunt, filled with specific billboards, fast food restaurants, types of trees, and anything else you think you may encounter on the road, or check out this list here and borrow a few ideas.
3. The Alphabet Game
This one is a classic, and the rules are simple: find something that begins with each consecutive letter of the alphabet, and the first person to finish, wins. If you'd rather make it a team effort, time yourselves, and try to beat your collaborative record!
4. The Buzz Game
A counting game that can go from somewhat simple to nearly impossible: here's how it works. Start by everyone counting to 20, with each person saying one number (mom says "one," whoever is in the passenger seat says "two," then move to the backseat and so on and so forth). The first rule is to swap the numbers 7 and 14, as in "five, six, fourteen......twelve, thirteen, seven, fifteen.." Easy enough, right? Now, whoever says "twenty" gets to invent a new rule. The new rule could simply be switching two more numbers, or it could be to clap instead of saying five, high five your neighbor instead of saying twelve, singing a line of your favorite song instead of saying nineteen -- the possibilities are endless. Keep adding rules after each round and see how long you can keep it going.
5. That Guy in the Car Game
Here is a game for the imaginative -- whenever you drive past someone, get a good look at them. Try to imagine what their life is like. Then, take turns describing what he is like, down to the most minute details. Where does he work? What's his favorite food? Does he snore? Where did he last vacation? What color are his pajamas? If you can think it, you can say it.
6. Twenty Questions
This game is good for those who like solving mysteries. One person gets to choose an object, person, place, or idea, and everyone else asks yes or no questions until they can guess what the other person is thinking. It's tougher than it sounds.
8. The Name Game
Here's a bit of an easy one that's good for younger children -- each player takes a turn coming up with a boy name and girl name for each letter of the alphabet, No repeats, of course! To make it more challenging, add a time limit -- have everyone else in the car count to three, and if the person who's turn it is can't come up with two names quickly enough, they lose.
9. Hum that Tune
For musical families and friends, this game may be right up your alley. Simply take turns humming a line from a song, and the first person who guesses the song title gets a point. First player to ten wins!
10. Gameboys, Tablets and iPhones, Oh My!
We put this one last because it should be a last resort. Of course it's easy to pull out a device and tune out with an app game, but try to engage your carmates in one of the 9 other games and activites before resorting to this! Road trip memories can last a lifetime, if done right.