16 Road Trip Games for Adults That You’ll Actually Enjoy
Instead of pulling out your phone, enjoy a few laughs on the road with your friends.
Ahh, the freedom of the open road and the promise of adventure — there’s nothing quite like a road trip! But 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.
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. From simple word-play games to board and card games, we’ve got your road trip game needs covered!
Adult Road Trip Games You’ll Actually Enjoy
If you think road trip games are childish, just 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, eaten all your snacks, and had a nap or two. Who wants to stare blankly out the window? I doubt you do.
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. Otherwise, have fun and go wild!
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 probably annoy (but in a good way) everyone on your trip. It’s not an overly intrusive game either, so you can easily do other things while playing.
The beauty of this road trip game is that you can set the duration for whatever you want — only wanna play for a few hours? Great! Want to drag it out over a few days or even a few weeks? Go right ahead! You don’t have to limit the game to when you’re in the car, either. Keep playing while doing all your fun, touristy road trip things like eating and sightseeing! It’s all up to you and your travel buddies.
- Pick a few common words that are off-limits for the road trip. They don’t have to be swear words — in fact, the more common the word, the harder (and funnier) this game will be. Think words like road, gas, bathroom, etc.
- When someone slips up and says the off-limit word, add their name to the swear jar. This can be a hat, jar, or anything else you have laying around — even a piece of paper to tally works. You could use your phone, but I find it’s a lot more fun when everyone can see the swear jar filling up.
- At the end of the day, tally the names in the swear jar. The person who “swore” the most on your road trip buys everyone a round of drinks. If your group isn’t into drinks, get creative and come up with a fun and easily doable “punishment”.
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. Or just any questions you want, really. You don’t have to go crazy.
This road trip game is a great way to get to know your friends and family. Make the questions as silly, thought-provoking, insightful, or inquisitive as you want. Hot Seat is a really great game to connect with your travel companions and spark meaningful (or just silly) conversations.
Don’t run out of questions! Grab this book of 501 questions for when you inevitably can’t think of your own (because it happens to the best of us).
- Before you begin, set boundaries. Are certain topics off-limits? Make sure everyone feels comfortable. If someone doesn’t want to answer a question (even if it wasn’t explicitly said beforehand), respect their wishes. This is just a game after all! It’s supposed to be fun, not cause conflict.
- Pick someone to be in the hot seat. The driver can absolutely play this game as long as they’re not driving somewhere stressful.
- When everyone’s ready, the other passengers ask this person five questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions you’ve never done before!
- When you’re done, choose a new person for the hot seat and play again!
3. Regional Food Master
The goal of Regional Food Master is to collect the most regional(ish) snacks or drinks during your trip. I looove this road trip game! Why? Because you can only play it on road trips and it introduces you to all kinds of local cuisine (good and bad).
There’s nothing quite like trying something you’ve never had before with all your friends and laughing (because it’s great) or cringing (because it’s terrible). Either way, you’re bound to have a fun time trying all the different foods!
My family has way too much fun wandering the aisles of Walmart finding chocolate marshmallows, squeeze cheese, or other equally horrifying things we’ve never seen before. The locals always think we’re nuts, but it’s a blast. We kill ourselves laughing and still talk about our finds over a decade later!
Take this game up a notch by buying a polaroid camera and making a scrapbook of all the regional foods you’ve tried! Rate, date, and record them so you can look back and laugh at your adventures.
- Every time you go to the grocery store or stop for gas, scour the shelves for a local food or drink. An alternate rule is to find unusual foods.
- Regardless of which rule you go with, the item has to be something that’s not available at home. The food or drink should be from the region or so unusual that you’ve never seen it before.
- Buy or photograph the item. This road trip game is the most fun when you buy the item so everyone can taste it, but that’s not always feasible.
- At the end of your road trip, the person who’s collected the most items wins.
4. Did You Hear That?
This adult road trip game is perfect for those of you that know pop culture, recent events, and trivia. It’s basically a game of fact or fiction and the whole point is to fool your buddies. The better you are at lying through your teeth, the better you’ll do at this game!
A fun twist to this game is to make it locally based about wherever you’re road tripping. Did you just visit a museum or attraction where you learned a lot? This is a great opportunity to play Did You Hear That? to see how well everyone remembers what they just learned!
Want to take it up a notch? Grab a trivia book! They’re full of weird and wacky facts that seem fake but are totally true. A trivia book will make this game a whole lot harder!
- Ask your opponent “Did you hear that…?”. Fill in the blank with your fact — it can be either real or fake, it’s up to you. Try to keep your “fact” pretty short and don’t be afraid to use your best tactics to lead your opponent astray.
- Then, your opponent either says “That didn’t happen”, “I did hear that,” or “Tell me more”.
- If they correctly call out a fact (as either true or false), they get a point.
- If they incorrectly call out a fact, you get a point.
- For every “tell me more” they say, points double until they finally call you out.
5. Left, Right, or Straight?
If you’re not in a rush, Left, Right, or Straight? is a fun travel game to explore the area you’re visiting — you simply choose a direction (ahem, left, right, or straight) every time you come to an intersection. I love this road trip game because it’s a great way to go on an adventure that involves no planning whatsoever (and if you’re usually the planner, you’ll really appreciate this).
You can also easily pair it with some of the other adult car games in this article. My husband and I sometimes play this car game when we’re at home just so we can go for a drive and see something new. There’s no reason to limit it to just road trips!
- Before you begin, determine how you’ll decide which direction to go when you come to an intersection. Will you choose on the spot? Will you draw straws or pull from a bag? Or maybe you pre-selected each turn before you even get in the car!
- When you reach an intersection, go the direction that was picked. If your choice isn’t available (ex: there’s no right turn), you can pick again or simply continue straight.
- There’s no winner on this road trip game, it’s just a way to explore and see new things! With some luck, you’ll find your way to a beautiful view or fun attraction and can hang out there for awhile.
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.
That’s a great one Andrea. My wife and I recently drove to San Francisco for lunch on the beach. 23 hours each way. Some of these games would of been perfect. She did get a cheap book though which passed the time. You ask the person a bunch of question, to reveal there outcome. Some sections are to see if they would survive if lost, who they are in the 90’s, how they are with movies…..you get the point. Kills an easy hour.
Ooh, that sounds like a great book! What was it called?
There is a similar game to the humming one. Works best with a phone or iPod connected to the car speakers. You play 5 seconds of a song in a playlist (we did a 90s playlist so it’s not recent music). And someone has to guess what song it is!
Thanks for sharing your list 🙂 I’m gonna play some of these
Ooh, I love that idea! I want to give it a try now 🙂