Fun games to help survive your summer road trip

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

We’ve all experienced it. The car’s packed to the gills with holiday kit and you’ve only been on the road for 30 minutes when the first signs of boredom set in. Here are six games you can play to pass the time away.

20 Questions

Whoever starts the game thinks of something – an object, person, country, anything. The rest of the passengers ask questions to identify what they are thinking. For example, is it an animal or human? Is it live or inert? The player who is answering the questions can only use one word answers based on the question. The object is to identify the answer within twenty questions. The person who guesses correctly is the next to think of something for passengers to guess.


There are many versions of this classic game. Pick an uncommon colour for a car, such as yellow. Everyone has to keep an eye out for yellow vehicles and be the first to call out “spotto” when they spot one. You can have a tiered points system, two points for the first spotto of the game, half a point for a motor bike, one point for cars, two for trucks, buses or even boats if you’re travelling near water. The winner can be the first person to a set number of points or the person with the most points in a set time frame.

Slug a bug

Similar to spotto, the aim is to spot as many volkswagen bugs as possible before the other passengers. The original version required the person who spots the bug to slug the other passenger on the arm, but that is frowned upon these days.

Name that tune

Like the classic TV game show, the winner here is the one who figures out the name of the “mystery song” first. For those with singing/whistling/humming talent, this can be as much karaoke as a guessing game. Choose a theme for the game, such as show tunes, movie or TV themes, or Taylor Swift. The winner gets to be the singer for the next round. You can also try guessing the songs on the radio.

Licence plates

There are many ways to play with license plates, depending on the age of the passengers. Young participants can call out letters in alphabetical order; the first one to Z wins. Next, have them look for doubles of letters and/or numbers in the plates. The one who has the most at the end of the day/trip wins.

Count the…

This is an easy game to play, particularly for young kids. All you have to do is count the number of cows, telephone poles, headlights, train cars, blue pickup trucks, whatever you want to count. Shouting out the thing to keep track of is all that is required.