Making Road Trips Fun Without the Use of Technology

Going on a family day trip, weekend getaway, or vacation always sounds like such a fun idea.  But what if that trip requires you to spend numerous hours in a vehicle?

Let’s face it–spending long periods of time on the road with children can at times be hard, frustrating, and even annoying (you know you’ve thought it too).  No matter what their age, children aren’t necessarily the best travelers.  

Making Road Trips Fun Without the Use of Technology

Of course the easy thing to do would be to put them in front of an electronic device. That will guarantee a silent couple of hours. But why do family car rides have to be silent?  Why can’t they be a time for togetherness and memory making?  

Now I’m not afraid to admit that we’ve let our daughter watch a movie on her portable DVD player during our seven hour car ride to the lake in Minnesota.  Sometimes a little bit of quiet time is needed for everyone’s sanity.  

But before we set her up with her current Disney favorite, we spend time making our road trip fun without the use of technology. 

Here are six technology-free road trip games the whole family can enjoy:


Our go to for this road trip game is finding states on license plates.  The first one to see and say five different states is the winner.  You could also do types of cars, colors of cars, and road signs.  My husband and I even enjoy playing this game when it’s just the two of us in the vehicle!

20 Questions

Our daughter also calls this the ‘Yes/No Game.’  One family member thinks of a person, place or thing and the rest of the family has 20 questions to figure out what it is.  The person answering the questions can only say “yes” or “no”.  If you aren’t able to guess what they thought of in 20 questions, they get to go again.

I Spy

This is a family favorite on our road trips.  

“I spy with my little eye something…”  Whether it’s something inside or outside of the vehicle, whoever guesses what the other person spies gets to be the next spy!   

Family Story Time

Create your own family story!  One person starts telling the story and when they are done with their part they say “pass”, and the next person continues however they’d like. Then they too say “pass” and the next person continues. Keep going until you feel like your story just can’t go on anymore or someone thinks of a great ending.

You Pick, I Pick

Take turns choosing what song you want to listen to.  You can choose themes to go along with this game such as country, Disney, or nursery rhymes.  Whoever chooses the song has to sing it and everyone else is encouraged to sing along as well.    

Travel Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items together before your road trip begins.  See if you can find everything on our list before you reach your destination!  You could choose some easy items like a stop sign or a railroad track, as well as some harder and more specific items like a Volkswagen Beetle or a bald eagle.  

Give one or two of these games a try on your next family road trip!  They are sure to fill your vehicle with love and laughter rather than the dreaded question, “Are we there yet?”

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Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshmen in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from his first deployment. They've stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and as they approach their 10 year wedding anniversary, they aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017!