Games—they’re not just for kids. Make time fly by faster than that maniac in the left lane with these road trip games to play with your partner, your girlfriends, or any other grownups you bring on your next adventure.
Road trips are fun—at least, in theory. But after a couple of hours of music, podcasts, and “I’m just going to take a quick nap while you drive,” things can quickly take a turn toward boring. That’s when you need to resurrect that good ol’ standby: road trip games. While “I Spy” may have kept your attention when you were young—impressive, given that you had the attention span of a goldfish—these games up the ante a bit. Here, the best road trip games for adults.
Spin a Story from the Past
Think of this as “who can lie better?” Essentially, one player begins by telling a story about their past (could be dating stories, but you know, proceed with caution), and the other person has to say whether they are telling the truth or spinning a tale. Can’t tell right away whether it’s a lie or just want more info about that “wait, that really happened?” story? Each player gets two follow-up questions, which can be used before or after the story is revealed to be true or not. Every correct guess is 2 points. First player to 10 wins. (Loser has to reveal a super embarrassing story.)
While the traditional license plate game involves finding a plate from each of the 50 states (yawn), this game involves finding a license plate with random letters (sorry vanity plates) and creating a word with those letters—think of it like Road Trip Scrabble. (So if the license plates is YMT23, you could say Yosemite.) Instead of taking turns, just yell when you see one and can come up with a word. The other person can challenge you by coming up with a longer word that features those letters. To up the stakes, you can stipulate that the letters have to be in the exact order to make the word, and can’t be scrambled. Two extra points for those who spot a vanity plate out in the wild. First one to 10, wins.
Explain a Movie Plot Badly
This one’s a game that others play outside of road trips, but it also works when you're trapped in a car. It goes something like this: One of you thinks of a movie and then explains the plot in a way that is both factual but also terrible. (Need some inspiration? Look at #ExplainaFilmPlotBadly.) Then, the other person has to guess. If they guess correctly, they get a point. If they don’t, you get a point. My favorite comes from a friend—and though pretty easy to guess, is just A+: “Girl can’t commit. Loses cat.”
Essentially The Same Movie
Speaking of movies, this is a good and easy one to try. To start, a person names a movie. The other person has to name a movie that is, essentially the same movie in that it has the same basic plot. If the original movie-namer can name a movie that’s even closer in plot, they win. If the original movie-namer can’t do it, the other person wins. (Think: Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful or No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits.) First to 10, wins.
This is essentially a game of Name That Tune. It’s easy—flip to a station (best to do with presets, though advanced points for truly just seeking the next station), and let it play for 15 seconds. The other person has to name the artist and name of the song. One point for each. Bonus point round—name the album. First one to pass 15 wins.
If you’re not into this whole “pre-technology” shtick, whip out the smartphone and download Adult Mad Libs. It’s a classic for a reason. Have the driver yell out whatever random part of speech you’re asked for, then read it out loud. That’s it. You’re welcome. Drive safe.