Sometimes the hardest part of a road trip is the long hours spent in the car, so it’s important to prepare by packing entertainment. If you’re planning a budget-friendly road trip, you may not want to break the bank with expensive tablets or portable TVs for the young ones. Luckily, you don’t need to shell out a lot of cash to make the hours pass quickly. Just keep some of these inexpensive (or free!) road trip car activities for kids in your back pocket the next time you travel.
Free Road Trip Activities for Kids
You don’t need to spend a dime to entertain your children during a long drive—just try some of these old-fashioned activities to pass the time instead! Adult passengers can participate as well, but don’t distract the driver.
This classic game is ideal for your next road trip. Simply designate someone in the car as the first spy. Next, choose an object and say: “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” Finish the statement with an attribute that helps players identify the object, such as its color or the letter it starts with. Take turns guessing what the object could be, and whoever guesses correctly is the next spy.
Would You Rather?
Squeeze in a little covert bonding time with a quick game of “Would You Rather?” while on the road. Like the other games on this list, this game requires little to no memorization. To play, pose a question that starts with “Would you rather…?” and then present your passengers with a choice between two scenarios. For example, “Would you rather take a trip to Florida or California?”
You might be familiar with 20 questions as it’s a staple car game that’s prevented many children from complaining about travel time. If you want to try it out, think of a person, place, or thing, and let your family take turns asking various yes-or-no questions until they reach the answer. Whoever guesses correctly is crowned the winner and chooses the next object. If they can’t guess what’s on your mind in less than 20 questions, you win!
The Alphabet Game
Turn a long car ride into a learning opportunity with a round or two of the alphabet game. Young kids can participate in this game, and it might even sharpen their spelling skills. To get started, take turns picking objects outside of the car that begin with the letters of the alphabet. Each player takes a turn in order of the alphabet until you’ve made it through every letter.
Inexpensive Road Trip Activities for Kids
- Take some of these travel-friendly boredom busters with you on your next road trip.
- Coloring books
- Coloring supplies
- Mad Libs
- Travel origami
- Travel Legos
- Brain Quest for the Car
- I Spy Books
- Magnetic doodle boards
- Water activity books
- Reusable sticker books
- Magnetic board games
- Travel bingo
- Model Magic
- Fidget toys
- Audiobooks or CDs
- Fun snacks!
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