kids playing travel game on road trip

Must-Have Travel Games for Kids: Perfect for Road Trips and Family Vacations

In this post: The ultimate guide to travel games for kids and families. Discover travel games for road trips, plane rides, and any adventure with kids. Post may contain affiliate links.

Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun but it can also turn into a nightmare if they get bored during long journeys. We have been traveling with our kids since the twins were four months and we have learned first hand the importance of good travel entertainment for kids! Travel games for kids are a great way to not only keep them occupied and off a screen, but also to promote learning and creativity.

From classic games that have passed the test of time to newer versions designed specifically for travel, there are all kinds of options available to keep children of all ages entertained while on the go. Here are some helpful tips and ideas for travel games that will keep your kids happy, engaged, and learning while on your next family adventure.

10 Classic Road Trip Games for Kids

1. I Spy – A classic travel game for kids where one person picks an object in the environment, and everyone else has to guess what it is by asking yes or no questions until someone figures it out. This is also an amazing game to play to practice Spanish (the Spanish teacher in me needed to say this!)

2. License Plate Game – Keep track of the different state license plates you see on your trip. See how many different states you can find. Give your children blank maps to color in for each state they see. 

3. Twenty Questions – One person thinks of a person, place or thing, and everyone else takes turns asking yes or no questions until someone guesses who or what it is. This is another great language practice game too!

4. Alphabet Game – Start with the letter A and go through the alphabet finding objects that begin with each letter.

5. Tic Tac Toe – A game of strategy where the first person to get three in a row wins.

6. Spot the Difference – Find the differences between two similar pictures. You can find spot the difference books for kids and adults. 

7. Guess the Animal – One person describes an animal and everyone else tries to guess what it is. This is a favorite road trip game in my family.

8. Scavenger Hunt – Create a list of items to find on your journey and see who can find them all first.

9. Storytelling – Take turns adding to a story, creating wild and imaginative plot twists.

10. Travel Pictionary – One person draws a picture and everyone else has to guess what it is.


10 Travel Games for Kids and Families

On a plane or train, I always love having travel board games or travel card games to play with my kids. They help break up any monotony and take their minds off the endless hours sitting. Here are some of our favorites. 

1. Spot It! – A fast-paced card game that challenges kids to spot familiar images as they race to match them to their card.

2. I Spy Travel – This seek-and-find card game is perfect for keeping kids entertained and appreciating the scenery on the road.

3. Sleeping Queens – This is my absolute favorite card game ever to play with kids. I am saving Sleeping Queens 2 for our upcoming trip to Europe to help our long train rides! 

4. Guess in 10 – This is an amazing guessing game to play with families! Whether you’re learning about different states, food all over the world, or new cities – this is a fun game that let’s you play while you learn (and travel!)

5. Travel Cribbage – My husband’s family won’t go anywhere without cribbage, and for good reason. It is such a fun game to play with your older kids and teens while you travel. 

6. Pass the Pigs – This travel game is my childhood! Every summer we drove 14 hours to North Carolina and my siblings and I played this for hours. It is silly and so fun. 

7. Magnetic Travel Chess – This is the perfect travel game for any chess lovers! 

8. Travel Bingo – This magnetic bingo game is perfect for travel and your younger kids will love it!

9. Battleship – Purple Cow has some of the best magnetic travel games for kids and families. We love the magnetic battle ships but I am slowly going to collect all their travel games!

10. Uno – A classic card game that kids and families love! Get this trio combo of three different card games in a perfect travel case. I’m getting this for our upcoming trip!

Don't miss these interactive travel activities
for kids

Travel games are super fun, but it’s always nice to have some independent entertainment for kids while you’re road tripping or on an adventure. This helps everyone get a little much needed quiet time. Here are my favorite interactive activities for my kids while we travel:

1. Sticker books – Who doesn’t love sticker books?! I especially love this one because the stickers are easy for kids to peel on their own, they have coloring pages as well, plus there is no need to flip back and forth like most sticker books require. 

2. Scratch Art Activity Books – Besides sticker books, I always try to also have some fun scratch art activity books for my kids while we travel. 

3. Sketch book & art supplies – A fresh notebook and some fun new art supplies will give my kids hours of quiet entertainment. I always try to get something new and fun for their sketch books, like stamp pens, gel pens, stencils, or gel crayons

4. Magnetic Playsets – These have saved me on so many long trips with my kids! I have a whole stack of these in a closet and pick a few to bring on all our trips and to keep in the car. They are invaluable when traveling. 

5. Yoto Player Mini – I got each of my kids a Yoto player mini when my son was born and I am so glad I did! They use them all the time, when we’re traveling and when we’re at home. Truly this is my most packed travel item that helps keep my kids entertained while not on a screen. 

Do you feel like you’re ready for your next adventure now? I hope you enjoy these travel games and activities for kids as much as we do. Let me know in the comments if I’m missing any of your favorites. 

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picture of kids playing rock paper scissor on a road trip