Road Trip Activities for Kids

Keeping my kids entertained while traveling is very important. While we are on a road trip or traveling on a plane, I like to make sure they have enough travel activities to do, while also scheduling for some electronic-free time and “doing nothing time” as well. Here are some ideas on road trip activities for kids.

road trip activities for kids

1. Download shows or new games/apps on a device 

It is very important to have new content for kids to watch or play when on a road trip or flight. Be sure that whatever is downloaded can work without Wifi as you may be without it for long periods of time. It is also just as important to have portable phone chargers or portable chargers ready to go. I recommend buying one with multiple ports so that at least two people can use it at the same time. These have been a huge lifesaver for us on road trips. 

phone charger

2. Buy Books

One of our favorite road trip activities for kids is buying new travel activity books and Mad Libs. My two kids love these! I cannot recommend them enough for road trips! We started using travel activity books and Mad Libs when they were close to 5, but now that they are 8 and 10, it is wonderful! Word searches, atlases, and crossword puzzles are also great ideas to keep kids busy when traveling. Here are my three favorites:

Mad libs
road trip games for kids
road trip activities for kids

I have also gone the cheaper route and used one of the kids’ school folders and printed out activity pages from the Internet. It varied based off of their ages at the time, but they included crossword puzzles and word searches on a topic that interested them, sudoku puzzles, coloring pages, car bingo and my favorite… the license plate game! Every single trip we take, I print out a paper with all of the states and include Canada. Their job is to work as a team and find as many state license plates as possible and check them off. My husband and I always help out, of course, and at the end of the trip, we always try to outdo our number from the last trip. 

road trip games

3. Reveal New Items

Buy new snacks or things the kids love, but you rarely allow on normal days, and “reveal” them at some point during the trip when there is a meltdown or a long wait somewhere. It may sound silly, but trust me that revealing some pretzels or Smarties when they least expect it, will be a lifesaver!


4. Play Games!

Another one of our favorite road trip activities with kids is to play some type of game to keep them entertained. We try to bring a deck of cards or Uno to help pass the time. We also play a game called “Would You Rather?” – which usually leads to gross commentary, but it always gets laughs. One of my favorite car games to play with the kids when we are on vacation is called Loaded Questions. It is more of a discussion starter rather than a game really. You take out a card and it has random questions (kid friendly) that are pretty funny. We usually play this game at dinner, in the car or during a long wait somewhere. Educational board games are also great ideas too.

car games
road trip activities for kids

We also play a game called “Hesitate”.  The way you play is that one person calls out a topic (let’s say cars or team names) and each person takes a  turn naming one without hesitating. If you stutter, or take more than a second, you lose and the game re-starts. This one always causes laughter!

road trip activities for kids
road trip games

Hopefully, you have found some ideas for road trip activities for kids to use on your next adventure. If you are planning a road trip, check out these road trip essentials and these road trip planner apps. If you are looking for ways to document your road trip, check out these front and rear dash cams. Be sure to use packing cubes to help you organize all your items on your road trip.

If you are traveling with older kids, check out these ideas on the best things to do on a road trip for tweens & teens. Traveling with little ones? Then, you should check out tips on how to travel with car seats.


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road trip activities for kids

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