10 Free Road Trip Games for Couples (That Families and Kids Can Play Too)
Road trip games for couples have been essential in keeping us entertained on countless road trips. Playing games in the car makes any length of driving quickly pass. It's great to be able to dig into an arsenal of games to play together.
Our personal favorite is listed below – but it got us thinking about what road trip games for couples other travel writers play. What resulted is a fabulous list of creative road trip car games.
And if you love games, be sure to also check out our recommendations for travel games for adults that are portable and worthwhile.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase, at no cost to you. We truly only recommend hotels, products, and services we personally use. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Personal Road Trip Game for Couples: My Cows
This is a great fun free car game for road trips if you're driving through any rural stretch of land with livestock farms. Or if there is a chance wild cows will be off in the hills or mountains on your road trip.
We pack our cars with our luggage (including our Cabin Zero backpacks, which we adore) and hope for pastures where we can count cows!
Here is how to play: whoever spots a cow (a group of cows or even a single cow) first while driving says, “MY COWS!” You get a point! Once you claim the spotting of cow(s) no one else can until the next cow sighting occurs.
The catch is if you pass a cemetery. If you do and it's on the side of the car you're sitting on you lose all your points and need to start again.
When you reach your destination the person with the most “My Cows” points wins. This game is perfect when we're driving in western New York, including Buffalo. Or even when we're in a rural part of North Carolina, like driving to Ocracoke.
From Dan + Mikkel, of Sometimes Home and Sometimes Sailing
Don't Get Me Started
Considering my usual group of road trip companions is made up entirely of New Yorkers, it's usually difficult enough to get us to stop talking.
Nevertheless, we still always play a round of “Don't Get Me Started” to pass the time at least once per trip.
The rules are easy: call on one of your friends, followed by a topic you know may get them so temporarily riled they go off on a mini-rant. This could be intense, such as “Mike, don't get me started on (insert politician)”; or light and humorous like, “Tina, don't get me started on men with man buns.”
The results are hilarious; you'd be surprised how fun it can be listening to your friends go off on a tangent about their biggest pet peeves. But it's also just one of those games that makes the time fly by so much faster.
From Jasmine, of A Great Big Hunk of World
This is one of the fun road trip games for couples that involves music.
When we're in a country we pick a few artists we may hear on the radio. When that singer or band's song comes on the radio you get a point. (My wife picked ABBA in Sweden and whooped my ass!) The person with the most points at the end of the trip wins.
From Romeo, of Travel the World
I really enjoy a game I call, “Three Words.” You alternate taking turns making up a story with three words each. For example, one person may start with, “While walking on…” and the next person adds, “the beach I…” and then, “saw the strangest…”
It's a lot of fun to see where a story is going to go, especially because you only have half the little control of it!
From Cristal of Tofu Traveler
One of the road trip games for couples my husband and I play is a word game.
Here's how it works: start with a small three to four-letter word. Then see how many words you can make out of it. If you're more than two people, let's say with four people in the car, it gets really competitive. Since it doesn't involve searching for something outside of the car, the driver can play too.
The first person selects the base word. For example, “corn” or “art.” The second person would choose a word that includes the base word, like “corny” or “start.”
The more rounds that pass, the more complicated the words get. You may start with “art,” but near the end have “spartan.” We set a time limit of two minutes to give an answer. If the person doesn't answer within the time limit, he or she is out of the round. Proper nouns are acceptable.
It's incredible how heated the game can get and how much thinking ahead you have to do to make sure that your word isn't used before your turn. It is really fun and makes time fly!
By Jaime, of Jaime Says
Since my family and my in-laws both live several states away, my husband and I have taken a lot of road trips. Ten to twelve hours in the car with an extroverted husband means I've been coaxed into many road trip games for couples.
When we got tired of playing 20 Questions, we began making up our own games. We started with a simple song game, where we take turns saying the lyrics to one line of a song, and the other person has to guess what song it is.
This eventually evolved into what has become our favorite road trip game, in which we remove a letter from a movie title so it completely changes the meaning.
Dude, Where's My Car becomes Dude, Here's My Car! (A Sequel)
Jungle Book becomes Jungle Boo
Finding Emo, Harry Otter, Jurassic Ark, and Ma on Fire are just a few of our favorites.
From Naomi, of Roaming the Americas
Our favorite road trip game is to turn control of the music over to our kids! We connect their iPhones to our radio and they take charge. We let them deejay and quiz us on whether we can name the song title and artist. (While this is more of a family game for us, it can be a road trip game for couples, too.)
Our girls pit me against my husband…and the competition gets fierce! As long as they are in control and listening to their favorite music, our kids are willing to play this for HOURS. If you and your partner are music lovers, this is the fun road trip car game for you!
From Lisa, of Hilton Mom Voyage
Would You Rather
This is a simple game that mostly everyone knows: would you rather do this or that? For example, “Would you rather go to Morocco or Chiang Mai?” Or “Would you rather fly 5 hours to get to a destination, or drive for 24 but see lots of sites along the way?”
There are a ton of “Would you rather” questions for kids and of course, lots for adults-only. We recommend The Gottman Institute App for your phone for adult relationship-appropriate questions.
From Mikkel, Sometimes Home
The Story Game
I read books in the car growing up, around town, and on road trips. I was an only child and books were my constant companion. Now, as an adult, books are still a constant companion of mine. My husband is too. Listening to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts in the car can get old after a while on a road trip.
He and I like to play the story game. Here's how to play: one person names an object or two; or perhaps an object and a problem. Then the storyteller gets two minutes to tell a story using the given object/problem.
If you have more than two people (and we do when my kids are involved), a new person is deemed the storyteller after the story ends and we repeat the process. Sometimes we change the rules and the next story has to build on the previous one, which gets silly and out of hand really fast. It’s a great game to play with the kids and is great for conditioning your storytelling and improv skills.
From Jillian, of Greenawalts Travel
My younger sister and I used to play “My Car” on road trips. It's best played on country roads and highways that don't have many cars. (Road trip games for couples doesn't have to be a love interest – you and your sister can be a pair!)
You and any passenger each pick a car color that's dedicated to you. The next car of that color that passes is “my car” and you get a point. I would usually pick red and she would pick green. All the green cars in the 1980's were huge crappy beaters from the 1970s so we'd have a good laugh!
When you reach your destination, the person with the most points wins.
From Lisa, of The Hotflash Packer
We used to play ‘car cricket' when we were kids, traveling in the car. Cricket is really popular in New Zealand but the rules might not be as familiar to people from other countries. But car cricket is fairly simple and one of the great fun free road trip games for couples.
Each person has an inning. When it's your turn to ‘bat' every car that passes earns you ‘runs.” You can choose your own colors or take inspiration from what we used:
ALL OTHER COLORS: 1
This is best played on long, quiet stretches of road so you have time to do the math! It works really well in parts of New Zealand but we've also given it a go on our recent road trip through the Balkans in Europe. You can add your scores together from each inning and decide on a ‘first to X-number' or just play a certain amount of innings.
From Rohan of Travels of a Bookpacker
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase, at no cost to you. We truly only recommend products or services we personally use.
For additional fun travel tips and ideas check out:
- Travel Games for Adults that are Portable and Worthwhile
- Who Has the Highest Quality Photo Books for Travel Memories?
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Great topic! Who knew there were this many car games and probably many more to play. I look forward to reading about more games your viewers might have to post and share.
I didn’t realize either! I had fun putting together this post.
Love this, we have a few other games we play with the kids so these will be great to add to our list
So happy they’ll be great additions to the games you play! If you want to share any other games not listed here please feel free to do so!
This is wonderful! I’ve written these down for our next road trip!! Thanks for including me! 🙂
So many great ideas! I have a road trip coming up so now I have even more games to try 😀