Travel Tips

Game On: Guide to Classic Road Trip and Campsite Games


Pass the time on the road, stay busy on a rainy day, and bring a little friendly competition to the campsite

These days, it’s easy to let the distractions of the modern world keep us busy and banish our boredom. But surfing the internet and endlessly scrolling on the way to your destination means disconnecting from the people we’re closest to. It’s easy to forget that not long ago – without televisions, phones, portable gaming systems, and the internet to keep us busy and distracted – we relied on intellect, persuasion, wit, and humor to entertain one another, challenge our minds, and fill time.


Rainy days are the bane of the Airstreamer’s existence. We travel to the campsite to get outside and get away. Nothing puts a damper on the venturesome spirit faster than precipitation. But if we see rain showers as an opportunity to challenge our minds – and engage in a little friendly competition – then rainy days don’t seem so disastrous. At Airstream Supply Company, we’ve collected a few of our favorite board games in convenient travel form – easy to pack into the Airstream closet and pull out whenever the competitive spirit grabs you. 

Likewise, if you find yourself with plenty of interstate still ahead of you, it might be time to bring back the lost art of word and memory games. Whether your idea of a game is the latest app on your smartphone – or the last time you played a road trip game was when seatbelts were just a suggestions – here’s a list of our favorite road trip and rainy day games to help you pass the downtime on your next adventure.


Nostalgic Fun

For kids and adults alike, there is no shortage of favorite road trip games from the past. There’s the Alphabet Game where travelers attempt to find each letter of the alphabet on road signs and buildings they pass. Guess the Song is another good one. Find a local radio station and test your musical IQ, naming the song title or singer as you hear them. Of course, you can challenge yourself to find a license plate from each of the 50 states, keeping track to see how many you get. Old school favorite I Spy is a trusty stand-by. If you’re ready to change it up, try Rule, where each member in the car makes up a rule to be followed by all passengers. For instance, every time you go over a body of water, players are all required to sing a line from The River of Dreams, by Billy Joel. Or every time you pass a McDonald’s you have to say the burger chain’s catchphrase


Get Creative

Some of these might be oldies but goodies too, but either way they are sure to get your creative juices flowing. In the car game of Categories, one person names a category (books, cartoons, Major League Baseball) and players have to name something from the category until someone gets stuck. Stretch your creativity by making up stories. One person starts telling the story and then the next adds more details, thickens the plot or introduces a new character. Dr. Seuss fans, listen up. Rhyming might be the game for you. Someone starts by saying a word. Players then have to think of a rhyming word. If a word is repeated or someone gets stumped, they lose.


Stretch Your Memory

Challenging the brain is always a good thing – and it can be fun too. In the game Going on a Picnic, someone starts saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to bring a…” fill in the blank. The next person recites the same phrase and lists the previous person’s item and then adds their own. A new player goes next, repeating the process until someone forgets the order of items. Looking to engage a little more intellect? Try having a Spelling Bee. One person can look up challenging or obscure words and challenge others to spell them correctly.


Connect With Someone

Whether you’re traveling with someone for the first time or the hundredth time, getting to know a person better can develop deep bonds and where better to do that than when you’re stuck in close quarters on a road trip. It’s not a game of strategy, but a challenge of trust. Ask each other deep questions, and learn more about each other. A quick internet search will turn up a variety of lists to use for such a game. In the same spirit, but a little lighter, Would You Rather challenges players to come up with weird or difficult questions to choose between.


Make-Ahead Fun

If you have some time to plan for your trip, you can be a little more thoughtful about your fun and develop a trip specific scavenger hunt. Based on the geographic region you’re traversing or a particular destination or even just everyday things you see on the road, a road trip scavenger hunt will create friendly competition and pass the time. Travel Bingo is another fun one. It can be done with car makes and models, restaurants and retail chains.


Before you’re tempted to utter the words “Are we there yet?,” get a good road trip game going and pass the time challenging your memory, showcasing your creativity or building relationships. It’s a win-win for everyone. You’ll arrive at your destination before you know it and might even hold the champion title for most road trip games won.

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