13 Road Trip Games For Adults So You Never Have To Ask "Are We There Yet?"

Summer is almost here, promising sunny days, long weekends, and out-of-state adventures. If you're getting out of town and driving to your destination, here's a roundup of road trip games for adults that will come in handy during the long hours ahead.

The idea of car games might take you right back to the days when you were still sipping juice boxes in the backseat of your mom's station wagon, getting caught up on "Q" in the Alphabet Game. This lineup promises to deliver just as much in-car entertainment for your older self — minus the juice box and topped off instead with adult rewards like a round of booze at your destination.

Between rest stops and mile markers, keep everyone engaged (and the driver awake) with these interactive pastimes that play to your competitive spirit while keeping everything in good fun. Up the ante with ongoing contests and trip-long tallies. Transform pit-stops into mini-destinations with high-stakes tasks for every town along the way. Get to know your travel companions more intimately than you probably ever wanted to, and bond over the unanimous decision that nothing leaves the car. In life, everyone knows it's not about the destination, it's about the journey — so this summer make your journey on the road the best it can be.

1. The License Plate Game

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The Game

Be the first to spot an out-of-state license plate.

The Rules

  • Every time someone spots an out-of-state license plate, they can hit everyone else in the car.
  • Alternatively, keep track of points, and whoever has the most at the end of the day scores a special prize (like a cold drink).

2. Swear Jar

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The Game

Avoid saying a common word for the duration of the trip.

The Rules

  • Decide on a common word (it doesn't have to be a swear word) that will remain off limits for the rest of the car trip (the more common the word the better, like "car," "bathroom," or "hungry").
  • Every time someone uses the word, they have to write their name on a scrap of paper and add it to a jar, The Swear Jar.
  • Whoever has the most names in the jar at the end of the trip buys a round of drinks for the whole car once you're safely at your destination.

3. The Counting Game

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The Game

See how high you can collectively count at random.

The Rules

  • Someone randomly begins with "one."
  • Another person follows at random with the next number.
  • If more than one person speaks at the same time, you start over back at "one."
  • If there is more than a five second pause, you start over back at "one."

4. Colored Cars

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The Game

Spot as many cars as possible in an unusual color of your choosing.

The Rules

  • Everyone in the car chooses an unusual color for a car (like purple, turquoise, yellow, mint green).
  • Get points every time you spot a car in your chosen color (at the end of the trip, the person with the fewest points is publicly shamed and/or buys the car a beverage).

5. The Music Name Game

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The Game

Connect the names of musical artists.

The Rules

  • Start with the name of an artist (e.g., Selena Gomez).
  • The next person has to say the name of a different artist that starts with the first letter of the previous artist's second name (e.g., Gorillaz).
  • If the name is a single word (like Gorillaz), the next artist name starts with the last letter (like ZAYN).
  • If someone says a two part name where both words begin with the same letter, the game reverses order (e.g., Backstreet Boys, Janet Jackson, Modest Mouse).

6. 21 Questions

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The Game

Guess what a person is thinking in 21 questions.

The Rules

  • One player thinks of something.
  • Everyone else in the car asks questions, no question can be repeated.
  • Whoever guesses correctly starts the next round.

7. The Movie Game

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The Game

Connect actors through the movies in which they've starred.

The Rules

  • The first person says the name of an actor.
  • The next person says a movie in which that actor starred.
  • The following person names a different actor who also starred in that movie.
  • If anyone gives an incorrect answer or simply can't come up with anything, they sit out until the next round.
  • Example: "Taylor Lautner," "Twilight," "Kristen Stewart," "Snow White And The Huntsman," "Charlize Theron," "Mad Max: Fury Road."

8. The Category Game

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The Game

Take turns naming as many things as possible in a given category without pausing.

The Rules

  • Choose a category like colors, cars, or sex positions.
  • Take turns saying something that falls within the category.
  • If there is a pause of more than five seconds, or an answer is repeated, that person is out until the next round.

9. Battle Of The Bands

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The Game

Two players battle to pick the best song in a given category.

The Rules

  • One person chooses a theme, like "breakup songs" or "songs about growing up."
  • The two contestants have 60 seconds.
  • Each contestant takes a turn playing their selected song.
  • The car judges the selections and picks a winner.
  • Continue playing and tally up scores at the end of the game.

10. Word Association

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The Game

See how long you can string along words by association.

The Rules

  • The first person begins by saying a noun.
  • The next person follows with a noun associated with that noun.
  • The game continues until someone says something that the rest of the car doesn't agree with
  • Example: "Umbrella," "Rihanna," "Work," "Cubicle," "Office Space."

11. Regional Food Master

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The Game

Collect the most local snacks during the duration of the road trip.

The Rules

  • At each gas station, find and purchase a local snack (limit one item per gas station, per town).
  • The food item has to be from within the region of the stop.
  • The person who has accumulated the most snacks by the destination wins.
  • If budgeting money or car space, you can photograph the snacks instead of buying.

12. Never Have I Ever

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The Game

Make everyone uncomfortable by revealing awkward secrets.

The Rules

  • Go around taking turns saying "Never have I ever..."
  • Whoever has takes a drink of water or other non-alcoholic beverage of choice.
  • First person to have to go to the bathroom loses.

13. Would You Rather?

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The Game

Gross the entire car out with the most outlandish possible choices.

The Rules

  • Take turns proposing two equally horrendous and disgusting options to the others in the car.
  • Enjoy the responses and consequential discussions.

Images: Unsplash, Giphy (13)