“‘Are we there yet?”
It’s the age-old problem – you want to go for a day out with your friends or family, but the car journey there is just … boring! Getting stuck in traffic jams or having to drive a long distance can really be a buzzkill. However, thanks to these fun-filled and original board games, the road trip might even be the best part of the whole day.
Here are our top picks for the best road trip board games for families to change a boring car ride into an exciting and fun time with their loved ones. Check out the best road trip board games below.
🏆 Our Top Picks for Best Road Trip Board Games for Families
In a hurry to get out the door? Take a quick peek before you dash off.
Shotgun! The Road Trip Game
Playing time: 20 minutes +
With time to kill on a long car ride, this fun-fueled card game is suitable for anybody over the age of 12. The game features a wide variety of tasks and topics to be completed on your journey as participants compete in individual and group challenges to win points.
One person is nominated to read the cards, and this can be rotated around the car, so each person gets involved in the setting up of the tasks, not just the actions. The cards prompt the players to think creatively with their answers, share their opinions, and even features some elements of the classic i-spy, so it is important to take in your surroundings as you drive.
With over 200 prompt cards, and room to extend the questions further, this game has great longevity and can be left in the car ready for your next road trip.
Do You Really Know Your Family?
Time: 30 minutes +
“I knew you would say that… You’re so predictable!” could well be a phrase you hear during this game. But equally likely could be an open-mouthed, “Really … ?!”
Get to know the people you already know, just a little bit better, during this light-hearted card game for all ages. Players select a card, then read out the prompt, which can either be a trivia question — “What is my least favorite vegetable?” — or a challenge — “Make your best monkey noises”.
Super easy to begin playing straight away, this game is a hilarious way to get to know your family in a way you hadn’t imagined before.
Playing time: 10-20 min
If you want a fast-paced game, that is super easy to learn, but highly replayable, then this could be the perfect match for you and your family. The updated version of Love Letter can be started within 5 minutes as the rules are straightforward, allowing you to be fully immersed in moments.
Combining strategy and elements of luck, you compete against the other players for the affections of the Princess as she seeks a suitor. Ensure that it is your letters that reach her hand and she could choose you to be her confidant as she one day ascends to the throne.
Updated illustrations and additional player numbers mean that this classic game has all of the elements required to turn the inside of your car into a fantastical world of royal intrigue.
Playing time: 10-20 min
This fast-paced strategy game can be played by two people in just about any environment. The rules may initially appear more complicated than a card game, but once you understand the different movements of the pieces, this game has almost limitless longevity.
Some people have compared Hive to a more dynamic version of chess because the five different pieces have set movements enabling each player to capture the opponent’s Queen Bee by surrounding it with their pieces (insects). Strategy is the watchword here. Learning how to master your pieces means that you create the shape of the game (there is no board!).
Once you have mastered the game there are even extension packs that can add even more variety to this wondrous game.
I Spy Travel Game
Playing time: 10 minutes +
Raise your hand if you’ve ever played I, Spy. Of course, you raised your hand, everyone has enjoyed versions of this truly classic game.
The card-based format of the game is well suited to urban areas and cities, allowing participants to appreciate their surroundings and take in the environment around them.
For younger players, the beautiful photographs and illustrations on the playing cards provide prompts, allowing them to lead the game. For older players, there is tons of room for expansion, adding extra layers of detail to enhance the game and make those slow-moving traffic jams become an opportunity to see the details we might otherwise ignore.
Mr. Jack (Revised Edition)
Playing time: 30 min
Mr. Jack is Back! A fast-paced action board game that is the perfect challenge for two players seeking adventure as they travel.
Set in 1888 Whitechapel, London, players make alternate moves as Mr. Jack tries to escape the clutches of the police. Investigators work to ensnare the criminal, who in turn tries to mislead and deceive those trying to capture him and slip away through the misty alleyways of nighttime London. Will justice prevail, or will the famous criminal evade capture? This game allows you to decide.
If you are looking for an immersive and atmospheric game, then you have found it right here.
No Thanks! Card Game
Playing time: 10-20 min
Some games just work in any language, anywhere in the World. Geschenkt was invented in 2004 in Germany, but quickly was translated into ‘No Thanks!’ and we should all be thankful that it was.
A true group game that has a simple yet engaging format. The object of each round is to achieve the least points in cards and the most points in chips. On a turn a player either: plays a chip on top of the current face-up card, which ends their turn; or else takes the face-up card, with all the chips on it. At this point the player must then turn the next card face-up, and make the same decision: play a chip or take the card.
Sounds simple enough, but simple games often are the most addictive. So you know, this is the way to keep a group of bored travelers interested and help the time to fly by.
Playing time: 15 min +
A tint metal tin, full of big amounts of fun. This card game is quick to learn, even for younger players, due to the clear use of shapes and colors.
Each player can add cards to form a grid making sure that color, shape, and number are either all the same or all different across the line. As the grid expands, so do the possibilities. The strategy soon becomes important, but the uncomplicated core to the game means time is spent playing, head-scratching.
The size makes it one of the most portable games you will find, and it truly is one game for a mix of age groups to spend fun times together.
Players: 1-4 (but easy to expand with more tiles)
Playing time: 15-30 min
With its iconic packaging (a beautiful banana case!) this is a game that is perfect for any road trip. But so addictive you will want to continue playing once you reach your destination.
Suitable for a mix of ages and abilities, you compete against other players to use the letters selected to form crossword grids spelling out words. Speed is the key here. Each time you need more letters ‘Peel’ is called out and everyone must add more tiles to their grid.
Educational and fun, you will need to get your brain in gear to make sure you don’t slip up… (sorry).
Tiny Epic Pirates
Playing time: 30-60 min
Come on board this pirate board game!
This game has many elements and great depth, but is accessible and can be understood quickly by all players. Mixing strategy and elements of card games players take turns to move their ‘Captain Token’ around the board as they compete and plot against other players.
Elements of trading and plundering add to the strong and well-designed themes of the game. The action wheel (rondel) is a fine example of how games can really offer a stylized and fun way to lead the players around the map (board).
Suitable for all the family, turn your boring car journey into a high seas adventure of epic proportions.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best road trip board games for families! With these games at hand, your family won’t want the road trip to end. Have you tried any of the games on this list? Did we miss any of your favorite road trip games? Drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
Looking for other games? Check out our best Coop Games for Families below:
Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages.