By on June 10, 2019

Image: Subaru

This past May long weekend was the unofficial start of summer for a good many gearheads. With cold temperatures and misery falling from the sky (mostly) behind us, it’s time for car shows, warm breezes, and — of course — road trips.

Kids and families have no shortage of attention diverting options these days, what with various tablets and devices approaching commodity-grade prices. But come on — surely someone out there still plays traditional road trip games, right? Right? Hello?

Where’d everyone go?

Of course your author and his family brings electronic devices with them on a road trip — we’re not Luddites. But we do also choose to toss them in the console for a while and pass the time with games I’m sure younger passengers find annoying but play out of some sense of obligation. Someday they’ll thank me for it. I think.

Road trip bingo is popular with our brood. It matters not if the card is full of car types or road signs or license plates or hobos. Thanks to a misspent youth at Bingo Country on Ricketts Road in St. John’s, it’s not just a straight line that can get you a winner in our car. No sir. There are extra prizes for a postage stamp or small picture frame. Full card? That’ll get you whatever you want off the dollar menu at our next stop.

It would appear Murilee created this bingo card in 2012. Good luck!

Image by Phillip Greden

So how about it? Surely all hands here have some form of road trip entertainment to supplement the many smart devices. I Spy? License Plate Game? Let us know in the comments.

[Image: Subaru]

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19 Comments on “QOTD: Road Trip Games?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    My boys would play “Punch-buggy” whoever saw a VW beetle first punched the other one while yelling “Punch-Buggy, 3 O’clock!” or whatever the location. Yeah, that game wouldn’t last long until I yelled, “Don’t make me turn this car around” Thank goodness minivans had DVD players and Walkmans to keep them busy

  • avatar
    deanst

    My kids play a game where they get rewarded points for seeing animals on their side of the road. Of course, it always seems to required new rules – (“Alpaca farm! How many points for those?”)- and then ends when you pass a cemetery and all your points are cancelled.

    At one point they even started awarding points for Inukshuks.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I got a GameBoy in the early 90s so there wasn’t too much of a period where I didn’t have electronic distractions for long trips. My father also rigged up a 12v TV/VCR combo in our Voyager so my sisters could watch videos.

    The biggest hassle about road trips growing up was that my father *refused* to stop for food/drinks during the trip. He had a personal hatred for “fast food” places and said that table service restaurants would take too long. So before we left he would have my mother pack peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and some bananas and that was all anyone got for sustenance until we arrived at our destination. No liquids. He’d also keep the engine running during fuel stops because he was worried about the vehicle failing to restart if he turned it off.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    I have recently played Pediddle (One-Eyed Willy based game) and something called Botticelli that I’m not even going to begin to explain which is also good for bush work. Other excellent fieldwork games are I-Spy and Mosquito Bodycount.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    We do I Spy, the license plate game, BINGO (but it has things like buses, stop signs, police cars and such). 20 questions, and of course they have their tablets to play or watch a movie on.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    We spent a lot of time doing roadtrips in the late 60’s to late 70’s. Our preferred game was the Alphabet Billboard game. Get all letters in order from A-Z, once spotted a fellow passenger had to wait for the next “a”. It would be miles and miles waiting for either a Quality Inn or EZ On / EZ Off.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick T.

      Yep, in the 60’s definitely this game as well as these rules. It was Quaker State then for the Q. Don’t recall if there was a go-to X or Z you’d be looking for.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Our game is “Cities”. Lets say, you call “New York”, I have to say something like “Kanberra”, next person will have to come up with city starting with “A”

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    My brothers and I were fairly juvenile in that we would try to come up with perverted initialisms based on license plate numbers. Also, we would count Wall Drug signs.

    Otherwise, if we were feeling especially anti-social my mom always told us to bring a book.

  • avatar
    watersketch

    Switch on the AM radio when in the sticks and play God vs. Country.

    You pick either God or Country and see how many of each station you pick up using scan on the AM dial.


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