Say Goodbye to the Phrase “Are We There Yet?” With These Travel Games for Kids

Planes, trains and automobiles – no matter your form of transportation, it is that time of the year when many people will be traveling for the holidays. Keeping track of the luggage, leaving at the right time and making sure you have everything done can cause travel to be stressful for everyone involved, especially during the months of November and December. For kids, hitting the road or air can disrupt their normal schedules, and the longer hours can make things a little crazy. One of the best ways to help your child adjust to traveling is by keeping them engaged with travel games, such as the suggestions below. These games are fun for the whole family. 

Versions of the Scavenger Hunt

Similar to the game “I Spy,” a travel scavenger hunt involves finding certain items, such as a restaurant, a yellow house, etc. Create a list of the needed items for each player beforehand, and cross them off as the person finds them. The first person to see all of their needed items is the winner. Card games for a travel scavenger hunt are also available for purchase. 

To put more of an “I Spy” spin on the game, make up the needed items as you go. Let the other players ask an individual to find a specific object that is decided on by the other players. Keep score of how many items each player has found. The person with the most wins. Fun fact: There is a Disney card game version of “I Spy.” 

Lastly, turn the scavenger hunt into Bingo. An easy way to play this option is to purchase or create Bingo cards with travel associated items, people or popular attractions and spots you may pass. Just like the other versions, keep track of what is found by who. 

The License Plate Game

Determine how many license plates you can find on your trip. Challenge your family to find the license plate that has traveled the farthest to where you are located, traveled the shortest or see who can collect the highest number of different states. 

Brainteasers and Mad Libs

Both easy to find online, brainteasers and Mad Libs are great ways to keep kids engaged and quietly occupied, if needed. Brainteasers work the mind and may teach kids a thing or two. As for Mad Libs, children are practicing the different parts of speech and finding words to fill into a story. Once done, they can read their newly written story. The goal is to make the words as hilarious as possible. 

Don’t have Mad Libs, your family can still write a story together or individually. Create the tale through a round robin activity where one family member writes a sentence, paragraph or two and then passes it to the next person to continue the story. Who knows what your kids may come up with? 

Classic Playing Card Games 

While devices and digital games can engage children, there is nothing better than the classic playing card games like Crazy Eights, Go Fish and Old Maid. Take a trip down memory lane, and teach your family how to play your favorites. Just like tons of other games, there are also pre-made card games you can buy ahead of time with instructions. These games include Apples to Apples on the Go, UNO and Loaded Questions Junior on the Go. 


This is a beloved game among many. You do need a copy of the word game, but it is worth the purchase. Much like Scrabble, players will use titles and arrange them into words. There are versions appropriate for various ages. 

The list for travel games for kids can go on and on. Magnetic games, Cat’s Cradle, matching and Battleship Grab and Go are more options to help keep your children focused while traveling. When choosing what games to pack, let your kids help. Let them decide on their favorites and what they would like to play. Their choices may surprise you, as well as, keep them playing all the way to your destination. 


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photography by JEJ PHOTOS Budget Blinds of North

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