Travel Guides

Best Things to Do on a Road Trip: 10 Activities to Keep You Entertained

What to do on a long car ride
What to do on a road trip
Things to do on a long road trip
Things to do during a road trip
Best things to do on a road trip
Things to do on my road trip
Things to do on a long car trip
Fun things to do on a long road trip
Things to do on a road trip
Things to bring on a road trip
Fun things to do in the car 
Fun things to do on a road trip 
Things to do on a road trip in the car

These days it feels like I’m an expert on road trips. Since moving to CO from the Midwest, I have driven across the country 4 times. Not to mention, many awesome road trips into the mountains and long, traffic-filled drives up to skiing. We’ve tackled a lot of long drives fighting off boredom and falling asleep at the wheel each time. Anyway, this summer in particular has been filled with long-hauls across the country eventually landing us back in the Midwest. If you haven’t gone on a road trip yet this summer, there’s probably an upcoming one on your calendar. Summer road trips aren’t for the faint of heart. They take planning, packing, and patience. Throughout your planning and packing, it’s important to consider things to do on a road trip in the car. This will in turn support your patience and avoid long drawn out yawning…

My list of things to do on a road trip is inspired by both solo and group travels, so don’t fear if you’re going it alone. There are plenty of options to keep you entertained. Just remember that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. When you’re taking a road trip, the drive is just as much part of the memories as wherever you’re headed. Take it in, go slow, and make the best of it with these 10 fun things to do on a long road trip. 

Things to Bring on a Road Trip

What to do on a long car ride
What to do on a road trip
Things to do on a long road trip
Things to do during a road trip
Best things to do on a road trip
Things to do on my road trip
Things to do on a long car trip
Fun things to do on a long road trip
Things to do on a road trip
Things to bring on a road trip
Fun things to do in the car 
Fun things to do on a road trip 
Things to do on a road trip in the car

As I mentioned, packing and planning for a road trip are absolutely essential. This includes packing and planning for things to do on a road trip in the car. I hate to say it but probably the number one essential item to bring on your next road trip is your cell phone. Not only will it guide you to your destination and help you find gas, but it will also provide endless entertainment. Other things to bring on a road trip include a cooler with snacks and drinks, a USB or Bluetooth system, phone car chargers, a pillow and blanket, a journal, and classic games like Mad Libs. 

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Listen to Podcasts

What to do on a long car ride What to do on a road trip Things to do on a long road trip Things to do during a road trip Best things to do on a road trip Things to do on my road trip Things to do on a long car trip Fun things to do on a long road trip Things to do on a road trip Things to bring on a road trip Fun things to do in the car Fun things to do on a road trip Things to do on a road trip in the car

One of my favorite road trip entertainment options is podcasts. The problem is, there are so many incredible road trip podcasts to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Before you go, check out my ultimate road trip podcast playlist to help you make a decision. Many of you are probably wondering how you listen to podcasts. The first step is downloading a podcast streaming app. My preference is Spotify, but you can also use platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Audible, Stitcher, and iHeart Radio. Most of these apps allow for free listening. Another pro tip is to download your road trip podcasts before you head out to avoid losing service and sitting in silence. 

Things to do on a road trip: Music

 This probably seems obvious, but thankfully you are no longer at the mercy of whatever happens to be on the radio or radio surfing during your drive. Now, you can download a music streaming app like Spotify or Apple Music and listen to a perfectly curated playlist. Like podcasts, music can take some extra planning as creating your own playlist can take time and you should download your favorites for when the service gives out. If you’re feeling bored of your own music, my family plays a “pass the phone game” where the phone rotates through each person in the car and everyone has to choose a song when it’s their turn. The only rule is that you have to listen to each song in its entirety. Play at your own risk. 

Things to do on a Road Trip: Audiobooks

There are several ways to listen to audiobooks. You can pay for a monthly subscription to services like Audible or Scribd. Spotify also just released an audiobook option, but I believe you have to pay for most. Be sure to check out the audiobook options from your local library as well. Denver Public Libraries offer audiobook downloads right to your phone which you will have for a period of time, just like checking out a book. Audiobooks make for a nice option for things to do on a road trip when taking it solo.

Things to do on a Road Trip: Sight See

What to do on a long car ride
What to do on a road trip
Things to do on a long road trip
Things to do during a road trip
Best things to do on a road trip
Things to do on my road trip
Things to do on a long car trip
Fun things to do on a long road trip
Things to do on a road trip
Things to bring on a road trip
Fun things to do in the car 
Fun things to do on a road trip 
Things to do on a road trip in the car

While you’re planning a road trip, give yourself plenty of time and be realistic about when and where to stop. Use your phone for this one and plan your route. You can simply do this using Google Maps or an app like Roadtrippers. Put in your final destination then search for sights along your route. Maybe there are cool places to stay. Maybe there is a national monument, state park, or major city to swing through. While planning your stops in this way can be helpful, sometimes it can be worth it to make an unexpected stop. Don’t miss out on reading those highway signs for something your maps may have missed. Spontaneity on a road trip only makes for more memories. 

Once on our road trip to AZ from OH, we pulled off onto a dirt road just to look at the stars. We also took a detour just to drive along the iconic Route 66. I also highly recommend stopping at any and all roadside stands for some snacking and to support the local community you’re driving through.

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Play Car Games

This might sound old school to many of you, but car games can spark stimulating conversations and are one of the more fun things to do on a road trip. Some classic road trip games include the animal game, Mad Libs, 20 Questions, and the alphabet game. If mine aren’t scratching your itch, check out Buzzfeed’s list of “14 Road Trip Games that Adults Will Actually Enjoy

  1. The Animal Game: Pick a Letter by closing your eyes and randomly pointing to a spot on a magazine, piece of paper, article on your phone, etc. Now you’ll go in a circle naming an animal that begins with that letter. There are no time limits and no repeating. If you cannot think of one and give up, you’re out. 
  2. Mad Libs: A classic word game that tells a story using parts of speech that you come up with on your own. Get creative. 
  3. 20 Questions: Person A thinks of something (anything) and Person B asks 20 yes/no questions to get clues and make an educated guess about what Person A might be thinking. 
  4. Alphabet Game: Use road signs, license plates, billboards, etc. to find all the letters of the alphabet. 

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Eat Snacks

This fun thing to do on a road trip may require some upfront planning, but that’s only if you want to make your own snacks. Making snacks is not really my forte, so here is a list of some yummy road trip snacks from Insanely Good Recipes. My preference is to peruse the grocery store for some easy snacks to munch on before I depart. Of course, I also love stopping at the gas station and indulging in some unique snacks as well. Something about a road trip snack helps the time fly by on a road trip. Don’t forget to pack a cooler with some sandwiches and your favorite drinks too! 

On the topic of snacks, be on the lookout for cuisine that’s native to the area. Like stopping for BBQ in Texas. This doesn’t have to be a fancy sit-down occasion. Even stopping somewhere like What-a-Burger (in the South) or In-and-Out (in the West) can be fun to refuel and take a break from the road. We love to stop at Culver’s when driving from Denver back home. I-80 is filled with them at several convenient locations throughout the Midwest and we can’t help but get a butter burger fix.

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Sleep

Of course, this one is for passengers only, but you can always take turns driving. Make sure to bring your favorite pillow and blanket for this road trip activity and let the steady hum of the open road rock you to sleep. Nothing is better than falling asleep and waking up at your final destination. A caution with sleeping in the car is making sure that your driver is okay with it. Try to plan your sleep for a time they don’t need you for directions etc. 

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Take Photos and Videos

Whether you’re planning to update friends and family on your socials, take a crack at travel influencing, make a scrapbook, or just do it for fun, being creative with pictures and videos is a fun thing to do on a long car ride. Take your pick for the kind of equipment you’d like to use. From our phones to disposable cameras, and expensive Nikons, you can use this time to learn a new skill. Not to mention, it’s a really fun way to document all memories from the incredible to the boring, to the inevitable bumps in the road. 

Things to Do on a Road Trip: Journal

What to do on a long car ride
What to do on a road trip
Things to do on a long road trip
Things to do during a road trip
Best things to do on a road trip
Things to do on my road trip
Things to do on a long car trip
Fun things to do on a long road trip
Things to do on a road trip
Things to bring on a road trip
Fun things to do in the car 
Fun things to do on a road trip 
Things to do on a road trip in the car

One of the best things to do on a road trip is journaling. This goes hand-in-hand with taking photos and videos. As you document your memories, journaling can allow you to reflect on each experience that you have. Later on, you can revisit this travel journal to remember all of the amazing sights that you saw. It might be fun to get one journal for the whole group allowing everyone’s perspective on the journey and experience.

Don’t let boredom rule your next long car ride and try out one of these fun things to do on a road trip. It’s best to plan fun things to do in the car before heading out. This ensures safety and makes sure you never miss a beat. However, the best part about road trips is that you have time flexibility. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous and pull over just because an exit looks interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *