40 Best Things to Do on a Long Car Ride

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Don’t let hours of a long car journey pass you by, and use these creative things to do on a long car ride to pass the time in fun, productive, and entertaining ways.

Things to Do on a Long Car Ride or Road Trip

Things to do on a long car ride (ideas 1-14 listed below.).

Fun Things to Do

1. Record the Trip

To ensure you remember the trip for a long time, record some footage of what you get up to. Then, when you get home, you can edit your footage into a video that commemorates your trip.

Then, if you’d like to share your video with the world, post it on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok and watch the likes and comments roll in!

2. Take an Unexpected Detour

If you’re in the mood for an adventure and have the time, why not take an unexpected detour?

Take an alternative route to where you’re heading, or just go where the wind takes you. You never know where you’ll end up! 

3. Stop at a Beauty Spot and Take Photos

Regardless of your destination, you’re bound to come across a few beauty spots on your journey. So stop the car and go and take a few shots of the surrounding scenery.

It’s also a good excuse to stretch your legs for a few minutes before hitting the road again.

4. Record a Timelapse Video

Timelapse videos are a wonderful way to capture long journeys and tell an intriguing visual story of getting from A to B.

You can set up a GoPro, camera, or your smartphone on the top of the dashboard or get one of the passengers to document the journey using a timelapse app.

Road Trip Games to Play

5. Number Plate Game

A popular car journey game is the number plate game. It can be played in various ways. The easiest way is to find number plates from different countries and award points based on the amount each participant finds.

However, if you’d like to mix it up a little, you could also try to make words out of number plates and vote on which you like best!

6. ‘I Spy’

‘I Spy’ is a classic road trip game that many of us will have played at some point in our lives. It’s easy enough for younger travelers to understand and allows everyone in the car to get involved.

Just make sure that you pick something that can be seen at all times, such as the sky, trees, road, and other similar options.

7. ’20 Questions’

The game ’20 Questions’ is as straightforward as it sounds. Simply think of a person, a place, or an object and get other participants to ask “yes” or “no” questions until they reach the correct answer. 

8. Name the World’s Capital Cities

Another popular game is to name the world’s capital cities. Pick a continent and ask others in the car to name the capital cities.

You’ll be surprised at how fun the game is, especially if you’re interested in geography!

9. ‘Guess the Tune’

Warm up your vocal cords with a game of ‘guess the tune!’ Participants simply have to hum a famous tune, and others have to guess which tune they’re humming.

You can spend hours playing this fun game that all passengers can get involved in.

10. ‘Would You Rather?’

Get everyone in the car involved in a game of ‘Would You Rather?’ Ask questions such as “would you rather have the ability to fly or be invisible?” and “would you rather have a pause or a rewind button?”.

This game gives you a chance to come up with some really creative questions and learn more about everyone playing!

If you need a little inspiration, take a look at our 100+ “would you rather?” questions to give you plenty of ideas.

Productive Things to Do

11. Take a Nap if not Driving

If you’re not driving, why not have a little snooze to help the time pass quicker? If you’re finding it hard to sleep in the car, put in your headphones and listen to relaxing instrumental music or a calming audiobook to help you drift off to sleep.

12. Write a To-Do List

Kill some time on a long journey by writing a to-do list for when you get home. It’ll help you feel more organized and get important tasks done.

Additionally, by writing tasks down, you can forget about them until you get home, meaning you can fully concentrate on the road trip.

13. Take Exercise Breaks

Long stints of driving can make you feel tired. Stopping for regular breaks to stretch your legs will help you stay alert and feel good in yourself.

It’s best to take a break every 3-4 hours to get your blood flowing and joints moving before hitting the road again. 

14. Listen to Audiobooks

Platforms such as Audible offer a wide variety of exciting audiobooks. If you’re bored in the car, put on an entertaining audiobook that everyone else in the car will enjoy.

15. Learn a New Language

If you’re not driving, why not install language apps such as Duolingo on your phone and start learning a new language?

After a couple of hours of using the app, you’ll be surprised at how much you learn in such a short period of time.

16. Write a Meal Plan

Get yourself prepared for a new week by writing a delicious meal plan to pass the time on a long journey. To ensure the meal plan is varied, research some new recipes that you haven’t tried before.

17. Stop at a Car Wash

Stopping to go through a car wash is a productive way to take a well-deserved driving break. If you want a more comfortable journey, you might choose to pay for your car to be cleaned on the inside, too.

A trip in a clean, clutter-free vehicle will help reduce your stress levels as well as those of your passengers.

By Yourself

18. Call a Family Member or Loved One via a Handsfree Set

How many times do we let time slip us by when meaning to call and catch up with an old friend or a dear family member?

Use your time in the car to call some friends and family who you haven’t spoken to in a while. Use Bluetooth and a hands-free set or your car’s Bluetooth to make sure you’re calling in a safe way.

19. Sing Your Favorite Songs

A solo car journey is an ideal time to belt out a few of your favorite songs with no one around to judge your singing voice!

20. Listen to a Podcast

Apps such as Spotify have a wide variety of podcasts to choose from. So whether you’re into history, science, entertainment, nature, or anything else, someone out there will have created a podcast that interests you.

21. Go for a Drive-thru Coffee Break

You must take regular driving breaks to rest and refresh yourself before hitting the road again. So why not grab a coffee and relax for 30 minutes before you get back behind the wheel? The caffeine will help keep you awake and alert. 

With Friends

22. Tell Each Other Jokes

If you’re on a road trip with friends, pass the time by telling each other your best jokes. You’ll have each other laughing in no time.

Laughter reduces stress and can boost your well-being due to the release of the ‘feel-good hormone’ endorphins. 

23. Discuss Past Adventures

Reminisce about old times by discussing your past adventures as a group. You can recount all the exciting, funny memories created with your closest friends.

Nothing feels nicer than remembering all the wonderful times you’ve had with the people you love.

24. Camp for a Night

If you’re not on a strict schedule, camping for a night can turn a good trip into a great one.

Find a local campsite, pitch your tents, light a bonfire and spend the evening discussing the trip so far and planning your next steps.

25. Have a Heart-to-Heart

A car journey is a perfect time to bond with your friends by having a good heart-to-heart. By sharing your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, you’ll feel much more connected as a group.

26. Plan a Future Trip

If you’re avid travelers, you might want to plan a future trip while you’re all together in person.

27. Find a Unique Roadside Attraction to Visit

Wherever you’re traveling, you’re bound to find some unique places to visit while you’re on the road. Pull up a map, and see if there’s a one-of-a-kind landmark or place of interest you can stop by.

For Couples

28. Watch a Sunrise or Sunset

One of the most romantic things you can do as a couple is watch a sunrise or sunset. If you’re on a road trip, set some time aside to watch either a sunrise or sunset with your loved one. You won’t regret it!

29. Have a Picnic

Food and drink outlets at service stations are expensive. Instead, save money and enjoy some time outdoors by having a picnic with your partner.

Some service stations have green areas with benches where you can enjoy a peaceful picnic before you resume your journey.

Or, you can simply find a beautiful place to stop and have your picnic in the great outdoors.

30. Stop for a Romantic Dinner

If you’ve got time, why not stop for a romantic dinner in a nearby town? Out on the road, you’re likely to pass plenty of nearby towns you can stop at for a quiet, intimate meal together.

31. Take Driving Shifts 

For a more comfortable journey, take shifts driving if you’ve both got a driving license. It gives each of you some time to relax before you start your next shift.

With Kids

32. Play the Quiet Game

If the kids are getting loud and overexcited, playing the quiet game can give you a few moments of peace.

Simply ask your kids, “who can stay quiet the longest?” to buy yourself a few minutes of quiet. 

33. Give them a Sticker Book

Kids love sticker books! You’ll be surprised at how long little ones can spend decorating a sticker book.

You can even purchase sticker books based on your children’s favorite movies. They’ll be occupied for hours, giving you some much-needed peace and quiet. 

34. Coloring Books

If your child isn’t interested in stickers, they may get hours of fun out of a coloring book. Again, you can purchase themed coloring books based on your child’s favorite movies and TV series, which will make them love the book even more!

35. Play Some Music for them to Sing Along to

Children love a good singsong. So put on a few nursery rhymes or tunes from their favorite shows, and have a sing-along with them.

It’ll make them feel happy, help them use up energy, and help them nod off to sleep easier afterward.

With Teenagers

36. Play Car Games

Games such as ’20 Questions’ and ‘Would You Rather’ are a great way to get teenagers involved on car journeys.

These games are easy to tailor to any age group, meaning you can get adolescents interested with questions they’d find entertaining. 

37. Document the Journey on Social Media Together

Most teenagers are avid social media users. To pass the time on a long journey, they’ll want to interact with friends and post updates such as photos and videos.

If they’re feeling up to it, they might also create entertaining TikTok videos to share with their followers.

38. Pack Snacks

If you don’t want to stop regularly, pack the car with accessible snacks that your teens can reach for whenever they feel hungry.

Good snack options include popcorn, cereal bars, fruit, and if you’re craving sugar, chocolate bars. You’ll thank us later!

39. Have Honest Conversations About Their Futures, Hopes, and Dreams

Sometimes, it can be hard to get a teenager to open up. By asking the right questions and using the time in the car to listen, you can start deep and meaningful conversations about their futures, what they like doing, and where they see themselves in the future.

Such conversations will help you bond as a family and let them know you’re listening to them and taking their futures seriously.

40. Play Video Games

Today, thousands of games are available on phones and portable consoles such as the Nintendo Switch and tablets such as the iPad. The beauty of these consoles is that they can be taken anywhere and are easy to use on the go.

Hours of tedium and boredom when you’re hitting the road for hours at a time can be a thing of the past with these fun and simple ideas.

Be you traveling alone, with friends, or with the whole family, a little intuition and planning can go a long way to making sure the trip is fun for everyone involved.

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Go a long journey on the horizon. Keep these things to do on a long road trip in a safe place, by saving them to one of your Pinterest boards.

Things to do on a long car ride (ideas 1-14 listed above).