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road trip - the car is full

The Best Word Games for Road Trips

created on by  in Mobile word games

While sitting in the car on the way to your holiday destination, you often get bored. That’s why I culled some word games that work perfectly on road trips. You don’t even need a board, pencil, or paper for them. First I will describe games to you that are particularly suitable for children. In the second part you will find games that are interesting for Scrabble players.

1.Word Games for Road Trips: Games for the Whole Family

On the road, children are especially prone to asking every five minutes, “Are we there yet?” These word games will distract your kids:

Word Trail

In this game, players have to find compound words. The first player starts, for example, by saying SUNGLASSES. The next player takes the last part of the word and builds a new one. Here is an example:



Player 3: HOUSE BOAT etc.

Any player who can’t think of a new word is out.

Letter Exchange

This is a game that you can easily incorporate into your conversations on long trips. Together you can decide that – for example – every “I” in your words will be replaced by an “A”: “A bet, thAs As goAng to be a very funny trAp.”


In this word game for road trips, you first choose a category – like “country”. In alphabetical order, each player names a country, such as:

Player 1: Australia

Player 2: Belgium

Player 3: Chile etc.

When a player can’t name a new country, he’s out. You can choose any category you like: names, animals, musicians etc.

I Packed My Bag

“I Packed My Bag” is a classic! One player starts by saying: “I packed my bag and in it I put: a toothbrush”. The second player adds something to the trunk and at the same time needs to remember what his predecessors said: “I packed my bag and in it I put: a toothbrush and socks.” The third player: “I packed my bag and in it I put: a toothbrush, socks, and an MP3 player”, etc.

In this game, your full concentration is required, because the suitcase gets fuller and fuller! If somebody misses an object, unfortunately, he is out! By the way: There are many other versions of this game, for example: “My father owns a grocery store and in it he sells…” or “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…”.

The Wooden Man

If you enjoyed “I Packed My Bag”, you will like this game too. In “The Wooden Man” you also extend a sentence while simultaneously remembering what all the other players said. Here’s an example:

Player 1: This is the wooden man.

Player 2: This is the house of the wooden man.

Player 3: This is the roof of the wooden man’s house.

Player 4: This is the chimney of the roof of the wooden man’s house.

Player 5: This is the fireplace of the chimney of the roof of the wooden man’s house. etc.

2. Word Games for Road Trips: Games for Scrabble Players

With these games you can keep your word memory sharp. Finding anagrams and front and back hooks will be trained here. You can stick to the tournament Scrabble word list or freely decide what kinds of words are allowed.

License Plate Scrabble

This idea is from the Scrabbler Tim Boerner. On road trips, he told me, he studies the letters on the license plates and tries to figure out what words he can create with them. You can alter the game like this: Imagine, for example, you have a free “E” on your board and the letters of the license plate are on your rack: BD51 SMR. Here you could build the words: BERMS, DERMS, BEDS, etc.

Hidden Words

This word game for road trips also trains your Scrabble skills. In a group of players, you agree on a short word – like ART. Then each player must, in turn, name a word in which ART is hidden. Here are some examples: PARTY, FART, PARTING, etc.

The Infinite Word

The Scrabbler Margret Silvester told me about a word game for road trips that she likes to play with her friends. It goes like this: One player starts with a letter and the other players take turns adding one letter. Each player imagines a word he’d like to build – but most likely, the next player is already planning a completely different word. Here is an example:

Player 1: A (age)

Player 2: AN (annoy)

Player 3: ANG (angel)

Player 4: ANGR (angry), etc.

The word should be as long as possible. The player who can’t think of a new letter is out. If possible, the other players can go on building the infinite word.

Which Word Games Do You Play on the Road?

What do you play with your friends or family while you’re traveling? If you like, you can describe your game in the comments.


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  • road trip – the car is full: photo by William J. Sisti under CC BY-SA 2.0; edited by webGilde