Wondering what to do on a long car ride without losing your mind? Take a few minutes before your trip to prepare a few easy, low-stress road trip entertainment ideas. Not only will the time pass quickly, you may even feel conflicted about getting out of the car when you finally reach your destination! Follow these tips for inspiration on what to do on long car rides.
Things to do on a long car ride
#1: Queue up your favorite podcast
There’s no shortage of podcasts to keep you engaged. From true crime to cultural commentaries, there are countless options for road trip entertainment for adults and kids alike. Avoid using up all of your data by downloading your favorite episodes in advance. Then you’ll have a wide selection to choose from depending on your mood in the car.
#2: Pick out an audiobook
If the scenery out your window gets boring, play an audiobook to travel to an entirely new world. Plus, a full length novel can easily last 11 hours. Audible has a huge selection of books to choose from, although you’ll need to pay a fee. There are also some free platforms (although the selection may be more limited), or you could try your local library for access to audiobooks.
#3: Listen to a road trip playlist
Put together a singalong playlist to keep your brain occupied during a long road trip. You can create your own playlist or search your favorite music streaming app for pre-made compilations. Need some extra inspiration? Pick your favorite songs by decade and listen to a musical time capsule of your life.
#4: Play a movie
Watching a movie is another fun thing to do on a long car ride. You can easily kill two hours, either with a new flick or an old classic you know is sure to please. This also makes a good “at the airport” activity because you can simply use your phone as a screen, without having to worry about extra carry-on materials.
#5: Do Mad Libs
Mad Libs offers classic road trip entertainment and one book costs just a few dollars for hours of enjoyment. If you have kids in the car, pick a book theme that they’ll love, like something seasonal. Only adults? You can still enjoy the game. There’s an entire series of adult-themed Mad Libs to help you pass the miles. No time to pick up a book? You can find online versions as well.
#6: Phone a friend
A road trip is a great time to catch up on conversations you haven’t had time for. Make a date with a friend or family member to make sure you both have time on the calendar to chat while you’re on the road. If you’re a passenger, sit back and relax while you catch up with each other. And if you’re the driver, call dibs on speakerphone so you can talk hands-free while keeping your eye on the road.
#7: Learn a foreign language
There are plenty of audio foreign language apps so you can learn some new phrases while on the road. For a car full of family members, let each person take a turn choosing the language. It’s a fun way to listen to a native speaker and repeat what you hear. And if you don’t want to pay for an app, visit your library for some foreign language audio CDs before your trip. They’re a great thing to bring on a road trip for entertainment.
#8: Stop at interesting attractions
You don’t have to wait until you reach your destination to go sight-seeing. When you’re driving a long distance, choose some roadside attractions for scheduled stops. You can make some truly unique discoveries that may end up being one of your greatest memories from your trip. Plus, there are plenty of websites to help find the best attractions based on your route.
#9: Play the state license plate game
This old-school game is a competition to see who can find the most state license plates in one trip. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you can print out a list of all the states for each play. As they find one, they check it off. The other option is, of course, to download an app — there are plenty of options to choose from in your preferred app store.
#10: Enjoy some snacks
Snacks are one of the best parts of a road trip, especially if you bring things you don’t normally get at home. They don’t have to be junk food; just choose things that are new, especially if you have kids along for the ride.
A long road trip doesn’t have to be boring, especially when you prepare just a little bit in advance. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. Borrow a car with Avail to avoid second driver fees; plus each rental is protected by insurance from Allstate. Make a reservation now!