11 Fun Road Trip Ideas With Friends and Family

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So you’ve decided to go on a road trip in your new car!

Maybe you’ve invited friends along for the ride or maybe you just want a really long drive with your family. The idea sounds incredible on paper, but the reality of spending several hours on a road can fail to live up to your expectations.

So many people have had their fair share of boring, uneventful road trips that the mini-vacation is getting a bad rep. But if you plan it just right, you can make the road trip feel incredible. Here is our list of tried and tested ideas for long road trips – whether you’ve got adult passengers or small children in tow, there’s so much you can do.

Road tripping
Road tripping

1. Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are great for long drives and road trips. You can choose from a dizzying selection of thought-provoking podcasts that are being produced around the world. But the freedom to choose from such a wide variety of imaginative podcasts can feel a bit overwhelming. Our favorite is Ear Hustle, a nonfiction podcast about the life of incarcerated people and what happens once they return to society.

These stories can be every bit as funny as heart-wrenching and difficult. The perfect recipe for a fun road trip!

2. Discuss the Podcasts

Once you’ve finished listening to a podcast, take away the most interesting concepts and discuss them with your friends. You may find engaging topics to talk about – some of which can get rather heated and keep you occupied for hours.

3. Listen to an Audiobook

Whether you need something to entertain everyone or keep your kids from going bananas, a roadworthy audiobook will keep everyone occupied. Besides, books tend to be long and you can’t finish them in one sitting – perfect for a road trip. This is a great opportunity to share the experience of great writing. From bone-chilling mysteries to laugh-out-loud comedies to fantasy and science fiction, you can choose from a wide range of entertainment options! Happy listening!

Open road
Open road

4. Listen to a Playlist

No road trip is complete without an upbeat playlist.

Before you leave for the road trip, make sure you have compiled a selection of your favorite tunes. This list could include rock and roll, classics, R&B – anything that can keep you and your lot occupied. The best part about preparing playlists is the input you get from friends. This is a great way to hype up the road trip.

Or you could go for a pre-made playlist for road trips. There are several playlists you can check out on YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify. Simply search, “road trip tunes” and you’ll find playlists that are full of exciting music.

5. Binge-Watching Movies

With Netflix on your phone and the TV on your laptop, you can binge-watch your favorite series and films as time passes by in a flash. The experience is even better if you watch the same film or TV show with friends.

Your driver will obviously have to sit this one out. They have to concentrate on the road while you can escape to your TV fantasies. Make sure to keep the driver company too or take turns driving.

6. Tell Each Other Fun Stories

Telling fun stories to each other is a prerequisite for a memorable road trip.

Besides, when was the last time you told someone a story? It will make you feel like a kid again. The long road trip is the perfect opportunity to exercise your creativity in front of friends and family.

Plus, stories are nice for the driver as well. They can focus on the road and stay entertained.


7. Play Games on Your Phone

Co-op games on your phone are an excellent way of staying engaged on long road trips. There is no shortage of games on the phone such as Words with Friends or License Plate Poker to keep everyone occupied.

8. Name That Tune

Chances are, everyone knows about the tunes in your playlist – but you can’t say the same for what’s on the radio. Turn the radio on and change stations until you hear a familiar beat, and see who can name the song first. Do this as many times as you like.

9. Take Several Photos and Videos

Don’t forget to take photos and videos for friends and fans on social media! Most people will pull their phones out at every opportunity on the road trip – and it’s the perfect way to record the amazing things you see.

You can also spice things up by challenging each other with photo competitions to see who snaps the best pictures. There are so many ideas.

And if you really want to take the best pictures, you may want to bring a dedicated camera for the road trip. Mix up the camera’s mounting positions and angles to keep things interesting. A GoPro camera can also come in handy due to its small size.

10. Document Your Trip on Social Media

Sure it seems antisocial to stay glued to your phone screen on a road trip, but there’s no denying that social media can provide another outlet for endless entertainment.

Or better yet, why not create a separate Instagram account to document your trip? You could even share the credentials with your friends and everyone will get an opportunity to upload the photos and videos.

Loved ones back home, and even fans, can check in on what you are up to. Plus, you never know if you’re on the cusp of something big!

Pro tip: Don’t forget to keep your phone and other electronic gadgets charged up. These days, cars like the Hyundai i30 come with wireless charging to keep your electronics fully charged up.

Winding road
Winding road

11. Connect With Each Other

When was the last time you sat down with your friends and family, and really opened up to each other? Use this road trip as an opportunity to reconnect with one another. Ask them about life, future plans, and other thought-provoking questions that require deep introspection.

We hope we’ve given you tons of ideas to pass the time on a long road trip. Whether you’re driving with friends, family, or doing it alone, there are many ways of making your getaway fun and memorable.

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Lenny is one of the contributors here at Backpacker Travel. Her favorite destination is the Philippines.

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