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Best Road Trip Games to Play

Updated on February 27, 2010

So you've got a big family road trip planned and it seems you'll be the only one on the highway without the super-deluxe minivan with built-in DVD player and video entertainment center. What do you do when boredom whets your appetite for mental stimulus but conversation has run dry? Dust off one of your favorite road games and kick your brain into gear. Don't worry if your suggestion of a cerebral game is met with groans from the back seat. Before you pass another HoJo, those folks will be full of competitive spirit. Prerequisites for an excellent, classic road game is that it must (1) be simple, (2) need no equipment other than a car and things normally found in it, and (3) create some adrenaline-pumping, healthy competition. Hey, it's better than breaking out in "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"!

The Memory A to Z Game
Difficulty Level: Easy to medium
What's Cool: Actually helps improve memory

It's a true test of memory skills. In this game, the driver starts with the phrase, "On my way to grandma's house I packed an APPLE (or anything that starts with the letter "A")." The game moves clockwise with the next person adding a "B" letter word. For example, "On my way to grandma's house I packed an apple and a BALLOON." The next person adds a "C" letter, and so on. The trick is to remember each and every item, in order, you've packed or else you are out of the game. This game is especially great when actually on the way to grandma's house!

Necessities: A good memory

Road Quest
Difficulty Level: Medium
What's Cool: Lends an element of storytelling

This road trip game is a sort of scavenger/quest game. The object is to marry the princess (or prince) who is locked up in a fictional tower surrounded by a moat full of crocodiles. In order to achieve this, you must use any objects you see, on your side of the road only, to rescue the princess from the tower and marry her. For example, you might see a jet ski on a trailer and say "I use that Jet Ski to cross the moat to the tower." Once you cross the moat you must find objects to move you closer to the princess' tower and then find something to wake her from her deep slumber. In order to marry her, you must find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, all on your side of the car! The first one to marry the princess wins. Of course, everything straight ahead of your car is also up for grabs. Be imaginative!

Necessities: A vivid imagination

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Difficulty Level: Medium to hard
What's Cool: It's just fun to say "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"

As popular as ever on college campuses and at pool parties, this movie trivia game makes an easy transition to the highway. One person picks a movie star and the challenger must connect that person, in six moves or less, with the actor Kevin Bacon. For example, if the star chosen is "Paul Newman," then the challenger might say "I can do it in four degrees of Kevin Bacon. (1) Paul Newman was in "Butch Cassidy" with (2) Robert Redford, who was in "Out of Africa" with (3) Meryl Streep, who was in "The River Wild" with (4) Kevin Bacon!"

Necessities: Knowledge of movies and Kevin Bacon

Continued In Best Road Trip Games to Play Part 2

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