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Travel Games

When you travel with others, games can help fill the time, entertain you, and sometimes even educate you. Here are some new ideas for games of each type. They all have one thing in common: they require nothing more than a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. Otherwise, they use things that are at hand, and most require nothing but your imagination.

While the games here are mostly designed for car travel, most can be adapted to travel by plane, bus, or other means. They are all new games. At least I hope they are, since I invented them.

Random Presentation

Here's a travel game that starts with someone looking out the window and randomly selecting an object. Players then try to imagine a creative way to make money with it. Old houses become places to sell advertising, llamas are rented out for kids parties, and an RV becomes a traveling discotheque.

Traveling IQ Test

This next game gets you thinking, learning something, or showing off what you know. It's a fun one for the family. The driver, or another designated host, asks questions like "At what temperature does water boil?" or "What's the Capital of Columbia?" or "With sales tax of 7.6%, what's the total cost of a $23 sweater?" If you want the kids to love this one, you can pay twenty-five cents for each right answer.

Language Learning Games

If more than one person in the car is trying to learn the same language, long trips are a great opportunity. Just take one of the classic car games, like the one where you each try to spot something starting with an "a" and then a "b" and so on, and play it in the new language.

The "Explain It" Game

Someone starts the game with an unlikely scenario, described in one or two sentences. Then each player tries to come up with the most logical and plausible explanation for the scenario. For example, a player might start with, "A car is on top of a house in Kansas City, and a dog is jumping around inside it." The explanations might include floods, tornadoes, an promotional stunt, or whatever else anyone can think of.

Fake News Travel Game

A newspaper or news magazine helps for this game, but it could be done without it. Each player gets a chance to read the first paragraph of a news item, either a real one, or an invented one. The other players vote on whether it is real or not, and the reader gets a point for each one fooled. The point, then, is to be convincing when faking it, or find real stories that sound fake. Without the paper or magazine, it can be played as "I saw on the news that..." with the same goal.

See the page on car travel games for more ideas.


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Travel Games

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