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
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.