Do you have a long road trip planned and need to keep the kids occupied? Have a road trip scavenger hunt! It will keep the kids busy, happy, and not complaining during a long car ride!

I remember long car trips when I was a kid. There was lots of staring out the window and flipping the tape in my walkman. And sleeping. Lots of sleeping. 

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Eventually, as a young teen I had a Nintendo Gameboy, but the batteries never lasted as long as you wanted them to. 

And then there was family games. 

I actually have fond memories of big logic books as my stepmom read out questions and puzzles for all of us to figure out as we drove 8 hours north to my Grandma’s house. 

Today things look a little different. It seems like everyone, no matter the age, has a device or tablet and the ability to play non-stop games and watch movies.

And don’t get me wrong, we watch lots of movies on road trips. But if you are like me and don’t want your kids staring at a screen for 8-12 hours while you take a road trip, here are some alternative road trip games to help you all pass the time!


road trip scavenger hunt for screen free car fun


Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Long Drives


Road trip scavenger hunts are a simple way to get your kids engaged and entertained while on a long road trip- and they are super easy to put into action!

Here are just a couple of ideas for scavenger hunts:


The License Plate Game:

Pretty simple and straight forward and a great travel game to play that can last an entire trip. 

Simply look at all the license plates of the cars and trucks you pass and try to find all 50 states. 

There are a ton of great apps you can download onto your phone or tablet to keep track of the plate you find. 

We take a lot of trips and we play this travel game on every single one. We even find Alaska most of the time and found Hawaii once (but missed Montana so we didn’t “win”!)


16 different US car license plates


The Alphabet Game:

Another fun travel scavenger hunt for the whole family! 

Search all of the signs you see for words that start with the letters of the alphabet in order. Keep going until you get all the way to Z!

My kids like to put in extra rules, such as the words have to be on something stationary (ie. not a car or truck) and the words have to START with the letter not just be in the word. 

This game usually goes fairly quick- though letters like X tend to take awhile to find. 

The alphabet game is great for kids of all ages- even young ones can get in on the action and reinforce letter recognition at the same time. 


girl pointing out of car with mom on a road trip


A Road Sign Scavenger Hunt

There are road signs everywhere when you are taking a trip. From construction zones to exit signs to rest stops there are a ton of different road signs to find. 

Here’s a free printable Road Sign Scavenger Hunt Printable to print out for your next road trip.

Just take the sheet, grab a pencil, and search the roads. You can even make it a competition between siblings to see who is the most observant and can find the most signs. 

Just click on the image below to download the sheet. 


printable road sign scavenger hunt with pictures of various road signs to find


Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printable

There’s a lot to see when you are on a road trip; things you might miss if you’re staring at a screen. 

This free scavenger hunt printable features common road trip sights for the kids to keep an eye out for and see who can find the most items. 

Just click on the image below to download the sheet. 


road trip scavenger hunt with pictures of different road side sights to find and check off


You can also DIY your own road trip scavenger hunt by creating a list of things you might see on your particular trip. Just write it down or type it up and let the kids cross things off as they see them!


More Scavenger Hunt  and Family Fun Ideas

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