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20 Fun, Unique Things to Do on a Long Car Ride to Make It Memorable

About to head off on a road trip and don’t want to be bored? Check out these things to do on a long car ride to pass the time with some fun thrown in. 

Things to Do on a Long Car Ride

Whether you’re road tripping for business or pleasure, there is something rather boring and tiresome about sitting in a car for endless hours. Driving can make you tired, sitting in the passenger seat can too. There’s really no way to win! However, there are things to do on a long car ride which can pass the time faster and even go a long way to making the journey fun. 

Things to do on a long car ride

Whether you’re the one in the driver’s seat or not, let’s check out a few activities you can try to make your journey less of a bore. 

[Read: Top 50 really fun things to do on a road trip to have a great time]

#1 Play I spy. Okay, it’s an old suggestion, but it’s certainly stood the test of time! I Spy passes the time, forces you to be more mindful of your surroundings, and helps the driver to stay awake when they might be starting to get tired. Disclaimer – of course, if you’re starting to get tired, take a break, in fact, take regular breaks. 

If you’ve never played I Spy before, it’s super-easy. “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with …” and you would say the letter. Everyone else in the car takes it in turns to guess what it is. The person who gets it right then gets to have their go. Easy, but entertaining in the short-term. [Read: 30 really fun ways to have fun with friends and beat the boredom]

#2 Do some trivia to learn something new. This isn’t Trivial Pursuit, but it’s a good way to pass the time, learn something new, and probably laugh at each other in the process. You don’t need any props for this, just the knowledge in your brain. It’s one of the best things to do on a long car ride because you won’t realize how fast the time is passing. 

Simply pose a question and let everyone else guess the answer. Of course, make it as hard as you can and the game will go on longer with more creative answers! [Read: 75 fun questions to ask friends and feel like BFFs in no time]

#3 Listen to the music you used to love. We all have songs that take us back to our youth, whether that was a few or many years ago! Blast out those old boy band tunes or diva ballads. Sing along with as much gusto as possible! It’s one of the most entertaining things to do on a long car ride. Plus, you’ll have large amounts of nostalgia thrown in for good measure. 

#4 Listen to fun Spotify playlists. You can either make your own road trip playlist before you set off or listen to one of the many pre-listed ones on Spotify. The only rule is that you should never skip a song. Instead, just press shuffle and listen to the playlist in its entirety. You might find a new song that you love. If not, you’ll be able to laugh at the terrible ones!

#5 Listen to a comedy podcast. There are so many podcasts you can listen to these days, but why not download a comedy one and listen while you’re on your journey? It will more than pass the time and you’ll be upbeat and laughing all the way. 

#6 Watch Netflix on your phone/tablet. If you’re not the one driving, you can watch Netflix on your phone or tablet to pass the time. If you have an Internet connection, you can stream but do be aware that it’s going to eat into your allowance. It’s probably better to think ahead and download a few shows or movies on the app before you leave, using Wi-Fi. I definitely find this one of the best things to do on a long car ride because it makes the time pass so much faster. 

#7 Have an actual conversation *shocking, I know*. These days we don’t often talk face to face. It’s something that needs to change and while you’re stuck in a car together, this is the perfect time! Avoid heavy conversations that may lead towards awkward silences or disagreements and keep things light. You’ll get to know what’s really going on in each other’s lives and you’ll pass the time. Bonus! [Read: How to talk to anyone and master the art of conversation]

#8 Try listening to an audiobook. Many people feel sick when they’re reading in a car – me included. I’ve found audiobooks are a great way to enjoy a story and a little escapism while avoiding the nausea. There are thousands of audiobooks you can listen to it. You can even put it on speaker and let the entire car listen at the same time. 

#9 Take a nap. Obviously, don’t do this if you’re driving as that would be extremely reckless! If you’re a passenger and the journey is making you a little tired, close your eyes and have a little nap. You’ll feel better when you wake up and more able to enjoy wherever it is you’re going. This is probably one of the best things to do on a long car ride in terms of your health and well-being, that’s for sure – getting enough sleep these days can be hard. 

#10 Learn a language on the go. You can use apps to learn languages and they’re really interactive, which makes it far easier to learn on the go. Duolingo or Babbel are two of the most popular, but there are countless more. Download and start learning! You can even learn as a team in the car, giving you something educational to do while you travel. [Read: The 26 naughtiest things to say in a foreign language]

#11 Try a little meditation. If you’re in the back of the car and you’re not interested in talking because you’re a little tired, put your earphones in and listen to a meditation app. These usually have deep breathing exercises included, relaxing music, and even guided meditations to try. Meditation is super-healthy, so it’s one of the best things to do on a long car ride. 

#12 Have a group sing song. Oh, come on, you know it’s fun! Throw on some Disney songs or show tunes and get everyone singing at the top of their voices. It will pass the time, make everyone laugh and lift the mood at the same time. Passing cars might look at you a little strangely, but so what? You’ll probably make them laugh too! [Read: 40 fun and upbeat songs to groove you out of any funk]

#13 Have a game of ‘Guess Who’. Guess Who is just like I Spy, it’s one of those famous, long-lasting games that everyone knows. You come up with a person, famous or someone you all know, and give clues as to who they are by the questions people as you. For instance, someone can say “do they have brown hair?” “do they wear glasses?”, and in the end they’ll guess the person. At least it passes the time, if nothing else. 

#14 Use your imagination and build a story. This is another game that everyone has played at some point, but it can lead to some pretty hilarious outcomes! One of you starts off the story and then the other person takes it over, adding a piece of their own, the cycle carries on until you reach the end of the story. It’s either hilarious or very dramatic! It’s one of the creative things to do on a long car ride, that’s for sure. [Read: How to learn the art of storytelling and be more interesting]

#15 Play games on your phone. If you want to be a little quiet and keep to yourself for a while, download a fun game on your phone and become engrossed in it. Something like Candy Crush or Mahjong is ideal. You’ll pass at least an hour and can carry on until your battery dies. 

#16 Read blogs about the things which interest you. If you’re not someone who becomes nauseous when reading, spend some time searching for blogs on subjects which you find interesting. You’ll probably find a few new bloggers to follow and you might even become inspired to start your own blog in the process. 

#17 Talk about your surroundings. It might be nothing but fields, but you’re sure to find something interesting if you look out of the window and actually take the time to be mindful of your surroundings. Who knows, you might spot something really interesting or even historic that you can stop and take some photographs of. 

#18 Take the time to organize your phone. This is one of those jobs that gets put off and never gets done. During your car journey, you can be productive! Clear out your old photos, send the ones you want to keep to the Cloud, free up some storage, and organize your emails. Your phone will run faster and you’ll feel like you’ve actually done something with your time. It’s one of the most productive things to do on a long car ride! [Read: 13 of the most productive things you can do with your time during the lockdown]

#19 Talk about your plans for when you arrive. Depending upon where you’re actually driving, you can have deep conversations about what you’re going to do when you get there and all the things you want to see and experience. Whether you actually get to do them or not, at least you’re helping the journey move a little faster time-wise. [Read: 7 life lessons you’re bound to learn on an awesome road trip]

#20 Tell spooky ghost stories. This isn’t a good idea if you have children in the car, but you can tell some spooky stories to pass the time. If it’s evening, it will be even more atmospheric. However, do be careful not to spook the driver!

[Read: 20 funny get to know you questions to bond with anyone instantly]

These 20 things to do on a long car ride will certainly pass the time and even make your journey more fun. Can you think of any other good suggestions to share?

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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