Roadtrips have always been a fun way to travel – whether it be short trips across states or traveling across the country.
You get to see a variety of new places, check out once-in-a-lifetime pit stops, and make memories on the road that’ll last a lifetime – but when you find yourself on never-ending roads without a good view in sight, there are bound to be times where you find yourself bored out of your mind.
Check out this list of 12 fun things to do on long road trips to liven up your adventure and keep the good times rolling – even when things start to get dull.
Table of Contents
1. Listen to an audiobook.
Long road trips can get pretty boring if you don’t find ways to preoccupy yourself, but listening to an audiobook is a great way to stay engaged while also staying focused on the road.
There are so many different types of audiobooks to listen to whether you’d prefer something nonfiction to learn something new or a fictional story to channel your inner creativity.
Stay on the edge of your seat with an exciting mystery, pull at your heartstrings with a love story, or laugh until you cry with a relatable memoir.
If you struggle with following a storyline for long periods of time, there are also plenty of options for short stories to enjoy here and there.
2. Take a detour .
If you have time to spare on your road trip, you can almost never go wrong with taking a detour to explore some of the world’s many wonders along the way.
Venturing to places you’ve never been before will give you an opportunity to get out and stretch your legs. It’s a win-win!
Whether it be visiting a quirky roadside attraction, going on a short hike in a state park, or grabbing a drink at a local coffee shop, there are plenty of ways to spend your time.
Some road trip apps (like Roadtrippers) can even help you decide which places to stop – and can find popular attractions between your start and endpoint.
3. Listen to a podcast.
Not a fan of books? Another way to keep yourself busy while driving long distances is by listening to a podcast.
There are so many podcasts out there and new podcasts are entering the world every single day – so there’s always something to listen to.
Even better is the fact that most podcasts are completely free of charge, so you don’t need to dole out any cash to enjoy the experience.
Depending on the mood you’re in, you can listen to podcasts that have you questioning the philosophies of the world or laughing your head off to something less serious.
Most phones even come already packed with a podcast app, so it’s easy to start streaming right away!
4. Take photos.
There are bound to be areas that you drive through on a long road trip that will have you oohing and aahing, so why not stop and take pictures to document your trip?
Even if you don’t own a fancy camera, mobile phones nowadays make for a great substitute – and can capture some pretty cool images.
While you can always stop on a whim to snag a great photo, planning ahead of time can score you some even better opportunities.
This may mean taking the road less traveled and adding on extra few miles to your trip – but the scenic route is always more interesting.
When you’re admiring the world around you, it can make a long, possibly boring trip fly right by. Plus, if you happen to be on a long enough trip, you’ll be rewarded with stellar photo opportunities at sunrise and sunset.
5. Jam out to music.
Music has a way of brightening up the mood – and the lengthy, usually dull road trip is no exception to the rule. Scientists believe that music helps the brain solidify memories, which is why you may remember a particular event when you hear a certain song.
While listening to music is a great way to keep yourself entertained, it’s also an amazing way to help your mind store the memories of your trip for years to come. Plus, there’s no better way to bond with friends, family, or your significant other than by jamming out to your favorite songs together.
Prior to your road trip, create a playlist that you think will fit the mood or simply fill it up with songs you can’t help but sing along to.
6. Take a nap.
If you’re traveling with a partner or a group of people, there’s nothing wrong with taking a nap… given that you’re not the driver, of course!
Long naps can make hours seem like minutes – but if you feel bad about leaving your driver to ponder their thoughts, power naps can help you stay an energized copilot. In fact, scientists have proven that power naps are better than long naps since they lessen the chance of grogginess while enhancing productivity, awareness, and even your memory.
These naps can also come in handy when your driver needs to take a break. You’ll be fully charged to safely take on the road while your partner gets a turn at some shuteye.
7. Play a game.
With so many games to play in the car and plenty of ways to make them your own, you can easily keep your entire group entertained as you watch the hours just fly by.
Most games follow simple rules that any person of any age can follow along with, but this doesn’t make them any less exciting – especially when you can play multiple different games at once.
A lot of games don’t require constant attention so you can be playing a game based around the songs on the radio while you also play games that revolve around the world that surrounds you.
For example: play a game where you try to name the artist of a song before your partner does, count how many different states you can find on license plates, or begin with A and look for road signs that start with the letters of the alphabet. The person with the most points at the end of the trip wins!
You can even play games that have nothing to do with your road trip, such as a classic game of 20 Questions, In My Suitcase, or Would You Rather.
If you’re bringing kids along for the ride, a good way to keep them entertained is by playing a game of Backseat Bingo – but you’ll need to come prepared with premade/printed bingo cards.
8. Document your travels .
There are so many reasons why starting a travel journal is a great idea, but number one on the list undoubtedly is its ability to keep you distracted on long road trips. While you’re busy writing about your adventures, you won’t even realize how quickly time passes you by.
Take notes about your favorite parts of your trip to reminisce about later, jot down places you see along the way (but don’t have time to stop at) to fuel a future vacation, or just write about anything that comes to mind.
These travel journals can become a great tool to plan other trips, provide recommendations to friends and family going on similar drives, and help keep the memories of your travels alive.
You can even utilize the travel journal before you ever get on the road to create a game plan to better decide how you will spend your time.
9. Use a paper map.
It is always a good idea to keep a paper map handy just in case you end up in a situation where you can’t use your GPS – but it is also a fun way to keep yourself busy on the road.
Put away the technology and try to tackle the drive on your own using a paper map to guide you through the process and test your abilities.
This may sound pointless since there’s an easier way to navigate, but the challenge of trying something new is a great way to pass the time.
10. Stretch your legs.
Sitting in a car for long periods of time is bound to take a toll on your body, so do yourself a favor and stop every once in a while to do some stretches and keep yourself feeling good.
Long rides can put a strain on your upper body, so make sure to dedicate time to do neck, chest, and back stretches – which can be done right from the passenger seat of the car.
You should definitely still make pit stops along the way in order to stretch out your entire body and give yourself a break from sitting so long in an upright position.
This can be done by making simple breaks at rest stops or dedicating some extra time to go for a short walk in a nearby park.
11. Learn a new language.
There’s never a bad time to learn a new language – and what better way to keep yourself busy on the road than by doing something that can better your life?
There are so many reasons why learning a new language can be beneficial, whether it be to help build your resume, make new friends, or prepare you for a trip out of the country.
It’s amazing just how fast time can fly when you’re engaged with something as exciting as learning something new – and there are plenty of programs that offer fun ways to take on the challenge.
12. Catch up with old friends.
It’s hard to make time to stay in touch with friends and family with the craziness of everyday life – but there’s no better time to catch up with the people you love than when you’re on the road.
This is a great way to connect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, vent about any problems that may be bothering you, or even discuss current events.
Talking to someone on the phone while you travel is a great way to keep you focused during tiring drives and can make long, boring road trips into amazing opportunities.