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Road trips should always be full of memorable moments and fun experiences! Whether you are planning the next journey with your pals or you are already on the road and need to make it more interesting, below you’ll find 33 fun things you can do on a road trip with friends!
Going on a road trip can be a nice way to bond with people and deepen your relationship. On this list there is a bunch of different activities: some are supposed to make you laugh together, others may give you the opportunity to be more authentic and really talk to each other. And of course, there are some silly ways to spend time on the road that you’ll all remember for years to come!
Because this is what road trips are all about, right? Being silly together, sharing amazing experiences, handling various issues that may come up, and being there for each other for all the good and not-so-good moments. That’s what friends are for.
How to make road trips more fun
Three core things that make every road trip fun and special are people, surprises, and memories. Take a couple of good friends or meet new ones along the way. Plan some fun activities but allow for unexpected things to happen. And take a ton of photos to remember your amazing trip!
You are the one responsible for making sure you have fun!
Always start with a positive mindset and prepare for emergencies so they don’t ruin your experience. Have a plan but make it flexible enough to be open to the opportunities that may be waiting along the road.
Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy. For someone, it may be a group of active enthusiastic friends, for someone else a peaceful beautiful location is more important for having a good time. Find out what fills you up with positive energy and make sure to have it with you on every road trip!
Road trip essentials for adults checklist
Many things can happen on a road trip, so you gotta be prepared. Even if you don’t get to use half of these things, it’s better to have them handy just in case. Traveling is not always 100% predictable and you never know what could go wrong.
By packing all the essentials, you can handle any mishaps along the road without stressing too much about it. Traveling with friends usually shows different sides of people, especially in unexpected situations. Even Mark Twain had something to say about this:
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
Why not minimize the potential negativity by putting a bit more thought into the preparation phase, right? Here is my list of important things to pack for a road trip, whether you go with friends or alone.
33 fun things to do on a road trip with friends
Regularly spending quality time with friends is crucial for building long-lasting relationships. Going on a fun road trip together is one of the ways to keep your connection strong and, hopefully, forever.
Whether it’s getting lost together, engaging in cool adventures, or simply talking in the car about life, you are bound to get closer after spending hours on the road!
With that said, prepare to have a great ride with your friends and have lots of joy together by using this extensive list of fun road trip things to do!
1. Let your hair down
Going on a road trip means detaching from your daily reality for a little bit and doing something different.
I’m not saying you should get wild and end up in jail or something, but let yourself get loose a little! Mix up your routines, try to be more spontaneous, say yes to more things, and be open for new opportunities to come your way.
And the most important: have fun!
Isn’t it fun to get lost together? This is likely an adventure you’ll always remember!
If you are used to always coming on a trip with a strict plan, maybe try to offer more freedom this time. If organizing everything is important to you, include being spontaneous to the plan! It may mean to only plan the big destination points without binding them to time intervals or to have chunks of the plan with no specific route.
In other words, plan your road trip well but allow for unexpected detours. Allow yourself and others to be more flexible and let the road give you more fun adventures!
3. Get inspired with some quotes about traveling with friends
Are you already in a car or just thinking about organizing a road trip? In any case, here are some fun quotes about trips with friends that will inspire you and get your mood up! Share a few favorites with your road trip buddies and discuss what they mean to you both.
A weird but true fact: sometimes other people can express your feelings more than you can express them yourself. Especially when they are writers and public speakers who know their ways with words, right?
4. Ask fun road trip questions
The main idea behind going on road trips with your friends is not only to relax and have fun but also to deepen your connections. Asking each other interesting questions, even silly ones, may result in having a discussion on subjects you’ve never touched before.
If you think you know your friends too well for this, these conversation starters can easily prove you wrong!
5. Listen to a podcast
When you are tired from all the talking from the previous point, a good idea is to shut up for a bit and listen to someone other than each other. Thankfully, it’s 2021 and you are not limited by the radio stations as people were before. While people on the radio often talk about random things, consider listening to a podcast dedicated to a specific topic that interests all of you.
Here is a good selection of podcasts to listen to during a long road trip.
6. Stop for a picnic
Instead of inevitably eating super unhealthy things like burgers or hot dogs at gas stations or in the car, why not plan a picnic as a part of your journey!
Find a beautiful spot while driving and pull over to have a bite together in a nice setting. You can prepare some food and snacks at home or get takeout on the way (preferably not your typical junk food – maybe grab a salad instead this time?). You can even combine this with ideas #23 or #31 from this list if you want!
If that’s something you may enjoy, don’t forget to pack an outdoor blanket and a pack of eco-friendly bamboo utensils instead of plastic ones. This picnic may also be a good time to play “Exploding kittens” or “Unstable unicorns” if you are into board games like me!
7. Play Would You Rather
I obviously didn’t invent this game, and you likely played it already if that’s not your first ever road trip.
In any case, you can still make it fun and unique every time by using different sets of questions. For example, here is a whole book with more than 500 Would-You-Rather questions you can ask each other.
Some of them are silly (“Would you rather have three arms or three legs?”), while others may lead to deeper conversations (“Would you rather make a small difference in the lives of ten people or a massive difference in the life of one person?”).
This is the kind of game that may uncover new sides of your friends for you, even if you know each other for ages.
8. Get out of the car and walk around
Unless you are on a highway, nothing stops you from pulling over once in a while to walk around and stretch your body. Your muscles likely get stiff after all the sitting so you’ll feel wonderful to get out of the car. At least stop for a coffee and don’t have it inside the car!
These five to ten minutes out will let the blood flow better inside your body and will give a refreshing feeling to all your muscles. This can also be a good time to have that picnic from idea #6 and get some fresh air and food at the same time!
9. Take a group photo that is special to this road trip
Instead of the usual selfie, try to capture something more special and unique this time. Maybe it’s a beautiful location, the feeling of happiness on your friends’ faces, or an interesting group activity you don’t usually do. Try to incorporate the mood of this road trip into your fun pictures.
If there are more than two or three of you on the road, consider taking a selfie stick or a tripod with you to make sure everyone can fit nicely in group photos. It gives you some flexibility when you can capture more than just your heads!
Put some thought into it cause these photos will remind you of your friendship and make you smile even decades later! How nice is it to find a picture you haven’t seen in years and immediately feel the wonderful atmosphere from that trip!
You can even print a mini photo book later with your photos from a road trip (and give it as a gift to everyone who was in it!).
10. Read a book out loud
When exactly was the last time you read a book aloud? Did you ever do it as an adult?
I always bring either a book or my Kindle when I’m traveling but I never actually considered reading aloud to a person who is with me. Maybe it’s because I’m a shy introvert and don’t wanna bother other people. Or maybe our tastes in literature are too dissimilar…
Sometimes I read the best parts aloud to a person next to me but I’ve never thought about reading something together! I should probably consider it for my next road trip as well.
Anyway, if you have a book and others only have the phones, offer to read to them! You can take turns in reading so nobody gets too tired, just don’t involve the driver. Such a nice way to kill time together!
11. …or Listen to an audiobook
Not everyone is a very talkative person, especially when your road consists of many long hours. More often than not you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy something pleasant. Instead of everyone reaching for their phones and getting lost in scrolling social media, better listen to a good book and then discuss it together!
Depending on your road trip length, you can probably listen to a whole book, or even a few, during your journey. If you have an Audible subscription, you can choose from a variety of great books or switch to listening to another one if you don’t enjoy the current one.
Make sure to choose something that every one of your friends will enjoy too! While it may not be as easy with fiction genres, you may still try finding something in recent Amazon bestsellers. Or listen to an uplifting non-fiction book like You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero that will definitely improve everyone’s mood.
12. Play I wish I didn’t know
Wanna do something funny? How about a world’s filthiest trivia game?
This is definitely not for kids. In fact, it has a 17+ age restriction on the cover! But play with a group of adults, and you’ll all get to learn many new things about the world that you’d rather not know.
There will be a lot of laugh, a lot of hope, and likely a lot of screaming “ewww, gross!”. But you want an unforgettable road trip experience, right?
13. Lock up your phones
While that’s not a fun activity by itself, it’s a prerequisite to having more fun together!
You probably heard by now about these smartphone containers that help people cope with digital addictions. If your friends are often distracted by their phones when you are trying to have a conversation, a safe like this may be a good solution!
You can all agree to take a break from social media and put all your devices in a box for a specified time interval. You can try it for an hour and see how it goes. I wouldn’t recommend blocking phone access for the whole trip ’cause there may be some situations when you’ll need them. For example, to pay for something if you are out of cash or to make a call in case of emergency.
Eliminating digital distractions like that is a great way to connect with your friends and spend more quality time together instead of endless scrolling.
14. Wear matching road trip shirts
If you want to make this trip more special, order a bunch of matching themed shirts in advance!
Don’t do it for every trip or it stops being special. But do it at least once so everyone has something at the end to remember this particular journey. Also, the photos from your road trip will be much cooler if you all are wearing awesome matching shirts!
15. Find little souvenirs to remember this trip
You can be as creative with this as you want!
Postcards and fridge magnets are the most common things to bring back as souvenirs. I also used to collect sugar packets from cafeterias around the world.
If something especially interesting happens to you on this trip, think about something related to the situation that will remind you about it back at home. As long as it makes you smile, reminisce, and brings out warm feelings for your friends, take it as a souvenir!
If you travel to another country, a good idea can be to get a wall art piece. It can be a beautiful painting from a local shop or a minimalist photograph that would look nice in your room. Or you can print your own photo from this road trip on a canvas if you capture something worth being on the wall.
When it comes to souvenirs, it can literally be a little something from a gas station you stopped at. It doesn’t even need to mean anything to anyone other than you and your friends!
Whatever you decide to take, make sure it’s not illegal. For example, taking sand from some beaches is against the law so do your research in advance to avoid the trouble!
16. Stretch together on the go
Sitting in a car for many hours at a time can feel very uncomfortable.
Don’t make it seem like another workday behind the desk! This may give your brain the wrong associations and make the trip impression much less fun.
The human body is meant to be active, and being in a limited space is not an excuse. There are a lot of things you can do to move around even in a moving car. Make sure to talk your friends into stretching with you so you aren’t the only one doing weird moves.
Here is a good example of the stretching poses you can do in the car (unless you are a driver):
17. Make a fun road trip playlist and sing along
Driving with a feel-good music is usually more comfortable than listening to the radio, news, or going in silence. Fun songs help to tune the overall mood of your trip into a more positive one, and make you feel more energized.
Make a selection of your favorite songs that you can all sing along together or find a ready-made playlist in a genre you prefer. Aim to choose uplifting and positive songs instead of depressing or sad ones, even if that’s what you are used to listening to. Remember that you want to make everyone smile on a trip, not cry!
Here is an example of a good playlist on Youtube specially made for road trips:
18. Meet new people
Even when you travel with friends, you can always meet more good people along the road. Be nice and friendly and allow for your path to cross with someone else’s. Who knows what might come out of it!
If you are visiting a new area, meeting locals can be very beneficial. Even if you don’t become instant friends, they may show you some local gems and add an unexpected spark to your trip. Literally even talking for a minute with someone can give you new ideas and places recommendations you never considered before!
19. Count colorful cars
Watching cars is a fun simple game you can play with adults or kids.
Each person picks a color and whenever you pass a car of that color, you get a point. You can play till 10 or 50, or 100 points, or just play till the next stop and see whose color wins by comparing the points you all got.
This works very well to kill some time when everyone is tired and not really up for more intelligent games and deep conversations.
20. Answer some road trip trivia questions
If you have a growth mindset, you know that you can learn new things and continue to develop your intelligence at any age. A road trip is a very convenient place to expand your horizons by playing a trivia game that fills the knowledge gaps you may have.
There are all kinds of trivia question sets available online, for example, here on Amazon. Some are general knowledge questions, some can be more specific around one topic or location, and there are some tricky question sets that are especially fun to play with a group of close friends.
Here are some trivia cards that are good for the road trip:
21. Make an Instagram contest
If you all like taking photos, come up with some kind of a photo contest for the trip. Aim to create one amazing photo each and then share all of them on Instagram and make people vote on the best one!
You can even decide on a prize for a winner to make it more interesting and competitive. And don’t forget to use some of the best friendship hashtags for more exposure!
22. Eat something unusual
With friends or not, road trips are meant to be different from your usual life!
One way to experience something new is to eat something new. We all have to eat every day anyway, so the only thing you need to do is to be more open-minded with your meal choices.
Before leaving for your trip, explore the target areas online: look through the restaurant reviews on Tripadvisor or find a few local gems that you will be passing. Try to not order anything that you usually order. For example, if you always eat pizza, then have pasta, or go to a Thai restaurant instead of Italian. Or try to find the food you haven’t tasted before! This will give you another new thing to remember about this trip.
As an alternative, make a new tradition with friends to eat something specific on a road trip! Whether it’s sharing a pizza, enjoying tacos, or indulging in oysters, why not let it become your special group thing?
23. Brew your own coffee in the wild
If you are a coffee lover like I am, you would enjoy making coffee outdoors for a change!
I once saw a video from one of my favorite videographers on Youtube and I have this idea in mind ever since. This is what I’m talking about:
Doesn’t it look amazingly cool?
The process doesn’t have to be as hard either: there are many great portable espresso machines designed specifically for camping and travelers so you can have a fresh cup of coffee wherever you are. This will impress your friends, too!
24. Catch up on sleep
Unless you are a designated driver, take some time in a car to catch up on your sleep. Especially if you aren’t sleeping the healthy 8-9 hours every day (who does?), this may be a good time to relax and have a nap.
Far away, in the middle of some unknown road, you can’t make yourself busy with a bunch of tasks like you would at home. That’s why there is no need to feel guilty even if you take a nap midday. Call it a siesta, and enjoy it like Spanish people do!
To make sleeping in a moving car more comfortable, always bring an inflatable pillow to support your head. A sleeping mask and earplugs will also come in handy so others can talk without disturbing your sleep.
25. Take funny photos of sleeping friends
If you have a really long road trip, there will be time when some of you are sleeping. Many people sleep in funny poses, especially when there isn’t much room in a car. You can spend some time “decorating” them with whatever stuff you have at your disposal and taking a few pictures just for fun!
But please, please, don’t post those pics anywhere. It’s one thing to laugh together, but embarrassing them in front of other people may easily do harm to your future relationship. Chances are, they won’t ever go on another road trip with you!
If you are immature enough to paint your friends’ faces for fun, make sure to not use a permanent marker like Ross did to Rachel!
When was the last time, if ever, that you talked to your friends about your dreams and goals?
Unless you go on a trip with a bunch of strangers with whom you don’t feel comfortable sharing personal stuff, bring up the dreams subject somewhere along the way.
What would you do if money/society/age/physics/etc wasn’t an issue? What is the specific idea of a dream life for you and why does it seem unrealistic to you? What about your friends? Discussing these things may be very therapeutic because some things aren’t as impossible as you may think. By brainstorming together, you may share different perspectives and maybe come closer to achieving your dreams!
27. Exercise your creativity with friends
There are many ways to be creative together on a road trip! Here are a couple of my random ideas:
- Create an interesting story together. One person starts with an opening sentence, the next one continues the story with another sentence, and so on. You can go as many circles as you want and come up with crazy plot twists. The fun part is to add an unexpected turn of events and make the next player look for the way out! And nobody knows how it ends until it does!
- Draw an unusual creature together. This is the one the driver should probably sit out because it’s too distracting. Take a piece of paper and a pen (or a tablet if you didn’t do #13) and draw a base of a character. It’s easier to start with some kind of geometrical or abstract shape to be your creature’s body. Then pass it on to someone else to add something to the picture, and so on. In the end, you should get a really fun and unique character in the creation of which each of your participated equally!
28. Participate in a silly dance together
Remember that road trip playlist from idea #17? Wait for an especially uplifting song and dance, even if that’s just with the upper part of your body. Engage the others and learn silly moves from each other to have more fun.
This is also a nice way to stay somewhat active during a long drive!
By the way, if you haven’t seen this guy dancing, I’ll just leave this video here for good vibes!
29. Talk about something deep
When you are driving in the dark and just can’t laugh anymore, it may be time for some deeper bonding with your friends. You may think you know who they are and what they are all about but in reality, you never know all of it. Humans are complicated beings, after all.
More often than not, we only see the top layer of someone’s life, personality, and feelings. If you are interested to see the rest of their icebergs (and let them see yours), deep conversation starters may be very helpful. Or just ask them how they feel and discuss each other’s long-term goals. You may be surprised!
30. Play magnetic chess or checkers
Stuck in the back seat and getting bored while friends in the front are talking without you?
Pull a travel chess board out of your bag and invite one of your friends to play with you! Make sure to bring a magnetic travel version so your pieces don’t get flying all over when the car jerks on a pebble.
If you aren’t sure whether your friends can play chess, consider bringing a 3-in-1 set with checkers and backgammon to have more options.
31. Watch a sunset
Beautiful pinky orange hues of a sunset always make the world more beautiful!
If your timeline allows for it, make a stop someplace nice to watch a sunset and spend some quiet time in nature surrounded by people you love.
Sunrise may also work but everyone is more sleepy and sometimes cranky, and it’s usually colder early in the morning, so personally I prefer sunsets. But if you are on the road anyway and the sky starts to look especially beautiful, make a stop and let yourself enjoy it!
32. Catch little moments and make a video after
You don’t have to be a professional videographer to make fun videos these days. People do it every day with entry-level vlogging cameras or even in a form of Instagram reels captured with a phone.
I love taking photos but with videos, you get to capture much more of the mood and details of your journey, as opposed to a bunch of still moments. Shoot movement, landscapes, your friends having fun, and beautiful surroundings that give you the feeling of what that place is all about.
Here is an inspirational video for your road trip with friends. Try to make your own like that!
33. Enjoy the journey
Last, but not least, of my road trip tips with friends, is to enjoy every minute of it!
Don’t focus on the destination alone: you have hours in a company of great people, so why not make the most of it? Use the ideas from this list or do something completely different next time to stay away from boredom. Engage other guys in conversations and learn more about each other while you are stuck in a small metal box for all those hours!
Have an awesome road trip with friends!
These were my 33 fun ideas of what you can do on a road trip with friends. Keep this list handy for your next adventure so you never get bored and always have plenty of fun adult things to do together!
What is your favorite thing to do on a trip like that? How do you manage to stay active and prevent other people in the car from getting bored? Tell me in the comments if you have some fun road trip experiences or more ideas to share!
More fun resources for building warm friendships: