The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens

road trip activites for tweens

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Fun Ideas for Long Road Trips

Looking for things to do on a road trip for tweens and teens?

Need to occupy those tweens and teens when they finally get bored of their phones/ ipods/ tablets or GASP there is no cell phone service??

Because it does actually happen.

We love a road trip. We’ve driven from Salt Lake City, Utah to Yellowstone National Park, San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, and Raleigh, NC to Chattanooga, Tennessee just to name a few of our favorite road trips! We have tons road trip ideas for tween and teens based on experience!

My number one tip for occupying kids, tweens, teens, or even adults while traveling is to ENGAGE with them!

No matter how long you will be on the road, engaging with one another is key to keeping the boredom factor at bay. Trust me, I love to curl up with my book and zone out for an hour or two, but after awhile everyone can use a little conversation!

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The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street: 5 Road Trip Truths

7 Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens

A road trip with tweens and teens does not have to be miserable. There are so many travel activities for teens and tweens beyond their cell phones!

Almost all of the following road trip activities will take a little advance planning. If you don’t have time to prepare, just grab my Travel Boredom Busters cheat sheet so you can print, screen shot, or copy and paste into the notes section of your phone.

It’s completely FREE– just subscribe below!

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Listen to Podcasts/ Audio Books with your Tweens & Teens

Recently we’ve discovered podcasts and it’s safe to say I’m semi-obsessed. But, it takes a little effort to find something your whole family is into. What type of podcasts you like is a very personal thing in my opinion. My husband and son love something sports related. My daughter likes teen girl podcasts and I love personal growth. Your choices really depend a lot on the maturity of your children. We often let ours listen to adult podcasts especially if there’s some good life lessons hidden in them. Some podcasts for tweens and teens that also make the adults happy are How I Built This, TED Talks, and Family Travel Radio. 

There’s also audio books if your family is able to agree (this is a harder one for my family since we have pretty diverse taste). You can always download individual audio books to tween/ teen devices and bring some headphones (this works much better for us).

Dollar Tree/ Amazon Surprises

I don’t like to go overboard at the Dollar Tree because I don’t want to be wasteful. I also love to find inexpensive fun little things on Amazon. But I’ve found stick on mustaches, fake buck teeth, and fidget toys that can create a ton of silliness and laughter no matter what your age! Oh and if you’re like our family and like some immature humor, don’t forget to pick up a good old fashioned whoopie cushion.

The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street

Road Trip Breaks

Taking breaks along the way is essential. Let the kids (and you!) get out and stretch, dance, or throw a football to break things up a bit. Everyone tends to be much happier when they get a minute to stretch and get some energy out. Last year my son decided he wanted to shoot basketball in everyway state we visited. So, we looked up parks with basketball courts along the way. He has now played basketball in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Canada!

The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street

Drawing/ Coloring

You can pick up some very cool inexpensive coloring books, colored pencils, or gel pens at stores like TJ Maxx, Target, or good ole Amazon. My daughter loves the books with inspirational sayings. My son on the other hand loves a blank notebook he can doodle as he chooses. Coloring isn’t just for little ones anymore!

Snacks for your Tweens and Teens

Another road trip essential is plenty of snacks! We usually stop to eat meals out on our road trips but always find we needs some snacks in between. We like to carry a small cooler with us for waters and drinks and fresh fruit like berries or grapes. I’m also a fan of lollipops for a treats…because they last longer than other candy! Pop Rocks are also a fun and entertaining sweet treat.

PROTIP: Bring a Ziploc or grocery bag for trash and wet wipes for cleaning up- these are so helpful for ALL ages!

The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street

Road Trip Games for Teens and Tweens

Games are the most fun when everybody in the car participates (of course only when it is safe for the driver). Two simple options are Heads Up for $.99 in the App Store and Travel Bingo. We love playing Head Bandz at home and this is a travel version. It is hilarious and even though it says 12+ we’ve played with children as young as eight. Also I picked up this Travel Bingo at the Dollar Store and it has lasted years. It came with a dry erase marker so you can mark things off and then play again.

Some other fun games that we like to play are:

  • 20 Questions: When one person in the car think of an person, place, or animal and everyone else can only ask yes or no questions to figure out what they are thinking of. We never actually limit anyone to 20 questions…that should probably depend on the age of your car trippers.
  • Categories: This is a game our family made up…seriously. But it stuck and we play it all the time. You decide on a category, for example: sports or transportation types. Then each person takes a turn naming something in that category until you can’t think of anymore. The last person to name something wins.
  • 3 Truths and a Lie: Simply take turns naming 3 truths and a lie. The rest of the players have to figure out which statement is the lie.
  • Boredom Busters: Grab some of our family favorites above. Then you can just print ahead of time, screen shot, or copy and paste into the notes section of your phone. Just subscribe and you’ll get them and some other really cool free stuff too.


Parents, if you don’t know by now…”challenges” are all the rage. My kids are obsessed with watching and doing them. Now many challenges can’t be done in the car. BUT if you’re a little creative, challenges can be part of your road trip activities for tweens and teens plan!

So…if you’re a little daring, maybe a bit crazy, and can tolerate a bit of chaos…let your tweens and teens do a challenge in the car. We took a group of girls for my daughters birthday to the beach about 2 1/2 hours away from our home. They did the Pringles Challenge on our road trip (the Pringles were on sale, haha!). I bought 7 different flavors of Pringles, one person chooses the flavor, everybody tries them, then each person tried to guess which flavor it is. Keep track of points if you wish!

My kids are also fans of the “Try not to laugh” or “Try not to sing” challenges. Guaranteed laughter will ensue. Bean Boozled is a fun game that can be played in the car too- just don’t let them melt!

Make Your Road Trip with Tweens and Teens More Enjoyable!

There you have it…a few new and fun road trip activities for tweens and teens which will hopefully make your road trip more enjoyable for the entire family.

Do you have a road trip planned? What are your best teenage road trip ideas? Let me know in the comments below!


The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street

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The Best Things to Do on a Road Trip for Tweens & Teens featured by top US family blog, More Than Main Street
Best ideas for things to do on a road trip with teens and tweens.

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  1. Great ideas! We don’t have a Dollar Tree near us but often will intentionally drive by one when on a road trip and pick up some games and things to help the trip go by more smoothly. I need to try the audiobook idea. My kids are now of the age where we could likely find something we will all enjoy. 🙂

    1. Thanks! We have found some great entertainment at the dollar tree! Hope these road trip activities are helpful on your next car ride!

  2. We love road trips, each we go for a road trip we always come up with games in the car. Our kids most of the time we let them bring toys that they will enjoy playing in the car. Sometimes we make a stops to take a break from sitting down.

    1. I love a road trip too! I feel like we see so much more and can go at our own pace. Any road trips planned this year?

  3. Super fun ideas for a roadtrip. I have both a tween and a teen and thing they would like doing some of these (especially the challenges and dollar tree surprises)!

    1. It always seems like the first hour they’re occupied with their phones…and then they need some entertainment. We like to be silly and laugh a lot with our road trip activities!

  4. I never understood why my parents didn’t take us on many road trips until I had kids of my own LOL! These are great tips to keep your teens and just kids in general entertained in the car. Definitely gonna stock up on some dollartree goodies! thanks for the share 😀

    1. It can definitely be a true test of a parent’s patience! Lol. Glad these road trip tips were helpful!

  5. This is perfect timing we have a couple of road trips coming up. We always have plenty of snacks and I usually” prepackage” things that do not have a resealable package ( like in a zip lock) that helps me out a lot with spills. As for games we play the alphabet game and the license plate game. Thank you for all the great ideas we are going to use them on our next road trip!

    1. Awesome! Prepackaging is such a good idea…then you have somewhere for trash too! I hope these road trip activities are helpful!!

  6. Such fantastic tips! We love playing games when we’re on a trip but had never considered doing challenges. I’ll be stealing your pringles challenge idea for our next long journey!

    1. Thank you!! The Pringle’s challenge was so much fun and seriously had us laughing for an hour!!

  7. Love this! My parents used to get me colouring books and little activity booklets when we travelled (pre technology!) these days I listen to podcasts and read! Great ideas!

  8. Great ideas as I have tweens and teens at home and we all love road trip. 20 questions we too love to play.

  9. Yes. I love trips. They are so fun. We used to play tick tack toe and a game where you use pass a paper around and we each did a sentence till the end. But know all my kids want to do is watch television. I will definitively try theses things.