Timothy Moore
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7 Best Road Trip Games for Adults

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Next week, a few friends and I are heading off on a road trip to DC. One of the friends has a sister there who flies helicopters for the government, so we figured we’d abuse the fact that she has an apartment half a mile from the National Mall to plan a pretty cheap vacation because what am I, made of money? (No. No, I am not.)

Road Trip Games for Adults

Next week, my friends and I will be road trippin’ to DC in this trusty, old Hyundai

While the traditional road trip games, like the alphabet game and the license plate game, can be good for the whole family, we plan to entertain ourselves in a more adult fashion. After a few celebratory Jell-o shots before embarking—don’t worry, none for the driver—we’ll look to some of these road trip games for adults to keep ourselves occupied.

Road Trip Games for Adults

Everyone needs some Jell-O shots if they will be passengers on a long, boring road trip. They are the perfect compliment to some good, old-fashioned adult road trip games.

Keep in mind, some of these games may be NSFW, in my experience.

Road Trip Games for Adults - counting cows

He who counts the most cows, wins

Counting Cows

I owe this game to a friend from middle/high school, and she in turn owes it to her grandmother. I’ve heard other people play variations of this, but the original one I learned is absolutely the best. The car is divided down the middle. If you’re sitting on the left (driver) side of the car, you’re on a team together, and if you’re sitting on the right (passenger) side, you’re on a team together. During your trip, watch out your windows for cows to count; each cow you spot gets you a point, but you can only count cows on your side of the car.

The game does involve a bit of strategy. If you’re sitting on the passenger side of the car and spot some cows up ahead on the driver side, you can do your best to distract your opponents from looking out their windows and counting the cows. Maybe by suddenly singing out loud or asking them to identify a weirdly shaped mole on your belly.

A few extra rules: if you pass a church on your side, you double yours cows because they get married. If you pass a graveyard on your side, you lose all your cows because they die. And if you pass a dual church/graveyard situation, you’re a sick bastard, as you’ve just married off all your cows and killed them on their honeymoon.

And a bonus: if you spot a cow in a tree, that’s an automatic win.


Road Trip Games for Adults - Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Because Kevin Bacon is in everything

Six Degrees

You’ve likely heard of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. While this doesn’t have any adult content to it, it is much easier to play with adults who are familiar with cinema/TV. In this game, a player selects two film or TV stars. Then, all players race to figure out how the two are connected via other actors. For example, if the names are Steve Carell and Elijah Wood, you might determine that Steve Carell was in Date Night with Tina Fey, who starred in 30 Rock, which Steve Martin guest starred on. Steve Martin was in Planes, Trains and Automobiles with John Candy, who starred in Uncle Buck with Macaulay Culkin, who played the bad son in the Elijah Wood film, The Good Son. (Do I get extra points because Kevin Bacon actually makes a cameo in PTA?)

The first person to make such an association wins, and then selects the next two names to connect.


Road Trip Games for Adults - cold as a witch's teat

The best (worst?) time to play Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge

I’m not sure where the old (and odd) expression comes from, but I’m recycling it to use as a title for this game. I’m hoping that the warm weather holds out and this game is not playable on the road trip I’m about to take, but it’s worth mentioning all the same.

This game is best left for the winter months and is rather simple. The driver and passengers must strip down to their undergarments and drive around on a cold night with the windows rolled down and the AC blasting. The last person to hold out on putting clothes back on wins the game.


Road Trip Games for Adults - Mad Libs

Mad Libs
Photo: Amazon

Mad Libs

Mad Libs books are a cheap but worthy investment. Because blanks like “parts of the body” can be a bit suggestive when you are playing with an older crowd, it’s best to leave this game for when you have a car full of adults.

Though I suppose the game could be fun with kids—but only for the kids, unless you’d find humor in every word being either “poop” or “booger.” Okay, I take that back, it’d still be fun.


Road Trip Games for Adults - what's yours like

What’s Yours Like
Photo: Amazon

What’s Yours Like

You’ll have to shell out some cash to actually buy this game, but it’s worth the investment. In a typical round for this game, all but one player knows what the secret word is. The other players then take turns giving clues that help the person guess the word.

From what I understand, the game is only fun with the right people—players who know how to make a clue not too obvious but not too vague, all at the same time.


Road Trip Games for Adults - would you rather

Would You Rather (though this is a version for the kiddies too)
Photo: Amazon

Would You Rather

The classic game of “Would You Rather” asks life’s toughest questions, like “Would you rather have to eat ten cockroaches every day for breakfast for the rest of your life or share a bedroom with a cockroach the size of a golden retriever for a year?” I include this game as an adult road trip game only because every time I’ve played this game, the questions get progressively more and more risqué.

If you want a more PG version, you can buy a book with premade “Would You Rather” questions—or, you know, just actively keep your mind out of the gutter.


Road Trip Games for Adults - padiddle

If that headlight is burnt out, you’ve got yourself a Padiddle


This is another fun game to play at night (much like the Polar Plunge game). Whenever you spot a car with a headlight out, you must quickly slap the ceiling of the car. The last person to do so must remove an article of clothing. The game may seem a little childish, but with really competitive (or attractive) friends, it gets to be very interesting.


  • Timothy MooreManaging Editor

    Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.