Family Road Trips can either be fun and filled with great memories or hours of agony until your destination is reached. I’ve had both types of road trips. For a while, I swore off traveling by car. Then as our family grew, the increased cost of air travel meant taking the car. Last summer our family tackled a nine day road trip, and that one trip changed my thoughts on road trips.
As we planned our trip, I scoured the Internet for ideas to make our road trip more of an adventure than a bad childhood memory. After much searching, I collected a number of ideas and tried them out during our drive. The kids really enjoyed the activities, and it made the trip so much better having a variety of things to do. One thing I took away from the experience was that tailoring activities a little to my geeklings’ interests took their enjoyment to the next level.
With that in mind, I compiled a list of five things to “Geek Out” your family road trip. Just a few simple ideas that hopefully reduce the number of times the kids say “Are we there yet?” or “I’m bored!”. Some things are individual activities and others the whole car can get involved. Adding a few of these to the trip could make time pass quicker and smiles last longer.
Happy travels, geeks and geeklings!
5 Simple Ways to Geek Out Your Road Trip
Introduce geeklings to a favorite book with an audio book the entire family can enjoy.
I had never thought about audiobooks during a road trip until two friends both introduced their children to the Harry Potter book series on drives to Florida. They both talked about how it generated interesting conversations with their children and introduced the kids to a beloved fandom. With pros like your geekling loving a book you do, new conversations on a topic you like, entertainment without having to look at a screen, and everyone enjoying the same thing at the same time, an audiobook seems to be a possible road trip win-win.
Download a season (or more) of the kids’ favorite show from Netflix onto a tablet.
About a year ago, Netflix added a feature to their service that made road trip parents rejoice. They made it possible to download shows onto devices that could be watched without a Wi-Fi connection. No more monitors hanging off of seats or cords snaking their way through the car. Geeklings can happily watch entire seasons of Voltron, The Flash, Supergirl, and the list goes on.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
With many or all family members having tablets or phones with them on vacation, a phone scavenger hunt could be a fun and different way to use devices while traveling. This idea came from a conference we attended as a family called THAT Conference: Summer Camp for Geeks. While attending the conference a few years back, one of the demonstrators was running a photo scavenger hunt for attendees. My family and many of the other attendees were hooked. Now their version was much more complex than what I’m suggesting, but the concept is great. The hunt can either be done while driving, during stops, or a combination of the two. Before the trip, generate 10 or more items to look for and take pictures of. Things to look for can range from interesting character statues to unique road signs to themed restaurants to stickers on cars to people in costumes. A photo scavenger hunt is a fun way to help everyone focus on all the interesting things around them during the journey versus everything just being a blur at 65 mph.
Geek Trivia Game
When we wanted the geeklings to take a break from their tablets while we were driving, we would do a comic book trivia break. We would come up with questions to test our geeklings comic knowledge and the kids loved it! For our next trip, I have found an actual geek trivia game to use versus us generating questions. It is called Geek Out!: POP Culture Party. I’ve tested out a few of the cards at home and the geeklings are totally into it. There are also two other versions of the game: the original Geek Out! and Geek Out! Family.
Character Activity Books
Sometimes a good, old activity book is what a geekling needs to keep busy during an extended drive. A quick search for activity books on Amazon offers a wide variety of choices from generic books to those that are fandom themed. I have found that fandom themed activity books tend to grab my geeklings’ interest quicker and hold it longer. There are so many books out there. Though some of my geeklings’ favorites are the LEGO activity books with minifigures, like the LEGO DC Comics Superheroes Activity Book, and the Doodle Books, like Star Wars Doodles.