Road Trip Scavenger Hunt (with a Free Printable)

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Going on a lengthy car journey with my children always demands a clever strategy to keep them engaged. Fortunately, this road trip scavenger hunt perfectly fits the bill!

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Throughout my childhood, the car was always filled with melodious tunes and exhilarating rounds of car bingo. The absence of movies was a norm in our family, and as a strict parent, I, also known as Mean Mom, uphold this very principle for my own kids.

Our road trips were always filled with adventure, whether embarking on a journey from our current home to Chicago to reunite with family or setting off to Florida for a well-deserved vacation (and trust me, that Minnesota to Florida drive feels like an eternity). Along the way, we engaged in a myriad of entertaining car games.

The little ones have a disdain for bingo, you see. It simply doesn’t endure for an adequate duration, and invariably they discover that their bingo is incompatible with our current location.

Be it a whimsical journey through the bustling cityscape in search of that enigmatic bovine, destined to elude us forever, or an endless expedition along a picturesque country road, where the only companions are the passing vehicles and sprawling fields, the elusive bingo remains unattainable. The constant disappointment fuels their frustration, prompting me to conceive a fresh and innovative concept.

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt (with a Free Printable)

How to Play with the Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

As they have matured, we can embark on an adventure of greater intricacy, which will require a bit more time – and undoubtedly bring more joy to each and every one of us. I have devised exhilarating tween and above road trip scavenger hunts.

Our ever-changing moods shape the rules for victory, yet certain elements remain unchanged. To gain recognition, your discovery must be confirmed by a fellow passenger, and only the initial observer to spot an item on the scavenger hunt list earns the accolade for that particular find.

Put simply, should I lay my eyes upon a gas station billboard, no other soul may lay claim to that very billboard. Rather, they must bide their time until the subsequent gas station billboard emerges, granting them the opportunity to amass any points.

To my surprise, this curious phenomenon rarely sparks any disputes. The little ones possess enough cleverness to grasp that by disregarding the fact that another child witnessed something, that disregarded child will reciprocate the same ignorance – all of a sudden, fairness prevails, especially when I am participating in their games!

Usually, we award 2 points to the first person who spots an item on the list, while subsequent individuals receive only 1 point. However, in the case of a brief excursion, only the initial spotter is eligible for points.

When we opt for a timed version of the game, it remains valid, as there are instances when all we require is a brief diversion and engage in play for a mere 15 minutes. Little Miss adores configuring the timer on her wristwatch, enabling us to precisely tally our points.

During our journeys, we often engage in an adventurous game that spans the entire expedition, resulting in an extensive and diverse array of items for the scavenger hunt. Our aim is to present a thrilling challenge, where accomplishing every task doesn’t come effortlessly.

How dull it would be if you discover everything within the initial fifteen minutes!

Make Your Own Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

For a touch of creativity, print and laminate these hunts to enjoy endless usage on tween road trips. This method not only enhances their durability but also provides a smoother writing experience compared to a mere sheet of printed paper.

Grab a home laminator if you haven’t already! They come at a reasonable price and I constantly rely on mine to preserve a variety of items, ranging from cherished artwork created by my little ones to their task lists (which prevents me from constantly reminding them and helps them stay on track), as well as packing lists for outdoor adventures or trips, and countless other uses.

In my experience, adhering them onto sturdy cardstock or directly printing them onto cardstock and subsequently laminating them proves to be even more effective when dealing with children who tend to be rough with their possessions. However, the little ones seem to prefer them in this manner.

I make sure to print them on both sides, allowing for a seamless transition between our urban road trip scavenger hunt and our adventure on the open highway.

Create Your Own Road Trip Treasure Hunt

After laminating them, you can make a hole in the top corner and attach a quick link to it.

The swift connections are marvelous as they defy the unclipping nature of an ordinary carabiner. Ensure you acquire a variety of hues for each individual or adorn them with nail polish, thus indicating rightful ownership!

Create Your Own Road Trip Treasure Hunt

Secure the quick link with a tied string, employing tape or glue to prevent any unraveling mishaps. Make sure the string falls just a tad shorter than the road trip scavenger hunt paper, then affix the upper part of a dry erase marker to the string using tape.

In our humble abode, bid farewell to the eternal struggle of misplacing the pinnacle object (a recurring predicament, mind you!) While reveling in the blissful convenience of having an amalgamation of all necessary playing apparatus neatly ensconced in a solitary locale.

Create Your Own Road Trip Treasure Hunt

Obtain the complimentary printable for this scavenger hunt during your road trip!

Save this road trip scavenger hunt to print again.

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