5 Card Games That Can Be Played In the Car (or at Airport)

Almost everyone has a cell phone these days but when you’re driving a few thousand (or even just a few hundred miles) you’re going to burn through your data if everyone is on their phone. Not to mention there are still places that have poor cell service. For example if you’re passing a sign that says “Wall Drug – Free Ice Water” you may not have great service. So here are 5 easy to pack games that can be played in the car while on your road trip to save you from fighting over the phone charger. These games are small, pack well, they don’t have any pieces, and no flat surface is required.


flying rubberneckersThe Classic for Kids: Rubberneckers – Chronicle Books ~$12

An older game but definitely a classic road trip game, Rubberneckers has you use the changing scenery around – whether it be locating objects or vehicles or interacting with passengers in another car. You win by collecting 100 points and doing things, like spotting a picnic table, will get you 5. “Super” card items get you 10 points and getting a person in another vehicle to acknowledge your thumbs up gets you 5 points. It’s the perfect game for when you are on the road.

Rubberneckers Stats:

~$12 Amazon (Other editions: Junior, Airport and Plane)
2 or more
play as long as you’d like
Ages 5+


read my list cardsLight Fun for Families: Read My List – Educational Insights ~$10-15

There are 400 challenges in this box in two levels. There are a few different challenges. In one you’re read a list of 10 things and you have to remember what’s on the list and give 3 more things in the category. In the “Lightning Round” players have to go in a circle listing things in the category without repeating. “Name the Category” gives players a list of 10 things and you have to guess the category. There’s some simple scoring you can do, but otherwise it’s a good way to keep the kids busy. And kids below 8 can play this but the cards do have a lot of reading.

Read My List Stats:

~$10-15 Amazon and some toy and game stores
3 or more
play as long as you’d like
Ages 8+


rhyme out cardsRhyming Fun: Rhyme Out! – Educational Insights ~$10

Each card has three clues — one for each word in the answer.  Players race to find the three words that rhyme.  There is a hint on each card if you get stumped.  And then there’s a bit of card stealing that allows the winners of certain rounds to steal cards from other players.  The game includes 600 questions in 2 levels so you can play for quite a while, or until one player has earned 10 cards (or points if you don’t want to pass out cards to round winners).

Rhyme Out! Stats:

~$8  Amazon and some local game stores
2 or more
play as long as you’d like
Ages 10+


OverUnder_BOX.inddGuesstimate Fun: Over Under – Gamewright ~$12

This game comes in a travel-friendly small box and it has 600 questions to keep you busy for a while.  A player reads a question that has a number answer.  The other players decide on a number they think best answers the question and then it’s up the the initial player to guess if their answer was over or under the correct answer. If they guess over or under correctly they get a point.  If they guess “spot on” and were amazingly correct, they get to keep the card and their turn continues.

Over Under Stats:

~$12  Amazon and some local game stores
2 or more
play as long as you’d like
Ages 10+


Trivia-esque Fun for Older Kids and Adults: ReFraze – Talicor ~$7-$18

ReFraze-TVShowsThis game is so under the radar (and not very new) but I’ve had a blast playing it in the car before. The game is simply refrazing a movie, song, TV show, etc. title and you have to guess what it is. Sometimes you’ve heard of it, sometimes you can guess from the clue what it might be. Movie example: “The Above Average, The Evil and The Unattractive” (hint: Clint Eastwood) Answer is “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” Either way we really enjoyed the Refraze: Movies from 1986-Present version. There’s a bunch of different editions including a Junior edition for kids 8+.

ReFraze Stats:

~$7-18 Amazon (you may only find these at Amazon since they are only in a few stores)
2 or more
play as long as you’d like
It doesn’t list ages but I’d say 12+ to get some of the references



BONUS Adults Only (and I would not play this in an airport): Utter Nonsense – Utter Nonsense LLC ~$30

utter nonsense sideSeriously, this is for adults only as there are some very inappropriate cards in the box for kiddos. The game is simple and can be modified for car play. There is an accent for the round and then everyone has to impress one judge by saying the phrase on their card in the round’s accent. Example: Say “If you’re happy and you know it thank your meds! (Clap! Clap!)” in an Indian accent.

Utter Nonsense Stats:

~$19 Amazon* and local game stores
4+ players
play as long as you’d like
Ages 18+ (seriously unless you like explaining why you’d be looking for moose knuckle at the beach.