Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

We all love scavenger hunts—they’re such a fun way to hang out together while exploring and finding items and points of interest. Did you know that scavenger hunts are mobile and don’t have to necessarily be confined to your own area? Road trip scavenger hunts are a great addition to any long trip, and can be fun for the adults, kiddos, and everyone in between!

How to Do Your Own Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

For those of us who have played the classic game I Spy, the road trip scavenger hunt might look familiar. By printing out a page, everyone can play along and mark down what they find. Lay down some ground rules, find a theme, and watch the hours fly by on your next road trip! 

Printable road trip scavenger hunts can be modified to include every degree of challenge and age range, satisfying kids both young and old. Since road trip scavenger hunts are very visual and verbal, they’re a way for everyone to participate, especially on trips where certain individuals are feeling rowdy or cooped up. There are more Scavenger Hunt games out there, of all types and varieties!

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Rules

Road trip scavenger hunts are good for everyone, but many parents will find they’re a particularly good (and distracting) activity for kids and tweens. To avoid any possible arguments, strongly define your rules before you start, or write the rules down on the same page that has the scavenger hunt items. 

  • Since everyone will find things at their own (and varied) pace, it might be a good idea to make each individual scavenger hunt more challenging per age range.
  • Use the “two person” rule, whereby each find has to be scored by a secondary passenger in order to avoid all cheating. What you want to prevent are the “I saw it, I saw it!” arguments that could arise from this scavenger hunt game. Under the two person rule, you can make sure that everyone is helping, not hindering.
  • Only allow items seen from the car, while traveling, as “found.” Do not include rest stops or breaks, and declare these as necessary pauses or time-outs for the game.
  • Only begin the game when everyone has read their list, understands the rules, and feels like they are ready to go. While there can be a clear winner of the road trip scavenger hunt, you don’t want the losers to feel cheated or disappointed.

It’s More Than Just a Game

Road trip games and car games are fun, and much of the time they are a needed distraction for both child and parent. However, the road trip scavenger hunt can be more than just a game, it can be a great learning experience for children, teens, and adults. Beyond shutting down “screen time” for a bit, the road trip scavenger hunt is a way for parents and children to interact and learn from one another. It helps us all practice a variety of skills:

Observation skills

Scavenger hunts help us examine the world around us in ways we typically do not. By looking at the list and scrutinizing the discoveries, your kids will become more aware of their surroundings and observant about the things they find while driving along. Whether you’re on the freeway or a back road, there are certain things to observe and learn from that go unnoticed in the day-to-day.


Since scavenger hunts are cooperative experiences, they result in both kids and adults working together to find items on lists. If you see that someone is having more of a challenge, you can ask others in the car to help them look. Working together to solve a scavenger hunt list is more fun for everyone because we can see the results immediately!

Memory skills

While the items are listed, the length of your scavenger hunt can help your kids count on their short-term memories to recall the bevy of items they need to find. Since some items might rush by quickly or may not come up again for a little while, keeping the items in mind will be important to accomplish the game. 

Reading and matching

The younger ones in the car (who might not be up to speed on their reading) can practice matching words, pictures, and items. Instead of giving them a list of verbal cues or things to find, print out a list of pictures that will be easier for them to see alongside the road. Or, include words and images on their scavenger hunt list and ask the others in the car to help them associate the discoveries with the printed words.

Common Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Items:

Here is a short list of items that you can feature on your road trip scavenger hunt list. This is a good starting point, as these items should be fairly common on any trip! You can make additions to your list or curate your list based on your trip. If you can map out the roads ahead of time, you can get more creative and obscure with your lists! Most importantly, remember to have fun!

Stop sign 

License plates from three places


Bumper sticker


Billboard with a phone number






Fast Food Sign

Gas Station

Rest stop

Roof rack


Pond Or Lake






Flashing Traffic Light

Someone On A Bike





Pickup Truck


Road trip scavenger hunts are fun for everyone. They can bring the family together, offer learning opportunities, pass the time and make the transportation part of your journey feel like an aspect of the vacation and not just a nebulous in-between. No matter what age group you’re going for, road trip scavenger hunts can be a fun little distraction enjoyed by all! If you’re looking for your next great experience, cityHunt Scavenger Hunts are expertly curated to be fun and exciting for people of all ages!

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