How Do I Not Get Bored While Traveling?

When you think of traveling, you think of vacation or spending time relaxing with your family. 

Typically, you have an idea of what you want to do while you’re there or what you must do. 

This can be at a set time, or it can be whenever you feel like it.

But how do you avoid getting bored while traveling? You find off-the-wall solutions to bond with your family while making sure everyone remains entertained. Here are 9 examples:

  1. Treasure Hunts
  2. Act It Out
  3. Cranium
  4. Scavenger Hunt
  5. Card Games
  6. Jenga
  7. Sumo Wrestling
  8. Drawing Game
  9. Minute to Win It

It’s all about planning. Coming up with these ideas on the fly is not typically going to work. 

Traveling with a family already has its challenges and responsibilities. So, I’ve put this list together for you. 

Bring these ideas along on your next trip to keep everyone engaged and happy.

Treasure Hunts

The purpose of taking a vacation or traveling is usually to take a break in a new or different environment. What better way to experience a new place than a treasure hunt?

There are a few ways to do this, but the main two options are:

  1. Pick items that are commonly found in the area, i.e., blue shell on the beach, carved wood bear family in the mountains
  2. Place an item for them to find, i.e., a small toy or easily recognizable item in a park or section of the town

With young kids, you’ll want to pair off; each parent has a kid or split the kids evenly. If you have older children, you can pair one with a younger child. 

If you only have one kid, don’t worry – they’ll still enjoy searching for the hidden treasure!

Having a treasure hunt will give you time to experience the area and keep your kids interested at the same time.

If they’re hesitant to participate you can offer ice cream or a treat of their choice to sweeten the deal!

Act It Out

There is nothing better than a cool and quirky story – especially when you’re the ones acting it out. 

This is a fun and entertaining activity that involves everyone equally and allows everyone a chance to contribute. 

This game is more like putting on a play, except the plot is made the day off and practice time is limited.

Acting it out gets everyone involved with equally important parts and a pieced together plot. Each member of the family will have the opportunity to add their own spin on the tale.

The most interesting way to play this game is to read or come up with a prompt, and then each makes characters to act it out. Pass the story around and add little bits as it continues until someone ends the story.

Another fun way is to throw a few prompts into a hat and family member names into another, draw out a prompt and two names and see how long they can improvise the story without bursting into laughter.

FUN IDEA: Try doing parents versus kids to see who can come up with a funnier story!


One thing that you shouldn’t travel without Cranium! Cranium is the perfect level of interesting and time-consuming that will help prevent boredom on any trip.

It has a little bit of everything; you get to:

  • Sculpt with Play-doh
  • Play charades
  • Engage in wordplay
  • Solve a mystery

With all these options, you could all play for hours! Adults may be unsure at the beginning, but once you get playing, you’ll have so much fun you’ll want to play again the next day.

Cranium is a small, compact game that can be easily taken anywhere. It’s a perfect way to have a little competition and can be played as individuals or on teams.

SPICE IT UP: Let the winning team or person pick out the next day’s activity.

Scavenger Hunt

Like having a treasure hunt, but with a lot more options in a lot more places. This scavenger hunt would consist of almost a page of items to look out for. Be prepared for this to be an all-day affair.

Make a list of items that can be found around the area with differing levels of difficulty. 

If you’re at the beach, pick stuff like striped towels, ice cream shops, and bicycles. If you’re in the mountains pick stuff like bears, log cabin, and creeks.

This is a super simple game to play and is easy to set up if you’ve found yourselves with an abundance of free time. 

If you’re in a tourist town or visiting a museum, have your teams look for certain items in gift shops and ask questions of tour guides or docents. Get creative with it.

TIP: Always add one item that will be more difficult to find than any other; this makes sure that the game will not end too quickly.

Card Games

A standard method of avoiding boredom while on vacation or traveling – playing card games. 

Card games never go out of style, and card decks can be found almost anywhere if they’re not already provided or you didn’t happen to bring one.

Cards provide an easy outlet to escape boredom and can offer an interesting teaching opportunity. 

Your kids may be familiar with War and Goldfish, but how about Rummy? Or crazy eights? Or maybe 21?

A little extra free time can provide a lot of time to teach, and the best thing is that these card games stay with them. 

It is something that they get to come home and play again and teach their friends.

Grab a book on card games: There are also so many different games to try, you can make playing last for hours without overdoing the same game!


Another easy to pack game to play – Jenga, but this is Jenga with a twist. On each block, there is a task you must complete in addition to making sure the tower does not fall.

Each of the little tasks gets you up and moving or gets you to do funny little things like dance the twist or quack like a duck. You can throw in a few more difficult things like do a handstand or crab walk.

Family bonding op! This is a great game for togetherness and can help let little kids get rid of all that extra energy before bed!

Sumo Wrestling

This game might not be for everyone, but if you’re willing to try it, you could have tons of fun. Sumo wrestling might seem a bit aggressive and can get out of control if not watched properly.

If your children are older and you have access to a pool, that’s where you should try this activity. 

Go at the end where almost everyone’s bellies are partially in the water, now everyone belly-bump! Create a line or place in the pool where you can’t get knocked past, or you lose the game.

For younger children, a pool could be dangerous, especially if they’re not strong swimmers. Therefore, you should play with them in the living room or playroom.

Let them out on your shirts, and you wear an over-sized shirt, and you each stuff them with pillows. You could do front and back or just front.

Now, belly bump to your heart’s content! Younger kids don’t necessarily need a way to win and will just enjoy bumping into each other and you.

Stuck inside on a rainy day? This is a fun release of energy – and giggles!

Drawing Game

One of the quickest to finish and the easiest things to do to prevent boredom is doing the drawing game.

You sit around a table with a pen or some pencils. One person begins the drawing and passes it to the next person for them to add something on. 

Each person has a time limit, i.e., 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, depending on how detailed and how much you want each person to draw.

You also create a limit to how many times the paper is passed around. The smaller your group, the more times you should pass it.

If you want to make it more interesting, make up a theme for everyone to use in the drawing. Everything the add it must be related to that theme somehow or you have to start over!

Minute to Win It

Minute to win it takes a little extra preparation in comparison to the other games, but the exchange is that you’ll have tons of fun. 

Also, most of the materials can be picked up super cheap from a dollar store.

Just like the classic game, Minute to win it, you’re going to set up a few challenges in the house for the family to compete in. 

You can come up with some of your own ideas or look up some online like:

  • Stacking cups with paper
  • Hitting plastic balls off of golf tees
  • Moving fruity pebbles with chopsticks
  • Balancing candy on a popsicle stick in your mouth

This game keeps everyone in the family involved and is perfect for kids of all ages. You’ll also never get tired of it because there are new ideas each day!

You can keep it friendly…or make it into a competition with points and bonus rounds!

Final Thoughts

These are some great starts for getting creativity and energy flowing when you’re traveling with your family. 

Think ahead, pack up a list and supplies and kiss boredom goodbye at the gate!