Lonely Planet Writer

Road warriors

choveeLong road trips can be to die for. The unparalleled sense of freedom, seeing the countryside up close, stopping at cool and interesting places to stock up on supplies and bed down for the night. But if it's a really long long haul, to die for can quickly become to kill for.

Car games can be one way to pass the time. Ranging from hokey to hysterical, they can make or break the rough riding. Lonely Planet staffer Jane recently shared some of her driving game adventures, and we asked our Facebook fans for their favourites.

There were some great ideas; some oldies and some more innovative offerings. They fell into a few categories.

  • In-car karaoke and dance party -- Hoi Ning Ngai heartily suggested "karaoke in the car! And dancing on the dashboard! (though i'm not sure that's legal?)
  • Spot-em Games, popular variations include:
    - Out of state license plates
    - Cars with single a working headlight (aka. a "perdiddle")
    - "Cows on my side!"
  • Alphabet game -- "Ugly car!" "Yellow car!"
  • Scream at the scenery -- "...start yelling out the window at the beautiful scenery "YOU'RE AMAZING" and "WOW" and "I LOVE NEW ZEALAND" ... or wherever you are.
  • Name that tune/talkback with the locals -- Inge Burbank and Mukta Sharma say this is a great way to catch the vibe of local stations. Try talkback for another approach. You'll likely learn about the areas you're passing through (and pick up on livestock tips).
  • Books on tape, CD, MP3, or 8-track (depending on the age of you and your car) -- for Miranda Diebel: "It's the ease of watching a movie, without the distracting images. People always say the books are better than movies, anyway. Why not get the best of both?" Carolyn Hopper recalls that "Dracula left some chills up my spine one cold December night on a trip to a friends' house in Maine through the woods."
  • Name (maim?) that roadkill -- "It's a bit morbid but you have to name it when you spot it before the other person does to get the point," explains Jenni Mercer. "I know it's gross but with a car of four heading into Australian outback it gets very competitive."
  • Write a blog/make a video/reality show/tweet -- Live documentation of your journey will be fascinating to someone. You might arrive at your destination to a crowd wanting autographs.

Have we missed some?

[Photo: Chovee/Flickr]