Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printables – Keep Kids Engaged for Fun Family Travels

aerial view of a highway

Is there anything more exciting than planning a family road trip?! The bags are packed, the gas tank is full, and you’ve got snacks for days! That should cover it right? Road trips are a fabulous way to create lasting memories, but keeping the kids entertained during those long stretches can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, right? Don’t worry. I gotchu…Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printables are here to save the day!

Listen, I am all for including technology in our homeschool days. After all, I actually make plans to include a number of videos, online games, and such into our lessons. But, when we’re taking a road trip? By gosh, I’m encouraging the kids to leave the tech at home and look out the car windows like it’s 1994.

That can be easier said than done, though. In my experience traveling with kids, I’ve found it helpful to travel prepared with fun activities…like scavenger hunts!

Not only do scavenger hunts keep the kids occupied, but they also turn the travel journey into a fun, engaging experience for the whole family!

I’m happy to share my free Road Trip Printables with you because, if you’re looking for things to keep the kids occupied on a road trip, it means you have an amazing adventure coming up! Not only can these printables encourage curiosity, encourage observation, and bring everyone together, but they also serve as a great way for including some cultural & geographical lessons while on the road.

Why Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Printables are a Must for your Road Trip!

Like I said, road trips can present a challenge when it comes to keeping the kids entertained and happy. No matter how exciting the destination may be, long hours on the road are bound to lead to boredom and restlessness.

In my experience, that boredom and restlessness often results in super cranky kids that either end up hangry or resort tormenting a sibling for entertainment. That’s usually when I remember that I should’ve packed headache meds in my pocketbook instead of the suitcases (that are in the trunk and not within reach).

A mere 5 minutes of time can literally prevent all of that. This is where the road trip printables come to the rescue.

These fun & interactive games not only combat the “are we there yet” syndrome that can develop in a matter of seconds, but also turn an otherwise uneventful drive into an exciting adventure.

Happy kids = happy parents, you know what I mean?

photo of a country road
Road tripping down a country road? Just think of all the animals the kids could see!

Benefits of Road Trip Scavenger Hunts

  • They Promote Observation Skills: Scavenger hunts encourage kids to pay attention to their surroundings and to be more observant, encouraging their cognitive abilities! I don’t know about you, but I will 100% welcome opportunities for my kids to work on being more aware of their surroundings.
  • They Encourage Creativity: Scavenger hunts can make your kids be more creative than you ever thought they’d be! There’s just something about being challenged to check the items off on their list that makes them use their imagination. My kids can be especially creative when they’re working to win a challenge against a sibling – that instinct is there, so let it work to your advantage, parents!
  • They Foster Teamwork Among Siblings: Put a spin on the scavenger hunt by having the kids complete it as a team instead of an individual challenge and you’ll be promoting teamwork & bonding! Just think of all the memories they’ll make together!
photo of a highway
Driving on a highway should let the kids check off many of the boxes in their License Plate Scavenger Hunt!

Educational Value of Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are not just about fun; they also allow for valuable learning experiences for the kids! By taking part in these activities during road trips, kids can learn about nature, landmarks, history, and more in an interactive and engaging way.

Plainly said, scavenger hunts can help to make learning meaningful, memorable, and fun…and that’s what so many homeschooling families work so hard to achieve!

The hands-on approach of scavenger hunts can help to encourage a curiosity & want for knowledge that extends far beyond the confines of the mom van. (I should know…there are a bunch of free scavenger hunts shared within the blog!)

photo of a road leading into a city
Will your road trip take you into a big city?

Tips for a Successful Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Experience

We’re homeschool parents, we know that planning ahead can make experiences go as smoothly as possible. I’ve included printables into our road trips a number of times and, over time, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way. To help make sure your adventure goes as smoothly as possible, with as few tears and moments of chaos as possible (they’re bound to happen, these scavenger hunts aren’t that magical), here are some tips you may consider taking into account when getting ready for the big trip!

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Preparation

Are you planning on bringing your printer along on your trip? Mmm…no. Obviously, print out the road trip scavenger hunts in advance.

When I’m getting printable activities ready for my kids, I like to keep all of the papers inside of a clipboard with storage. The storage section keeps all the papers organized (and not flying about the car…ask me how I know) while providing a solid writing surface. We have a few (not the exact one I linked, but similar – ours came free when opening a bank account…go figure) and they have become our official “road trip fun clipboards.”

Yes, we really are original when it comes to naming things around here.

Avoid getting pencil shavings intermingled with the cold french fries on the floor of your vehicle by bringing along a few mechanical pencils or pens, too. You may even consider bringing some clickable highlighters or washable markers as well – they won’t have lids to lose!

advertisement for the road trip scavenger hunt printables from that homeschool family

Timing

As excited as the kids may be to start their scavenger hunts, I must warn you that, depending on the length of your road trip, they likely won’t take the kids an entire car ride to complete. Because of this, I totally suggest waiting until the ants in their pants start going a little stir crazy before starting the road trip scavenger hunts.

Prior to starting the activities, encourage the kids to look out the window and “just” observe. Then, when they tire of that, introduce the activities. In addition, consider incorporating breaks and rest stops into your drive to prevent boredom & grumpiness.

I’m not speaking experience or anything…haha! #sarcasm

image of a car trunk open and packed for a road trip

About the Road Trip Scavenger Hunts

Ok, let’s get to it.

In an effort to include some culture & geographical learning into your road trip, the printable packet includes not 1, not 2, but 5 different scavenger hunt options. Depending on your trip, the kids may use 1 or even all 5. Either way, I’m pretty sure you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you thought to think ahead and print out these freebies!

The scavenger hunts included have the following themes:

  • Highway
  • City Streets
  • Country Roads
  • License Plates (full state name)
  • License Plates (abbreviated states)

Each scavenger hunt features items typically seen on a car ride and, with a bit of creativity, I’m willing to bet you could even extend the themes by encouraging a bit of summer reading in between utilizing our road trip conversation starter cards!

To get the free road trip scavenger hunts, just fill out the form below. After confirming your subscription, the link to download the PDF will be sent right to your inbox.

Enjoy the Adventure!

Keeping the kids learning and engaged is so important while you’re taking care of your typical homeschool lessons and while you’re out and about! I just know your kids are going to enjoy doing the road trip scavenger hunts on your next open road adventure.

Just think…the kids will get to explore their surroundings, taking note of what they see by ticking off items on their lists while you get to enjoy a bit of peace & quiet. Just a bit, though…wink wink, nudge nudge.

After the kids have completed the scavenger hunts, go ahead and share their experience in That Homeschool Family Hangout! Enjoy!

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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