Road Trip Game

by Jayme Nelson

Whether it is summer time or for the holidays, the Road Trip is one of the great American traditions. Your bags are packed, stuffed tightly into the back of a car seemingly too small to carry the load. Anticipation initially carries you through familiar roads as you settle into your seat and prepare for the journey ahead.

But after an hour, your romantic wanderlust has morphed into a craving for gas station burritos and Skittles. Overlooked among the fantasies of your destination were the endless interstates of boredom, idle conversation and listening to “Let it Go” for the 374th time.

To fill those hours of wandering thought, you have to get creative. Keep everyone in the car engaged in a game using signs on the road. The game is called Road Trip Bingo. Here are the details:

The Basics of Road Trip Bingo

You’ve most likely played traditional bingo, and the concept of Road Trip Bingo is the same. Players must mark their card with five consecutive squares up, down, across or diagonal to win. A player is able to mark a square when they are first to spot specific road side signs, vehicles or vehicle signage.

Regulatory Signs

Most bingo cards offer a free space in the middle square. We recommend using a speed limit sign for the free space, as they won’t be difficult for anyone to find. Yield signs, stop signs and other regulatory signs also will be common occurrences on the road, but Road Trip Bingo isn’t designed for the common trip.

Luckily, you have a car. Your road trip could be much longer if limited to horseback or hitch hiking. These regulatory signs are rare, but in the right area of the country, they could pop up in town or on the interstate.

Regulatory signagePhoto credit: Wikipedia Regulatory signage

Warning Signs

First and foremost, we hope your trip is safe, and you should take seriously all warning signs. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t mark off some important squares for the game if you spot these signs.

Warning signagePhoto credit: Wikipedia Warning signage

Some warning signs are for the safety of people operating other vehicles. Many of these signs are specific to region, so understanding the history and demographics of a region could give you an advantage in spotting these signs.

Warning signagePhoto credit: Wikipedia Warning signage

Landmark Signs

You’re sure to run into some historic places or landmarks before the end of your road trip. There may even be an interesting museum you never knew existed. These signs can get you one square closer to winning and offer an interesting break from the road.

Landmark signagePhoto credit: Richard Healey Landmark signagePhoto credit: Jake’s Roadgeekery

Vehicle Signs

Road Trip Bingo isn’t confined to just signs on the road. Reserve a spot on your board for unusual vehicles, such as tractors, buses or motorcycles. Some of these vehicles will carry bold signage of their own, including decals and wraps. If you spot any of these attention-seekers, mark off another space. (If you see a tractor with a wrap, stop the game immediately and congratulate yourself. You’ve just won.)

Vehicle signagePhoto credit: Cranky Creative Group Vehicle signagePhoto credit: CarLotz

Digital Signs

Digital signs are a common component of visual communication strategy. Some states are even using them for comedic relief…

Digital road signagePhoto credit: MadTen Digital road signagePhoto credit: Crazy Funny Pictures

A long road trip may be mentally exhausting. Road Trip Bingo is a one way to keep roadtrippers fresh and enthusiastic. Create and customize your board to your specific trip, and make it as difficult or easy as you’d like. Before you know it, you’ll be arriving at your long-awaited destination.


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