How to Play the License Plate Game (Games for a Road Trip)

When you decide to venture out into the wilderness and go camping. One thing many people forget is the long road trip you might be facing to get to the campsite where you are going.

Every new campers mind, is always pre-occupied with making sure everything is packed, and there is plenty to do once you reach the campsite, and all the kayaking and fishing they will be doing.

One part of the camping expedition which is often overlooked by new campers is the effect a long trip will have on children.

License Plate GameThey don’t see the excitement which will be had and the activities which are only a few long hours away. Children seek instant gratification.

One way to get over this with children on board is to play some good old family road trip games.

One game always comes to mind, and it is so well known it is played in most countries around the world where long road trips are undertaken.

It is so simple to play and can make any road trip bearable for adults and children alike.

The game in question is the good old license plate game.

What You Will Need

On your license plate game checklist you will need the following:

License Plate Game on Road Trip

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • List of States


This is pretty straightforward, and all it entails is crossing off every state license plate when players spot them.

How to Play

Because you might not see all states, you can set a time limit on the game, or you can play it in two halves, one on the way to your campsite, and the second half on the return trip home.

All players need to do it write down or tick off the states they spot.

How to Score

To make it more fun, you can either make it a cooperative family game or a competitive game. You can also adjust the means of scoring, so it isn’t a matter of just checking off a plate once it’s been spotted.

• License plates from any state – 1 point each
• License plates from the state you are in or any neighboring (adjacent) state 1 point, and license plates from none neighboring states – 2 points each.

This second method will require some knowledge of geography and location of states to where you are.

One other way is to only award points for the first person to spot a new state. This makes the game much more competitive.


Finding the winner is easy, and it is a matter of who has the highest number of points. What is important is that you and your family have survived a boring road trip, and the time has whizzed by.

License Plate Game How to PlayIf you play as a cooperative team, it is advisable to place one of your children in charge of the marking off the states on the list.

This will give them a sense of authority and keep them engrossed in playing the game rather than gluing their faces to the window and just looking at vehicle plates.

There are many ways in which you can vary this and come up with other driving license games. If you have any children, who are gadget freaks?

Such is the popularity of this game that there is even an app from the iTunes store or the Google play store.

Family Camping

Any road trip which leads to your campsite should include something to keep kids occupied. If they become boredLicense Plate Game on Family camping trip on the trip there, then they will be in a somber mood when you first reach your campsite and will be reluctant to help set up the site.

A happy child will help and will be buzzing around and will be eager to set off on their first hunting trip. They will be in the zone and eagle-eyed after scouring the roads for all the different license plates.

A family camping trip is all about having fun, and the more parents can do to make the entire journey as memorable as possible will make children want to go again.

The road trip can be the most enduring part of any journey for children because they are confined in the vehicle and are unable to run around as they wish.

Like a lot of activities, they become bored after an hour or so, so any parent is advised to stock up on as many camping tips and tricks for beginners as possible which will help keep your children occupied and happy.

How to Play the License Plate Game

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