Road trips are in my DNA. I can pack a car like I’m playing luggage Tetris. I know all the fun things to see when we stop for food, and have enough provisions packed that we never have to stop and see them. I have travel activities tucked away, the tween travel tips memorized, and a Travel Scavenger Hunt for Tweens and Teens ready to play as soon as we reach the highway. If you found us from Carla Schauer Designs, welcome to Meander & Coast!
You know how we always say we won’t turn into our parents? That we’ll do things differently, and never EVER do what made us roll our eyes as kids all those years ago?
Please tell me I’m not the only one out here making my kids’ eyes roll.
You see, I make my kids turn off their electronic devices in the car during road trips and play silly games, just like my parents made me do. Of course I was turning off my Walkman, and they have tiny mini computers. But I remember thinking my grumpy teenager thoughts, just like I can see my own tween and teens thinking theirs.
And like my mother, I don’t care. Isn’t it great to be the parent?
Travel Scavenger Hunt for Tweens
The best thing about having tweens and teens is that the games can get more complex than the standard travel bingo game with pictures, and that they still get a kick out of a all things gross and goofy. So a travel scavenger hunt for tweens and teens that combines harder items to find with some that are funny and kind of icky? Perfect! I make a new scavenger hunt list every year with some old favorites from my own childhood hunts and some new silly things to find.
Travel Scavenger Hunt Rules
I do strongly suggest defining your rules beforehand, to avoid arguing. Yours may vary, but our rules have always been:
- Everyone finds their own item in it’s own place. One construction site can’t give everyone an orange construction barrel
- Finds must be verified by another passenger to prevent cheating. This might seem like an opportunity for someone else to deny seeing an item, but this resolves itself as they realize this works both ways.
- Only items seen during actual travel get marked as found. Food or bathroom stops where we are out of the car are “game pauses”.
- Game begins once everyone has had a chance to read the list, and ends when our destination has been reached. Most items found wins.
Why Travel Games for Tweens and Teens?
Why don’t we take the easy route with headphones, DVDs and electronics for everyone? Well, we do. Sometimes. I enjoy sanity as much as everyone.
My mom once convinced my dad to turn around and backtrack 10 miles because she wanted us to see an alligator by the side of the road “in the wild”. That alligator turned out to be an old blown tire by the side of the road and made family history. “Florida alligator” (old tire) now holds a permanent spot on our own family travel scavenger hunt lists, and a permanent spot in our Griswold-esque family vacation hall of fame. We have a million of those. I want my own kids to remember silly family stories and pass them to their own children someday.
Remember when we all sat next to each other wearing our headphones and playing Minecraft for 12 hours? Nope. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
So I’ll just keep annoying my kids and making their eyes roll until they can do it to their own kids on some future road trip. Because I hope they will.
It’s in their DNA.
Here’s this year’s list, as a free printable, so you can annoy your tweens and teens too. Use the download button below. **Then find a new list variation at the end of the post.**
More Road Trip Printables and Games
Visit Printable Road Trip Scavenger Hunt for Teens to download another variation of this Travel Scavenger Hunt for Tweens. Use it for the trip back home!
I’ve also chosen some of our favorite travel games for families and linked them below.
Enjoy your trip!