Yellow Speed Camera! - Road Trip Games for Everyone

Recently, I talked to a former friend who claimed that car journeys were one of the most boring things there can be. Before ending the friendship I proclaimed that no, he's an idiot, and driving is fun! And you can make it fun on boring roads!

Even I have to admit to moments of boredom on the street. It can happen, but then a good person is able to come up with a way to pass the time. Audiobooks? No, not really. Over the years, I have played a number of in-car-journey friendly games:


Yellow Car (Players: ∞)


Is a true classic. I don't think that this needs much explaining, but it works like this:
[insert number of people in the car] keep their eyes open and when one spots a yellow car they shout „yellow car!“  
An additional option could be to smack another person. However, this would only work if a) the person isn't the one driving, b) there are only three people in the car, otherwise who do you smack? All the passengers? c) the person is preferably weaker than you, d) they're not bad tempered. 
Otherwise, your arm might fly out of the car very soon. Then someone else is going to play „car with blood pattern on it“
Obviously, the colour can be changed, or a brand can be added. "Yellow Mercedes“, "orange Seat“. I strongly advice against "black VW" then you might end up bruised and blue, or with a car full of people shouting the phrase. 
Then as a driver you might be tempted to drive against a „brown and green tree“ to end it.

Spot the Difference: Dashboard Version (Players: 2)


As a child I loved those games. You had two pictures and should point out all the differences. Suddenly a chicken was sitting on the table instead of a flower. Lots of fun!
It can also be played in the car. Player A tries to remember the dashboard and then looks away. Player B changes one little detail. Maybe they turn the heater setting to 2! When mischief is done, Player A tries to find whatever has been changed.

I should mention that this only works to an extend in my little car. My dashboard looks like this:



Yes, you could change the AC's temperature but that gets boring quickly. Removing the parking ticket wouldn't be clever, it would mean doing me a favour. It's been there since April. The things you could find in my car are astonishing. I wouldn't be surprised if I'd find an extinct species in there.
Anyway, I changed a little thing, which?



However, in my mother's car this could work brilliantly. Her dashboard looks like that:

Sadly, I am not allowed to show it. But she drives a BMW, that should answer the question of how many buttons, menus, screens and strange thingies it has.

Why is this only recommended for 2? 
Simple. Only two people can sit in the front. In all honesty it would be annoying to have a little hand trying to change a knob on the dash from behind. So it can only be played by the two people sitting in the front.

How to Adjust the Clock??! (Players: ∞)


This is self-explanatory. The game is strangely popular around the time you change your clock either forwards or backwards. (Fall back ; Spring forwards).
The goal of this game is also simple: the person who actually manages to change the clock is the winner.
In my life it has already come so far that I have given up. Now in summer I can pretend that I am one hour early, and not 10 minutes late ...

Are We Lost? (Players: ∞)


This game follows a simple concept: Passengers simply ask the driver „Are we lost?“ and they – usually – answer with no. This will be done until the point where the driver will be distracted enough to miss a turn. In which case, yes, you are lost! Challenge complete!

Are we lost?“
No.“
Are we lost?“
No.“
Are we lost?“
No!“
Are we lost?“
Nooo!“
Are we lost?“
N --- bugger …. yes.“
Yaaay!“


Am I Smarter Than Sat-Nav? (Players: 1)


While “Are We Lost?” is a game that is mostly directed at the passengers and the strained nerves of the driver “Am I Smarter Than Sat-Nav?” Is a game solely for the driver.
Every time you find yourself in a strange town, in a traffic circle and the sat-nav's gentle voice is telling you to use the second exit, but no you are sure that the first is quicker, then you are playing „Am I Smarter Than Sat-Nav?“ 
The answer is very often: no, no. You are not!

Unless, of course, you find yourself in the unique situation that your sat-nav's gentle voice is telling you to drive into this wobbly, water like flowing thing. 
In this case: yes, you are smarter than your sat nav!


The Rubbish Cars Garage (Players: ∞)


Every petrol-head has their own 10 Car Dream Garage (mine only features 6 so far, because I'm horribly picky, but that's better saved for another time). It's an imaginary garage filled with the 10 cars you'd buy if money wasn't an issue.
The Rubbish Cars Garage is a variation of that principle. For one, you shrink the parking spaces from 10 to 5.
And which cars? Your Dream Garage can feature any car you want. However, in the real world you can only chose one of the cars that you meet on the journey. From the next 10 cars you have to chose 5 which you want to park in your garage. Once parked you have to leave it there, say you lost the keys.
You might be lucky and meet a Lexus LFA, or you might be unlucky and meet a Kia Rio. Most of the time you will be unlucky. In comparison to a car enthusiast's Dream Garage it will be rubbish, even if you manage to secure a cheery Golf GTI. 
Speaking of VW: considering where I live (Austria), your Rubbish Car Garage will mostly consist of: VW, BMW, and Hyundai.
The person with the best cars wins!

Find the Speed Camera (Players: ∞)


Warning: make sure that any player who isn't you (as in the driver) is trustworthy!

You drive along a smooth B-Road, the weather is fine, no wind, sun is shining. No traffic ahead, behind, or even on the other side?
This calls for a game of “Find the Speed Camera”. The rules are very simple: you drive along at a certain speed (which I'm not allowed to suggest) and use your detective skills to figure out if there is a speed camera near by.

One technique could be the sat-nav. Some have a warning system built in, it takes your speed and should one be near it beep loudly; no matter if you are too fast. Be aware, that if you don't know about this feature that the first beep may cause a heart-attack.
Another is knowing the area you drive in. Of course this isn't always the case, and maybe you don't like sat-nav. Fear not! In Austria your number plate states the area you come from. If you drive through a constituency which is registered under BL (Bruck an der Leitha) and you're not familiar with the area but have one in front of you who's plate says the afore mentioned BL. But he's doing 1§% - sorry I sneezed – then it's save to assume that they're familiar with the area, and there is no speed camera.
The same works with an area you're familiar with, what if people are suddenly driving 100 km/h? Hmm … tricky.
So dong your detective hat! Play the game! Soon you'll work out your own ways to play “Find the Speed Camera”. 
Though this is not recommended in towns, during bad weather, strong traffic in either direction and for drivers who got their licence less than 2 years ago! Should you chose to ignore those, you are a massive idiot!

Sadly, this game doesn't really have a winner. Just a loser. It's obvious when you lost. I – for example – haven't lost yet.

Disclaimer: Speeding is bad. Especially for your wallet if you get caught.

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