With restrictions relaxing and school holidays on the way, the annual family road trip isn't far behind. But if you're driving somewhere far away for this year's staycation, there's a good chance you'll be hearing "are we nearly there yet?" from the backseat during your journey.

Once you've heard that familiar question, you know things are about the get a little, well, restless, to put it mildly. Luckily, there's a whole host of fun games you can keep the whole clan entertained with along the way.

And since the majority of the in-car games mentioned below needs little, if any, equipment to play, they're great for giving the kids a break from less social distractions like video games and tablets too.

Take a look at our list and get some old-fashioned fun going with these car journey games to play with the whole family this summer.

1. Number plate game

If you'd like more variety in your car games, then the number plate can take a few different forms. For some families, it might be as simple as finding number plates on cars from different countries and scoring points based on the amount everyone finds.

But for a more creative version, why not have everyone memorise the last three letters of a passing car's number plate and make up a story using the letters to form your yarn? The first letter can be the character's name, the second letter could be an item or an animal in the story, and the third letter can provide some inspiration to what the character might be doing.

You could even make sentences using just the letters of car number plates to see what everyone comes up with. The sillier the better.

2. I spy

It might not be the most original of ideas, but I Spy is a car game classic for a reason. It's simple enough for little ones to get the hang of, and it's near impossible for older members of the family to resist getting involved with too.

Just be sure to pick something that's in view at all times. It's no fun for others trying to guess something that passed miles back – unless being branded a spoilsport is your idea of fun, of course. 

3. Memory game

You might know this by other names, but the idea is mostly the same. One player starts with the line "I went to a picnic and brought..." followed by an object of their choice. The next player has to remember that item and then add another to the list. Bonus points if you can all do it in alphabetical order. It can get a bit crazy the longer you go, but it's a great way to stop everyone focusing on the clock.  

4. Would you rather?

Would you rather eat an entire raw onion or sit in a bath of worms? Both pretty unpleasant, but there's a choice to be made. The opportunities for silliness are nearly endless, but just be sure to keep things clean for the kids, of course.

5. Pub cricket

While it might sound like some sort of particularly daunting drinking game, rest assured there's no alcohol involved in this one.

Instead, the aim of this game is to spot pubs along your trip and count how many arms and legs there are in each pub's name, with a maximum score of 6 runs. Just watch out for spotting any pubs with arms or head in the name; if you do then you're out and it's the next person's turn.

For example, The Red Lion would score you 4 points (since it has 4 limbs), whereas The Horse and Jockey would have a combined 6 legs and 2 arms, giving you a maximum score of 6 and out.

6. Word association

Another classic to make the time go faster. Here, one person starts by saying a word (which can be pretty much anything), then the next person has to come up with a word that has some sort of link to the previous word.

So, one person might say "farm", the next person says "cow", and the third person may say "milk". The game ends if someone takes too long to answer, says a word without any sort of clear connection or they repeat a word that's already been said. You'll be surprised how your mind goes blank when things start to speed up!

7. Road trip bingo

It may take more preparation beforehand to do this one, but it's a good option if you need to concentrate on the road while still keeping the little ones busy.

Make a list or picture card of things you might see on a typical journey, such as sheep, a church, cows, a horse, a tractor, a pub with a specific name and motorway services. Any time they see each item on their scorecards, they can cross them off. You can even throw in some more unusual items on there to keep them on their toes (and give you a bit more time to focus on getting to your destination).

8. The quiet game

Of course, if you do need to focus, then you can always rely on the quiet game to shush the squabbles and hush any arguments you've had to listen to for the last hour or so. And when it's under the guise of competition (“Let’s see who can stay quiet the longest”) you might be surprised by how much peace and silence you get in return.

And if all else fails, then be sure to pack some earphones so they can play a game, watch a film or search the internet without noises and dialogue to distract you.

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