There are plenty of road trip bingo cards to download on the interwebs. They are cute. They are colorful. They are useless. Especially as a reflection of the forced fun that are our family vacations.

Yes, I am being a bit dramatic. We actually have quite a bit of fun together as a family, even when our adventures don’t go exactly as desired or expected. In fact, we consider our forced family fun mishaps to be quite entertaining.

But when we’re in the middle of it all? When the whole thing is long and hard (that’s what she said)? Well, there are many feelings and conflicts and almost losing-of-the-shit and even tears. During our last road trip, I decided to make my own Road Trip Bingo to reflect the realities of my experiences while traveling with my husband and two boys over the years.

Every single one of these items on the list is true and has happened during the course of our many travels. Feel free to use any of them to make your own bingo boards for forced family fun. You can generate your customized bingo boards here.

  • A kid has to use the bathroom less than 20 minutes after you leave the house. If it’s less than 10 minutes, you get to mark off two squares.
  • The dog pukes – If this happens in the car while driving and you panic because you are convinced the dog will be sick and you’ll have to find a pet hospital, mark off two squares.
  • You find a sock in the cooler – If you have a trailer, in the fridge. Because kids are gross.
  • There’s no more beer – This doesn’t sound realistic? Oh, please, you’d be surprised.
  • There’s giggling into the middle of the night – This is the best.
  • Pop a tire, change a tire, buy a tire – Any or all of these.
  • Make snack bags for the boys for the week that they eat in one day (read: the first day of travel).
  • Someone is hungry 10 minutes after refusing to eat a meal
  • The tent or trailer is overtaken by bugs – For us, it was ants, but it can be anything.
  • It’s hot. Like really hot. Like 100 degrees.
  • Chafing in and around your unmentionables, thanks to the heat.
  • Hit double digits in bug bites
  • Sunburn!
  • The teenager wants to go home – Every morning for two hours during a week-long trip, I kid you not.
  • There’s no wifi and everyone is going to die.
  • Kids slapping each other in fun. Or not in fun. The slapping is what matters here.
  • No cell signal…when you really need it.
  • You spend double what you budgeted for this trip.
  • Cross into another state.
  • Get lost.
  • Get drunk.
  • Say the prayer from Forrest Gump: “Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away from here.” – Mark off two squares if you use a southern accent.
  • Swim or watch kids swim so they don’t drown, indoors or outdoors. If it’s indoors, I mark off two squares, because, like kids, indoor pools are gross.
  • Go hiking. Mark off an extra square if someone forgets something important, like shoes.
  • Someone doesn’t “test the water” and poops their pants.
  • Eat all of the chocolate out of the trail mix.
  • Eat ice cream for breakfast
  • Have a campfire. Or say you’re going to but you’re too lazy.
  • Play games. Yahtzee is the best.
  • Build a fort, beach or forest.
  • Say “yes” to everything because you just can’t even anymore.
  • See nature stuff that takes your breath away.
  • Think you’re only going to drive 5 hours but end up 9 hours on the road.
  • Lose your shit – Realistically, this is the Free Space. We all know this is going to happen.

You can win your custom bingo games for forced family fun any way you like: five in a row, a T shape, an X, or blackout. And while the prizes for winning are also customized to your needs and budget, let’s face it; the real prize is making these memories in the first place.

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