The Great (American) License Plate Game

The road can be a long and boring place for the kids in your family. No matter how hard you may try to explain to them that getting there is half of the fun, they will still get restless. The following is a game that has been around for a good while and has several variations. This particular version entertained my three for the seven hour trip we recently made into the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee:

  1. Make a list on a sheet of paper of all 50 states.  Leave two blank spaces next to each one: one labeled ‘vehicle’ and the other labeled ‘rig’.
  2. The point values for finding a regular personal vehicle is two points. The point value for a rig is one point. The reason being that rigs are more likely to travel cross-country than a personal vehicle would be.
  3. When you get on the road, have one of the kids or the person riding shotgun hold the score sheet and keep track of all of the plates that you see drive by. Each state can only be marked off in either category only once. Thus, there are a total of 153 points for all 50 states plus one of each category from D.C. Bonus points are given for plates from Canada, Mexico, or any other international plate: 3 points for a rig, and 5 points for a personal vehicle( once per province: Ontario and Quebec are separate for example). The vehicles must be in motion on a road of some type. Parked vehicles at rest stops and parking lots don’t count.
  4. Once you have returned from your trip, tally up all points, your distance traveled, and the time that it took your family to obtain your results. Post them here in the comments section to see how your family fared against all other players.

Results for my family:

Trip length: 900 miles round trip

Trip time: 13 hours

Total points: 77 points.

Not too shabby. So, you think your family can beat it on your next road trip? Have at it!

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