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Punch Buggy & Other Driving Games

Reliving our childhood, one punch (buggy) at a time

The GoGirlfriend team loves road trips! Whether it's a north south coastal trek or a one-day road trip while visiting a destination city (just to see more than just the  town), we're often challenged to pass the time on our many mile road trip.

Ford Escape courtesy of Ford CanadaSo, we're channeling our inner kids and playing road games while enjoying the amazing scenery. Sounds fun, right?

Talking to fellow travelers, I've compiled a list of some driving games to while away the time. Remember any of these from your childhood?

Classic road games

  • Road TripEye-spy - A traditional favorite that involves one person picking a color or shape for the other passengers to search for and find. I had folks stumped when I said, "I spy with my little eye, something that is ginger-ale colored. Note the color of our 2013 Escape is ginger ale (how cool a description)!"
  • Animal and cemetery road game - I heard about this game from a good friend (thanks Wendy!). Each person is designated an animal to count as they traveled (through the Midwest in Wendy's case). Horse, cow, sheep, whatever you choose is tallied as you aim to be the first to reach 100. If you pass a cemetery on your side of the car, the count is erased and you're back at zero again ... Ouch!
  • Padiddle (kadiddle to some) - Played at night where you get points if you're the first to spot a vehicle with a burnt out headlight or tail light. But you can add an adult twist and each time the person who doesn't see the burnt out light removes an article of clothing. Interesting alternative says Mr. GG and thank heavens for heated seats!
  • old Virginia licence plateLicense plate game - Use all your energy to spot license plates from every state/province or try to gather a letter from each letter of the alphabet (good luck with Q and Z). I'm not aware of a clothing-loss derivative ... yet!

Another observation from our many miles was an old game that has resurged in recent years...

My arm is hurting again ...     

Punch-buggy... No punchbacks!!

Remember those days when punch-buggies were everywhere. They disappeared for a while, but are back with a resounding Ouch!

Herbie the lovebug VW BeetleThose classic Volkswagon Beetles captured our curiosity while rekindling a childhood desire to punch a special someone in the arm. Whether from the classic punchbuggy style or the more modern incarnation, their personification lives in characters like Herbie the Love Bug and the Disney's Cars characters. The classic bugs, the psychedelic designs of the 60's beetles, the modified Beetles for Baja racing, or the convertible Cabriolet's - they're the longest running and most manufactured car of a single design platform, worldwide.

For those of you not familiar with the phrase "Punch Buggy [color], no punchbacks" you must have grown up in some far away land! In our household with 4 children, that phrase begins an avalanche of arms flailing (even from as young as 2 year olds throwing mis-aimed arms out when the call is made) and wails of pain. With "no punch-backs" from the caller, the chain usually makes its way to the front seat.

My saving grace is that our family rule protects the driver - no punching (just love taps) the person keeping everyone else in the car safe. Thankfully, my default role as driver keeps my arms bruise-free. Mrs. GoGirlfriend isn't so lucky.  

GGEscapeAs my children have grown older and the new Beetles are more common, a family rule was instituted some time ago that allowed the classic Beetles to count for 2 punches ... double ouch, more bruising and more license to punch!

To say we're enjoying our #GGEscape roadtrip would be an understatement. Reliving our childhood with a bit of adult fun thrown in - all while driving a vehicle we both love - this equals happiness. 

Let us know how you pass the hours when traveling hundreds or thousands of kilometers/miles. We'd love to hear. Share your stories here or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

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