Need a summer activity? Here’s a Catholic road trip scavenger hunt!

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Summer travels can be fun and incorporate the Faith. If you plan on traveling anytime soon, here’s a scavenger hunt that can help make the experience totally Catholic. You can use the list as a starter for your own ideas or make it a point to do them all, if the conditions are right. This list might even help you figure out where to go! Have fun and pray along the way!

  Visit a shrine

  Pray before a relic

  Visit an adoration chapel

  Go to a basilica

  Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  Attend a daily Mass

  Find a church with two bell towers

  Visit a diocesan cathedral

  Visit a new community of religious women

  Buy a Catholic book

  Visit a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary

  Go to a religious goods store


  Pray the Rosary

  Find a statue of St. Thérèse

  Pray at an outdoor grotto

  Light a candle for a special intention

  Visit an Eastern Catholic parish

  Read through an entire Gospel

  Go to confession

  Pray at a cemetery

  Pray the Stations of the Cross

  Take a selfie with a foot in each of two neighboring dioceses

  Find a copy of Our Sunday Visitor — or leave a copy somewhere


  Pray for the bishop of your final destination

  Drop a donation in a poor box

  Visit a monastery

  Learn something new about the Faith


  Take a selfie with a piece of art depicting your favorite saint

  Send a postcard to someone lonely

  Meet a new priest

Submit pictures or testimonials via email to or tag us on social media using #OSVRoadTrip.


road trip
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Family road trip dos and don’ts

Do: Invest in quality time

Modern technology has enabled us to enter into silos even while riding in the same car. Fight the urge! Take advantage of this precious time together as a family to grow in relationship with one another. Share stories from your childhoods, favorite memories from other vacations, or discuss the Sunday Gospel. Time with your family is precious, especially when you have small children. Don’t miss the opportunity to treasure it.

Do: Take advantage of wholesome media

There is a lot of quality, free audio content to tune into while on a road trip. Listen to the life story of a saint, a classic novel, or a podcast that discusses some aspect of the Faith. Any time of shared listening can be followed up with an opportunity for more discussion. What did each person learn? What surprised you the most? Talk to one another and learn from one another.

Do: Remember patience is a virtue

Sure, your destination is plugged into the GPS, and you have your eyes on the prize. But don’t be afraid to take things slow, especially when traveling with little ones. If it seems you’ve been in the car too long, you probably have been. It’s OK to stop and stretch your legs. If mom has to feed the baby, stop at a park to let the big kids run around, or find something to check off the scavenger hunt list. Take it easy, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the journey itself.

Do: Pack a special bag for the car

Ahead of the trip, pack some special things for the kids that will help keep their attention. Maybe it’s some books or toys they haven’t seen for a while, a favorite treat or snack, or something new that will captivate their imaginations. Take advantage of initial planning to help the trip stay interesting for the little ones. If they’re happy, everyone is happy!

Do: Know the way

Travel is a great opportunity to explore basic geography. Talk about the route that you will be traveling before departure, and learn as you go along. Read up on the new cities, states or territories that you will be passing through. Announce when you cross a boundary of some kind. Have a map for the kids so they can follow along. Let them pick out a stopping place along the route each day.

Do: Pray!

The scavenger hunt list gives ample opportunities to pray while traveling, but there are always more. Maybe introduce a new prayer to your kids during your journey. Use the trip to get in the habit of making the sign of the cross as you pass by a church. Pray as you begin and end your travels. Don’t be afraid to pray before meals in restaurants. Offer a day-long novena, praying nine times every half-hour or hour, for someone in need or for a special someone you might be visiting.

Do: Make time for a sing-along

Are people getting cranky? Need to shift gears? Put on a sing-along friendly playlist and encourage all to participate. Pick out some favorite hymns ahead of time or some songs from favorite movies, or both! Crank the music up and lift your spirits.

Do: Make time for quiet

All this being said, it’s OK to have general times of quiet. It’s OK for someone to look out the window, for someone to read a book, for someone to put in their headphones, or for someone to take a nap (just not the driver!). Quiet time can help us recharge as we journey to our destination.

A quick list of don’ts

Don’t lose your temper. Model virtue for your loved ones.

Don’t drive when you’re tired. Get a treat or stop to check off some of our suggestions.

Don’t ignore the others traveling with you. Grow in relationship with one another.

Don’t waste money. Prepare ahead of time to stay on budget.

Don’t stress over meals. If eating out, play rock, paper, scissors to decide who chooses the place.

Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV’s Simply Catholic. He writes from Indiana.

Michael R. Heinlein

Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV's Simply Catholic and author of "Glorifying Christ: The Life of Cardinal Francis E. George, O.M.I."