The best travel games are the ones you should be playing during any downtime on your travels.
Travelling for long periods can wear you out, and playing games is one way to recharge and have a bit of fun at the same time! If you’re travelling as a family, then taking some travel card games with you can help keep your children entertained throughout the day!
I played a lot of these best travel board games during several road trips, and they were always fun and eventful! Playing a travel game such as Catan is an excellent activity to do in the evening, especially if you’re staying at a hostel and want to make new friends.
Many travel games stand the test of time, such as Uno. There are also some lesser-known travel games on this list which are also fun!
Games are one of the best ways to socialise while travelling, and below are a few fun travel games for adults and kids you can play next time you’re on the road!
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Table of Contents
Best Travel Games 2023
Looking for a quick selection of the best games for traveling?
Here are my choices for the best games based on whether you’re playing with family or friends or whether you want a portable card game or board game instead.
- Best travel board game – Catan
- Best travel game for adults – Cards Against Humanity
- Best travel game for families – Connect 4
- Best travel card game – Monopoly Deal
- Best grab-and-go travel game – Uno
My Top 5 Travel Games
Below are my favourite games to play while I’m travelling. I’ve spent a lot of time playing each one of these games and they are great fun!
Taking one of these travel games with you on a trip is helpful if you’re in a hostel and looking for something to do. You can play one of these games to pass the time and make some new friends!
They’re also brilliant travel gifts you can give to someone who loves to travel!
1. Monopoly Deal
Monopoly Deal is one of the best travel board games for two players, or more, to play while they are on the road. I played this game numerous times on road trips in Australia and other destinations!
One reason for this is that instead of playing the board game version, which requires a lot of table space, it’s condensed into a card game making it easy to pack in your carry on bag.
The game is derived from the board game Monopoly. The aim is to collect three complete sets of cards representing the properties from the original game.
You can do this in several ways: playing them directly, stealing them, or collecting them as rent.
The various cards in the deck such as denominations of Monopoly money and wild cards make the game an intriguing proposition and a highly enjoyable one!
Catan is without a doubt one of the best travel games I have ever played. It is a fun strategy game that is easy to learn, but harder to master.
The aim of this classic board game is to build roads and settlements and trade with your fellow players with the first person to reach 10 victory points being the winner.
The nature of this dice game means it can get quite competitive as everyone vies to secure settlements and more points!
One downside of Catan is the bulky box which contains the game board and pieces. It’s not one of the dice games you can fit in your travel backpack with ease! However, if you’re doing a road trip, you can easily fit it in the car.
Catan is a thoroughly enjoyable game that you keep playing on and on while you’re on your travels!
Uno is one of the easiest family travel games you can play.
The premise of the game is simple, the first person to get rid of all their cards wins. However, there is a bit more to the game than that! You’ll need to think strategically as the game develops!
The game is easy to pick up, which makes it ideal if you’re travelling with children as it doesn’t require a lot of explanation!
Uno is one of the best games to play on vacation and one you should pack during your travels!
Bananagrams is a simple and classic word game you can play wherever you are in the world!
Creating words as quickly as you can with the tiles provided is the aim of this popular game.
It’s similar to Scrabble, but you need to know any obscure words, just form as many words as quickly as you can and you’ll have a decent chance of winning.
This is a good game for adults, and it’s also a great educational game for children too!
Rummikub is one of my favorite travel games and one that I enjoy playing whenever I travel.
The premise of the game is simple, you want to be the first person to use all their tiles.
But, it’s not as simple as it seems as you have to place your numbered tiles in groups or runs as shown in the image below. So a set of the same number or numbers with the same colour.
There are a lot of strategies involved in the game and you have to plan your moves constantly throughout the game. It’s a good two player game to take with you if you’re travelling as a pair.
The game does come in a big box, but you can take the tiles out and store them in a small bag, which makes it ideal to travel with!
Best Travel Card Games
Travel card games are arguably the best option when it comes to including something fun on your packing list. They are portable, easy to carry and don’t take up a lot of space.
If you’re determined to pack light, then including one game isn’t going to compromise the rest of your backpack.
Here are a few suggestions for what to take with you!
6. Backpacker Travel Game
If ever there was an ideal fun travel game, the Backpacker Travel Game is certainly the one!
The object of the game is to make your way around the world and be the one who returns with the most photos.
Along the way, you will encounter various obstacles such as missed flights, travel sickness and or a stolen backpack.
It’s one of the best travel-themed games that will appeal to travellers of all ages and keep them engaged!
The easy-to-store and durable cards make it an ideal game to travel with!
Bullshit is one of the best travel card games you can play while you are on the road.
All you need to play is a pack of cards and the rules are easy to pick up. You want to be the one to get rid of them first.
While it may sound simple, there are a lot of factors that come into play. To get rid of all your cards, sometimes, you have to bluff.
If your bluff is called, then you have to pick up all the cards on the table!
One thing which makes Bullshit great to play is the risk involved.
If you want to win, you’re going to have to lie and this can make the game fun, enjoyable, and infuriating at times!
8. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is one of the best adult travel games that’s ideal to play in a hostel or while you’re drinking.
It’s a simple game to play. One person reads out a question from the black cards and everyone else has to provide answers from the white cards that they have.
These answers can range from funny to downright dirty and make the game entertaining for everyone involved!
Cards Against Humanity can be a great icebreaker if you’re looking to meet new people and will have you in fits of laughter during your travels!
9. Spot It
Spot It is one of the easiest mini games for travel to get grips with while you’re on the road.
There are many variations to the game, but the simplest one is to find the image that is the same on two cards. Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!
It couldn’t be simpler!
What makes this game so great is that anyone can pick it up, and it becomes competitive quickly. It’s perfect for younger kids and will keep them occupied in the hotel room!
You have to be sharp otherwise someone else will find the matching images and beat you to it!
I used to play Spot It all the time with my students when I was teaching English in Barcelona and they loved it!
The simplicity and fun you can have while playing makes it a quality game you should buy!
10. Loaded Questions
Loaded Questions is a variation of the classic game, Who Said What, and is an enjoyable one to play with family members.
It’s one of the best games to get to know fellow travellers, as the questions can range from the mundane to the bizarre!
It’s also one of the best travel games for kids. They will love the crazy questions that come up and will have a fantastic time answering and guessing who said what!
All you need are the cards, so it’s an easy game to pack with you on your travels and you shouldn’t leave behind at home.
Guillotine is a fun game that is based on the French Revolution. It’s an enjoyable game to play, even if it is based on a macabre subject!
The aim of the game is to behead the least popular nobles over three days. The player with the highest points total at the end of that period is declared the winner!
While it may sound simple, there are several ways the game is made interesting.
Players are given cards that manipulate the order the nobles are the executioner. This means your best intentions can come to a gruesome end if you’re not lucky!
Guillotine is enjoyable to play, and its ease to pick up makes it one of the best games for travellers!
12. Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is one of the best and most ridiculous games on the list that’s kids play to learn!
Let me explain:
The premise of the game is to avoid being blown up by a kitten! Each person draws a card and if you draw an exploding kitten, you are out of the game.
There isn’t much strategy involved in the game, it comes down to luck more than anything else.
But the random nature of the game and its ridiculousness make it an ideal game to play with fellow travellers you have just met!
It’s a portable and easy-to-play game that will provide hours of fun makes it one of the best games for backpacking!
13. What Do You Meme?
What Do You Meme is a similar game to Cards Against Humanity and is one of the best vacation games for adults.
The game revolves around memes. You have to create the funniest meme by pairing caption cards with the photo card in play.
One person is the judge, who is rotated on a round-by-round basis, and they decide which combination is the winner.
It’s a hilarious card game to play with others while travelling and will have you bent over laughing at certain points.
It’s a game aimed at adults, so it’s not suitable for children.
Best Travel Board Games
The thing with travel board games is that you’re unlikely to fit one inside your backpack. Ligretto is a big game and takes up a lot of space. These games lend themselves more to road trips where you can easily store them in your car.
If you want more fun travel games then you’ll find some fantastic options below that include strategy games and ones that the whole family can play!
Ligretto is one of the best road trip games you can take with you while you’re travelling.
The aim of the game is to get rid of your cards faster than the other players.
It’s a simple premise, but it’s not as simple as that. Instead of taking turns players play simultaneously.
This makes it a quick game and requires you to pay attention to the cards that are being played by yourself and by others.
It’s one of the best games for children and will keep their attention span for a long period!
Ligretto is a fast-paced game that travellers of all ages will enjoy and one of the best family card games to take on your next trip!
15. Connect 4
Connect 4 is one of my favourite games to play, in general, not just when I’m travelling.
It’s an easy game to learn, but a difficult one to master. The premise is simple. You want to be the first to get four of your discs in a row.
I love this game. It’s a simple, yet fun and addictive game. It’s one of the best travel games for kids as it’s easy to learn and very engaging, which makes it perfect to take with you on a family vacation.
It’s one of the best travel games for couples as the game requires just two people.
If you’re on a long road trip or looking to unwind, it’s a great game to pack for your travels.
Game time: 5-30 minutes
Recommended age: 8 years and up
Fluxx is one of the easier travel board games you can play.
There are no rules! Each card you put down changes the rules. This creates an intriguing game and means strategies are constantly changing throughout.
The idea is to collect cards and you win by accomplishing all the objectives that are on the table at that point before they are changed!
The random element of the game makes it a lot of fun, but those who like structured games may not enjoy it.
However, it’s easy to pick up and its ever-changing nature makes it one of the most enjoyable games on this list!
Codenames is a lesser-known travel game which is a lot of fun to play. It may seem like a complicated game at first but after a while, you’ll realise it’s not as complicated as it seems.
The idea of the game is to uncover your team’s secret agents. This is complicated as there are many possibilities for what people can be such as bystanders or secretive assassins.
In this guessing game, each team has a spymaster who provides clues related to words and numbers so players can identify their secret agents.
However, you have to be careful because a wrong guess could have repercussions.
Codenames is too complicated for children, but it’s one of the best travel games for adults and a great icebreaker for meeting new people.
18. Deep Sea Adventure
Deep Sea Adventure is a fun travel game you can play in a hostel with friends or on a long road trip, making it one of the best games to bring on vacation.
The game takes place over three rounds and the player to gain the most points over the three rounds is the winner.
To earn points you need to bring as much treasure as you can back to the submarine before you run out of oxygen, which you can only do once every turn.
The premise of the game is simple, but choosing when to return to the submarine is a strategic call, and as other players can sabotage you, it makes the game all the more compelling!
It’s a great game to play while you’re on the road and will provide you with hours of fun!
19. In A Grove
In A Grove is one of the best small travel games you can play during your time travelling the globe.
The premise of the game is simple. There has been a murder with one victim, three suspects and a few witnesses.
It’s your job to decide who is the culprit out of the three suspects by selecting based on what you heard and what you saw.
In a Grove involves a lot of bluffing and deduction, making it an intriguing and strategic one to play.
It may not be the best game for kids to play, but for everyone else, it’s a fun and engaging game to play on your travels!
Its compact size makes it ideal to take with you on any trip!
What would happen if you combined poker and bingo? You’d get sequence!
The premise of the game is simple. Players get dealt cards, the number varies depending on the number of players.
The board has an assortment of cards printed on it; the aim is to create a sequence of five connected cards.
Sequence involves a lot of strategies as you can’t just concentrate on your hand. You have to pay attention to your opponents and plan ahead to stop them.
It’s an enjoyable card game that can get competitive and you and your friends will love playing!
Players: 1 (or a single team) | Game time: 15-25 minutes
A classic card game, Solitaire is perfect because it requires so little and can be played solo. All you need is a deck of cards and a sound strategy to beat the game.
The single-player card game’s goal is to arrange a deck of cards in a specific order. The many variations of Solitaire alter this order in a variety of ways.
You can play with a pack of cards or you can play on your phone. Playing on your phone is easier as this means you can play it in a variety of situations.
I’ve played it while I’ve been in a car on a road trip, waiting to board a plane and on a train.
The gameplay is easy to use, and you can play it with such ease and by yourself makes it one of the best travel games for solo travellers.
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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog. Check out the about me page to learn more!