The Best Travel Games – What to Take on Vacation With You

Fun, super-portable travel games to take everywhere with you.

Whether you’re backpacking across the Europe or are going on a road trip to see the family, travel games are perfect for passing the time. A great travel game makes any situation fun. Need to occupy the kids on a plane for eight hours? Stuck in a diner in the middle of nowhere? No problem. A bit of competition keeps everyone in good spirits.

Even if you’re not going on vacation, having a super compact travel game that can stay in your bag wherever you go (without taking up loads of room) is always useful. Here are seven of our favourite games for taking wherever you go…

Bananagrams – best for fans of word games

Everyone loves Bananagrams once they get the hang of it. It’s a word game, but it’s not just a case of ‘best vocabulary wins’. Speed, pattern-spotting and a bit of luck all go a long way in this travel game.

Bananagrams is a race to build connecting words out of letter tiles, and the tough part is that every time someone finishes you need to draw another letter and fit that in (until they all run out). It comes in a cute, bright yellow banana pouch and doesn’t require a board, pen or pencils to play. Perfect for your next vacation. 1-8 players Very compact Good game for kids and adults

From $11.99 on Amazon. Buy now.

Monopoly Deal – a competitive card game

Even if you hate Monopoly, you might still love Monopoly Deal. Why? Because Monopoly Deal is Monopoly without all of the bits that make people mad. It’s short (games last 20 minutes), it’s easy-going and much faster-paced. I’ve also found that it creates far fewer arguments – mostly because the stakes are lower if you’ve only been playing for a few minutes.

It has no board and comes in a tiny hard case, making it a perfect travel game. The rules sound really complex but after a few games it becomes second nature.

1-4 players Very compact Good game for adults and kids 8+

From $7 on Amazon. Buy now.

Cinko Linko – perfect for backpacking

Cinko Linko is a game designed for traveling. It can be played anywhere and you can teach anyone how to play by just gesticulating a lot. That means language barriers disappear and everyone can get involved. It’s super compact, comes with a carabiner so you can attach it to your bag without taking up space, and is great for playing with kids too. Think a super tactical version of Connect 4 without the plastic upright board.

1-4 players Very compact Good game for kids and adults

From $10 on Amazon. Buy now.

Word-a-Melon – great travel game for two players

Word-a-Melon is a great word game for traveling if there are only two of you. It’s a head to head challenge requiring great memory and vocabulary skills and can be played in short rounds. It works by turning over tiles then having to remember where letters are in order spell out words.

It’s a little slower paced than the Monopoly Deal or Bananagrams and is great if you’re traveling with a partner.

2 players Mediumly compact Good game for kids and adults

From $19 on Amazon. Buy now.

Coup – a strategy card game

Coup is a card game that comes in a tiny travel-sized box. It’s sci-fi themed but don’t let that put you off if sci-fi isn’t your thing – you can play it like a regular card game. It works by having several characters that each act as power cards. Depending on which ones you have you can collect money, kill off other players or reveal their cards.

It’s relies on having a strong poker face and working out the other players. A great game of bluffing for playing wherever you are in the world.

2-4 players Very compact Good game for adults and kids age 12+

From $12 on Amazon. Buy now.

Hive Pocket – a strategy travel game for two players

Hive is a super smart head-to-head strategy game. It’s very easy to learn but extremely difficult to master and is a bit like the ancient Chinese game Go. Your goal is to surround the opponent’s queen with your hexagonal pieces – each of which have a different way of moving depending on their symbol.

If you like brain-melting strategy games like Chess then you’ll love this. Hive Pocket is the travel game version of Hive.

2 players Very compact Good game for adults and kids age 14+

From $19 on Amazon. Buy now.

Red7 – great if you get bored easily

Red7 is a travel game with a twist - it’s actually seven separate games in one! Each mini game is a new type of card game so, for instance, in one round you might need to have the highest card and in the next you need to have the most of one color. The neat thing is, if you’re losing at any point you can change the rules of the game!

Tom Vasel from Dice Tower calls it ‘Uno for smart people’ by which he means it’s like a really strategic game of Uno where you can alter the rules. If you quickly get bored of games then this is the travel game for you.

2-4 players Very compact Good game for adults and kids age 14+

From $12.49 on Amazon. Buy now.

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