When faced with unexpected downtime, travel games can be lifesavers. No matter how long you plan to be away, packing a small portable game can transform the most boring travel moments into fun bonding for your friends, family, and even strangers.
Travel Games That Are Easy to Learn
A good travel game should be portable, fun, and easy to learn. Better than a plain deck of playing cards, these unique and colorful games are perfect for filling up those boring travel moments.
You don’t have to like sushi to love this card game featuring adorable sushi-inspired characters. Sushi Go! is a mix between Go Fish and one of those Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurants. In this game, players pass around their hands trying to collect the most points by playing high-scoring combinations. A great travel game, Sushi Go! Is easy to teach with all possible point combinations written on the cards—and it can be very addicting, with fast-moving rounds.
Price and where to buy it: $13 on Amazon
For a game that will get everyone laughing, Exploding Kittens is like the card-game version of hot potato plus hilarious comics featuring some pretty distressed kittens. It’s a silly game good for a laugh, though the imagery can be a bit graphic and the humor is more mature, so I recommend this travel game for grownups and older kids.
Price and where to buy it: $20 on Amazon
What Do You Meme?
If you love sharing memes on social media, you’ll love this laughter-inducing card game that lets you and your friends compete to see who can pair the funniest caption with each picture. What Do You Meme? isn’t a large travel game, but the box is on the heavier side, so it’s best to pack along for a family road trip or long weekend at the beach.
Price and where to buy: $30 on Amazon
Semi-inspired by French history, Guillotine is an addicting card game where each player must collect the “heads” of notorious French political figures—the more powerful the heads you collect, the more points you receive. A great travel game for just two players, gameplay is quick and the box is small enough to stuff in your personal item when traveling through the airport.
Price and where to buy: $15 on Amazon
Another travel game that can be played with just two players, Coup is an addicting game of deception. Players assume hidden identities and must bluff in order to make the moves to take out other players and emerge as the last one standing. Great for provoking friendly-conflict, this game is a blast.
Price and where to buy: $10 on Amazon
Read Between the Wines!
If you’re taking a trip to go wine tasting, there’s no better way to relax and sample your newly purchased wines with this creativity-stoking game. Read Between the Wines! encourages players to channel their inner-sommeliers by comparing wines to celebrities or coming up with their own wine hashtags. It’s a great accompaniment for any wine trip … or any trip that involves drinking wine.
Price and where to buy: $30 on Amazon
Kid’s Travel Hunt
For younger kids, the Kid’s Travel Hunt travel game is a fun and simple game that turns a long boring car ride into a scavenger hunt. With plenty of cards to collect, this game aims to keep small kids entertained by looking out the window instead of at a screen.
Price and where to buy: $9 on Amazon
If you love Scrabble, but can’t imagine traveling with a full-size Scrabble board, Bananagrams is a fun word-making travel game that can be played anywhere. Instead of a box, letters are stored in a cute banana-shaped pouch that’s easy to keep on hand when you travel.
Price and where to buy it: $14 on Amazon.com
For a travel game that will help you get to know your fellow players, look to Loaded Questions, a fun game in which players have to guess how another player answered each question. This portable version comes with 300 question cards appropriate for players aged eight and up.
Price and where to buy: $11 on Amazon
More from SmarterTravel:
- Why You Need to Make Your Own Family Travel First Aid Kit
- 6 Passport Rules for Faster Renewal
- 8 Cheap Ways to Enjoy a Layover
Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.