Best Games for Traveling: Best games to play on an airplane or during a car trip

Best Games for traveling:

Are you looking for the best games for traveling on an airplane or during a car trip?

You are planning a journey on airplane soon and you want to find a way to make that journey more enjoyable.

In other words : you want to avoid boredom.

Or maybe you have a long road trip ahead of you. With your kids in the back seat of your car, you need to find a way to occupy and entertain them to ease the trip for them…. and also for you!

What else is better than board games to break the monotony of a long journey?

The choice of the board games you are going to take with you can be hard. Unless you are not really restricted by size and found the best solution for carrying your board games, if you are traveling by air, by car, by bus or even by boat, you will have different restriction factors: Could be size , weight, noise, table space to play etc…

There are few elements that you need to take into consideration when choosing games for an airplane or a car journey:

– The games you choose needs to be easy to transport:

Of course, the size of the board games box is important. Even more so when traveling by plane. You can find a lot of classic board games in a smaller version specifically design for people traveling. The board on those travel games is magnetic, preventing the pieces to fall. Great during flight turbulence. Can be also very practical if you are traveling by car with your kids at the back.

If you decide to take with you board games that are not specifically design for traveling, then you may take into consideration the number of little pieces that compose the game. Can they potentially get lost? Are you going to keep them in the box? Are you going to use zip-lock bags for the game components?

Also, bear in mind that if you are going through security x-ray checkpoints with your hand luggage full of games miniatures or clay poker chips, you are likely to be put aside and be checked. Those little games components can look a bit suspicious when going through x-ray. Nothing to worry about thought. When the scanner technician will discover what is in your bag, he will let you through.

– The games need to be compact and light:

If traveling by air, the last thing you want to do is pay extra money because you exceeded the weight limit for you hand luggage. So size and weight of the board game is important. You can carry the games without the box, and use zip-lock bags to carry the game components.

Some games might be small to carry, but required a large playing area. I will only choose games that require small playing area, like plane tray or something similar.

Lost Cities is one of my favorite traveling game, I usually carry only the cards, and leave the board at home as it is not really needed to play.

– Are you going to play with someone or you own?

Sometimes, having a game that can be played solo is great as the person next to you might not feel like playing at the same time as you. During a long journey, people have tendency to doze for a while, so you might have the opportunity to play solo.

– Are you going to bring dice rolling game? Beware of the noise:

If you are going to play dice rolling games, I would suggest to find a surface with felt padding to reduce the noise of the dice throwing. Maybe simply add some padding inside board game box. Some foam at the back of the box can work as well to muffle the noise completely. Or maybe a padded cup. Some passengers can get annoyed by the sound of constant dice rolling. So better be prepared.

Now, enough said, let’s see my list of travel board games. If you think of any games that you feel should be on the list, please don’t hesitate a leave a comment. I would love to see the list growing. Thanks.

Hive Pocket

Even more portable than the original version of Hive , Hive Pocket is the ideal travel game. The game is composed by 26  little tiles that fit in a small cloth bag. the bugs on those tiles are different colors.The tiles themselves  are about half the size (1 inch) of the ones from the original version. The pocket version of Hive includes both Mosquito and Ladybug part of the expansion.

Hive is a very addictive 2 player abstract strategy game that takes about 20 minutes to play. No board is needed and the tiles you place compose the board. Some people compare it to chess. The goal of the game is for each player to capture the opponent queen bee by surrounding it.Each bugs have special movement abilities. You probably already know that I love traditional games like Go, or backgammon. For me, Hive is another one of those great strategy games that you need to try.Hive Pocket is ideal to play when traveling on a plane as it requires really little place to play.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 20 min 8+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am

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Love Letter

Another one of my favorite game that I pack in my bag when I travel. Love letter is a fast playing 2 to 4 players card game with a playing time of about 20 minutes.

It is a very portable card game as it is only composed by 16 playing cards and 13 little square wooden tokens. You can literally bring this game everywhere you go and have fun with it.

One other advantage of Love Letter is that the game is very easy to learn so you can teach it quickly to any non-gamer fellow travelers.  The aim of the game if for the players to pass their own love letter to the princess, and to avoid the other players love letter to reach her. Each card represents a character (Guard, Priest, Barron, Handmaid, Prince, King, Countess, Princess) . They  are numbered from 1 to 8. The highest the number is on the card, the closest the  character represented on the card is to the Queen. Each players start with one card in hand. During each round, players draw a card and  discard a card face up. So whenever you do discard a card, you take the effect of that card. For example if you discard the Prince, you will choose any player including yourself to discard his or her hand and draw a new card. If you discard the Priest, then you can look in another player hand.

Love Letter is very cheap game and terribly fun and definitely deserves your attention. It can hold in your pocket and can go everywhere with making it fantasctic  traveling game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-4 20 min 8+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am

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Hanabi means fireworks in Japanese. It is a cooperative card game for 2 to 5 players. Playing time is about 25 minutes. Hanabi won the 2013 Spiel des Jahres award (German game of the Year).

In the game , players work together to launch the perfect fireworks. The twist in the game is that you need to hold your hand of five cards backwards! Other players can see your cards but you can’t. The cards are numbered from 1 to 5 and have  5 different colors and shapes. Players need  to correctly play their cards in an ascending, numerical sequence and also by color. Player can give clues to each other by using their clock tokens.

Overall this is a simple  but very enjoyable game, where everyone work together and laugh together. Hanabi is great if you are traveling with kids. Mine are 7, 8 and 11 and they all love this game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-5 25 min 8+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am
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When released in 2014, Pairs was labelled “new classic Pub game”. You understand why it piqued my interest, as you know we like Pub games on Pairs is a 2 to 8 Players card game. Playing time is around 10 or 15 minutes. It plays in several mini rounds where each player try to get fewer points as possible. The first player that gets too many points loses.There is no winner in Pairs, just a loser! And you need to avoid being that loser.  In a 2 players game, you are the loser if you reach 31 points. In a 3 players game, you lose if you reach 21 points etc….There is a deck of 55 cards  numbered  from 1 to 10 ( 1×1, 2×2, 3×3 etc until 10×10). In each turn, players will  get one  face up card and take turn drawing cards, until one player either fold or gets a pair. if you get a pair by drawing an 6 for instance, the round ends and you get 6 points. If you don’t get a pair, it is the next player turn to play. If rather than drawing a card you decide to fold, the lowest face up card on the table is placed into your score pile. So if you have a 10 in front of you, you know there is another 9 10 in the deck. The risk of drawing a 10 a getting a pair is high. So you can decided instead to take to lowest card on the table.

Pairs is a simple press your luck type family game, very portable with only cards so easy to take out almost everywhere. It is suitable for kids of all age, even younger kids with short attention span and is quick and easy to play. For me it ticked all the boxes of the perfect traveling game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-8 15 min 6+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am
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Jaipur is one of those little gems that I love playing with my kids. It is a two players card game that also feature in my list of best 2 players board games. In the game, players are hoping to become the Mahraja’s personal trader by getting more money than you opponent at the end of each round. For that, players have to collect different goods (diamonds, gold, silver, cloth, spices and leather) and try to sell them at the market. When it is your turn, you can either take a card or or sell a card. You will get more money if you sell gold than if you sell leather.If a player manage to sell more than two of the same goods (cards) together, for example 4 cards of spices, you get a bonus token.

You also have camel cards in the game and you can choose to take them at the market rather than goods. The player that has the most camels at the end of the round gets a 5 token bonus. Each round is pretty tight so every decision is important.

Even thought there are a number of coins and token that come witt the game, Jaipur box is very small, easy to take with you in your bag, making it a perfect game for traveling. Jaipur is a fast-paced card game, easy to learn, and is a blend of tactics, risk and luck.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 30 min 8+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am
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Backgammon travel

This magnetic backgammon travel set is perfect to  use while traveling. The ups and points are leatherette with felt lining which help reducing noise when throwing the dice.

Backgammon is really one of my favorite game. If you don’t know how to play, check out the backgammon rules for beginners.The game is not difficult to learn. Why not pick up this fantastic traditional game and learn how to play it.You won’t regret it. Practice will make you better at it. have a look also at my strategy guide on opening moves.

If you prefer you can also find the hand sewn pliable leather backgammon board in mocha with all parts designed in Germany at Sondergu. Quite a nice soft leather feel to it, very light and easy to fit in hand-luggage.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 30 min 8+

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Go Game

Speaking about traditional games, after backgammon , Go is probably the other game that I enjoy playing with my friends and family.

Go is a game for two players that play on a 19 by 19 grid board. Players place in turns, either black or white stones in the board. Once the stones are on the board, you can’t move them, but they can be captured by completely surrounded them. The ultimate goal of the game is to control more than 50 % of the board.

For this travel version of the Go game, the magnets attached to the plastic stones are strong enough that you can even flip the board upside down. Yet, the stones are still able to be moved around the board with ease while playing.

Lightweight and easy to carry so you can take your go board with you on the road. Great So portable you can slip it into a backpack and take it out to play in any car, train or plane making your trip much more enjoyable.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 30-180 min 8+

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Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age – The Bronze Age

2010 Games Magazine Best New Family Game Winner, Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age is a  1 to 4 players dice rolling game where players use  special dice that has different symbols on each of their sides (workers, food, good, money, and disaster) to try to build the most advance  civilization. Each players start with three cities, and try to acquire more cities, build monument, add developments, feed people in their cities and avoid disasters.Once all monuments or developments are built by a player, points are counted and the civilization with the most wins.

The game comes with a very nice little wooden board and pegs. The fact that you play with those pegs and  that you need to fit in the board makes the game perfect for traveling, as it is turbulence proof.  Also, the game  box acts as a nice sound-dampening dice-rolling tray.So again an advantage when you want to keep a good relationship with the people sitting next to you in the plane.

And finally what I like about Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age, is that you can play it on you own, which can come up handy when you either travel on your own, or when the person you are traveling with is not in the mood to play a game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
1-4 30-45 min 8+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am
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Blokus to Go Game

The travel version of award-winning Blokus, Travel Blokus  or Blokus to Go is the perfect on-the-go strategy game for two. The simple rules take less than a minute to learn, yet the game has the depth to challenge both beginners and experts alike. Set includes game board with 196 recessed squares, 42 game pieces in vibrant, translucent purple and orange, and guide.

This travel version of the Blokus game is the  2 player version of the original 4 player  Blokus game. It comes with of smaller board and only two colors.

Rules are super easy and can be learn in 1 minute. It is the type of game you can play with  young kids, and adults can  still enjoyed the strategy involved it it.

Blokus to Go is compact (19cm x 19cm x 3cm) and therefore requires really little table space to play. It’s the perfect game for traveling. I can guaranty you  that if you start to play Blokus, you won’t be able to stop after one game: Blokus is a very addictive game.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-4 20 min 5+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am

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Cribbage is  classic a pub game invented by English poet Sir John Suckling by changing the rules of  an earlier game called Noddy.This was in the early 17th century. It is another one of those traditional games that deserves to be known. The aim of the game is to be the first to score 121 points.The traditional cribbage game is a 2 player game but you can also find game for 3 or 4 players. You play cribbage with a 52 cards deck, a cribbage board with pegs that are used to show the score  on the board.

Cribbage is a great game that can be played even without the board. You can keep the score on a piece of paper instead. It doesn’t really matter.All you would need then is a deck of card.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2-4 (best 2) 30 min 8+

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Ingenious: Travel Edition

In Ingenious travel game, players take turns placing colored domino-style tiles on a game board, scoring for each line of colored symbols that they enlarge. The trick, however, is that a player’s score is equal to her worst-scoring color, not her best, so she needs to score for all colors instead of specializing in only one or two.

Win by having the best score in your least–scored colour;Endless strategic options through clever tile placement;Unique scoring system

Ingenious travel game is an easy to learn, it offers a good bit of challenge and you will need a good bit of thinking to play Ingenious This is exactly what you want in a good  strategy board game; But don’t get me wrong here, the Ingenious is not too difficult at all and still can be enjoyed by young children. Will help to keep them focused. great games for the entire family.

The diference between the original  version of Ingenious is this travel edition of Ingenious is the size of  components. The pieces are much smaller and lock onto the board. Great portable board game, ideal to play in tight places like airplane tablet orin the back a a car where the risk if having your pices flying everywhere.

The other difference is that Ingenious travel game is a 2 players board game as opposed to the original version of Ingenious that can be played by for players.

If you are looking for a good  traveling game that make you think, Ingenious is for you.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 45 min 8+

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Travel Mancala

Mancala, is a generic name for a family of 2-player turn-based strategy board games played with small stones, beans, or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth, a board or other playing surface. The objective is usually to capture all or some set of the opponent’s stones, beans, etc. Versions of the game have been played for at least hundreds of years around the world.

Beautiful and portable wooden Mancala with colorful flat marbles that is faily favorite. The object is accumulate the most marbles through series of moves and captures. Fun for two players! Instruction booklet with various rules included.

Folding board with hinges and hook latch allows you to take this game anywhere.

  • Instruction booklet provides various rules from around the world.
  • Ancient game from Africa and Egypt.
  • Fun and educational counting game.
  • family favorite for all ages.

Players Playing time Recommended for
2 10 min 5+

Last update was on: March 26, 2023 2:39 am













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