Games can help keep travelers entertained while on the road, waiting at the airport or stuck in a hotel room on a bad weather day. As a gift giving idea, travel games can spark up some great conversation or friendly competition among traveling companions, family and friends or those who just met. At home, it’s a way to learn more about each other or get inspired to plan your next trip. Here is a suggested list of travel games to buy and then bring along to play.
ChatterTime On-the-Go, Pennycake, $9.98
This card game from the Chick-fil-A brand, Pennycake, is designed in mind for young families to foster some neat conversation starts amid moments of silence. Its 48 cards list different question categories where a player draws a card from the bag and reads the question or chooses someone to read it for them. The reader also keeps the card, and everyone in the game can see who can collect a card from every category first. Suitable for ages 4 and up.
UNO Tin, $9.99
This beloved card game from Mattel is now packaged in a storage tin that makes it easier to travel around with. Another bonus: not only is the tin itself reusable, but also everything inside is made only from paper. So, it can be recycled! What hasn’t changed, however, is purpose of the game itself. Players match cards by color or number and try to be the first to get rid of all their cards in their hand. Suitable for ages 7 and up.
Trip Chaser Game, $34
This multiplayer card game aims to prove which of its players is the most-travel savvy by making them buy, barter and gamble their way to various destinations. Created by travel industry veterans Dalene and Pete Heck, the game’s motto is “the more challenging a destination is to get to from North America, the more points it’s worth.” Bragging points aside, your purchase will also lead to another win. With every game purchase, a tree will be planted via Ecodrive. Suitable for ages 10 and up.
Travel Challenges Card Deck, $20
Available through Uncommon Goods’ website, this pocket-sized card deck by nomadic couple Tiago Gomes and Liza Zuberi consists of 50 cards with challenges that would take travelers out of their comfort zone by immersing themselves more within a destination. Challenges range from finding out about a secret local spot, to learning a local craft, to having a GPS-free, sans-technology day. Others include mailing a postcard to yourself and taking a cooking class within your destination. Suitable for ages 15 and up.
El The Chicago Transit Adventure Board Game, $50
Produced by the Chicago business, Transit Tees, this board game centers on an itinerary challenge around the Windy City that could throw their plans for a loop (yes, this pun was intended). It’s described as having players making their way around Chicago using the “EL” trains to visit places of interest and return to the city’s State/Lake station before anyone else does. However, players need to keep in mind certain things that real-life visitors have to such as having enough money to cover fares. Suitable for ages 13 and up.
Travel Banter, $19.99
This conversational card game was created by Nicolette Orlemans, founder of the #CultureTrav travel community. A total of 98 questions divided into five categories – arts and culture, food and drink, life and lessons, culture and people. The cards’ questions vary from light and fun to requiring a moment to think about your answer. Their design consists of two conversation questions on one side, and one community-featured picture on the other side. Suitable for ages 10 and up.
Town Maze Magnetic Puzzle Game, $22.99
This puzzle game from HABA sends wee ones on their very own road trip. Its objective is to have them help the colored balls find their way back to their matching color garage. Along with having a STEM-focused learning incentive, this game is designed to aid in motor skills as players may encounter some road blocks to get around. Suitable for ages 2 to 5.
From Relatable, this family card game encourages fun bonding during a road trip or a mere car ride through what’s listed on its 200-card deck. The cards feature topics that can bring up interesting car conversations. They include dares, trivia, challenges and questions, in which the reader directs them to fellow passengers. It is geared toward two or more players. Suitable for ages 12 and up.
Frequent Flyer, $39.99
Those who know how to rack up points and miles can put their knowledge to the test by making a game out of it. Created by David Horowitz, this family board game has players involved in a race to fly around the country, earning miles as they go and being able to use them for upgrades. The first to complete visiting a list of 20 U.S. airport cities and then returns to their home city wins. Suitable for ages 8 and up.
Gentlemen’s Hardware Adventure Trivia, $19
This trivia card game from Gentlemen’s Hardware can encourage adventure seekers to do some deep thinking. Packaged in an illustrated tin container, this card collection includes 100 questions with multiple choice answers on particular what-if scenarios. For example, one question asks “How should you behave if you’re faced with a charging elephant?” Suitable for ages 12 and up.
CLUE Escape: The Midnight Hotel Game, $16.99
This classic board game from Hasbro has been given a modern backstory but still features its favorite characters, including Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett, and “who, where and with what” format. These protagonists are invited to a memorial service at The Midnight Hotel, where they surprisingly learn that the supposed deceased person has got the dirt on them—and someone in attendance has just tried to steal this information. With an escape room format, players move their pawns around a 3D board while they draw cards, solve puzzles, unlock rooms and uncover clues. Suitable for ages 10 and up.