Travel games can ease boredom on flights, keep kids quiet on long car journeys and even provide a bit of entertainment in doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms. So, it’s worth keeping a couple in your travel bag for quiet moments.
As so many iconic games like chess and ‘four-in-a-row’ are now available in travel form, there’s no need to miss out on the family classics. Here are some of our favourite travel games to buy for your next trip.
Best travel games for day trips and long holidays
Suitable for both adults and children, Backpacker is a real family favourite. The aim of the game is to successfully return home from your foreign travels with the most photos by outsmarting the other players and avoiding bad advice.
You’ll have the chance to ‘visit’ countries across the globe, and their many different terrains and landmarks – but your luck could turn in an instant, so be careful!
This card travel game is designed for groups of between two and six players, so it’s ideal for most families.
Like Scrabble without the board, Bananagrams is a fun word game you can play with limited table space. Each player builds their own miniature grid with words created from their allocated letter tiles. The first to use up all their tiles becomes the winner – or ‘top banana’.
In total, a game of Bananagrams shouldn’t take longer than half an hour, and is suitable for two to six players aged seven and over.
Once you’re done, just throw all the tiles back in the soft banana pouch, which you can easily stuff into travel bags amongst your other belongings.
Folding magnetic chess set
- Buy now from Chess Bazaar (£55.11)
Who says you can’t take your chess board with you on your holidays? Thanks to this seven-inch edition, you don’t need to sacrifice much luggage space at all.
Despite the chess board’s small size, it’s a beautiful piece, crafted from lacquered sheesham wood on one side and maple on the other. It doubles as a handy storage box with dedicated slots for each of the 32 chess pieces, which each have a magnet to keep them in place on bumpy journeys.
There’s also a larger 10″ version available through the same website.
UNO card game in collectible tin
Uno is a family favourite in itself, but it also makes a great travel game, thanks to its small size. This version comes in a reusable storage tin to keep everything together, and isn’t much bigger than a standard pack of playing cards.
You can include up to 10 children and adults in a game of Uno, so it’s a practical option for family holidays with limited luggage space.
The aim of the game? Get rid of all your cards by matching their colours and numbers to the ones discarded by other players.
Deluxe wooden four-in-a-row game
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£39.95)
Simple yet fun – and surprisingly addictive – this edition of four-in-a-row is a great travel game to keep in the car. It’s a simple premise: arrange your tokens in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line of four before your opponent does.
Beautifully crafted from high-quality wood, this is an item you’ll want to use in your family for years to come. The upper packs down into the base for easy storage, and there’s a cotton bag to keep all the pieces together with the board.
Personalised luxury playing card box
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£22.95)
A pack of playing cards is always a useful item to keep in your travel bag, and this one comes in a beautiful rosewood box with a decorative brass inlay. For an extra special touch, you can personalise it with initials for yourself or a loved one.
The case measures 11cm by 9cm, with a depth of 4cm, so it won’t take up much room in your suitcase. Plus, it’s a sustainable item as the materials are ethically sourced.
Games card set with animal illustrations
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£10.00)
If you have young children in the family, why not try this charming card set featuring animals found in the British countryside? Creator Sarah digitally illustrates the cards in her home studio in rural Leicestershire before they’re laminated with a linen-look material, which makes them easy to clean.
You’ll get 32 sweet cards in this pack, including hedgehogs, foxes and butterflies. Plus, they come in a soft envelope pouch to keep them together.
Use the cards to play games like ‘snap’ and ‘happy families’, which will help with children’s memory development.