14 fun (and competitive) travel games

I enjoy writing these articles for my readers, you guys. I don't accept payment for writing reviews, my opinion on products is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something through one of the links I may be able to receive a commission on that. More information

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

We always make sure we have some of our best travel games with us, no matter which one travel we make.

Because journey is not just about beautiful beaches and exciting adventure.

Sometimes we need some downtime and relaxation. Other times we want to use it to loosen up a bit.

And believe it or not, there are plenty of situations where we actually get quite bored (think delays traveling).

We have always loved playing games.

So for us it's the perfect way to kill a few hours in an airport, have a good time after a long day of exploring, and even make new friends.

If you're wondering which one to have in your backpack, we've put together a list of the best travel games to take with you.

From toddler to toddler activity book collection

Educational games and coloring pages for 3 to 6 years

Your toddler and preschooler will love this e-book, along with the accompanying printables. He or she can play with it at every stage of development, together with mom and dad.

Buy at Bol.com

1. Winning Moves Piglets

Best travel game
Winning moves piglets
Product image
Toy score
Play value
Best for
  • Easy to carry
  • Very funny, and quick to play
Less good
  • Gets boring at some point

This is the best travel game for 2 people.

This is a classic version of the old dice game “pigs” that uses miniature pigs instead of dice. It packs everything in a small plastic case making it one of the best travel games.

Playing style

Players take turns taking the pigs as a die. They win or lose points depending on how they land.

Positions include pig-themed names such as “Pig Out”, “Trotter” and “Snouter”.

Each combination means a different thing and can show players big wins or big losses.

One turn lasts until a player decides to stop and check in. That is unless they completely wipe out their current or total score before doing so.

If they stop in time to collect a score in turn, it is added to their total score.

Play then moves on to the next player and the first player to reach 100 points wins.

In this video you can see the way of playing in detail:

What makes it great

The element of luck keeps things tense as players have to decide when to stick or spin.

Yet there are still enough strategies and skills to make a difference.

Big highs and massive lows can take you from hero to zero and back again quickly.

Players: 2-6

Age: 8-99 years

Expect laughter with laughter

Running time: 30 minutes

2. Hasbro Four in a Row travel edition

Four in a row travel edition is exactly the same as the classic game, only smaller.

This means it is the perfect size to travel with. One of the best travel games for 2 people.

4 in a row travel edition

(view more images)

Playing style

Each player starts with 21 checkers, one player takes red, the other yellow. You then take a stone in the play grid in turn.

The goal is to line up four of your checkers. This can be diagonal, vertical or horizontal.

But while you're trying to connect your four checkers, so is your opponent. They will also block your attempts at the same time.

What makes it great

It is easy to learn and fast to play, but can also be played with a certain strategy.

It requires a little concentration, but it is a great game to relax and unwind with that anyone can play.

It was also rumored to have been (incorrectly) invented by David Bowie! As if his legacy isn't amazing enough.

Players: 2

Age: 6-12 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 10 minutes

Check the current prices here

3. Space Cowboys Jaipur

A game that requires strategy, skill and a bit of luck, Jaipur is all about buying low and selling high.

Jaipur travel game for 2 people

(view more images)

Playing style

You and your fellow player are the two most powerful traders in Jaipur.

But in order to get an invitation to the Maharaja court as its official dealer, you have to become the undisputed star.

To do this, you have to beat your opponent.

Each player starts the game with 5 cards in his hand, between them are three camels and two trading cards.

In turn, players can take one action: take cards or sell cards.

In general, to get what you really want, you have to sacrifice something that your opponent really wants.

This means you have to weigh up what you are going to provide the most value in the long run.

What makes it great

Jaipur is fast, exciting and constantly throws up small obstacles.

You can often see a player's personality in how they play - greedily gathering resources, slowly but steadily accumulating their rupees, or just acting cautiously.

This video (in English) shows you why it is such a fun choice for 2 players:

Players: 2

Age: 12-99 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 30 minutes

Jaipur is for sale here

4. Zygomatic Dobble

This is the best multi-person travel game.

After being taught by our young cousin Dobble, we absolutely fell in love with it!

Once you play it you will understand why we include it at number one in our best travel games.

Dobble one of the best travel games

(view more images)

Playing style

Everyone played it like a kid and Dobble takes the premise and takes it to a whole new level. It's like "snap" on steroids.

There are five different travel card games in Dobble, all so simple that anyone can play it.

Each card has 8 images, each with a symbol that matches every other card.

Players all play at the same time to try to find the matching symbols and collect or pass cards to the opponent depending on which game you are playing.

You can have up to 8 players at the same time, but it is also one of the best travel games for 2 people.

Dobble is a good way to break language barriers when you meet other people traveling that you want to play a game with because it's so easy to understand.

What makes it great

Dobble gets pretty rough. Yelling, jerking, and even hand-slapping are all inevitable when you get carried away with the excitement.

Undoubtedly one of the best mini travel games out there.

Players: 2-8

Age: 6-99 years (or the kids edition 4-11 years)

Expect loud roaring fun

Running time: 10 minutes

Dobble is available in normal edition and kids edition, check the most current prices here

5. Bananagrams

Calling all wordsmiths - if you're a fan of Scrabble or similar word games then you'll love Bananagrams.

It also comes in a cute banana-shaped carrying case that is perfect for tossing in your luggage. One of the most useful mini travel games.

Bananagrams word game

(view more images)

Playing style

144 tiles with different letters (called the trusses) are placed face down on the playing surface.

Each player selects the same number of tiles, the exact number varies depending on the number of players.

They are placed face down in front of the respective players. There are still some left.

Once everyone has their tiles, everyone can "split" and the game begins. Players must then turn over all their tiles.

The goal is to get rid of all your tiles by creating words, but they should all be linked together like a crossword puzzle.

There are no turns, each player works on his own time as quickly as possible.

When a player uses up all of their letters, they take a new letter from the set and shout “peel”.

This means that everyone who plays must also take an extra stone.

If a player wants to trade a bad tile, they can return it to the forest by calling "dump". In return, however, they have to take 3 more tiles.

Players cannot win until there are fewer tiles in the game than players.

Once this happens, the first player to use all of their tiles and shout “bananagrams” wins. That means all their words are legit.

If there are bad spellings, they will be crowned the "rotten banana" instead.

Here's how it works:

What makes it great

This game is easy to learn, fast to play, and highly addictive. You don't need to know long words, you just need to be able to string words together.

It's fun in small or large groups.

Players: 2+

Age: 7-99 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 5 minutes

Bananagrams is available here

6. Monopoly deal

A travel game for the plane has to meet a number of things.

You should probably be able to play it with the two of you, since you often only sit next to one person.

In addition, it must of course be easy to carry, so not be too big. You already have enough hand luggage that you have to carry.

It is also nice if it does not take too long so that you can quickly do it in between and clean up if you have a short flight and are going to land, or a longer flight and they always come with some drinks or snacks.

The traditional Monopoly is not really a practical game to take with you traveling are. And let's face it, no one likes it.

Come on, strip away the nostalgia and you're left with a pretty ridiculous, never-ending yawn-fest. Definitely not suitable for traveling.

But the smart guys at Hasbro have turned one of the most iconic board games ever invented into an addictive and fast-paced card game.

Monopoly deal card game for the plane

(view more images)

Playing style

It retains the fun bits of traditional Monopoly, so you still play as a real estate tycoon trying to collect property sets.

You still have to come up with a kickass strategy, where you walk the line between increasing your bank balance and building your empire.

And you can still go from the king to the slum in a single bad turn.

But that's where the similarities end.

Collect property cards to complete sets and money cards to build your fortune as you build and steal your way to glory.

In this video the rules of the game in a nutshell:

What makes it great

Monopoly Deal is one of the best travel card games out there.

It's fast, exciting and we've met people of different nationalities who love to play all over the world.

Players: 2-5

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 15 minutes

Age: 8-99 years

Check the latest prices here

7. R&R Games Hanabi

Ever wanted to design your own gigantic fireworks display? No? Me neither. Either way, this game will probably change your mind.

And you can easily play it from your hand so that it is also easy to do on the plane.

Hanabi card game for traveling

(view more images)

Playing style

Hanabi is a cooperative game, which if you are new to board games can be something new to you.

It means you work with the other players instead of competing with them to achieve a common goal.

This objective is to save a maho-active firework that is about to go horribly wrong.

Each player is dealt 4 or 5 cards, depending on the number of participants. The cards come in 5 colors with a number from 1-5.

Players must order them correctly in their colors from 1-5.

While this may sound simple, there is an added complication. Players cannot look at their own cards!

Instead, they should appear in their hand so that only the other players can see them.

Check out the rules of the game in this video:

What makes it great

Hanabi is unique and imaginative and more than likely like nothing you've ever played before.

Plus the fact that it's a cooperative game means that there are no losers or winners as such.

So it's perfect for those who are a bit too competitive to play normal games with new friends.

Players: 2-5

Age: 8-99 years

Expected: cooperative challenge

Running time: 30 minutes

Check the current prices here

8. Best travel game for adults – Secret Hitler

Although many of the other choices are not only fun for children, but also for adults to take along, we have included a separate list here with the nicest spell for adults.

Best with larger groups (the closer to 10 the funnier), Secret Hitler is a game of trickery, infiltration, and conspiracy.

Put on your poker face because you have to lie through your teeth to win.

Secret Hitler for adults

(view more images)

Playing style

Players are secretly divided into two teams of fascists and liberals, while a player is cast as Hitler himself.

  • Liberals have the advantage of a majority, but they don't know each other's loyalty.
  • The fascists, on the other hand, know who the other fascists are and who Hitler is.

Hitler, meanwhile, starts without knowing who his allies or enemies are.

Everyone is trying to meet their agenda and gain power, fascist or liberal.

The way to do this is to win elections and pass legislation.

To do this you need to win allies and use them to win votes.

However, because everyone is trying to come to power, it can be difficult to figure out who is who.

Also, everyone is going to lie to make other players believe they are a liberal.

The game is won by the liberals if they implement five liberal policies or kill Hitler.

The fascists win by issuing six fascist political actions, or when Hitler is elected chancellor after three fascist policies have been plotted.

If you have time, check out this video of a game played for an idea of ​​the fun and intrigue involved:

What makes it great

Secret Hitler is all about cheating and convincing people that you are telling the truth.

Lying to your friends and family has never been so much fun, and it will make you see them in a new light.

It gets pretty loud and boisterous quickly, so be prepared for some lively play.

Players: 5-10

Age 18-99 years

Expect loud fun

Running time: 45 minutes

Secret Hitler is for sale here

9. Best Travel Board Game – 999 Games Catan

Catan is nothing less than a contemporary classic board game. Loved by everyone from families to Silicon Valley execs, it makes one of the best travel games.

Wherever in the world you pronounce the Catan chest, you're likely to find a fellow fan.

Catan one of the best board games

(view more images)

Playing style

Each player is a settler who wants to establish his own outposts from scratch on the mythical island of Catan.

The island is represented by the board composed of 19 individual hexagons.

These can be placed in almost infinite combinations meaning you could play with a new board every time.

Each hexagon has a corresponding number of spaces on it.

Players take turns rolling two dice, and the number rolled allows the corresponding land tiles to produce resources. These could be:

  • brick
  • wol
  • ore
  • grain
  • or lumber

By collecting these resources in certain combinations, players can build their settlements.

You can also trade with other players if they have something you need. And watch out for the robber who stops production on the land tile he's on.

The goal of Catan is to obtain 10 victory points, which you collect mainly by building settlements or cities.

Bonus points are also awarded for various other achievements, such as the longest road or the largest army.

What makes it great

Catan is a game of strategy, cooperation and skill, but you still need the roll of the dice to make your success.

It is also the original “game for gamers” and helped start the whole board game phenomenon we have today. It is also a great board game for travel by the theme, an island far away.

Players: 3-4 (with expansion to 6 players)

Age: 10-99 years

Expected: tense strategy

Running time: 60 minutes

Catan is available in different variants and extensions. View them here

10. Best Travel Card Game – Mattel UNO

UNO has been around for almost 50 years, but it never gets old.

Uno card game

(view more images)

Playing style

There are 108 cards in a UNO deck and while most are number and suit, some are wildcards or "get" cards.

The basic idea is to remove your cards in front of someone else, as players take turns using it to put down or retrieve cards that match the suit or number on top of the pile.

There are missed turns, penalties and a whole host of strategies that can affect your ability to win, and don't forget to shout “UNO” if you are one card away from victory or you are blocked from the finish line.

What makes it great

Outrageous, colorful and full of unexpected smiles, you can easily lose hours to its suspense.

It is easy to pick up but difficult to fathom making it easily one of the best travel card games.

Players: 2-10

Age: 7-99 years (and the junior version even from toddlers of 3)

Expected: tense strategy

Game duration: 45 minutes

View all variants here

What could be easier than taking a deck of cards with you when you traveling are? Takes up little space and can be played anywhere, often without a table.

11. Winning Moves Top Trumps

Top Trumps is old, simple and yet a lot of fun. There are endless versions from Star Wars to Harry Potter.

But this world nature fund variant is at the top of the list when it comes to the best travel games because of the animals and colorful places from different parts of the world.

Top Trump's Marvel

(view more images)

Playing style

All cards in the pack are dealt to the players. Players then pick up their cards, holding them so that they can only see the top card.

The first player chooses a category from his card and reads it out along with the value next to it.

All other players take turns alternating the same value on their card.

The player with the highest value wins, takes all the cards that have been read and places them at the bottom of the pile.

Play continues until one player has all the cards.

What makes it great

This version of the classic game Top Trumps has a convenient travel method.

You go on an adventure just like the heroes and that makes it extra exciting.

Players: 2+

Age: 5-99 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 2 minutes

View all Top Trumps versions here

12. Exploding Kittens

Players try to avoid being an exploding kitten in this wonderfully bizarre quickfire card game.

At the same time, depending on which cards you play, you can influence the game, putting your fellow players in trouble.

Exploding kittens game

(view more images)

Playing style

Each player starts the game with 4 action cards and a diffuse card.

The remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center of the table and players take turns swapping cards.

If someone pulls an exploding kitten, they are out of the game. Unless they hold a diffuse card that allows them to disperse the bomb and keep going.

They can also place the Exploding Kitten Card anywhere in the deck wherever they want.

Action cards are played before players take the deck and can do various things.

These range from stealing cards from other players to previewing the top 3 cards in the deck.

Here's why you don't want to get the exploding kitten:

What makes it great

This game is incredibly easy to understand. You explode, you lose, you are the last person not to explode and you win.

The action cards speak for themselves and the fast paced gameplay keeps things moving fast.

Hard not to fall in love with the cool illustrations and crazy cards with names like “furry potato cat”.

Players: 2-5 (with the party pack up to 10 players)

Age: 7-99 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 15 minutes

View the party pack here

13. Sushi Go Party

Just like sushi restaurants with conveyor belts, the idea of ​​Sushi Go is to create a delicious sushi plate.

Don't forget the wasabi and don't skip a pudding!

Sushi Party

(view more images)

Playing style

The cards are dealt at the start of the game, the number depends on the number of players.

The round begins with each player looking at their hand and choosing a card to play.

Once everyone has chosen, all players reveal the card they have chosen by placing it in front of them.

Players then pass the remainder of their hand to the player to their left. They then choose to keep a card from their new hand.

Play continues in this way until no one has any cards in hand indicating the end of the round.

At this stage, the played cards are added to each value worth several points.

You can also make combinations and increase scores by adding extra sushi to your sushi such as wasabi.

There are three rounds per game and the player with the highest score wins.

Here in this video the game explanation in more detail:

What makes it great

This game is as addictive as great sushi and will definitely leave you hungry for more.

It's fast, engaging and fun to play. However, beware that if you are a sushi aficionado, you will definitely have your favorite sushi roll after playing.

Players: 2-5

Age: 8-99 years

Expected: fast gameplay

Running time: 15 minutes

Check prices and availability here

14. Cards Against Humanity

This game definitely puts “grown up” in the best travel games for adults (or young adults, ages 16 and up). Trust us, it's strictly top shelf.

Cards against humanity hilarious card game

(view more images)

Playing style

It is a card game where the dealer reads out a phrase card they have chosen at random.

One or two words are missing from the sentence on it and the other players must complete the sentence by choosing the best one from a selection of options in their ten-card hand.

The winner is chosen by the dealer, so it's wise to consider their sense of humor and how easily they are offended.

Some cards are best described as depraved.

What makes it great

Probably the least politically correct card game ever invented. You're going to like it a lot or you're going to be terribly offended by Cards Against Humanity.

Many of the jokes come pretty close and will make even the most hardened of deviants shudder.

Oh, and on holiday you might want to play them in a house, where other holidaymakers can't hear you.

Players: 4-20

Age: 16-99 years

Expect: adult humor

Running time: 45 minutes

Check the latest prices here

How we chose the best travel games

The most important considerations for choosing a game to bring are the size, weight, and portability of the game.

All these mini travel games tick those boxes.

But most of all, to be considered one of the best travel games, they have to be a lot of fun to play!

To rate these games we have developed a “game score”, a quantifiable rating that we use when ranking games in our reviews. This is based on the following components, each with its own weight.

  1. Play value (35%)
  2. Interactivity (20%)
  3. Price/ quality (20%)
  4. Versatility (15%)
  5. Awards (5%)
  6. Materials (5%)
game score

The play value, together with the interactivity, is the most important thing. The games should be fun to play and interactivity is also an important part of this.

The play value consists of ease of use, degree of open-endedness, imagination and social interaction. When a game is easy to use and understand or has a logical learning curve and there are many options to give it your own direction, it will be played longer with a higher quality of game.

Interactivity is the extent to which the game involves the players and immerses them in it. This is very important for the quality of play and how often children will return to the game to play it more often.

The value for money is a score based on the ratio of the quality of the game to the price of the item. This ratio determines how much value you get for your money, in play value and in intrinsic quality of the item such as the materials used.

The versatility is how many directions you can take the game in. If there is only one possible outcome and the game always follows the same steps, then the versatility is low. If there are multiple outcomes possible, multiple ways of playing, multiple ways to win and, for example, multiple characters that influence the game, then the versatility is high.

Awards for the game are also important. This indicates whether it has been recognized by reputed institutions to ensure that it brings the right play value or sometimes educational value.

Materials are understood to mean all materials incorporated into the product. These are the main components such as cardboard or plastic for a game board or real wooden playing pieces.

Is a game or toy more fun for traveling?

Games are often more fun for travel because they are portable and suitable for both solo play and group activities. They take up little space and offer various ways to have fun during the trip. Toys, if compact enough, can also be suitable for a trip, but their size and complexity can limit mobility.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.