For both work and pleasure, Americans spend a lot of time traveling each year. In fact, according to the US Travel Association, Americans racked up 1.8 billion away-from-home trips in 2018 (per person). We travel for relaxation, to visit family, for shopping, for education, and for business. With all these hours traveling you might get a little bored. Here are some travel games that can help you pass the time.
Games can help occupy your mind on long car trips or while flying the friendly skies. Air travel is taking longer these days, so come prepared to spend a lot of extra time waiting around pre-boarding or sitting on the runways. A road trip can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. That’s a lot of time to sit and watch the world scroll by your window. Sure passengers can zone out to some good music, a movie on their Ipad, or spend a few hours gaming on a Nintendo Switch. If you really want to get into the spirit of travel games though, you’ll have to get a bit more creative. These outside the box travel games will help you bond with your family or fellow travelers and make the time fly by.
#1. GoCube: The Smart Rubik’s Puzzle Cube
The original 3-D combination puzzle that has kept genius brains busy for hours at a time was invented back in 1974. Today, we’ve made a few upgrades. The GoCube is an app-enabled puzzle for kids and adults that will test your brain and your patience. You can learn from your mistakes, and compare stats with family and friends all over the world. Since it’s all one piece it’s a great travel game, easy to use in the car or on a plane. This is how to introduce Rubik Cubes to a whole new generation of high tech kids. The GoCube was also recently dubbed one of the coolest tech gifts by the GiftWits Magazine.
#2. Exploding Kittens
Hear me out, a card game, but with lots of funny cats! This clever game idea raised almost $9 million on Kickstarter and went on to be a smashing success. It’s witty, original, and fun to play for the whole family ages 7 and up. The artwork on each card is phenomenal and the overall game premise is a totally new idea. If you have trouble playing games with pieces while traveling this game also has a perfectly ported app store version so you can all play on your phones together. The original game is free but you can upgrade to add expansions and characters. The sound effects and voices on the app are worth a few extra bucks. This game is all about sabotaging your friends and family while you avoid the exploding kittens.
#3. Pokemon Go!
One of the most popular cell phone games of all time, Pokemon Go combines cartoon nostalgia with augmented reality for some real-world fun. You’ll be able to hit lots of Pokestops along the way and collect unique gifts and Pokemon during your trip. It’s a great game for traveling families because you can get out of the car at rest stops and pit stops and stretch your legs while walking around looking for Pokemon to capture. It’s a free game that provides hours upon hours of entertainment. If you really want to “catch them all” then play Pokemon Go from state to state as you travel on your next vacation.
Gather around the campfire Millennials, I’m about to school you on the original time-waster that’s perfect for traveling. It’s a little book of fill-in-the-blanks called MadLibs. These mini-stories have blanks that you fill in blindly before reading the story. The more creative you are with your blanks, the better the story will be. You can do the same story over and over and it will never be the same twice. It makes hilarious stories that will have your family rolling in the plane aisle. Seriously, the air marshalls might have to be called in to settle everyone down, it’s that much fun. As a bonus, it’s a sneaky way to teach kids parts of speech like verbs and adjectives.
#5. Trademark Global 5 in 1 Handheld Video Poker
If you need to spend a lot of time alone, try some video poker. This challenging but fun card game can be played solo without any actual cards. This tiny electronic gaming device provides hours of battery-powered entertainment. It’s not as much fun as a Vegas poker machine that occasionally slides you a little cash when you win, but it’s still a good time.
#6. Pass The Pigs
An adorable game that’s easy to learn and has only a few pieces, pass the pigs is a great game for families to play together or for kids to play solo. It’s like a simplified game of Yahtzee but with cute little pink piglets. This set comes with a small carrying case so you can take your pigs with you on the go. Here’s a parenting tip for you, bring a lapboard for the backseat. That gives the kids a smooth surface to play games on or color.
#7. Magnetic Chess Set
Chess is a strategic game that can take minutes or hours to play, depending on who you’re playing with. If you have some serious chess players traveling with you then you might want to check out this travel chess set with magnetic pieces so your knight and the queen don’t topple off the board if you hit some turbulence.
#8. Simon Headset
Simon is a great handheld game for the car, but check out this updated version that will make you feel like you’re living in the future. This SimonOptix Game comes with a headset. The flashing colors are wrapped around your head and you use hand movements to play along. Since there are no moving pieces this is a great game for the car. It takes batteries so be sure to pack some in your travel bag.