When it comes to staying entertained on road trips, in planes, and during downtime in hotel rooms, there are plenty of amazing travel games for kids that adults will love just as much.
We own most of these travel games but have played all of them. Since I’ve been asked quite a bit recently what our favorite travel games are, I thought I’d finally put our recommendations into post form. And, they’re all fairly inexpensive.
Bananagrams are awesome word game and come in a banana-shaped pouch for easy transport. The game is similar to Scrabble but without a board. We play it as a family and even my 95-year-old grandma enjoys it. You can play with 1–8 players to make a word grid with the tiles. I promise, it’s awesome and the reviews don’t lie. Ages: 7+
2. Spot It!
Spot It! comes in various themes and its 55 cards store well in a small circular tin. It’s best for hotels and airplane lounges as the cards would be easy to lose in between airplane seats. No matter, it’s a memory game with a race aspect to it that is a great motor skill builder. Between any two cards there is always one and only one matching symbol. Spot it fast to win. Play with 1–8 players. Ages: 7+
3. Rummikub On The Go
You’ll create sets and runs, rummy-meets-mahjong style, on the table with the goal to be the first person to use all of your tiles. The addition of jokers puts an extra spin on the fun. Rummikub on the Go is great for 2-4 players, multiple generations who want to play together and to exercise STEM skills when it comes to recognizing patterns and strategy. Ages: 8+
4. Travel Scrabble
Travel Scrabble is a total classic game. A number of versions have come out over the years but I wish I had this one as it comes in a handy zip-up case (ours is a snap case and much less convenient). Ages: 6+
5. Rory’s Story Cubes
Rory’s Story Cubes are one of the hottest games out there at the moment and are, thankfully, very easy to travel with. The cubes fit neatly into a small pouch. Roll the dice and tell a story based on the pictures that are facing upward. It’s a game that can be played alone or with multiple players. We like it because there are no wrong answers, it gets the creative juices flowing, and different stories are told every time. Ages: 8+
6. Mad Libs
So many Mad Libs, so little time! Make sure the ones you buy for younger kids are Mad Libs Junior. This 48-page book introduces kids to the world of Mad Libs. But regular Mad Libs (Dog Ate My Mad Libs, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mad Libs, and more) are geared to the 8–12 years old range. Just be mindful that there are adult Mad Libs versions that you will want to stay clear of for kids. Mad Libs for kids are a great way to kill time on the tarmac while waiting for food in a restaurant, and in many more travel scenarios. Ages: 5+ (depending on the version)
7. Boogie Board
This isn’t really an organized game but I’m such a fan of the LCD writing tablets for travel games that I have to mention it. The newest version, Boogie Board Jot, comes with a stylus that you write on the LCD screen with and keep secured on the bottom of it. The entire screen clears with the touch of a button. We play hangman, tic-tac-toe, and even use it as scratch paper for math homework. Just keep an eye on the stylus which can be easy to drop. Ages: Basically if you can hold a pen, you’re good.
8. Take N Play Bingo (and Other Games)
This 2-player magnetic bingo game means that the pieces are tough to lose. The tin is just under 7″ square so it can slip into a handbag without problems. We have a ton of these Take N Play games ranging from dominos to checkers and like them very much as travel games for kids. Ages: 4–8
9. Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win License Plate Game
Keep the Melissa & Doug Flip-to-Win License Plate Game in the car for road trips (it’s made of wood so feels solid) so kids can log all of the license plates they see. The board helps kids spot each state’s license plate design while also showcasing state capitals. Ages: 8+
10. Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Scavenger Hunt is a perfect road trip game for kids, they will love keeping an eye out for items on these cards ranging from stop signs to license plates with certain letters. There are also some fun “feel it” style cards designed for road bumps and things like this. It’s fun for two or more players. Ages: 7+
11. Pass the Pigs
This travel game for kids crossed my radar recently but is wildly popular and happens to be very portable. Basically, you roll pigs in lieu of dice and score them by how the pigs land. It sounds crazy, but in this case the stellar reviews also don’t lie. Beware that there are lots of pig puns ahead in Pass the Pigs. Ages: 7+
12. Iota the Great Big Game in a Teeny Weeny Tin
Add cards to a grid, making sure that color, shape, and number are either all the same or all different across the line. It sounds easy but as the grid expands, so do the possibilities. Whoever sees the opportunities will seize the win during a game of Iota. Ages: 8+
13. Melissa and Doug Flip to Win Travel Hangman
It is a wooden travel game with a dry erase board and 37 flip letters. The pen self-stores in the wood board. The fact that it has no loose pieces makes Flip to Win Travel Hangman a great travel game but the wood does make it a tad bit heavier than the magnetic travel games. Ages: 6–10
14. Travel Blurt
If you like edutainment, this travel game is for you. It’s so fun that the kids will never know they’re learning. The cards have clues. After they’re read, the others blurt out the answer. The score is kept and the person the most points wins Travel Blurt. Ages: 10+
15. Travel Spirograph
Yes! Spirograph is now in travel form! This little device comes with six wheels, pens and its own container for making cool designs on the go. Love it. Ages: 5–12
16. IQ Fit
IQ Fit is a puzzle game where players have to figure out how to fit the 3-D pieces flat on the game board and without holes exposed. Believe it or not, there are over 100 different challenges in this highly-rated game! Ages: 6+
17. Travel Boggle
The classic game of Boggle comes in a compact size with a timer that snaps into the case, making it easy to take on the go. You can play solo, or grab each person a pen and paper (or LCD writing tablet like the Boogie Board Jot mentioned above), shake up the letters, let them fall into each slot, set the timer, and find as many words as you can. Ages: 8+
From 12 puzzle pieces come over 200 Kanoodle challenges of varying levels. You’ll choose a design from the included book and position the connecting beads to create 2D and 3D puzzles. The pocket-sized carrying case makes it easy to slip into a handbag or backpack. The company is so convinced you’ll love its best-selling product that they offer a 365-day guarantee or your money back. Ages: 7+ (There is also a Kanoodle Junior for ages 4+)
The classic 1980s favorite comes in a card version that makes it one of the easy travel games to carry around. You’ll play Scattergories with two decks of cards: a category deck and a letter deck. The first player to slap the “I Know” card and give an appropriate answer to the displayed category and letter gets the cards (like “dog” for the letter “d” and category “pets”). The player with the most cards wins. Ages: 8+
20. The Cube
Here’s a fun solo travel game to entertain while waiting for a plane to take off or to arrive at your road trip destination. If you’re thinking of that cube, this one is different because it’s FAST. And, there’s a Cube solver app for you to track and share your progress. The Cube wants you to win. Ages: 6+
And, don’t forget to arm yourself with a huge arsenal of knock-knock jokes for kids and car games for kids. They are also very handy for lightening the mood on the go. We also now have a list of road trip activities and gear for kids.
What are your favorite travel games?