No matter where you go on vacation, you actually have to go first. And nothing spoils the excitement of building a family vacation faster than being stuck in the car or on a plane for hours on end. Keep the peace while you’re in transit with these entertainment travel games that the whole family can easily play in cars, planes, trains or hotels. They’re all lightweight and easy to carry, so you can just throw them in your carry-on and pull one out at any time – a total lifesaver during flight delays or long layovers!
For younger kids, you’ll want to opt for a stand-alone game to prevent pieces from getting lost. For older kids, we suggest more complex games to hold their attention for hours on end – just look for ones that can be played on a flat but compact surface, like airplane trays or even the floor of the motorhome. But no matter where you’re going or how you plan to get there, there’s plenty to keep your family (or even yourself!) playing and laughing for hours. So before you pack your bags and go, check out all of our favorite travel games below. Looking for more family fun? Don’t miss our roundup of the best beach games, the best board games for families, and the best video games.
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You can’t take the full-size board game on the road, so bring this fast-paced playing card version of Monopoly instead. Players collect properties using action cards to earn money throughout the game – no houses, dies or game pieces needed! 8 years and over
Bananagrams delivered in a cute banana-shaped pouch it’s easy to store in your purse – the perfect game to play in case you have some time to kill before you can check into your hotel room! Race with your family to be the first to build a crossword using all your tiles. 7 years and over
Yahtzee Handheld Digital Game
Take the electronic version of the classic game on the go without worrying about losing dice. This is perfect for going through the row of planes to see who can get the highest score. 8 years and over
This compact logic game is fun for one or more brains. The goal is to fit all the 3D pieces into the correct formation according to one of 100 different challenges. 6 years and over
Apples to Apples Mod Card Game
This version of the family favorite comes in a convenient package that lets you have fun wherever you go. Throw away the bag with your picnic for a day of play at the park. 12 years and over
While you run errands, your child can stay busy by solve this old school puzzle over and over again – and yes, it’s the same design of your childhood. 8 years and over
Pop-a-Tops’ cute UFO shaped game has a domed top that keeps the dice contained and the cards fit into the spaceship body. Give the container a “pop” (get it?) to roll the dice without worrying about losing them under the table. 6 years and over
Enjoy the classic mystery game without all the little bits (where did does the candlestick still go?) Now everyone in the family can play detective wherever you go! 8 years and over
This travel dice set is small enough to store just about anywhere, even in your pocket. Since it’s also easy to store, you can take it out when you’re sitting around waiting for food or playing on trays without worrying about rushing to clean up. 4 years and over
Wonder Mess Free Coloring Activity Set
This coloring activity set comes with a hard case to store coloring sheets, markers, stamps and ink pads in one place. Since Color Wonder markers can only draw on Color Wonder coloring pages, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up stray marks. 3 years and over
Star Wars: R2-D2 Classic White
Take care of this pocket friend by teaching him all sorts of tricks and play one of seven mini-games you can unlock. 8 years and over
This guessing game is ideal for hanging out while waiting at the airport when your plane is inevitably delayed. Try to find as many words as possible before the time runs out. 8 years and over
Like the other card games on this list, this playing card version of Guess Who? allows you to bring the classic guessing game with you. 4 years and over
While this board game isn’t exactly travel-friendly, it’s a great way to teach your child the ins and outs of travel before embarking on your family adventure together. Choose your home city and race to be the first to visit all 20 airports, including JFK, BOS and DFW. 8 years and over
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Parenting Lab provides expert advice and tips on everything parents and kids love. Chief Technologist and Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman has been testing games and toys for nearly 15 years and has served on several ASTM committees that help guide industry product testing standards. She also has three toddlers who actively support her in her testing activities.
As assistant to the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Abigail Bailey regularly tests all kinds of products and toys – and she has two younger siblings who graciously support her during playtesting.
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