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Whether your family is flying the friendly skies, taking a train, or road tripping it, you’re going to need to keep your offspring occupied. Thankfully, many board games come in travel sizes to entertain kids on the go. Card games and travel board games keep minds active during the journey, at restaurants, and back in the hotel room. Take a look at our picks for the 16 best travel games for kids from toddlers to teenagers.
Best Travel Games for Toddlers
Toddler Scavenger Hunt
Keep toddlers busy with a fun scavenger hunt while traveling. Although these Toddler Scavenger Hunt Cards specify that this game is for the home, many of the items can easily be found while on the go as well, like a button, something blue, or a door. Plus, the ring makes it easy to keep the cards together while traveling. (Ages 2+.)
Roll and Play Game for Toddlers
ThinkFun’s Roll and Play Game provides distraction to young travelers with learning activities that include counting, colors, searching for objects, and doings movements like waving arms or doing a dance (in your seat). (Ages 18+ months.)
Best Travel Games for Preschoolers
When traveling with preschoolers, matching games are the way to go! These travel games for kids come in many themes and are easily portable. Build your child’s memory skills (and yours!) with such options as Baby Animals or Curious George. If your family is embarking on a Disney vacation, then buy a Disney Princess, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Toy Story matching game to build excitement and tie into your vacation theme. (Ages 3+ for most versions.)
My First Bananagrams
Preschoolers can learn letters and words on the go with My First Bananagrams, a junior version of the popular Bananagrams word game. (Choking hazard. For ages 4+.)
Peaceable Kingdom Preschool Write and Wipe Games to Go!
Another fun option for little ones is the Peaceable Kingdom Preschool Write and Wipe Games to Go! Activity Book. Activities can be completed by one or two players. Be sure to buy additional erasable pens since they dry out quickly. (Ages 3 – 6.)
Best Travel Games for Grade School Kids
Checkers Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere
I was obsessed with playing Checkers as a child and now so are my kids. This Checkers Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere travel game allows children to jump opponents and say, “King me!” while traveling. (Ages 6+.)
Purchase this darling pack of four children’s card games that includes Crazy Eights, Hearts, Old Maid, and Animal Rummy. Each comes with its own set of directions. The colorful pictures make learning a new game easier and more fun for kids. I always keep a deck of cards (like this Harry Potter-themed deck) in my purse to keep my family content and communicating at restaurants, on board airplanes and beyond. (Ages 4+.)
UNO is an enjoyable game for all ages. Get a themed deck of UNO cards for even more fun, like Avengers, Frozen II, or Minecraft. Headed to the beach or pool? Buy UNO-Splash for a waterproof way to play! (Ages 7+.)
Pop-O-Matic Trouble Game
With stay-put pegs and its own carrying case, the Pop-O-Matic Grab & Go Game makes a good choice for travel. Although kids love to pop this game’s die roller, it can be noisy so this one is probably best for car trips and family time at your vacation rental home or hotel. (Ages 8+.)
Grab & Go Board Games
For even more fun, get four games in one easy-to-pack case. Hasbro’s Family Grab & Go Variety Pack Bundle contains family favorites including Clue, Monopoly, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Connect 4. (Ages 8+.)
A round of Mad Libs spurs creativity and lots of giggles. Review grammar basics while creating silly stories from family members’ picks of adjectives, nouns, adverbs and more. Mad Libs on the Road is perfect for a family road trip. Meanwhile, science fiction lovers will get a kick out of Star Wars Mad Libs. (Recommended for ages 8+ or younger kids can play along with Mad Libs Junior.)
Best Travel Games for Teenagers and Tweens
When I was 15, I spent two weeks in Greece with one of my best friends and her big Greek family. My girlfriend and I spent every single day at the beach swimming, talking, flirting with boys, and playing round after round of Backgammon. As a parent, I’d rather my teen spend time playing backgammon than flirting! Choose from a compact magnetic travel Backgammon game, a suede roll-up version, a classic Backgammon board with leatherette case, or a this macdaddy Backgammon set. (Ages 8+.)
Loaded Questions On The Go
Get your tweens and teens talking (and laughing!) with this Loaded Questions On the Go travel game for kids. It’s full of fun queries like, “What super power is not very super?” and, “Whose voice can you best imitate?” There are no right or wrong answers! (Ages 8+.)
Get the Loaded Questions Junior On the Go game to play with younger siblings. (Ages 6+).
Strategic thinkers rejoice, Chess can be played on the go! This inexpensive magnetic travel chess game comes with bling-y gold and silver pieces. (Appropriate age? Bobby Fischer learned to play chess at age 6 from his big sister. Kids can learn even earlier if they show interest.)
Competitive wordsmiths will dig Bananagrams, a timed game for which players must make words from rearranging tiled letters. It’s like Scrabble on speed. I love the compact cloth banana-shaped carrying case. (The manufacturer recommends this game for ages 7+, but I’d go with 9+. Or, get My First Bananagrams, included under the Preschoolers section.)
Apples To Apples On The Go
I loved playing the original Apples to Apples board game with my triplet niece and nephews when they were tweens. Now it’s a fun game that encourages creativity and conversation for my family of four. Apples to Apples On The Go is a portable version of this popular game. (I recommend this one for ages 7+.)
Learn More Tips for Traveling with Kids
For additional ideas for keeping kids entertained while traveling, check out the best travel toys for kids!
One of the best ways to make the miles zoom by when traveling with children is with lots of tasty treats. Take a peek at our picks for the best travel snacks for your journey.
Hitting the road? Take a look at these unplugged road trip activities for families!
Never forget your tooth brush, or that beloved stuffed bunny, ever again with our printable travel packing lists.
Save these Travel Games for Toddlers to Teens
For future reference, be sure to save this list of travel toys for kids from toddlers to teenagers. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!
Are there travel games for toddlers, kids, or teenagers that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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