Easy to Pack Game Ideas Perfect for Travel (2024)

When we travel, we always toss in a couple of easy-to-pack games. A few of these games have come out of our suitcase to make an appearance at home during this time when travel isn’t possible.

Quarantined family game night, anyone? Games are certainly more top of mind these days with our current #stayathome situation. We are all looking for ways to stay busy while maintaining social distancing protocols. My family has incorporated family game night back into our new normal routine. While the transition from constant school activities to 24/7 family time has been an adjustment, family games have certainly helped to remind us that we enjoy quality time together as a family.

This new normal got me thinking that many of the games we play at home would be perfect companions when we are able to travel safely again.

Have games made a comeback in your daily routine since we all started social distancing? Have you ever packed a favorite family game when you travel?

If you plan a family trip and work on your packing list, consider tossing in a game or two. It may seem silly because you’re heading off on an adventure, but why would you want to “waste” time playing games on vacation? However, as many of you travel fans know, even the best of plans can change.

You may have some downtime on the plane traveling to your destination. You may experience a rainy day at the beach. It’s also possible that you may just need a little “break” from your travel companions.

In this post, I’ll share tips for packing your favorite games and a few of our favorite easy-to-pack games you may want to consider tossing into your suitcase. We can embrace this quarantine time spent with family while planning and looking forward to our next great adventure.

Easy to Pack Games for the Family

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Phase 10

Phase 10 is a personal family favorite. The card box will easily fit in a quart-size ziplock bag that can be tossed into your suitcase for on-the-go family fun. We have played countless games of Phase 10 after dinner during our Covid-19 Quarantine.

Overview – Fun game for 2-6 players. This card game is based on Rummy, also known as Liverpool Rummy. The object of the game is to be the first person to complete all ten phases in order. The winner is determined by completing level 10 with the fewest points. Points are assigned for the remaining cards in hand at the end of each round. Don’t get stuck with a skip or a wild!

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

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Uno is a classic family game that has resulted in many extensions and variations over the years. We like to keep it simple and stick with the original when we include this one in our travel kit.

Overview – UNO is the classic card game that’s easy to pick up and impossible to put down! Players take turns matching a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck by color or number. … These include Skips, Reverses, Draw Twos, Wild, and Draw Four Wild cards.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Mad Libs

Overview – A quick and easy game that builds a story based on random adjectives, nouns, proper names, etc. provided by players. The final story is to read aloud, and can draw quite a laughing fit! Check out all of the different versions available!

Purchase – (Amazon Link)


This is one of the easiest-to-play and easy-to-pack games. Even the packaging is fun!
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Overview – This easy-to-pack game is similar to Scrabble but requires less time, and the point system is less complex. This game is great for all ages above early readers. (PIC)

Purchase (Amazon Link)

Kids Against Maturity (Cards Against Humanity)

Overview – Think of Cards Against Humanity but suitable for all ages and environments. Cards Against Humanity can be a lot of fun but know your participants AND your audience. I’m not sure if you want to sit around the pool deck shouting out your answers to this game!

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

What do you Meme?

This game was a big hit with our family over the holidays and is making a comeback during our #stayathome time. A few members had to get up and walk away because they couldn’t control their laughter. In all honesty, co*cktails may have been involved, but regardless of your beverage selection, it’s a fun game! Please note this game is for older teen/adult players, as the caption options can be inappropriate for young people.

Overview – Players are given a hand of cards with meme caption options. The dealer draws and presents a meme; then each member submits a caption for that meme. The dealer of that round then selects their favorite caption, and that player receives a point.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Game of Things

This game is a little more family-friendly than What do you Meme?

Overview – A reader is chosen. This reader reads aloud a Topic Card. The players all write a response, fold up the slip of paper and turn it in to the reader, who reads them aloud once and then a second time. The player to the reader’s left has to guess who wrote which response.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Monopoly Deal

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Another easy-to-pack game is Monopoly Deal. This game is, of course, based on the original but is a much faster game and doesn’t have all of the pieces required for the traditional game. Can you imagine having to pack the giant box, the board, money, pieces, properties? However, the traditional game is very nostalgic for me.

Which player piece did you like to be? As an adult, I feel like they were such a strange combination – thimble, hat, ship, car…so odd!

Overview Rules – The objective of Monopoly Deal is to be the first player to complete 3 full property sets on the table in front of you. Each property card tells you how many cards you need of that color to complete the set.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Travel Cribbage – Grab a partner and try your luck at this classic game. Although only 2 players can play at a time, you can set up a bracket like my crazy family does each holiday and have your little tournament.

The Olson family is serious about their cribbage playing.

Overview – Cribbage is a game of numbers. You collect points by combining cards together to make runs or scoring combinations. The mathematics is simple, but cribbage is a game of strategy and tactics. Sometimes you try to score points, sometimes, you try to stop your opponent from scoring; every game is subtly different.

Purchase (Amazon Link) – We purchased this one for our trip to Europe this summer which was unfortunately canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 🙁

Given the current world situation, even if you have Amazon Prime, ordering games online can be a little tough right now. In my experience, Amazon deliveries are happening amazingly fast or are projected to arrive by the end of May. If you don’t want to wait on the shipping of a new game, check your house! You probably have a plain deck of cards or dice in a drawer somewhere, right?

Easy to Pack Games Played using a Plain Deck of Cards

If you are looking to keep your packing super simple, remember there are several games that you can play with a plain deck of cards or a set of dice. (Amazon Links)

  • Go Fish (As kids, we called this game “Books”)
  • Bridge Poker (tons of variations, you can skip the chips! -Unless it’s Chips & Salsa, then, don’t skip the chips.
  • Crazy Eights
  • Rummy (many varieties to choose from)

Dice Games

If dice games are more your style, good for you! They are super easy to pack! Our family loves both Farkle and Yahtzee. My boys would love the math dice but my daughter and I do not enjoy any type of math and consider it work…not fun!


Another family holiday favorite is Farkle. This easy to learn game is great to play around a table filled with family or friends. Some sets come with a playing container and a dice shaker but that’s not necessary if you want to include it in your travel plans. As long as you have the dice and a scoring sheet, you’re good to travel!

Overview – A player’s turn continues until either they decide to stop (at which point they then score their accumulated points) or until they fail to roll any scoring dice on a throw. If a player scores no points on a roll, this is known as a Farkle.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Yahtzee – If you don’t want to pack the full game, just pack a set of dice and a few copies of the score sheet or even make your own.

Overview – Yahtzee can be played solo or with a group with the goal being to become the first one to complete all dice combinations, therefore, having the highest number of points.

Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Fun and Easy to Pack Games for the Solo Traveler

If you are a solo traveler or you just need a break from loud Uncle Mark, find a quiet place, and have a little quality time on your own. You deserve it! Here are a few games that are easy to pack, just in case you need a little solo time.

Solitaire – The original solo card game. Simply toss in a deck of cards or play in app form on your phone or tablet.

Sudoku – My non-number loving brain has yet to really figure this game out but my boys love it.
Purchase – (Amazon Link)

Word Search/ Crossword – These are great solo game options for a plane ride or if you just need a solo moment to relax and reset.
Purchase options for Word Search and Crosswords– there are so many to choose from! (Amazon Links)

I’ve provided Amazon links here for your convenience but decks of cards, sudoku, word search, and crossword books are almost always available at your local $1 store.

Fun Games using your Phone even on Airplane Mode!

We all travel with our phones now, so it’s only right that a couple of phone-based games make it on the list. Outside of the typical, Candy Crush and Wordscapes, the following are our favorite “phone games” to play during vacation.

Heads Up

If nothing more than the rules and introduction is presented by Ellen Degeneres I would love this game! This is such a fun game!

This game is a ton of fun, especially after or during happy hour! It is suitable for adults as well as children, and there are multiple categories to choose from, such as pop culture, celebrities, and just kidding, which is especially perfect for young players.

Although the app and several categories (called decks) are included in your free app store download, you can purchase additional decks such as Disney, Friends, Adults Only, Movie Night, and more. Most are sold in multi-pack sets at very reasonable prices.

Purchase – Your favorite app store, free download. There are expansion packs that are available for purchase.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

A cruise vacation favorite is the photo scavenger hunt. There are crew members, and passengers from around the world, and different venues, foods, and activities make a cruise ship the perfect spot for a photo scavenger hunt.

Overview – Just like a normal scavenger hunt but instead of returning with the item, you return with the digital photo taken on your phone. This is a great activity for teens! You can create your own and base it on geography (take a pic with a crew member from Germany), ship highlights (take a pic on the carousel), or even make each item on the list a challenging riddle.

Many cruise ship youth programs host these scavenger hunts as well so encourage your kids to get involved. You may get a few ideas from this list of 24 Cruise Photo Souvenirs printable available to blog subscribers.

Your family can practice your skills now by developing a list of items around your house or neighborhood.

Remember, whether you are enduring social distancing, having a family game night, or waiting out a rainy hour on vacation, games are a great way to have fun. So, don’t forget to pack a few games the next time you travel!

Need help with your cruise packing? Check out these posts.


Do you have a favorite travel game? If you pack a game or two when you head on vacation, share your favorite below.

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