The best travel games for kids to play with adults don't require a lot of reading in order to play. Perfect for a wide spread of ages, these games are fun for everyone at the table!
When we enjoy a family game night at home, we trade off between games that the kids love and ones that we enjoy a little more. We take turns catering to everyone's interest.
But when we want to take travel games on the go to enjoy during our weeklong stay at the beach condo, we look for games that have a wider appeal.
Our family reunion beach trips will find my kids sitting at the table with adults of varying ages: their grandparents, aunt, and my husband and myself.
We've tested these games and found them to be the most fun for both the kids and the adults to enjoy playing together.
What Makes These the Best Travel Games?
There were several factors my family judged these travel games against:
- How Challenging Is It?
These games are challenging enough to keep the adults interested but easy enough that the kids had plenty of turns where they won the game.
- How Fast Can We Play a Round?
You're on vacation! You don't need a game that takes hours to play, these games are meant to be fast paced and easy to sneak in between other fun vacation activities. Most rounds can be played in 15 minutes or less.
- How Many People Can Play?
We wanted a variety of games that can be played with just 1 or 2 players but up to a whole family of 4 or more. It is nice to have a variety of options.
- How Much Reading is Required?
One of our kids was diagnosed with a learning disability in reading. We always want her to be able to relax and enjoy the game, so we hunt down travel games that do not require a lot of reading in order to play. You will not find any word hunt games or spelling games on our list for this reason.
- How Pretty is the Game?
Fun themes and whimsical art go a long way towards our enjoyment of any game. The illustrations and art work on these card games are so appealing.
- Can a Color Blind Person Play?
My husband struggles with red-green color blindness. He can easily play most of the games on this list, but I've noted the ones that are a little more challenging.
Best Travel Games
These portable card games are perfect for tossing into your tote bag or luggage for a family vacation at a beach condo or cabin.
Easy to learn, quick to play, these games are perfect for kids playing alongside adults.
This colorful card game is our family's very favorite travel game. You could buy this and then ignore the rest of this list and rest assured you've got a totally playable game that will keep your family busy during the rest of your vacation!
This simple strategy game is perfect for playing with kids who don't have strong reading skills yet but is fun enough for the adults to play along.
Perfect for 2 - 5 players and only takes 15 - 20 minutes or so to play a round.
We left this game out on the dining table of our beach condo and the kids would challenge me to a round throughout the day. I loved it enough I never said no.
My husband does struggle a bit with the red-green cards in this set but with the right lighting is still able to play.
This colorful card game comes in the perfect travel tin and is another great option for kids who don't have solid reading skills yet.
Perfect for 2 - 5 players and each game is 20 minutes or less.
The whimsical art features queens, knights, and dragons which my kids love. We've enjoyed this game enough we play it at home and on the road.
For adults who prefer a traditional playing card game, Five Crowns is a fun twist on rummy that makes it extra fun for kids.
This card game has a solitaire option so is great to keep on hand if one member of the family needs to be entertained alone during the trip.
Perfect for up to 7 players, the whole family can play together.
I just loved bringing our copy of Skull King on our beach vacation for playing back at the beach condo.
The game has a super fun pirate theme that worked perfectly for our Myrtle Beach trip.
Perfect for 3 - 6 players, the game is easy to learn and another wonderful option for kids who don't have strong reading skills yet.
We packed this portable game of Sushi Go! in the awesome little travel tin for our trip to the beach house with my family a few years ago and it is the only one that got pulled out of the bag that whole week.
This quick strategy game is perfect for 2 - 5 players and each round only takes about 15 minutes to play.
I loved that our youngest could frequently beat every adult at the table with her unique strategy to winning the game.
The most portable travel game I've found is this pack of Tenzi dice. With just one set, my kids found countless ways to play with the dice over the course of our week at the beach.
There are Tenzi games to play for just one player but change up the rules and you can adjust it to almost any group size.
Add on this 77 Ways to Play Tenzi card set if you want more ideas that what comes listed with the original dice.
This game is so fun, it actually got banned from our game table for a long time. I would laugh so hard while playing, it caused some bladder issues! LOL!
My kids were laughing so hard, they were gasping for air and had tears in their eyes. If you've got tweens or teens, this is a must-have card game for a fun family trip.
When my girls were much younger, I always kept a tin of Spot It! cards in my purse for playing at restaurants while we waited for our order.
You can play an entire round of the game, but it is just as fun to play a few cards and stop if you get interrupted by the main event (like dinner arriving at the table!)
Spot It has dozens of fun themes from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Camping, and Christmas, but here's the link to the classic version:
This strategy card game is listed for ages 8 and up and is another great option for kids without strong reading skills.
It took a little more effort for us to learn how to play as a family, but with repeated games the fun level definitely goes up.
This would be a great game to learn how to play BEFORE your trip so that you can just enjoy it on the fly at your beach house. It definitely appeals to older adults but my kids enjoyed it, too.
This adorable travel game has been on my radar for a long time and will be a new addition to our travel games stash this year.
The reviews are so high for it and I'm intrigued.
Perfect for 2 - 4 players, the game has a mix of cards, custom die, and tokens. Listed for ages 8 and up, it would be perfect for our family to test out.
The cards do have a bit more writing on them than the other games listed on this post so that is something to consider for kids are still working on their reading skills.
If you're planning to play cards with younger kids on your beach trip, these super portable and durable wooden card holders are a must have.
They fit easily into your travel bags and will help make game play a lot more relaxing for everyone at the table.
[…] Bees Card Game: This is one of our favorite games to bring on a family vacation. You can see our full list of favorite travel games here. The colorful card game just takes 15 minutes to play and we leave it out on the table for a quick […]