We’re a family of gamers. We all love our games. And when we travel, we tend to bring a few of those games along. And no, I’m not just talking about the multitude of games stuffed into the memory of our little phones and devices, either. Another (slightly delayed) “week of lists” list, and this one just a few obvious — and maybe less so — suggestions about what your travel-games action pack should include:
1 = A Pack of Cards
Yeah, so it’s obvious: The go-to defacto standard for all things game is the fifty-two pack of standard playing cards. But you can expand this horizon by bringing along any or all of the many single-game packs of cards that grace the gaming shelves of the modern game collection. These include games like (our old family favorites) Phase 10 or Mille Bornes to some modern classic packs like Fluxx (which we dragged down to the Dominican a couple years ago) or even Munchkin.
2 = Simple Dice
Dice are so often underrated, but there are a number of great dice games that can be played with five or six cubes and a scrap of paper for keeping score. Not only are these great fun, but dice are small, cheap, portable, weather-proof, and can often be rolled in the smallest of places — including a coach-class airplace seat. The old standards include a game of 5000 or even Yahtzee, but at last check Wikipedia had an impressive list of over 70 simple dice games with rules.
3 = Visual Verbal Car Games
Eye-Spy, the Licence Plate Game, or even Car Bingo are great time-wasters while on the road. You emergency game pack should have a few of these on standby. Try Googling “driving games” for suggestions and rules — and print these off before your next road trip.
4 = Photo Scavenger Hunts
Taking an hour or so out of your busy packing schedule before you leave to research some of the stops along the way, it doesn’t take much to put together a list of photo-worthy items you might encounter along your travels. Cameras are so ubiquitous these days — counting our phones and other devices, we brought something like eight cameras on vacation — so making sure that your travelling companions, especially kids, have a “to find and photograph” list before your leave is a great trip-long game.
5 = On-Paper Puzzles
And, of course, for those quiet, contemplative moments of down time that we all need while trapped on a long vacation with the same few people, dragging along some crosswords, word-searches, sudokus, or our other favourite paper-puzzlers is an essential addition to this list. Just make sure you bring enough pencils.