From pure escapism to puzzle and problem solving, family games can provide quality time together when you go away. They get you and the kids away from your screens and around a table; chatting, laughing and having fun.
Of course, they’re the perfect port of call if you get some less-than-ideal weather on your trip. But don’t just save your games for a rainy day. They make for a great evening in together, and many can even be enjoyed on the sand.
So following on from our recent post about the top games to take on holiday and to help you find some family games that’ll ramp up the fun on your next getaway, we got in touch with a collection of travel and gaming experts, who gave us their recommendations. See what they said below.
Frugal Family suggests…
Our all-time favourite game to play when we’re on holiday would have to be Uno; to the point that a set of Uno cards lives in one of the suitcases all year round! The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards the quickest, but there are plenty of twists and turns along the way, with wildcards hiding in the pack to make things all the more fun. It’s great for families in that it’s simple enough for kids of almost any age to understand, but is engaging enough to keep the grown-ups interested too.
The Diary of a Frugal Family is run by mum, Cass, and documents her family’s adventures. Over on her blog you’ll find plenty of family fun; served up alongside interesting recipes and, as the name suggests, some superb money saving tips.
Larger Family Life suggests…
We know that, especially when it comes to travelling with children of a wide age-range, it’s important to find something that appeals to them all. Our travels tend to involve loading up the minibus and taking off for a month or two at a time, and since there are 12 of us, portability and space-saving are paramount.
Taking that into account, we have three favourites. You can’t beat a pack of Top Trumps cards, which are great for playing on long drives. We also like Travel Othello, which is perfect for winding down with in the evening or when the weather isn’t great, while our trusty Swingball Set promises some active competition when the sun does shine.
Larger Family Life is a family travel blog managed by mum-of-13, Tania Sullivan. She believes the best way to learn about the world is to get out there and see it, so spends much of the year country-hopping with 10 of her kids in tow. You can follow their adventures through their blog, on Twitter at @largerfamily, or on Facebook and Instagram at @largerfamilylife.
Gunpowder Studios suggest…
Kastles Medieval Mayhem is an incredibly fun, easy to understand and quick-to-play card game that’s perfect for your travels. In fact, we invented it while on holiday ourselves! For those moments that you find yourself without data or Wi-Fi, it’s a great way to get some family time in.
The basic idea is to defend your castle and destroy your enemies, adding a fantasy twist to the typical travel card game. It usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to play, so there’s no chance of the kids getting bored; it’s fun for the young to the middle-ages!
Kastles Medieval Mayhem is one of Gunpowder Studios exciting new family travel card games, the idea for which came about on a family holiday back in 2014. Soon enough, the cards were sketched out and the rules drawn up, and by the following year kids were lining up to play it. Packs are available from their website.
Surrey Mummy suggests…
One of our favourite go-to games is Dobble. It’s super simple yet brings hours of fun. If you haven’t got too much time to spare, then Dobble is an excellent choice as a game is quick to play and there’s practically no set-up. It’s easy to understand because it’s so visual; you’ll never need to pour over the instructions.
It comprises of circular cards that contain over 50 symbols, but there’s only one identical symbol between each card, and the aim of the game is to be the first to spot this. We’ve played this as a family since our children were three years old; and even though they’re teenagers now, we still enjoy a game.
Surrey Mummy is an informative blog dedicated to all things parenting and all things Surrey. Mums and dads in the area can keep up-to-date with all the latest goings on, events, clubs and services through the site. There’s even chit-chat forums to help connect parents in the region, and their half-term and holiday features are a real highlight, making sure no one ever gets bored.
Zatu Games suggest…
You’ll be lucky if every day of your holiday can be spent running around outside; some holidays aren’t even meant for it!
Among our top sellers are Pandemic Legacy, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Mansions of Madness. These games won’t squeeze into your hand luggage, but they’re well worth saving some suitcase space for. They’re a little more complex than some alternatives, so might confuse your tots, but should keep any kids aged 8+ entertained for hours on end. They make for the perfect rainy-day antidote.
Zatu Games is a leading online board games retailer. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a casual family gamer, they’ll have something for you. With over 7,000 games available, their dedicated blog is a great place to get clued up; with previews, reviews, features and more.
Enchanted Pixy suggest…
With four children, ranging in age from 15 down to three, going on holiday can be something of a logistical nightmare. We usually end up taking half of the house with us and trying to find somewhere that will suit everyone is often easier said than done. When we go away one thing I always pack is a few games that will keep everyone busy. We often camp and games prove invaluable for keeping the kiddos occupied during those early mornings and rainy afternoons.
There are three games that we always take with us when we go away. Firstly, a simple deck of cards – there are so many games that you can play, and all of the kids love playing cards – their favorite at the moment is Go Fish! Pass the Pigs also comes with us – it’s a fun game to play, suitable for all ages, and doesn’t take up too much space to pack! The final game that we always take with us is Bananagrams. It’s a fantastic word game and a firm family favorite!
Enchanted Pixy is ran by Polly, living in North Wales with her four children and six cats. They are a homeschooling family who love exploring our country and camping in the countryside.
Single Mum Travels suggest…
During our 4 month trip around South East Asia and 14 flights later our top three favourite travel games to play on the move are the travel edition of Connect Four, Battle Ships and the verbal all time classic game of Eye-Spy!
Connect Four is a quick and easy game to set up and play in a matter seconds, it’s easy to fold up and pack away into our hand luggage at a moments notice, we’ve played in restaurants while waiting for our meals, on boats, planes and coaches. We tend to play battle ships more often on long flights after our main meal, it’s a game we’ve played for years during Joshua’s childhood and one we always get excited about.
Our top choice though has to be Eye-Spy, it requires no game pieces as it’s completely verbal so we play it more often than the others, especially as were using our immediate surroundings to guess the object. We’ve played it at an Elephant Sanctuary park in Chiang Mai, walking through the busy streets of Hanoi in Vietnam, on a canoe in the Mekong Delta and in the airport lounge waiting for our flights. It’s really our go to game while travelling the world and discovering new things around us.
Baby Rosabella is entertained through her selection of teethers and Taggies toys but soon enough she will be joining us in a classic game of Connect Four and Eye-Spy while travelling the world.
Single Mum Travels is ran by Tina-Louise, an adventurous traveller and blogger. She can be considered a pro when it comes to keeping her two children; Joshua 9 and Rosabella 6 months occupied while travelling the world.
Must Have Toys suggest…
Sussed – Sussed is a family friendly quiz which challenges you to suss out what your fellow players feel about certain scenarios, both real and imagined. There’s three choices and you need to guess the right one to score. Great for children aged 6+ and the perfect way to see how well you really know your friends and family.
Logo Lite – Logo is one of our all-time favourite board games. This is the Lite or Travel version. We love Logo because it has something for everyone – the kids are up on the more current brands and the adults can help out with the slighter older products.
Sort It Out Mini – Sort It Out is such a great game. You get given a list of things and have to sort them in a particular order. It’s quite tricky. We find working in adult/child teams is the most fun. I was thrilled to see it is also available in this mini version. I feel this is going to be one of our top games for taking on holiday.
Must Have Toys is home to all the latest toys and games for children. Ran by our game-loving family, here the games we love to take on holiday.