Top travel (or travel-able) games

If you were flying overseas and working within the limited space of your average flight luggage, which games would you make space for? (and how little space do you think you could get away with making?)

Already-small things I’d typically think about taking are Hive (or Hive Pocket), Travel Carcassonne, and my little travel Cribbage board. Obviously a standard deck of cards (which might as well be a Regicide deck). And a bunch of the Wallet games from Button Shy. There are plenty of others, but those are some automatic candidates for me, and are either very small or can be stuffed into a space easily What are your must-have small games for travel?

Big box games are maybe the more interesting subject though, if you can spare space to pack a few flat boards. E.g. Hansa Teutonica for two: I’ve taken this with me as one folded board and two player boards (and the rules) slid into a flat cardboard sleeve for protection, with a zip-lock bag of only the bonus tokens and necessary wooden pieces. Very little space needed for a very solid gaming experience.

A case or two of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective out of its box is just paper.

Which of your games would give you the Big Box game experience in minimum luggage volume?

I’ve done Herbaceous pocket and Sunset Over Water pocket.

Fox in the Forest / Duet is tiny. Looking on my shelves: High Society, Lost Cities, Railroad Ink. Maybe Caper and Kanagawa. Sadly Parks and Shobu are way too heavy.

Which Big Box games would work packed down to travel size is really interesting!

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Innovation, Race for the Galaxy, Glory to Rome, and Mottainai are first that come to mind. All basically decks of cards.

Hive (homemade, but essentially pocket) is the one I have actually taken travelling for months.

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When we travel by car, I have taken all kinds of games on trips. The question is not exactly packing space but available playing surfaces at the destination.

Other types of trips I would probably restrain myself and hope I can convince my partner to like Innovation or RftG again at some point. Because games that are basically just cards travel best. I would be too afraid to mangle a board accidentally.

My choice of packable games would be:
Solo games:

  • Button Shy–I can spend a lot of time with some of these
  • Trailblazers, never traveling without it from now on (plays (1-4) x 2) → this my top choice right now for traveling game but you need to like route building, drafting and tile laying

Needs 2+ players:

  • Some tile laying games can be reduced to a bag full of tiles (Carcassonne, Cascadia, Azul + boards)
  • Star Realms and other cards-only deck builders
  • Hardback, the box is not the tiniest but the game inside is so good…
  • This is the reason Magic: the Gathering exists right?
  • Innovation (seconded)
  • RftG (seconded)
  • Kingdomino (without the box around it)
  • Mysterium Park
  • Red Cathedral packs a lot of game in a small box
  • Fugitive especially with the tilts in the new edition
  • Royal Visit

Needs 3+

  • The Crew (I like the 2 player mode… but…)
  • Sushi Go
  • Scout
  • Condottiere is a tiny box (my copy is still lounging on the shelf of opportunity)
  • Cockroach Salad

Many players:

  • any iteration of The Resistance
  • 6 nimmt
  • Bohnanza

Bigger games I have successfully taken on trips and played:

  • Formosa Tea
  • Space Base
  • Yinsh
  • Leaving Earth
  • More but I can’t think of them at them moment

A lot would depend on my intended player count. I would definitely bring a couple of games I could play solo, but assuming I was traveling with my wife, I would throw in some two player games, and if we were going to meet friends or family, I would try for something that handled more players.

I could see taking Resist!, Jaipur, Fox in the Forest (if my wife enjoyed trick takers, anyway), Lost Cities, Royal Visit, definitely a case or two of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Arboretum, Coup, Crossing, Hanamikoji, Spicy, Welcome to, maybe Splendor, and if I thought we’d play it, War of the Ring: the card game. And I am pretty confident I could fit all of these games inside of a Splendor box, minus the SHCD casebooks.


Currently on holiday (although in the car on a ferry). We’ve brought
Red 7
Stick em
Yokai Septet
Voodoo Prince
Skull King
2 decks of cards

I wish I’d brought War of the Ring TCG because the weather was lousy for the first few days.

Dominion would fit the bill


Off topic, but War of the Ring TCG is really, really good. First play is awful but from there you can have a great time with it. We’ve done 1v1 and 2v1 - both worked but even teams give the best balance

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Yeah, the trick is just in the teach. My wife is my main gaming partner, but we’re just so tired and stressed these days that learning a new game (even a simple one) is something she just isn’t up for.

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I get that - there aren’t many videos (let alone good ones) atm to help either.

If you’re both LOTR fans and can get over the learning hump I think you’ll get a lot out of it