Wherever you go, board games are one of the best ways to connect with people. Typically we play board games inside, at a table, with friends but there is a whole world out there where board games are also a great fit, you just have to know which ones to choose. As we spend the summer traveling, camping, and going on picnics we can incorporate board games to enhance the experiences and memories we are building.
When you bring a board game with you, it encourages you to take some time away from technology, and connect with the people you are with. However, many board games are too big to travel with, take up a lot of play space, or have components that will blow away as soon as you sit down. As much as we love our nature themed games (like Parks, Wingspan, and Ecos), they may not be the best games to take with you.
So, we created a list of the best travel games to take with you outside. Whether you are glamping with your friends, having a picnic with your family, or backpacking with your significant other or friend, these board games are great for the outdoors. Each gaming group is unique, so to get the best game for you, stop by Mox Boarding House, and ask a sales specialist which game they recommend for your needs.
- Classic Travel Games
- Dice Games
- Card Games
- For Camping
- For a Picnic
- For a Cabin Retreat
- Fiasco RPG
Classic Travel Games
When you are going backpack camping, space and weight are essential when planning your trip. Grabbing just a deck of regular playing cards and some dice are great. These two simple items, along with a pen and paper give you countless fun games to play with a minimal storage footprint.
With just a block of D6 dice, you can play a variety of games. You can stop by Mox before your trip and grab a new set of Chessex dice, and a nerdy journal to keep track of the scores while you play. Here are just some of the great games you can play with dice and paper:
Having a deck of cards can create many games, and having a hardy set of playing cards can last you a lifetime. Plastic sets of cards are waterproof and can be perfect for your outdoor adventures. Here are just a few examples of the many games you can play with a deck of cards and paper.
But, if you are looking for more of a board game or one that you will play even after your traveling is done, here is what we would recommend. These games typically have hardy pieces that won’t fly away, won’t need a lot of table space, and can fit in your travel bag.
Best Board Games for Camping
We understand that it can be challenging to find a fun and small game that you can play outside. Here are two of our favorites that are compact, light, and fun to play over and over.
This chess-like strategy game is durable and easy to store. Or, if space is really slim, you can even buy the travel edition with smaller pieces and a travel tote! Hive is a great 2 player game with no board, and can be played in under 30 minutes. You each take turns placing your insects in the hive, or moving them around to try and capture your opponents queen bee. While it is very easy to learn and get started, this game has a lot of strategy, and is challenging to win. We love this one for camping because you can play on most flat surfaces, it’s flexible to store, and fits right in with the nature theme.
This abstract family game is perfect for your next family camping trip. The pieces are lightweight and can be put into a smaller bag or storage container to fit in whatever bag you are carrying. You can even pick up the travel version if you are looking for something a little lighter. The rules are simple, play tiles on your turn that have 1 property in common (either color or shape), and try to get as many points as you can. Complete a set, and earn even more points! This fun and light game is easy to learn and get started. If your family has graduated from Qwirkle, you will like Iota as well.
- Deep Sea Adventure
- Spot It (especially the waterproof version)
- Fox in the Forest
Best Board Games for a Picnic
Have your food and drinks? Your blanket? Make sure to make room for a small game! These games are quick, and can play on any flat surface, which is perfect for your next picnic.
One of the best travel games of all time, Bananagrams is perfect for anyone that enjoys Scrabble. The beauty of the game is you do not need a board to play, and can play on almost any surface. The tiles are great quality and will last you many trips. You build words with the tiles you have in your pool, and earn points. Be careful though, you will need to use your tiles wisely, as you will have to build off other words in the middle of your grid.
If you prefer working together rather than against each other, check out Hanabi! We recommend the anniversary edition if you are worried about cards blowing away since this version has heavy tiles rather than paper cards. But keep in mind that the tile version is heavier and larger if you are worried about weight and size. In this game, you work together to put on a dazzling fireworks display. Communication is key to winning Hanabi. You hold your tiles facing away from you, so you can see the tiles of other people, but not your own. This game is all about giving each other clues about what is in your hard so that you play down the tiles in the correct order. This is a very clever game about teamwork, secret information, and communication.
- Onitama (you can find more info on the game here)
- Sleeping Queens
Best Board Games for a Cabin Retreat
Make sure to spare some room in your pack for a board game or two when you head out for a cabin retreat! Board games are a great way to help you connect, and spend time away from your screens. Both of these games take a little longer, but are perfect for playing in a cabin to spark your creativity. Here are a couple that we recommend.
Monikers is a fun team party game for anyone over 18. At the beginning of the game, you will secretly choose cards to add to the 40-50 card deck and start the first round. Each card has a word on it that you’ll have to convey to your team to guess. Round 1, you can say anything (except the word itself) to get your team to guess as many cards within 60 seconds. Then the other team completes Round 1. The next round has a slight twist. You take the same cards, and you can only use 1 word to describe it. Everyone is pretty familiar with what’s in the deck by now, so make your word count! The third and final round is charades! How will you act out an El Chupacabra?
While you may not think to bust out a role-playing game, Fiasco is perfect for your next cabin getaway. You don’t need to prep or have a game-master to play, but you will need 2D6 (regular 6 sided dice) for each player in two colors (4 total/player). Make sure to grab a pencil and some paper too! The rule book is easily portable and full of scenarios to play quickly. This is a great game to help you unlock your creativity, and create hilarious missteps and plotlines together. Fiasco is not your typical fantasy heavy setting and lets you think “what would my character do” without penalizing you for asking for help from the group. This game is perfect for cabins because it is light, does not have too many components, and you can play it almost anywhere.
- The Quiet Year
- Shipwreck Arcana
- We’re Doomed
Find the Right Travel Board Game for You
While these are our favorite games to travel with, every person’s play-style and personal preference is different. Stop by your local Mox Boarding House to talk with one of our sales specialists, or browse through some of our other blog posts like Educational Board Games, or Games for Book Lovers.
-See you at Mox