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9 Best Travel Board Games for Adults in 2021 - Happier Human

9 Best Travel Board Games for Adults in 2021

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Are your road trips and getaways a bit boring?

Do you see board games as a fun way to kill time during long hours while traveling?

If so, you have come to the right place. In this post, we share with you the nine best travel board games for adults this year.

These games can easily be played while in the car or at the airport. They are also great for when you’ve finally arrived at your destination and need to unwind.

Without further ado, let’s check out the best travel board games!

1. Bananagrams

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Bananagrams is one of those board games that is fun to play over and over again. It’s just like playing Scrabble, except with fewer things to remember and less complicated rules. 

The objective of the game is simple, yet also quite challenging: Be the first person to use all of his letters once the “Bunch” is empty, then shout “Bananas!” to let the other players know that you are done. You have to yell “Bananas” so that your opponents can check your combinations and see if you created real words. Otherwise, you will be called a “rotten banana” and get kicked out of the game.

The distribution of letters varies based on the number of players. This may affect the strategy of each player, but the goal remains the same no matter how many tiles you get. If no one is able to use all of his letters, the player who has the longest and most difficult word wins.

Bananagrams was named Game of the Year in 2009 by the Toy of the Year Awards. We highly recommend this word-anagram board game to adults who often travel with children or elderly people. In addition to the fact that it is fun, entertaining, and educational, it is also known to help improve mental and cognitive abilities.

Pros

  • A fast-paced game that is light and easy to pack, perfect for travel.
  • A friendly game that is suitable for anyone who can spell, regardless of age.
  • A helpful game that improves cognitive skills and prevents age-related illnesses.

Cons

  • Might be too short and easy for people who like more complicated games.
  • Not recommended for those who aren’t fond of playing word games.

2. Codenames

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Here’s another top-notch board game that is quite challenging, but still has simple rules that anyone can understand. The game is all about figuring out codenames, finding clues, deciphering hints, and identifying agents using investigative and critical thinking skills.

What makes the game rather interesting is that there are only two people who know the identities of the agents. These people are called spymasters. These two spymasters are rivals who have to give out one-word clues to their teammates to help them identify the agents. Everyone has to be a bit cautious, though, because there is an assassin who can ruin everything and cancel all the points, bringing the team’s score back to zero. Each team also has to make sure that they don’t identify the opposing team’s agents.

Codenames won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres Best Board Game of the Year award, one of the most prominent awards in the toy industry. Whether you are at home, on a road trip, or going somewhere with your friends or family, Codenames will provide endless fun and entertainment.

Pros

  • The rules of the game are simple and easy to understand.
  • The gameplay is fast-paced, making it highly replayable.
  • Recommended for employees during team-building events or overnight activities.

Cons

  • Some customers feel like the game’s overall artwork is not that impressive.
  • Can be a bit of a drag if there are only a few players.

3. Connect 4

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Connect 4 is a classic game from Hasbro (the maker of Monopoly and Scrabble). It only has two important goals to remember, which are to get four in a row to win and to block your opponent from doing so first.

There is no luck involved in this game. It is purely strategic, and one wrong move can hand the game to your opponent.

We recommend Connect 4 for adults—especially partners, because it is only for two players—who are on road trips and are looking to kill some time. It has a compact mobile version called “Grab and Go” if you want a more lightweight option, but even the original version is lightweight and easy to carry around wherever you go.

Pros

  • Rules are very simple.
  • An excellent way to practice hand-eye coordination (even for adults).
  • Purely based on strategy; absolutely no luck involved.

Cons

  • Be careful with your seller, as some deliver the game in poor condition or with low-quality materials.

4. Exploding Kittens

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Exploding Kittens is yet another award-winning board game that has become extremely popular. It has sold over nine million copies worldwide.

The rules are simple and the goal of the game is not overly complicated. You just have to avoid encountering an exploding kitten until the game ends. If you find an exploding kitten, you lose and have to wait til the next round to play again. 

There is no guarantee that you can avoid the exploding kittens, even if you have a strong strategy. In other words, the game is partly based on luck. If you do come across an exploding kitten, the only way to stay safe is by using a “defuse” card, which can be drawn only by chance. 

What is most important is the fun you’ll have with your companions while playing this game. We recommend the party pack version if there are many people in your group, but the original version will suffice if there are only a few of you. For travelers looking for something to do while  waiting to arrive at their destinations, this game is a must-try!

Pros

  • A fast-paced game that you can play in your car while traveling.
  • Very lightweight and does not have a lot of components to worry about when packing.
  • Extremely popular game.

Cons

  • Not recommended for players who like more complicated and strategy-based games.
  • Might not be entertaining enough for groups with only a few members (two to three players).

5. Spot it!

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Spot it! is probably one of the loudest and most exciting games ever made. We really like it, especially for parties and gatherings, because it is a test of players’ reflexes.

The rules of the game are pretty simple: Look for identical symbols and shout the symbols’ names out loud. You gain a point for each symbol you say correctly, and the payer with the most points when all the cards run out is the winner. Note that the symbols on the cards have their proper names written in the game’s manual. You have to shout those specific names in order to get points.

Spot it! is highly recommended for road trips or when you are on vacation. Since the game is fun and interactive, it will even help keep the driver alert. The game is so loud it keeps everyone awake!

Pros

  • Believed to be very helpful in developing cognitive skills like mental alertness, focus, and concentration.
  • Advertised as a game that improves visual perception, observational skills, and reflex abilities.
  • Can help people stay awake during long hours on the road.

Cons

  • There is a high probability that people who aren’t good at remembering names or who have slow reflexes will lose.

6. Monopoly

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This board game is, without a doubt, one of the most classic games out there. It remains a favorite because of the fun and excitement it brings, generation after generation. The game was created by manufacturing giant Hasbro, and remains as popular today as it was when it was first released.

The goal in this game is very straightforward: to eliminate all the other players until you eventually own the whole board.

Monopoly is great for anyone who has been traveling nonstop and needs a rest day. It can take a while to finish, but with all the thinking needed to play this game, you are sure to enjoy a good night’s sleep afterward.

Pros

  • A perfect choice for friends who are also business partners.
  • A product of Hasbro, meaning it is guaranteed to be a quality board game.
  • Has a card version (Monopoly Deal) that you can play instead if you want to kill time while on the road.

Cons

  • Some of the game’s elements are not suitable for very young audiences (e.g., getting thrown into jail).
  • Be careful with your seller, as some sell imitations with low-quality features.

7. Cards Against Humanity

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Cards Against Humanity is one of those games that doesn’t take much explanation. All you have to do is match questions with the most suitable answers. This game has the same rules as Apples to Apples, but the topics are a bit more risqué.

This is a great game for sleepovers, vacation getaways, and adult game nights. A self-declared “party game for horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity tests your opinions regarding sensitive issues like racial discrimination, political awareness, existential quandaries, and even sexual conduct.

We normally only recommend this game for adults because many of the topics are inappropriate for young people. However, we may also recommend it for teens or those who are about to enter adulthood.

Pros

  • The perfect game to inspire serious conversations between adults and teens.
  • Can be a good way to discover more things about other people (such as their thoughts and opinions).
  • Very lightweight and easy to pack; can be played while you are on the road.

Cons

  • Some of the statements may be too offensive for people who are more conservative.

8. Forbidden Series: Forbidden Island, Forbidden DesertForbidden Sky

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The Forbidden series is most interesting if you own all three board games: Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, and Forbidden Sky. The island version is the original and was first introduced by game manufacturer Gamewright Store. The desert version is the second version, which is a sequel to the island version. Finally, the sky version is the latest continuation of the storyline.

In Forbidden Island, your goal is to collect all the sacred treasures before the island sinks. In Forbidden Desert, your goal is to recover the flying machine hidden deep beneath the desert before the desert swallows you and your team. In Forbidden Sky, your goal is to launch a secret rocket that will prevent the savage storm before the storm itself savages you all.

The objective for each game may be different, but the concept and gameplay are the same. You have to come up with a strategic plan to finish your mission. You will need to work together with your teammates to win the game.

You do not need to play all three games at once to enjoy the Forbidden world. But of course, if you want to get the most out of the game, it would be best to try them all. The next time you are on a trip we recommend that you try them all by playing one version per night. 

9. Catan

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Catan is an excellent choice for travelers, especially those who travel through different countries. It’s a civilization-building game, so it has elements of discovering new civilizations and cultures. Your travel adventures are sure to give you bright ideas about how to build your city and settle your community within the game.

Catan has around an hour’s worth of gameplay. It is designed for three to four players, so it is suitable for smaller groups of friends. If you and your friends are travelers and board gamers, try Catan and see how your traveling adventures can actually affect the way you strategize and plan.

Pros

  • Has easy-to-learn rules that are perfect for beginners.
  • Has high replayability because of the various possible endings.
  • Exciting enough for expert gamers and simple enough for first-timers.

Cons

  • Some expert gamers argue that it is more luck-based than strategy-based.
  • Has many components that may get lost if not handled properly.

Conclusion

We hope that our list was able to help you determine which best travel board games for adults you should try on your next trip.

Traveling is fun, and your board games should be too. Try one or two of these games and enjoy your trip even more!

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