There are so many different types of games you can take on your next vacation that we wanted to take a look at the best travel card games specifically and break down their advantages and disadvantages. However, not all card games are created equal.
They range from collectible card games, that require purchasing booster packs that power up your deck, to a single deck of traditional playing cards, as well as hundreds of other descriptions in between. So it’s no small feat to just say, “I’m going to bring a card game on vacation.”
Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking card games on vacation as well as a list of some of the best travel card games that come highly recommended.
Table of Contents
- 1 Travel Card Game Advantages
- 2 Travel Card Game Disadvantages
- 3 Best Travel Card Game Recommendations
- 3.1 Exploding Kittens (20 mins, Age: 7+, 2-10 Players)
- 3.2 The Crew (20 mins, Age: 10+, 2-5 Players with a 2 Player Variant)
- 3.3 Sleeping Queens (20 mins, Age: 8+, 2-5 Players)
- 3.4 The Mind (20 Mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)
- 3.5 Silver & Gold (20 mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)
- 3.6 Dungeon Mayhem (10 mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)
- 3.7 Sushi Go (15 mins, Age: 8+, 2-5 Players)
- 4 Final Thoughts on Best Travel Card Games
Travel Card Game Advantages
1) More Portable
Card games can be much smaller than most boxed board games so this is a huge card game advantage when you travel. Like a lot of things in life, size really does matter, especially here because if it’s meant to be for packing then you need to take its size into consideration. So, if this is your number one priority, then make sure to take a look at the recommendations below as well as consider those that are travel-size board games.
2) More Options
Because card games can be much smaller, that means you can bring a few more options with you and not take up much more packing space.
3) Easier to Learn
Again, unlike collectible card games, in general, card games can be easier to learn but strategic enough to make the game feel engaging and not too repetitive like grandma’s rummy (although I do enjoy a good game of Rummy from time to time).
4) Shorter Time Length
Typically, since card games aren’t overly complex, they are shorter in time played than your typical board games. Sometimes it takes less time to play an entire card game than many board games take to set up (I’m looking at you Zombicide).
5) Younger Kids Can Participate
Vacation can mean kids, whether they’re ours, our family’s, or our friend’s kids, so being able to get everyone involved means less whining, crying, or pouting…unless of course, you’re a sore loser.
Travel Card Game Disadvantages
1) Feel Repetitive
Unfortunately, even the best travel card games have the potential to lack high replay value after too many back-to-back playthroughs. Packing more options like earlier discussed, helps break up any monotony. It’s best to keep these card games and not so much boring games.
2) Too Much Luck
Like dice games, card games can rely on luck sometimes too much because of what card you happen to pick up and when. However, who isn’t looking to get a little lucky on vacation? 😉
3) Too Simple
Because of the simplicity of some of these less complex card games, it can feel like something is missing from your gaming experience.
Best Travel Card Game Recommendations
Here is a short list of some of the best travel card games.
Be aware, there’s both a family and NSFW (Not Safe for Work) version of this game so make sure you choose the appropriate one for your gaming crew. This particular game is so easy to learn yet competitive enough to make you want to rise victoriously by being the last player to not explode. It also doesn’t hurt that the cards themselves have very entertaining illustrations of all kinds of different felines.
- A Kitty-Powered Russian Roulette Card Game - The hit party game for family and friends who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
- A Simple Card Game for Kids and Adults - Perfect for all occasions, including a family game night, beach trip, road trip or drinking with friends!
- Game Of The Year Award Winner - More than 10 million copies sold, breaking records in kids games, adult games and everything in between.
- Beginner-Friendly, Just 2 Minutes to Learn - If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you lose and you are full of loser sad-sauce. All the other cards in the deck help you avoid or mitigate your risk of drawing an Exploding Kitten. If you don’t explode, YOU WIN!
- 56 Cards, with Box and Instructions - A simple card game for kids, drinking, kittens, and adults, not in that order.
An interesting twist on trick-taking games like spades. What’s really fun about it is that you can keep doing missions that incrementally become more challenging as they go on. Great cooperative game…as long as you can work well together as a team while not being allowed to talk to one another.
- Cooperative strategy game--win or lose together!
- A new twist on classic trick-taking card games
- Difficulty increases as the game progresses, making it a good choice for players of all skill levels
- Uses common card game mechanics like tricks and following suit
- The game spans 50 different missions across the solar system, each mission takes 5-10 minutes
Although created by a child, this game is quite fun for people of all ages. The goal here is to wake up the most queens before your opponent through strategy and a little luck. Don’t sleep on this family game.
- The package height is 1.5"
- The package lenght is 5.6"
- The package width is 4.8"
- The package weight is 0.2 pounds
- Spanish (Publication Language)
Like The Crew, this cooperative game is played with no talking so keep that in mind (pun intended) as it could be hard for kids. Especially since you’ll want to make sounds and gestures when someone makes a move that you know could hurt you all. That said, it could also give you an excuse to tell your kids they should be seen and not heard without feeling any guilt.
- Meld minds with your fellow players to play cards in order without talking.
- Large gesturing is not allowed, so players must develop a silent language to communicate.
- This explosive hit card game has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide.
- High player interaction makes for the perfect Game Night. A riot you and your friends will never forget.
- Excellent for families. This is a game that will hit the table again and again.
Who doesn’t want to find treasure while they’re on vacation? It involves dry-erase markers (included) so keep that in mind for younger players. That said, this game is great for when you’re out at dinner and want to keep hungry kids preoccupied to subside their hangryness.
- YOU'VE FOUND YOUR FORTUNE: Distant islands, golden treasures - who hasn't dreamed of them?! You are in luck because the treasure is in your hands. You are holding Silver and Gold - pure, addictive gold.
- FUN FLIP AND WRITE GAME: Silver & Gold combines simple rules, fast action, luck, and planning as players try to complete treasure map after treasure map, with the maps being printed on wipeable cards to allow for endless adventures.
- CHALLENGING STRATEGY CARD GAME: Players must rain X's down, rapid-fire, in the right configurations to close out island cards and hit the right bonuses before they can jump to the next card.
- HIGHLY REPLAYABLE: Every card in the game can be written on and cleaned off! Such a clever game will have you playing again and again!
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS AND AVERAGE PLAYTIME: This game is designed for 2 to 4 players and is suitable for ages 8 and older. Average playtime is approximately 20 minutes.
An easy-to-learn, elimination card game that brings humor to any table. Each player chooses one of four iconic Dungeons & Dragons classes: Wizard, Paladin, Rogue, or Barbarian. Because it’s a quick to setup and play it’s perfect for when you have to wait 20 minutes for your rental car to be found by the front desk.
- Age mfg minimum: 120 months
Involves some strategy on which cards you’re going to pair together to build the most points from but easy enough not to let the strategy get in the way of itself.
- Includes 108 cards
- Rules of play
- Reinforces probability, visual discrimination and strategic thinking
- 2 to 5 players
- Playing time: 15 minutes
Final Thoughts on Best Travel Card Games
There you have it! Now you can see why card games can make for some of the best vacation experiences as well as some of their drawbacks. We hope you enjoyed our list of best travel card games. We have lots more to come in this series of which Travel Games Are Best for You!
All items reviewed in this Best Travel Card Games Article