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Best Travel Card Games

Some Advantages, Disadvantages and Examples of How Card Games Could Be Perfect for Your Next Vacation

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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.

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

Best Travel Card Games

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

card games

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.

Exploding Kittens (20 mins, Age: 7+, 2-10 Players)


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.

Purchase from Amazon here

The Crew (20 mins, Age: 10+, 2-5 Players with a 2 Player Variant)

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.

Purchase from Amazon here

Sleeping Queens (20 mins, Age: 8+, 2-5 Players)

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.

Purchase from Amazon here

The Mind (20 Mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)

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.

Purchase from Amazon here

Silver & Gold (20 mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)

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.

Purchase from Amazon here

Dungeon Mayhem (10 mins, Age: 8+, 2-4 Players)

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.

Purchase from Amazon here

Sushi Go (15 mins, Age: 8+, 2-5 Players)

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. 

Purchase from Amazon here

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!


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Lenox Livery

Lovely post! I would love to do a road trip around all over the world and visit all these beautiful places! Thanks for the tips and the locals’ insight!

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