The Best Video, Card, and Board Games- Travel the World from Home
Looking for the top games for globetrotters? We have gathered the best video, card, and board games travel enthusiasts can play from home. These aren’t necessarily games you play on the road– they are travel-themed games to inspire!
We love taking trips, but still spend plenty of time at home (especially over this last year!). Games provide a wonderful way to learn about future destinations and reminisce about past journeys. As a former teacher, I recommend games as one of many travel related, stress-free, and fun educational resources for kids of all ages. Games also make excellent gifts for travelers.
I’ve asked fellow game loving travel writers to share their favorite games about travel. We are avid game players at our house but I learned about many new ones from our guest authors! Click through to their websites to visit their travel blogs.
Together we have gathered board, video, word, and card games for all types of travelers. Some are free and some are the cost of a evening’s entertainment. You’ll find choices for kids, teens, and adults. Come find the perfect game for globetrotters!
The best travel board games
An engaging travel-themed board game is Concordia if you are planning a trip anywhere around the Mediterranean, or even some places further afield. Dive into the history of the Roman world in this peaceful strategy game where Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony, rewards the player who finishes with the most points by peaceful means. Players strive to earn the favor of different gods and goddesses by accumulating actions and items that each of them admire.
Because it is made by Rio Grande Games, solid game play is assured. There are numerous strategies you can employ and many options for optimizing points. For this reason, it is a 13+ game. You aren’t interacting with the other players very much, but turns are fast and the game stays lively.
A great feature is the additional history booklet included in the game. Cities are identified by both their modern and Roman names. A mini-history of each of the provinces is included, complete with how it differs from the fictional depiction in the game.
Our family has enjoyed playing Concordia and remembering our past travels and the impact of Roman civilization on those places. The board is two sided, with Italy on one side (for 2-4 player games) and Imperium on the other (for 3-5 players). We are planning a trip to Italy in the next couple of years and it is a helpful way to talk about the regions and what we want to see. Playing on the Imperium side inspires interesting conversation about the broader scope of Roman history and the impact on our travel destinations.
Let’s go to Europe tonight! A few years ago, during a rough period of my life, my best friends introduced me to the game of Eurorails. It distracts my mind to happy places, appealing both to my love of European travel and my enjoyment of building a business enterprise.
Each player must strategically build rail (costing money) to move commodities such as chocolate or sheep between cities (earning money). Event cards such as floods or snowstorms add unexpected excitement just like real life.
We find particular fun in using the washable crayons to draw track and trying to pronounce the non-anglicized names of the cities used on the geographically accurate board.
As friends, we enjoy competing over the best rail routes and biggest payloads. We share memories of our travels: paragliding in the Alps, getting lost during a dark rainstorm in Seville, and detouring to see the Bremen Rathaus. And we plot our future trips. At the end of the evening, I feel the joy and relaxation of having experienced a mini-vacation to some of my favorite destinations.
Note: Eurorails is no longer produced but the savvy shopper can still find new or used game sets on Ebay, Etsy, Poshmark or similar.
Contributed by Julie K from Travel & Live with Texture
Monopoly (Versions from Around the World)
You may be surprised to learn that there are over 1,000 versions of the board game Monopoly. Many of these are localised versions that are specific to a particular country or city. They are all some of the best board games for travel aficionados.
For example, Monopoly Australia is a special edition of Monopoly with properties featuring famous places from around the country. The cheapest properties in the game are Darwin and Alice Springs, while the most expensive is Sydney Harbour. This edition comes with fun Australia-themed tokens such as a kangaroo and a barbecue.
Playing Monopoly is a great way to familiarise yourself with the must-see landmarks in a destination before you travel. It can also bring back happy memories when you return home.
If your trip is to a particular city rather than a country, you’ll find a Monopoly game for that too, such as Monopoly Sydney Edition which features properties such as Taronga Zoo and The Rocks.
Of course, not all Monopoly editions are in English! However, if you have some fluency, playing games like Monopoly France could be a great way to improve your language skills.
Contributed by Jenni at Monopoly Land
Every month, I meet with 3 close girlfriends for a game night. This started in the middle of the pandemic and was a great way to get out of the house and socialize in a safe environment. We take turns hosting each month and the host picks a new theme each time, which makes it a lot of fun.
All of us are travelers and, inevitably, our game nights turn to sharing stories about our pre-COVID travels. Spain, Iceland, Italy, Mexico – how we all wish we could go back!
Thankfully, for our most recent game night, one friend brought exactly the right game: Pan Am.
Pan Am is a strategy game where you start off as a boutique airline and try to outbid other players to get airline routes, build up your airplane fleet, and compete against the dominant Pan Am airline to turn as much profit as possible before the game ends. To win, you have to correctly strategize routes, landing airports, fleet size, and when the right time to sell to Pan Am is.
Pan Am is kind of like the game Risk except with a fun travel twist. For travelers, it’s fun seeing all these major travel hubs – Paris, Rio, Madrid, New York, and more – and having a chance to talk about memories or dreams of visiting those destinations.
If you like strategy games with a travel twist, Pan Am is the game for you!
Contributed by Gabby, the Office Escape Artist
I reached across the table to draw the next card from the deck and then stared at it in dismay. “It’s an epidemic!” Groans met my words. “It looks like we have our work cut out for us.”
Pandemic has been a staple board game for my family for years at this point, but it has seen a surge of popularity due to recent events. The general idea of the game is that there are four infectious disease outbreaks spread around the world. The players take on different specialist roles and work together to try to contain, and eliminate the diseases through developing a vaccine.
It’s a game that might hit a little close to home for some, at the moment, but there’s more than a few of us who wish we could take a more active role in fighting a pandemic.
I love the theme, as well as the fact that it’s a cooperative game. My family is more of the ‘win together, lose together’ sort, so we love playing co-op games. And, especially with so many borders closed, it’s comforting to pretend that a problem as serious as a pandemic could be solved with the next card draw.
Contributed by Jacob Smith at Neverending Field Trip
Passport to Culture
If you like trivia and you like to travel, Passport to Culture is a game for you. With this game, you are going to improve your Cultural Intelligence (CQ). You start on the board at one airport and roll a dice. On the colored space, you answer a question and get a stamp of that color in your passport if answered correctly. You try to collect 10 stamps from various countries/colors and answer the greatest number of cultural questions.
Questions have multiple choice answers like which continent has most countries that speak Portuguese (A-Europe, B-South America, C-Africa)? The correct answer is C because of the former Portuguese colonies.
By learning about different cultural norms, languages, geography, and history you will become more open-minded, tolerant, and accepting. It will also bring back memories about places you already visited and maybe one of those moments, “If I knew this fact before, I would have saved myself from embarrassment”.
Contributed by Džangir Kolar from Dr. Jam Travels
Take control of the development of an ancient civilization as you compete with up to six other players to advance art, science, industry, and culture in this card-based city-building game. Each turn, players simultaneously choose a structure or technology to build from a hand of cards, before passing that hand along to the next player. As you progress, make progress toward completing one of the titular Seven Wonders of the ancient world. They are each well illustrated and brought to life through the thematic abilities they grant.
The game’s fast pace and accessible mechanics make it a great option for introducing players to the hobby, while also having the depth to be enjoyed by more experienced players.
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Ticket to Ride
One of the best board games travel lovers will enjoy is Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride is a board game in which players must travel by train from one destination to another, creating train journeys that pass through different places and cities as you make your way from your departure point to your final destination.
There are journey cards which each player chooses from. They can be short or long journeys, and players must try to complete each journey card they have to gain points to win the game.
I was first introduced to Ticket to Ride by a friend and it quickly became one of my favourite games. We’ve played the North America board, the Europe board, and the Asia board, and each one is as good as the next. The game is really fun because as you ‘travel by train’ across the continents you need to try and keep your journey details secret so your opponents don’t take the routes you need!
I love Ticket to Ride as it has reminded us of places we’ve visited, brought back memories and also helped us plan future trips. It is also very educational as it can help you learn where certain places and cities are located in relation to one another.
There are a huge range of Ticket to Ride boards that you can play, so wherever you want to travel, there’s a board just for you.
Contributed by Cath from Travel Around Ireland
Tokaido is one of the most beautiful travel themed board games for anyone planning a trip to Japan. Players move from Kyoto to Tokyo collecting experiences, meals, panoramic views, and items along the way. The goal is to discover the most. There are a variety of strategies that can be used to maximize points, but there are also mechanics built into the game to keep everyone moving at a similar pace. There are no intense interactions with other players, the most you can do is stop someone from taking an action.
We are planning to visit Japan in the future and enjoy playing Tokaido. It is enjoyable to imagine the different encounters, bath houses, and meals as we dream of our future journey.
Trekking the National Parks
Trekking the National Parks is one of the best board games travel enthusiasts and National Park lovers will enjoy! The game is fun for adults but easy enough that school-aged kids can catch on and play too! The game features a map of the US with all of the National Parks represented.
Your goal is to “claim” as many of America’s National Parks as you can. It’s a game of a bit of luck, and also some strategy too! Each park is represented by a colored rock. To win the game, you try to claim the most parks and win points with the most colored rocks. The game comes with cards representing each park. They have beautiful photos and interesting facts on the featured park.
We love to play and talk about the parks that we’ve been to and get excited for the parks that are next on our list. The game is educational, but not to the point where it’s no longer fun. It is just a fun way to “travel the parks” from your living room, and pick up some fun facts along the way.
Contributed by Chantelle from Flannels or Flip Flops
Trekking the World
In Trekking The World, you’re racing against other players to visit world-renowned locations and collect rare souvenirs during your journey. You get to build your bucket list of destinations and take a real whirlwind tour to visit them.
The world is full of many wonders and Trekking The World is both great inspiration to plan future adventures, and a great way to relive memories that you have experienced at these locations. The game often sparks some great conversations about travel dreams. It is wonderful to hear the adventures of others as you play, with some great laughter and smiles along the way.
We really enjoy the variety the game provides. Though the premise is the same each time, the game changes every round. With so many different strategies to use to work your way to a win, it keeps the game fresh for multiple plays.
The rules are straightforward enough for the kids to be able to join in (suggested 10+ years) and have fun, yet is still challenging enough for adults.
The game features 48 real-world destinations, all with gorgeous illustrations and educational passages. You’re sure to finish this game having learned something that you didn’t know!
Trekking The World is especially helpful right now as we are spending more time closer to home. The game really helps with wanderlust and keeps you dreaming during times that you cannot travel! It is a great way to expand your knowledge of the world, and have fun doing it!
Contributed by Debbie Fettback from WorldAdventurists.com.
Do you love the thrill of waking up to new birdsong on your trips? Bird loving travelers will delight in Wingspan! This is another beautiful board game with gorgeous pictures and game pieces. You play as a bird enthusiast and get to learn about the birds living in your travel destinations. You collect birds of North America in the original game and can purchase the European and Oceania expansions.
Gameplay is slightly complicated but worth learning. It is a medium-weight, card driven engine builder for ages 10+. There isn’t direct competition with other players and points are not counted until the end of the game. This is an award winning game for good reason and is a perfect choice for birding travelers.
The World According to Ubi
The World According to Ubi is THE GAME for travelers who are serious geography enthusiasts! It is no longer in print, but available both used and as a tabletop simulator on STEAM. Some consider this the most challenging trivia game ever created!
It is a geography game where riddles are asked starting with “Ubi,” Latin for where. Answers aren’t given as a traditional statement, but instead as coordinates on a map. Enhancing the complexity are red herrings mixed into the deck, where you need to have enough geographical and historical knowledge to know it is a trick question and not something that actually happened.
If you love geography and traveling, this game will keep you challenged and engaged as you dream of future trips!
Game suggested by J. T.
The Best Video Games about Travel
The Assassin’s Creed video game series from Ubisoft has always captured the imagination of our family with its well-researched historical fiction settings. Some of the game locations are Israel, Turkey, Spain, Boston & New York (in the United States),Egypt, Greece, France, England, the Caribbean, Italy, China, Libya, and Russia. There is a version for travelers to many destinations!
One of the games in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, portrays ancient Egypt with the geography, people, and culture in a virtual playground. While many might be put off by the action and violence of the series, the game developers actually included Discovery Tour as a game mode that turns off the usual game play and allows the player to take a virtual tour of the whole interactive world: exploring the Pyramids, visiting the towns, and seeing the people of ancient Egypt. There is even a timeline to learn about the historical periods of the era.
There are twelve games in the series covering different travel destinations and historical time periods. Some have more fictional portrayals than others. Unity, set during the French Revolution and Odyssey, set in Classical Greece have been fun games to play and remember our own past trips. We are looking forward to playing Valhalla as we plan our future trip to Scandinavia and the UK. The games are rated M, but some of them have nonviolent discovery options that are enjoyable for a wider range of players. If you have older video game players in your travel group, these games could be a great choice!
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour is a free-to-play racing game on iOS and Android devices. What makes Tour special from the other games in the Mario Kart series is the rotation of tracks in real-world cities, including Paris, New York City, Tokyo, Vancouver, Berlin, Los Angeles, and London.
When driving through cities I’ve already visited in real life, I feel nostalgic recognizing landmarks. When I hit the Vancouver track, I adore getting to “visit” the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Gastown’s iconic Steam Clock again.
Contributed by Meggie at Mindful Meggie
Where in the World Am I? That’s the premise of the game GeoGuesser. In this digital geography game, players are presented with a 360 degree panoramic image of mystery location. By scrolling around and zooming in on the photo, players look for clues to help them figure out the location such as street signs, clothings, architecture, vegetation, and automobiles. The closer in distance to the correct location, the more points earned. There is a web version of the game and an iOS app. My family prefers the app because you can earn coins to unlock more game varieties like famous places, specific countries, and cities.
Analyzing the clues creates opportunities for my family to talk about the characteristics and cultures of different places around the world. Making our guesses on the world map sharpens our geography skills. We often travel, but rarely outside of the U.S. The game gives us a glimpse into other parts of the world that we could only dream to visit.
World travelers may enjoy this game even more than we do! Not only would they have a leg up, but I’m sure it would resurrect memories of previous adventures or spark interest for new destinations.
Contributed by Monica Champagne from Champagne On Deck
The Best Card Games About Travel
Backpacker does exactly what it says on the tin…or box. This fun card game takes travellers on an adventure through some of the world’s classic backpacking destinations. It takes a while to learn, a long trip to master, but only a second to fall in love with.
After requesting it for Christmas, I finally got my hands on Backpacker and immediately began playing. Backpacker is a card game played with destination cards, events cards, advice cards and cards that throw a spanner in your “backpacking trip”. The idea of the game is to get home with the most photos and to do so requires some skill, some luck, and being a little mean to your fellow players. Play is with 2 to 6 players so great for a couple and better for a small group.
I learnt the gameplay at home, with my travel buddy and it was such fun to reminisce about our adventures through the countries listed, whilst also beating him every.single.time! Having become slightly addicted, we took the game on a group trip to Borneo, creating another three Backpacker addicts within our friendship group. Now when we play, we get to remember the hours we spent in airports, on buses, and in hostel rooms with them too!
Contributed by Rosie at Flying Fluskey
Planning a trip to France and looking for a revolutionary game to play? Despite the gruesome title, Guillotine is a fun, fast paced card game set during the French Revolution.
We played it a lot before our own trip to France and it inspired some easier conversations about the history behind the game. For example, Marie Antiontte is shown with a cake on her playing card. Did she really say the famous line? Guillotines were originally invented as a more humane form of execution. Where were the main guillotine locations in Paris? You’ll see them when you visit and this game will provoke conversations beforehand.
Guillotine is fast (30 minute rounds), easy to learn, and recommended for ages 12 and up. The age recommendation may be because the point of the game is to collect as many high ranking noble heads as you can– ack!
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD TRAVEL MORE?
The Best Free Game About Travel
City - Country - River
If I were to think of one perfect game for travel lovers it would have to be City-Country-River! Growing up in Germany, a week would rarely pass without playing this old but gold game either at home or in school. The concept behind the game is simple: A letter of the alphabet is randomly selected and players have to find a city, a country, and a river that start with the letter. Your aim should be to come up with those things quickly and ideally find places that other players didn’t think of.
Of course, being a travel lover gives you a clear advantage in this game because you get to recall all the cities, countries, or rivers you have ever visited or dreamed of visiting, even the ones the other players might not have heard about. It also helps travelers bring back memories from trips to these destinations and deepen their understanding of world geography, making it an excellent game for travel lovers.
Contributed by Arabela at The Spicy Travel Girl
The Best Escape Rooms Games About Travel
Finders-Seekers Escape Room Game
Finders-Seekers Escape Room game is a family friendly way to explore a new world destination without ever leaving your house. This is part of a monthly subscription box club that will have you and your family enjoying a unique game night every month.
My family loves traveling and during the pandemic we were having travel withdrawals. The Finders-Seekers Escape Room was a great way for us to continue to explore the world right from our home. Our family consists of young kids and adults that are young at heart. We love that this game allowed everyone in the family to contribute and have fun.
Each month we get to discover new cities and cultures through play. We love deciphering the clues through the puzzles, fun souvenirs, and pictures. Our family is really good at working together and we like to take our time to enjoy fun activities. Normally each box takes us about 2 hours to complete.
Contributed by Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels
Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is the ultimate game for anyone who loves London. Working together with your friends, you’re trying to solve a case faster than Sherlock Holmes. Although it isn’t the easiest game, it is very satisfying when you figure out the answer.
It’s important to note that each case can only be played once (when you know the answer you can’t really replay it). But each box gives you 7 to 10 cases to work on. Plus, it often takes us two to three nights of playing to solve one mystery. That’s a lot of game play!
The best part is that it takes me back to London every time I play. You’re running around the city to find clues and they even give you a map of London to look at! It’s fun to see places you visited like the Thames River, Covent Garden Market, and Westminster Abbey.
Of course this isn’t the London you know as it’s set in the 1800s, but knowing the city does have it’s advantages at times! Plus it’s always fun to compare modern day London to Sherlock’s 1800s London. “
Contributed by Meghan Emcee at Afternoon Tea Reads
Enjoying the Best Games for Travel Lovers
Have you played any of these games? Did they inspire your own future travels or memories of past journeys? If you have other travel focused game recommendations, please share them! Our library has more travel related games and is full of hundreds of resources you can enjoy from home to be a more thoughtful traveler, check it out!