Board Games Reviews: Best Games to Bring on Vacation

When you’re out on vacation and staying in some cushy room in a fancy hotel, or roughing it out in the wilderness on a camping trip, or even just going cross-country to visit relatives, there always comes the question of entertainment.

For some children, this is already taken care of. Plop a tablet or a portable DVD player in their hands and they’ll be good four hours.

For others, though, this is a temporary solution at best.

Some children just don’t have their attention taken up by the same thing for very long. It’s not their fault that the thing they were interested in five minutes ago is boring now, of course, but now what are you going to do?


When going on vacation, it’s always a good idea to pack some games. Now I’m not talking about video games; no, I’m talking good old fashioned board and card. They don’t need batteries or outlets, it’s pretty hard to break them if they drop, and each game is different depending on the people you’re with! Plus, even if it’s just you and a few of your friends,

So without further ado.

1. UNO

UNO is universal. It can be played by anybody that understands colors and numbers, and you don’t even need to speak to play, so if you’re just trying to spark some friendly competition in a place where you don’t speak the language, just heft a UNO deck and paste on a challenging expression.

The rules are printed and included in each UNO deck, and usually in different languages too, so that’s not a problem. It’s not hard to keep a pile balanced on the middle seat or someone’s lap in the car so that you can play it there too!

Truly, UNO is universal.

2. Mancala

Mancala is a millennia old game dating back to the roots of the Ethiopian empire, and indeed, one can find old mancala boards carved into the stone of Axum, the ancient capital of Ethiopia.

If you don’t have a mancala board handy, it’s pretty easy just to make one up out of additional things you find lying around. An egg carton, some empty bowls, Styrofoam cups…really, if you can get twelve things that can hold other things, you’re set. You could even just draw circles on the ground!

There are two lines of six ‘holes,’ and on each end, there are two larger ‘pits.’ Four pieces are placed in each of the twelve holes, and they can be anything that you can fit four of in your container.

The two players sit across from each other on the board in the middle, so that each person has a row of holes in front of them. The person who starts picks up all the pieces in one of their holes and goes around the board clockwise, placing a piece in each of the holes. They put a piece in their pit if they run across it, but they skip over the other person’s pit.

They keep going until there are no more pieces. The goal is to get every piece into a pit, and then you count up. The player with the most pieces wins.

If your last piece drops into an empty hole on your side, you pick it back up and move it to your pit. If your last piece falls into your pit, you get another turn.

3. Cards Against Humanity

Oh ho ho ho.

Ooooooh ho ho ho.

Ooooooooooooooh ho ho ho HO ho ho ho ho ho ho.

Cards Against Humanity is simple.

You buy the Cards Against Humanity box, in which there are some black cards and some white cards.

At the beginning of the game, each player gets a set number of white cards to hold. The number is decided by you, the players.

Then, the first player to Ask will pick up a black card and state the sentence on it. Each sentence has a blank, and it is your job as players to fill in that blank with your funniest white card. Alternatively, you can exercise in a hotel room. Here’s a simple training to fitness: my bikini belly reviews website.

If the asker decides yours is the funniest, you get the black card to show you won that point. Then, all the submitted white cards are put into a separate deck to avoid shuffling them back in, and each person takes another white card to replace the one they submitted. Then, the next person to Ask picks another black card, and so on.