• Elena

Best Travel Games for 2 Adults

Updated: May 9


If you're travelling as a couple and looking for travel-sized games to enjoy on your trip, here are my top 10 best travel games for adults to add to your packing list.

Some of the games on the list can be played by more than two people (which will be clearly stated in the description), but they are all equally fun with only two players. Also, some are perfect to play on the flight/train ride, while others will need a bit more space to set up so a better suited to while away an evening in the hotel once you've arrived.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases

1. Monopoly Deal

Number of players: 2-5

Monopoly is probably the board game for me - I was absolutely obsessed with it when I was a kid and could play it for ages. Given Monopoly's huge success all over the world, you will probably be familiar with this property development game and have played at least one of the many available versions.

By now, you will undoubtedly be wondering how on earth Monopoly managed to end up on my list of best travel games given that the size of its box is enough to fill a suitcase. Don't worry, I haven't lost the plot! And no, I won't be recommending the travel-sized version of this board game - tried that and everything was so tiny I could barely read and hold the cards, so thanks, but no thanks. But! There is still a way you can bring Monopoly with you on your vacation - choose Monopoly Deal, which is a card game, so size-wise it's no bigger than a pack of cards.

Apart from the size, the other benefit of going for Monopoly Deal is that it doesn't take too long to play with two players - the aim of the game is not to bankrupt the opponent but to collect 3 sets of properties - making it the perfect game for a travelling couple. It's a lot of fun and we actually end up playing it at home more often than the board version!

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2. Hive - The Pocket Version

Number of players: 2

Hive is one of the best travel games for adults I've discovered. It is a strategy game for 2 people where you and your opponent build a hive and the goal is to completely surround the Queen Bee tile of the opponent whilst keeping your own Queen Bee free. Each tile has a picture of an insect on it and each type of insect moves in a different way, so you have to plan out your move strategy when adding new tiles to the game.

It's kind of like chess in a way - you have black and white tiles and each can only go a certain way - however, I've found it a lot easier to learn than chess (which, to be honest, I am completely rubbish at).

There are a few different versions of the game available. For travelling, go for the 'pocket' version with smaller tiles, perfect for carrying around with you in a handy pouch (included). The pocket version also already includes the ladybug and the mosquito extensions.

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3. Struggle for Catan

Number of players: 2-4

The Settlers of Catan (also known as just Catan) is a very popular board game originating from Germany, but as most board games, it's bulky, so it's a good thing they've also created a card version of the game. It's called Struggle for Catan and you can easily throw it into your travel bag. I haven't played the big board game myself, but I've certainly heard of it, which I why I thought I would give Struggle for Catan a go.

The goal of the game is to be the first one to get to 10 points, which you accumulate by gathering resources and using them to build out your settlement. You need a bit of space to lay out the stacks of cards, but not too much, so you could probably just about play on two tray tables on a train/plane (although it's easier if you lay out the cards between the two players). In terms of the size of the packaging - it's tiny, so will fit in a handbag. I've got the German version of the game, but it's also available in English here:

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4. Jaipur

Number of players: 2

A fun trading card and chip game for 2 players, Jaipur makes you and your opponent merchants buying and selling goods and camels at a market to acquire money chips. The winner is the one with the most money at the end of the round, so you have to plan a strategy of what and when to sell. Saving up and selling more goods gives you bonus points but also runs the risk that your opponent will snap up the good deals.

Whilst Jaipur's packaging is not the smallest compared to other games on this list, since the box also needs space for the chips, it's still perfectly portable. You will need some space to lay out the market cards and chips, so if you want to play on the road best if there's a table between you, but it's manageable with two tray tables as well.

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5. BrainBox - The World

Number of players: Any

What could be better than a travel game that is actually related to travel? Ta-dah, I present to you BrainBox - The World. BrainBox is a type of game that involves looking at a card for a short period of time and then having to answer a question about what you saw. There are lots of different topics that you can pick from, like Nature, History, Science, Animals etc. The World, as the name implies, is focused on the different countries in the world, with 71 cards (1 country per card) covering information like the capital city, neighbouring countries, flag, typical animals, products etc.

The game doesn't require space for setup, but the box might be a bit too bulky for hand luggage depending on how big your bag is and what else must go in. You can, however, just take a smaller selection of cards with you and leave the box at home. Once you've learned all there is to know about the countries, you could look to expand your travel BrainBox collection with Cities of the World or World History - hours of fun guaranteed!

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Shop BrainBox - The World on Amazon UK


6. Top Trumps

Number of players: Any

Top Trumps is a very easy to learn card game, where you and your opponent try and beat each other based on an attribute of whatever is displayed on your card. It's not just one game, but one that has lots of different variants, so you can choose the one that aligns with your interests the most.

Some Top Trumps versions, like cars and airplanes will have real-life attributes, such as size, speed, passengers, engine etc. Others, like Harry Potter, Minions or Big Bang Theory will pick up scenes or characters from a film or show and the attributes will be very subjective and made-up, like courage, honour, attitude etc. If your number for courage is bigger than the opponents number, you win the card.

I love Top Trumps because it's educational as well as fun - I've certainly learned a lot about the different models of classic cars and airplanes whilst playing. It's also the perfect game for travelling on a plane or train because it doesn't need any space to set up, so you can play it on the road as well as at the hotel.

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7. Odd 1 Out

Number of players: Any (can be played in teams as well)

This game is hilarious, mostly because you feel clueless (or at least I do) - you get a stack of cards, each of which has 12 'questions' on it (6 per side). A roll of the dice determines which one gets read out (or you can just pick a number). The reason I say 'questions' is because they are not actual questions - they are sets of four things and you have to pick out which one of them doesn't belong with the others. There is no specific theme for the game, so the questions can literally be about anything, from history to popular culture to films to fruit.

I'll be honest with you - in most cases it's an achievement to even understand what the connecting topic is for the items and the count of questions I got right is ridiculously low. However, you certainly learn a lot of random facts as you play that you can later drop by in conversations with friends in that Sheldon-esque 'here's an interesting fact' kind of way! Educational, fun and can be played anywhere as no setup is required.

US readers are going to miss out on this one unfortunately as it's only available in the UK for some reason...

Shop Odd 1 Out on Amazon UK

8. Battleship

Number of players: 2

Battleship is yet another famous game, of which several versions exist - you may have played it with the little plastic pins or perhaps, like me, you learned to play this game with just a sheet from a grid-lined notebook. I didn't expect to see a card version of this game, but when I came across it, I was very excited to try. The principle is the same as with normal Battleship, but there are a few fun tweaks to the rules that I will let you discover for yourself.

The packaging is small, but you will need enough space to lay out your ships when you start playing, so it's definitely one to keep in the bag until you arrive in your hotel and can set it up on a table or the bed.

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9. Love Letter

Number of players: 2-4

Love Letter is a game of only 16 cards, so when we're talking portability, it's one of the best games to travel with (comes with a handy pouch too!). The goal is to navigate the people in the palace and deliver your letter to the princess before the other player. Cards represent the residents of the palace and each has a specific action you must complete.

The game is part luck part thinking/strategy. Since it's part luck, some rounds can be very short (they are likely to be longer with 3 to 4 players), but it's still fun and you play as many rounds as it takes until one person has won the majority of the little tokens - that person becomes the overall winner. Not much space needed for setup, so it's a great game to play while travelling on a plane or train.

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10. Mikado Wooden Pickup Sticks

Number of players: 2-6

Something completely different from the traditional board and card games is Mikado - you have a pack of wooden sticks that you throw up in the air and when they land you and the 2nd player take turns picking up the sticks one at a time making sure you aren't moving any of the other sticks.

You do need some level floor or table space to play on, and since pulling out a stick requires perfect precision, it's not a game you can play en route where there's all sorts of rocking and shaking at precisely the wrong times, but once you've reached your destination, Mikado is bound to give you some fun moments.

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Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases

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