Whether you’re waiting for appetizers at a restaurant, it’s started raining on your camping trip, or there’s just an awkward lull in conversation at a bar, it’s nice to have a game on hand to pass the time. There are compact, portable games for every taste, group size, and mix of ages to get the party going.

The best travel games for adults combine easy-to-learn rules, enough of a challenge to keep everyone interested, and often a reason to laugh into one small package that easily slips in a backpack or purse.

Our list of games below offer something for everyone from card games, dice-based games, to pop culture-based games, to your favorite classic board games made portable, to a ridiculous addictive game that will have you and your friends rolling tiny pigs. Make sure you have one of the best travel games for adults ready for your next flight, road trip, or trip to a café!

To make the classic game Clue travel-friendly, Hasbro cut out the board and pieces for a quick dice-rolling version that offers just as much fun and suspense as you try to crack the case. The game supports three to four players that are eight years or older, making this a family-friendly pick to pass the time camping, and at hotels and airports. At just over half a pound, it’s a lightweight option and the snap-shut compact case securely holds all the pieces.

Clue Diced! keeps the classic confidential case file envelope, and to play, you roll the suspect dice and bonus dice. Unlike the classic game, two of the six suspects are guilty — one using their brains and one using their brawn to commit the crime. Unlike the original, gameplay only runs about 20 minutes. Don’t worry, this easy-to-learn version of the game has maintained all your favorite characters from Miss Scarlet to Professor Plum and the tiny detective pad to keep track of your suspicions is downright adorable.

There are two game modes depending on the level of challenge you’re looking for. Detective Game is the basic mode and there’s a more challenging way to play called Master Detective Game for more advanced gameplay.

Key Features

  • Elements of the classic game, made travel-friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Quick gameplay
  • Fun for 3 to 4 players
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Board game
  • Age Recommendation: 8+
  • Game Duration: 20 minutes or less
  • Brand: Hasbro Gaming
Pros

  • Compact size
  • Secure carrying case holds all the pieces
  • Limited number of pieces
Cons

  • Stickers must be added to dice the first time playing
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Hasbro Gaming Clue Diced!

If you’re looking for the ultimate party game for a large group of adults, What Do You Meme? will fit the bill. This card-based game can be played by anywhere from three to 20 players over the age of 17 because of some mature — and hilarious — content. To make it more family friendly, you can easily remove any caption cards you find too risqué for younger teens, as the memes themselves are not inappropriate.

Each round of the game entails choosing the funniest caption for the image of one of 75 famous memes. The person judging rotates for each round. This game would be a fun icebreaker for a group of newly acquainted friends, but would be even better with a group that knows each other well, because knowing the judge’s sense of humor can help in the choice of caption. There are 375 captions, so the possibilities are nearly endless. For larger groups, the meme can be placed on a small easel that comes with the game, but it works just as well flat on a table if you’re playing in a busy bar or restaurant. The game runs from half an hour up to two hours. Get ready for some cry-laughing!

Key Features

  • Pop culture game
  • Fun for 3 to 20 players
  • Card-based
  • Players should be 17 years or older
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Card game
  • Age Recommendation: 17 years and up
  • Game Duration: 30 minutes and up
  • Brand: What Do You Meme?
Pros

  • Endless meme-to-caption possibilities means lots of replay
  • Easy to play
  • Can add expansion packs to keep it fresh
Cons

  • Not family friendly due to mature content
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This simplified version of Monopoly is fast-paced, and it still offers enough of a challenge to ensure you end up with a Park Place-based grudge against friends and family. Unlike the three-hour slog that the original Monopoly can be, the game runs briskly for two players (as short as five minutes), although 15 is more likely. Scaling all the way up to five players, the game takes about 45 minutes, which is still hours less than a full-fledged Monopoly game.

The object of the game is to collect all the properties in three different colors. The action cards add a twist to the game, as you can earn money through rent, steal other players’ cards, and collect birthday money from them. One relief? There’s no banker in this version of Monopoly — but there are debt collectors! The durable set of cards are affordably priced and will more than earn a spot in your backpack, purse, or luggage. You can also still “pass go” with a special card, as well as force a deal, or build a house or hotel. The action cards can also be used as money if you prefer to keep the cash over using them for their action purpose.

Key Features

  • Card-based version of classic Monopoly
  • Easy to throw in a backpack or purse
  • Length of gameplay depends on number of players (less players equals shorter games)
  • For 2 to 5 players
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Card game
  • Age Recommendation: 8 years and up
  • Game Duration: 15 to 45 minutes
  • Brand: Hasbro
Pros

  • Shorter gameplay than the original
  • Portable
  • Family friendly
Cons

  • Games can run 25 minutes for 5 players
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Whether you’re a longtime chess player, got hooked after seeing The Queen’s Gambit, or you’re hoping to learn how to play, this folding travel set lets you easily take chess to a coffee shop or on a trip. The board measures just under 10 inches in each direction, folding in half for travel to bring the whole thing down to about 5 by 10 inches. It’s well sized to pack up but not too small for comfortable everyday play.

The well-formed plastic pieces are on the light side, keeping the weight of this set manageable enough to throw in a backpack. The board has tiny support feet to keep it stable and to prevent slipping on slick tabletops as well.

The felt-bottomed magnetic pieces work well to prevent scratching of the board and pieces from sliding into the wrong spot, making this is a good choice for moving vehicles like a plane, boat, or train. The magnetism also helps prevent players from knocking over a piece during gameplay. This well-priced set comes with a handy velvet bag to hold the pieces, which store inside the folding board itself for maximum portability. Instructions are included if you’re a little rusty on the rules or a first-time player.

Key Features

  • Travel version of the classic game
  • Well-formed pieces for comfortable play
  • Folding game board
  • Included instructions
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Board game
  • Age Recommendation: 6 years and up
  • Game Duration: 10 to 60 minutes
  • Brand: QuadPro
Pros

  • Magnetic feature prevents pieces from accidentally shifting
  • Folding board keeps the game compact
  • Support feet on the bottom of the board prevent sliding on tables
  • Weighs less than a pound
Cons

  • Plastic pieces not very substantial
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QuadPro Magnetic Travel Chess Set

Dutch Blitz has roots in the Amish country area of Dutch Pennsylvania. This card-based game eschews turns, making it a fast-paced romp that tests your hand-eye coordination as much as your strategy.

Each player has 40 cards in their own color and design (plow, pump, carriage, or pail.) The red and blue cards are the Pennsylvania Dutch Boy cards and the green and yellow cards are the Pennsylvania Dutch Girl cards. The goal of the game is to use up your cards in numerical order from one to ten in the central group Dutch Piles, using up your blitz pile as swiftly as possible. The hand ends when someone empties their blitz pile and yells “blitz!” Blitz cards left over at the end of a hand are deducted from any points you earned by playing cards into the Dutch piles.

Each player also has their own Wood and Post piles. The Wood pile is placed to the player’s right and is created from cards in the player’s hand. The three Post piles are kept on a player’s left side, organized in descending order and also boy-girl-boy arrangement, and they act as a replacement area throughout the game.

The first player with 75 points wins the game and the key is to move quickly, as all players are playing at the same time. While the rules are a little more involved than some card games, once you get the hang of it, it’s a unique game that will hold everyone’s attention.

Key Features

  • Unique card game
  • Originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country
  • Not turn based
  • Up to 4 players
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Card game
  • Age Recommendation: 8 years and up
  • Game Duration: 5 to 10 minutes per round
  • Brand: Dutch Blitz
Pros

  • Fast-paced game
  • Can print additional scorecards for free directly from the Dutch Blitz site
  • Family friendly
Cons

  • Requires significant table space for all the card piles
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This eye-catching game will remind you of tic tac toe — in a good way! GoTrio is the travel version of Otrio, a hit game meant for four players. The easy-to-teach rules are deceptively simple: get three in a row or in a single spot. Taking this game to the next level, the colored peg and two concentric circular pieces offer three different ways to win. Getting all of your pieces in one spot is one way to win, as is getting all your pieces in one size in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row. The third way to win is by getting one piece of each size in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row as well.

This travel game is can be used by two to three players, and this highly-rated, addictive game has a quick playtime of about 10 minutes. While it can be played by children as young as eight, it requires enough strategy and planning ahead to entertain and intrigue adults as well. Thanks to its limited number of pieces and handy carrying case (which snaps securely shut), this game is easy to tuck in a backpack or purse for hours of fun at restaurants and bars, or on flights, road trips, or camping.

Key Features

  • Three ways to win
  • Portable carrying case snaps closed securely
  • Similar to tic tac toe, taken to the next level
  • Family friendly
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Board game
  • Age Recommendation: 8 years and up
  • Game Duration: 10 minutes
  • Brand: Marbles Brain Workshop
Pros

  • Quick playtime
  • Simple to learn
  • Eye-catching design
Cons

  • Not for single-player use
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Miss Blockbuster date nights? The compact VHS tape-themed packaging of this game will take you back in time. Grab a bowl of popcorn and curl up on the couch in front of the coffee table with this nostalgic teamwork-driven trivia game that is perfect to take on vacation. While only two players can play at once, it’s a great fit for nights where not everyone is up to playing a game.

The game can be played on its own or added on as an update to the hit original Blockbuster game. While you don’t need to be a major movie buff to win, it definitely helps to have seen a few movies! Speed is of the essence during your timed turns as you try to get your partner to correctly guess their mystery movie title by saying famous movie quotes, using charades-style acting, or describing memorable scenes.

Remember late fees? They are worked into the gameplay too — once you have three, the game is over. Yeah, we didn’t miss them either. Players are forced to get creative with the categories on the popcorn cards like “movies with sharks” and “movies that aren’t suitable for kids” before time runs out. An optional included app helps time the one-minute rounds for each popcorn card, keeping the game moving along nicely as you alternate who picks up a popcorn clue card. Setup and cleanup is a breeze with this game and all the components fit neatly in the box.

Key Features

  • Nostalgic trivia game
  • Involves teamwork
  • Limited playing pieces
  • Timer-based turns keeps gameplay length predictable
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Board game
  • Age Recommendation: 14 years and up
  • Game Duration: 20 minutes
  • Brand: Big Potato
Pros

  • Can be added on to original Blockbuster Game, but plays well on its own
  • Snappy gameplay
  • Perfect for date nights
  • No plastic pieces
Cons

  • Limited to two players
  • Younger players may not be familiar with all the movies
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Farkel is a fast-paced dice game that’s perfect for camping and road trips. It can be played anywhere you have a small, flat surface to roll the dice, like a restaurant or bar. For maximum portability, Moose Farkel comes in a pocket-sized carrying case and weighs less than two ounces.

The rules to Moose Farkel are handily printed on the inside lid of the case, so there’s no worrying about losing them. Anywhere from two to six players can play, offering this game more flexibility as far as group size goes than many other travel games. While it can be played by anyone eight years or older, adults with a competitive streak will be just as engaged.

Gameplay involves rolling the six moose-themed dice with the goal of reaching 10,000 points before the other players. There are point values for individual dice and combinations of numbers (or moose) and a player can set aside dice from each roll to save that value and then re-roll the remaining dice in hopes of upping their score. However, this can be a risky venture. If a player rolls all non-scoring dice, they have “farkled” and lose all of their points from that turn. Once a player is happy with the score they’ve rolled or has farkled, they pass on the dice to the next player for their turn.

Key Features

  • Dice-based game
  • Family friendly
  • Risk-taking gameplay
  • For 2 to 6 players
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Dice game
  • Age Recommendation: 8 years and up
  • Game Duration: 20 minutes and up
  • Brand: Farkel
Pros

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Rules printed on lid
  • Highly rated by reviewers
Cons

  • Need flat space to roll dice
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Challenge your friend or significant other to a duel with this travel-friendly twist on the original Bananagrams game. Each round is only about a minute long, as you and your opponent create a crossword-style set of words using any of the letters on your half of the dice. The aim is to use all 12 of your lettered dice in your crossword set, and the first player to do so yells “banana,” winning a banana card for that round. An optional version of the game lets you gain one extra banana for each pair of rhyming words in your set. Once you’ve won 10 banana cards, you’ve won the duel.

This is a fast, family-friendly game reminiscent of Scrabble that will bring out players’ competitive sides as they race against time — and their opponent. There are also a few different ways to play to keep things fresh. One is a themed version where one of your words must meet the theme of the category card for that round (think sports & games, fruits, etc.) Another more challenging way to play involves working with the letters as they’re rolled.

The small size of the carrying case and limited amount of table space required to play make it a no-brainer while you’re waiting for appetizers to come out or any time you have 10 minutes to spare.

Key Features

  • Easy gameplay
  • For 2 players
  • Multiple ways to play
  • Timed gameplay for predictable game length
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Word game
  • Age Recommendation: 7 years and up
  • Game Duration: 10 minutes for 10 rounds
  • Brand: Bananagrams
Pros

  • Rounds are only 1 minute long
  • Family friendly
  • Doesn’t require much table space
Cons

  • Requires a flat surface to play
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While a game featuring tiny pigs may not seem like an adult game, this one truly brings home the bacon. Pass the Pigs challenges two or more players to roll tiny spotted pigs to score as much as possible, with points from each roll adding up to be a player’s score for that turn. The risk is that you’ll roll a “pig out,” which is when the two pigs are each laying on opposite sides. This roll forfeits all the points you earned on that turn, and it becomes the next player’s turn. Even worse is the “oinker” roll where two pigs are resting and touching, which brings your score for the entire game back to zero. Don’t be surprised is everyone is ducking to table-level to verify that roll was, in fact, a “double leaning jowler,” which is a rare and high-value roll.

This portable travel game features a clear carrying case that neatly keeps your pigs safe, as well as the instructions, a handy point card, a small pencil, and a scorecard. It fits well into a backpack or purse and can be a family friendly game to play with kids and teens — but it can be a cutthroat race to 100 points, regardless of players’ ages.

Key Features

  • Dice-like pig game pieces
  • Included pencil and scorecard
  • Clear carrying case
  • For 2 or more players
Specifications

  • Type of Game: Dice game
  • Age Recommendation: 7 years and up
  • Game Duration: 20 minutes
  • Brand: Winning Moves Games
Pros

  • Portable size
  • Limited number of pieces
  • Addictive gameplay
Cons

  • Need a flat, level surface to roll the pigs
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Do Travel Versions of Classic Games Measure Up?

Many of your childhood favorites have been improved by revamping them into a more portable form. Gone are the tiny, fussy plastic pieces that used to end up under the couch, replaced by a set of cards or dice. The simpler form of these games allows for faster gameplay, keeping everyone involved and having fun. Freedom from the Draconian sets of rules and three-hour board games of your youth means players who would normally forego playing will get drawn in.

How To Choose The Best Travel Game For Your Group

While everyone’s taste differs, most people have a few things in common when it comes to what they love about playing games.

People that love to laugh and employ their creative side will gravitate towards word-based games and games that let them showcase their sense of humor. Nothing goes better with a beer (or latte) than a game where everyone is trying to be the funniest. There are no true “losers” in a game where everyone is cry-laughing.

Have a group that loves to one-up each other? Look for a board, card, or dice game that appeals to players’ competitive nature. Speed-dependent games up the ante, as do games that require more strategy than luck.

Traditionalists love the opportunity to take their favorite game on the road, which is where magnetic versions or games in a small carrying case come in. There’s nothing quite like saying “check mate” in public!

Knowing the mix of ages that will be playing is key as well. Some of the best travel games for adults contain mature content you may not feel comfortable playing with a small child — or your grandma. For the right group, however, there is nothing funnier than some off-color laughs to pass the time.

What To Look For In A Travel Game For Adults

The best travel games for adults have a few things in common: a small, lightweight footprint that won’t take up much space in your bag or luggage being the most important. It’s also important to choose one that has a limited number of pieces, to make set up and clean up fast and easy.

A simple set of rules is optimal for when you don’t have much time — like when you’re waiting for a meal. Conversely, more rule-heavy and strategic games can hold attention longer for camping or at bars where you’re not in a rush.

Whether you’re looking for a quick laugh or an intense head-to-head duel, one of the above travel games will have you covered!

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