Top 10 family games for nomads!

We love to play games.  Whether we are roughing it on a camping trip, or spending an afternoon hanging out in a ritzy lodge in an rv resort, we love to sit around a big table, or in a circle on the floor, and play games together.
I’ve compiled a list of our top travel friendly games.  Most of these are card games as card games are so RV/travel friendly due to their compactness, lightweight, and ease of storage (no bulky boxes!).
So, whether you are heading out for a weekend camping trip, or are fulltime RVers, here are our Top 10 favorite card games for on-the-go:

*Spot It – There are quite a few versions of the fun card game Spot It.  We have had ours for years, and have the original Spot It, but there is also this cool Spot It! on the Road, and (my personal fav) Spot It! Gone Camping!!   Great for all ages, and super for train/plane/automobile use; lay out 2 cards, and be the first to find the one and only set of matching symbols between the pair.  55 cards in a sturdy metal tin.

*Canasta – also called Hand and Foot, deck includes 108 cards (We have this colorful Canasta Caliente version).  We were introduced to this game years ago by another large homeschooling family.  2 or more players (the more the merrier), this game can be played individually or in teams.  Make ‘melds’ of 3 or more like cards to earn points, picking up the discard pile (and all it’s points) can be a point windfall, or it can take you out of highest points!  Make sure to ask your partner if you can go out before you do, and have a pencil handy to rack up your thousands of points!

*Farkel – but not just any Farkel!  It’s more fun when your dice are theme printed!!!  Daniel has Pirate Farkel while Savanna has a set of Froggy Farkel! And while we have regular dice to play a regular game of Farkel (rules are the same), everyone always wants to use the fun sets! There are other themed sets, like: Moose Farkel, Glow in the Dark! Farkel, Ladybug Farkel, and Horse Farkel!   And, one of the best things about these Farkel sets is that they do not come in the space-hogging dice cups, but in a small, space-saving plastic box with the points system printed on the lid.  This is the ultimate compact game, and makes a great stocking stuffer (just ask Daniel and Savanna 😉 ).

*Uno – needs no explanation!  Lots of fun versions to choose from like Disney’s Frozen UNO, or how about Uno H2O (waterproof! Uno poolside anyone?!?), and the version we have, which is Uno National Parks (you are so surprised, right?).

*Magnetic checkers set – There are tons of magnetic checkers sets out there, from this very basic Checkers – Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game set, to the travel checkers game we have the Checkers/Tic Tac Toe Tin National Parks edition which comes with a magnetic board with both checkers and tic tac toe patterns as well as magnetic and wood pieces (not for little ones!) in a drawstring carry bag that can clip on your backpack or bike!

*Dutch Blitz – we love Dutch Blitz, and so do our kids, even all the way down to Molly (Caleb would like to love it. lol).  In this multi-player, fast-paced, backwards solitare game, each player tries to lay down as many of their cards, in numerical order and by color, as they can, while also being the first player to get rid of their ‘blitz’ pile; play happens out of a row of cards laid out in front of you as well as your hand.   Each deck has 40 cards, and now that there is a Dutch Blitz: Expansion Pack, we can play up to 8 people using these fun cards!  Seriously love this one!!!

*Yatzee  – There are several forms of Yatzee available, like this travel-friendly Yahtzee to Go Travel Game.  I suppose it won’t surprise you to find out that the version we have is the YAHTZEE: National Parks Travel Edition Game, and it’s our favorite – we love the design!

*Rory’s Story Cubes – The popularity of these fun little story dice with my children actually surprised me!  I can’t remember where we got our first Rory’s set, but the younger kids love them and howl with laughter when they are brought out and the stories begin!  Fun and easy, and without rules, roll the dice and tell a story (short or long) incorporating each of the 9 images on the cubes.  3 different themes are available, but the best deal is on the set of 3, which are half off of retail right now: Rory’s Story Cube Complete Set – Original – Actions – Voyages.  These come in small sturdy, reusable boxes, and would make great stocking stuffers!

*Phase 10 Dice Game – from the makers of Uno, and somewhat similar to Yatzee, this game is very travel friendly – 10 dice, small tally pad and pencil, and comes in a securely-closing compact metal case (you can even roll the dice in the case bottom if you are playing in the car!), the Phase 10 Dice Game is a great choice for both travel days and family game nights!

*Set – Our ‘road grands’ introduced us to Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception while we were in Texas last year. Dealer lays 12 cards out face up, and players strive to be the first one to find a set of 3 cards with either a matching quality or a way in which all 3 are different. Great memory builder that will exercise your deduction skills; be prepared, even your littles can win this one!


And while we have oodles of travel-friendly games, we still have a wish-list of travel-friendly games that we would love to try out!  Here are our the games on the top of our wishlist:

*Settlers of Catan Dice Game  – the kids love the Settlers of Catan game (we have quite a few add-ons also).  and the Catan Dice Game (Standard Edition) looks like it would be a fun version also!  The dice game can be played by one person, or up to 4, should take 15-30 minutes, and the only thing you need besides the included dice and pads of maps, is a pencil or pen!  I’m just trying to figure out who’s stocking this one will be in!  *Update, Thomas was the recipient, and it’s a favorite!

*Match Stacks – I don’t know what it is about these Tree Hopper Toys Match Stacks, but I have wanted to get a set of these for quite some time.  They are a matching/memory game of wooden disks with painted on images that come in a compact storage tube; and bonus, they are Made in the USA!  Match Stacks come in several different themes, including woodland animals, transportation, camping (my personal fav 😉 ), dinosaurs, sea things, even monsters!  While they aren’t particularly travel friendly other than they are compact and lightweight, they still would be a great choice for those of us with littles!

Lilla Rose

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  1. We love games on holidays. We always take bananagrams (which is such fun) and SET, but we also took a little pack of pick-up sticks on our most recent trip and I think we played that the most!

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