Looking for travel-themed board games to play while you're bored, stuck in the house, and unable to explore the world? We've rounded up our top board game suggestions!
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Missing Travel? Stuck in the house?
Count me among the bored! Trapped indoors, spending most of my time on the phone trying to cancel my upcoming vacations...I'm looking for a way to keep myself entertained, and maybe keep just one toe in the travel game! And then I remembered we have a game closet to rival those shops where you can drink beer and rent board games!
So, with the help of my trusty, board-game-loving Husband, we've compiled a list of 10 travel-themed board games you can play when you're stuck in the house!
Ticket to Ride
All aboard for Ticket to Ride! The popular and always-entertaining mission of securing train routes across North America is undoubtedly our most-frequently played game. Easy to teach and learn (my Husband has given his 5-minute instruction speech to new players an innumerable amount of times), it's a great introductory game for new converts.
In Ticket to Ride, players gather the necessary cards to place trains between US and Canadian cities, attempting to connect larger routes before the end of the game. One of the great aspects of Ticket to Ride is how the game builds towards a climactic finish, with each player scrambling to finish their routes in time. Adding to the excitement is the fact that there is often no clear front runner or runaway victor until the last train is placed and the final score is tallied.
Those familiar with Ticket to Ride and its numerous expansions, set on other continents, may also wish to pick up the “USA 1910 Expansion” - if for no other reason than just because the larger cards make gameplay and shuffling much easier.
Get Ticket to Ride from Amazon.
Pretend to be an explorer as you build numerical and color-coded piles of cards and race your companions to the finish!
Get Lost Cities from Amazon.
The game that debuted “Meeple,” Carcassonne takes you on a journey to the countryside of medieval France in one of the most successful game franchises of all time. It's a game of strategically placing tiles and deploying your followers on cities, roads, cloisters, and fields in attempt to wrest control of those locations and score some points.
Those looking for a cooperative and pleasant afternoon may wish to approach with caution, as Carcassonne frequently offers the ultra-competitive the chance (and the incentive) to use their turns to do nothing more than lay utter waste to the hopes and dreams of their opponents.
Travelers will enjoy the picturesque walls and blue-shingled towers of the fortified medieval city in southern France, which thankfully remain remarkably well-preserved. For more stunning views of France be sure to check out my post on the awe-inspiring Chateau de Fontainebleau.
Get Carcassonne from Amazon.
You can still enjoy some of the 7 Wonders of the World, from your sofa! Each player is challenged with building one of the renowned classical sites: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. While several of these structures are long-destroyed, the beautiful artwork in this game allows a glimpse into a time long lost to the ages. Players race to build their designated Wonder while also competing with each other to develop and an ancient “polis” in areas such as science, commerce, trade, and military prowess.
One fun personal fact, the Indiana War Memorial, a short 10-minute walk from our home, was modeled after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, allowing visitors to The Circle City an opportunity to imagine a world where these structures dominated ancient cities while paying tribute to our state’s veterans.
Benefitting from tremendous commercial success, the creators of 7 Wonders also offer numerous expansions, which largely follow the theme of tourism in ancient times.
Get 7 Wonders from Amazon. 7 Wonders: Duel is also a worthy 2-player variation.
Isle of Skye
The Scottish Highlands! Whisk(e)y! Sheep! Isle of Skye challenges you to lead your clan above its rivals in this tile-placing game with a secret-bidding element, granting players the opportunity to try their hands at risk taking and strategical maneuvering. A quick learning curve, and relatively short play time, make Isle of Skye a fun choice for those itching to don a kilt and indulge in a wee dram.
Players embody one of five Scottish clans, MacDonald, MacKinnon, MacNeacail, MacInnes and MacLeod, with historical ties to the game's eponymous setting, Skye, which has a history intertwined with the romance and resolve of the Scottish clan system. Traditional Scottish music is absolutely a must. Fun fact – fans of the hit series "Outlander" will recognize the “Skye Boat Song” as the source for the show's theme song, with the original version memorializing Bonnie Prince Charlie’s flight to the Skye following his devastating defeat at the Battle of Culloden.
Get Isle of Skye from Amazon.
We've recently taken up puzzles, and I'm loving composing beautiful images of our favorite vacation spots! Get Paris puzzles from Amazon.
Set during the Spanish colonization of the island, San Juan challenges which player can accumulate the most points by growing and developing to the city and island so central to Spain’s expansion into the New World.
Cards are everything in this game; colonial buildings, raw materials, commodities, and currency. One fun element to this game is how as players try to strategically choose a colonial “role” to best suit their position, and by doing so dictating the available action of all players during that turn. Consisting essentially of just a deck of cards and notepad, San Juan is absolutely perfect for those who make board gaming part of their own travel experiences.
Get San Juan from Amazon.
If you aren't in the mood to learn a new game, why not play the classic, Monopoly? Choose the little top hat, like I always do, and buy-up Atlantic City!
Get Monopoly from Amazon.
If 1500 years of history, evolution, and travel isn't enough to convince you chess is a travel-themed board game, well, I don't know what to say! After this is all over, and everyone is asking each other how they spent their time, you might feel pretty accomplished with "oh, you know, played a bit of chess."
The best part? I bet you have a chess board hiding somewhere in your house!
Get a chess board from Amazon.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stay well, stay home, and try to enjoy your time indoors as much as possible! For more suggestions on What to Do Inside When You Are Bored, check out the full post!
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