Lightweight and portable, card games are great family travel diversions. Whether you’re rained out, snowed in, waiting at the airport or just hanging out in your hotel room, these card games are great fun for the whole gang—from cradle to college-age kids!
Slamwich is a delicious family card game where quick reflexes and a steady focus win every time. In the sandwich-themed strategy game, you’ll need to outwit “munchers,” “thieves” and other food-stealing bandits in order to gain an upper hand. Slamwich is recommended for ages 6 and up, but you can easily adapt it for younger children by leaving out the “muncher” cards. Colorfully appetizing illustrations and a cute carrying case (Collector’s Edition only) make Slamwich a lunchbox winner.
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2. Exploding Kittens
Play action cards, predict the future, defuse doom and strategically attempt to stay alive in Exploding Kittens, the game where the object is not to blow up! While recommended for ages 7 and up, this game is popular on college campuses and great for group play. Exploding Kittens is a great addition to your family travel entertainment bucket.
3. Sushi Go!
Remember the I Love Lucy “Candy Factory” episode where Lucy and Ethel frantically try to keep up with their candy wrapping jobs as chocolates whiz by on the conveyor belt? Then you’ll quickly grasp the concept of Sushi, Go!, a fast-paced pass and go card game, the object of which is to grab the choicest combination of sushi rolls. This tasty game, recommenced for ages 8 and up, will have the whole crew rollicking with laughter. Sushi Go! Can be played by 2 to 5 players, is fun for kids as well as adults, and comes in a convenient carrying case, making it an ideal card game for family get-togethers.
4. Nutts About Mutts
Are your kids crazy about dogs? Then they’ll pawsitively love Nutts About Mutts, a canine-themed card game starring sweet St. Bernards, lovely Labs, dashing Dalmations, and more. The rules of play are similar to Uno, requiring players to match colors, numbers or pictures as they work to empty their hands in order to be the first to lap up a victory. Great for beginning readers, Nutts About Mutts is a family-friendly, tail-wagging game for all breeds and ages 5 and up.
5. Family Feud Strikeout Card Game
Family Feud Strikeout Card Game is a survey question showdown—starring your family members as feuding teams! Similar to the popular TV game show, this card game poses survey questions and penalizes teams with strikes for incorrect answers. Get three strikes, and your team is out! Play it on a road trip, at Grandma’s house or in your hotel room—wherever you go, be sure to bring your thinking caps! Recommended for ages 10 and up, Family Feud Strikeout can be adapted for younger players in a team play format, as well as modified to be a two-player game.
6. Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets
Looking for a good group game for a family ski or beach trip? Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets has you covered! Collect and protect valuable assets—and attempt to steal your opponents’ assets—as you strive to be the first player to earn $1 million. Fast-paced and fun for the whole family, Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets can be played by 2 to 8 players in around 30 minutes, making it a great after-dinner activity that will have your crew racing to get the dishes done. Recommended for children 7 and up.
7. Don’t Touch My Jewels
If you like the card game Hearts, then you’ll love Don’t Touch My Jewels, a sparkling twist on a classic card game where players must work together in teams in order to trump their opponents. Recommended for ages 8 and up, Don’t Touch My Jewels is easy to learn and is great for teaching critical thinking skills. You’ll definitely want to add this gem to your family game night treasure chest!
8. Monopoly Deal
Modeled after the classic board game, the card game Monopoly Deal is just as fun as the original version, with several surprising twists that make it a frequent replay winner. In this card game version, paper money is replaced with cash cards, and wild cards keep the game lively and competitive. Designed for play in a small space and bargain priced, Monopoly Deal is a great deal of a family travel game. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
9. Monster Match Dice and Card Game
New in 2019, Monster Match is a frightfully fun speed recognition game that’s great for on-the-go. Players roll the dice, then match cards to identify donut-snatching monsters and collect points. Monster Match, recommended for ages 6 and up, comes in a convenient adorable monster pouch and can be played by two to six players.
10. Card ‘n Go Seek
Get the kids up and moving with Card ‘n Go Seek, an active scavenger hunt game! The object of the game is to find and retrieve a variety of items, from a something sweet to something that would make it through airport security. Card ‘n Go Seek is recommended for children ages 7 to 15, but older teens will enjoy it, too, and younger kids can easily play along when teamed with older family members.
Related Article: Scavenger Hunt Games You Can Play on the Go
11. Rat a Tat Cat
Beloved by elementary age kids, Rat a Tat Cat is a fun feline-themed card game where players collect and swap numbered cards, with the goal of being the player with the lowest score. Part matching, part memory, and totally wholesome entertainment, Rat a Tat Cat—recommended for ages 6 and up—is the rare family-friendly card game where less is actually more!
12. We Rate Dogs! The Card Game
Based on the popular internet account, We Rate Dogs is a canine-lovers card game where players compete to win Best in Show in a simulated dog show competition. Select a contestant from your hand, then use cards to increase your pup’s rating. Be careful where you step, because tempting snacks and other pawsitively irresistible distractions threaten to sabotage even the “goodest” dogs. Despite your “bestest” manners, you might find yourself in the doghouse instead of in the Winners’ Circle! Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Writer Jackie Perrin has covered the best of family travel for nearly two decades, for media ranging from newspapers and magazines to TripAdvisor.com. At home and on the go, she manages a crew of companions. Follow her on Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Instagram, @NYfamtravels.