Travel games: a guide for families

iPads can be useful when you're travelling with children, but when you want to cut down on screen time, there are lots of creative ways to keep little ones entertained without sophisticated toys.

Old Fashioned Cards

A pack of playing cards has endless applications, from a simple game of Snap or Patience to more complex family games like Rummy or Whist, perfect for killing time at the airport. Little ones can often manage card houses, and if you are not averse to the gambling aspect, Haribo Poker is always a big hit (naughty, but you are on holiday!)

Place Race

Holidays are often one of the few times we look at maps these days. This simple game has one person look at a map and choose a small village, river or other feature and then tell the other players the name of it. The other players have to find the place on the map within 60 seconds – fastest wins.

Puzzles and Pencils

If you’re pushed for time you can buy all kinds of travel packs filled with word games and number puzzles, but a quick google will bring up lots of options you can print yourself, perfect if you are catering to a big age range.

Yellow car, SmartCar, Soft-top

A good one for long drives, this is a straight-forward spotting game that can get surprisingly loud and competitive. The aim is to spot these cars and shout out the name as soon as you see one, with points awarded for the first spot each time. A yellow soft-top gets double points, triple if it’s also a SmartCar!

Fish, fruit, flower

This is a game you can easily adapt to your family’s interests and ages. You simply work through the alphabet, each player taking it in turn to name a type of fish, fruit and flower beginning with their letter. For younger children you could use colours, names or places, while older ones might go for bands, brands, sports teams or You-tubers.