Lets face it, travelling can be a little tedious. I know that travel is all about the journey, but bus rides can be boring. There’s only so long you can admire the view for! A great way to pass the time is to play travel games. Games can also act as an icebreaker if you’re thrown in with other travellers (may want to think about some of these if you’re a guide…) They get the conversation going. And, with a little adjustment a lot of the following games can be turned into drinking games….
I have split my travel games into two categories: Golden Oldies and Cabin Pressure Games. Golden Oldies is self explanatory, they’re games I played as a child, Cabin Pressure games however, are from the Radio 4 show, Cabin Pressure, which I recommend you listen to for some great comedy!
Golden Oldie Travel Games
Here are some games I used to play as a child, not always on journeys, but I think they work for travelling too!
One of my favourite games as a child! It’s a maths game about multiples and is pretty simple. You may have to make allowances for different language speakers though, if they don’t know how to say a higher number in English, let them say in their own language! (This also features on Cabin Pressure for a short while…)
- The group takes it in turns to count;
- Any multiples of 3 are substituted with the word “Fizz” and multiples of 5 with “Buzz”;
- Multiples of 3 and 5 are substituted with “Fizzbuzz”;
- Carry on until someone makes a mistake, then start again or finish the game;If you start again the person who made the mistake is out – carry on until you have a winner.
Taking turns, a circle of people count: 1, 2, Fizz! 4, Buzz! Fizz! 7, 8, Fizz! Etc. You hopefully get the idea!
I’m fairly sure everyone knows this game! It can be played practically anywhere. If you have a mix of nationalities, start simple and see how it goes. You don’t want someone to be left out as they don’t know the English for an obscure object!
- Choose someone to start;
- They then choose something, anything that they can see and say outloud “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…” And insert the first letter of what they have chosen;
- Everyone else guesses what the item is;
- The person that guesses correctly goes next.
Let’s say we’re on a bus, and I say “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with s.” You may guess: steering wheel; seats; solo travellers etc.
Sometimes simple, sometimes tricky, depending on which category you choose and what letter you get!
- Select a category i.e. food, countries, films, bands – these can be broad or specific i.e. instead of just food, you may want to restrict it to fruits
- Take it in turns to move up the alphabet, saying something in the category;
- If someone struggles, either they are out or let them ‘pass’ their go.
Let’s say we pick food as our category. Foods we might say, in order, are: Apple, bread, chocolate, dates etc.
I tend to find this one a little difficult, but it can still be fun!
- One person starts by thinking of a word;
- The next person has to think of a word that can link to the original;
- And so on until someone can’t think of a word, in which case they can be ‘out’ or ‘pass’, depending on if you want to play until there’s a winner, or indefinitely!
Myths – Faerie – Cake – Tin – Metal
This is basically 21 Questions without the question number limit, so play either way!
- One person thinks of something, this could be an actor, a film, an animal, anything really!
- Everyone else asks questions, that can only be answered yes or no, until someone guess what it is;
- The person that guessed correctly goes next.
Questions you may ask could be:
Is it an animal?
Is it found in a city?
Is it alive?
The Alphabet Game
This one can be a little difficult to keep track off if you play for a winner, but that can be fun in itself!
- Start with the letter ‘A’ and find the letter somewhere, i.e. in a road sign, pub name, advertisement BUT NOT car registrations (or licence plates);
- Move up the alphabet to ‘B’ etc.
- Once a word is said, it can not be repeated for another letter.
- If playing for a winner, each person must find each letter and move up the alphabet on their own.
- If not playing for a winner, just work as a team and shout out when you see something with the letter.
A – MotorwAy
B – The Bears Head
C – No Clearway
This game can easily be adapted to other categories other than countries, but this is how I learnt it.
- One person starts by saying a country;
- The next person has to say a country that begins with the letter that the previous country ended with;
- And so on, if someone can’t think of a country they are out
- A country can not be repeated.
Singapore – England – Denmark – Kenya
Cabin Pressure Games
These are games that I loved from the Radio 4 show Cabin Pressure. Some are similar to games I played at school, just with a tweak. Some were completely new to me and I love!
Alright, I’ve been playing this game long before I heard Cabin Pressure. Me and Dave have been constantly playing it (and Pink Shirt) for about 10 years now. Constantly. But we play it with hitting, probably not the best if you don’t know the people you’re playing with! Instead…
- Shout out “Yellow Car!” as soon as you see a yellow car.
Erm….. “Yellow Car!”
People That Should Be Arch Enemies
Only use celebrity names. You may need to research this a little! I find it extremely difficult! You can either play it for a winner or just whenever you think of one, shout it out!
- Take it in turns to think of celebrities with opposing names and so should be enemies.
Clint Eastwood (actor) and Vivienne Westwood (fashion designer)
Jon Snow (journalist) and John Thaw (actor)
These are both examples from the radio show, I really fail at this game and can think of none!
Another one that I am no good at, but I love the idea of it! Be a little loose with this game!
- Take it in turns to think of journeys;
- The place that is embarked from must rhyme with the destination;
- If someone can’t think of a rhyming journey, they are out.
Once again, I’m rubbish and these are from the show:
York to Cork
Aruba to Cuba
I Came Through Customs…
For some reason, this game reminds me of ‘I went to the shop and bought’ which I played at school. But it is completely different!
- Take it in turns to say “I came through customs and all I had to declare was X from Y”;
- What is ‘declared’ must rhyme with where it is from;
- If someone can’t think of anything, they are out.
Some of these are from the show, but I came up with some too! So “I came through customs and all I had to declare was:
Cattle from Seattle;
Snails from Wales;
A Cane from Spain;
Pork from York;
A Tunic from Munich.
Books That Sound More Interesting Without Their Final Letter
My favourite of the Cabin Pressure Games! We tend to play this with films, rather than books, but either way it works. We’ve been playing it not as a competition, but just whenever someone randomly thinks of one.
- Take it in turns (or just shout out when you think of one) to think of a book/film title that sounds interesting with the last letter taken off.
- It must still make sense.
- If playing for a winner, if someone can’t think of one, they are out.
Some of these examples are films, some are books, some are both! It’s up to you which version you play. Some are from the show, others are what we’ve come up with whilst playing:
The Da Vinci Cod (The Da Vinci Code)
In Tim (In Time)
Of Men And Me (Of Men And Mice)
The Curse Of The Black Pear (POTC – The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Great Expectation (Great Expectations)
Toy Stor (pronounce ‘store’) (Toy Story)
I hope you can have fun with some of these games (and don’t forget you can adapt them too)! Do you have any other travel games?
If you’re not in the mood for travel games, you may also want to look at: