A huge part of successful travel strategy involves hurry up and wait. Take for example, a trip to Copenhagen (Denmark) from London (England), which takes on average about 5 hours: You rush to the airport, the train or bus station, and then you wait for departure. After that, you spend hours on the plane, train or bus waiting to arrive. You can only stare out the window and admire the scenery (or clouds) for so long, imagining the sights to see in Denmark’s capital and Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown. Your stomach is growling and your seatmate is snoring—you could use a distraction. Denmark, The Little Mermaid Statue, and Tivoli Gardens await, but you’re just not there yet.
So what to do? While I’m more of an Amazon and iTunes junkie, myself, lots of my traveler friends prefer to play games on their phones, tablets and laptops when they’re whiling away the minutes and hours between connecting flights or trains. From Zynga games like Farmville and Words with Friends to online poker, players with mobile data plans or wifi enabled devices can get their game on anytime and anywhere with anyone.
Games for Travelers
Party Poker-Pretend you’re in Vegas playing Texas Hold’Em, Omaha Hi-Lo or FastFoward at gaming sites.
Words with Friends by Zynga – This scrabble-esque game is great for word junkies like yours truly. If you adore crossword puzzles or alphabet soup, this game is for you.
Angry Birds –Protect your flock of ball-shaped birdies from the evil green piggies that are trying to eat your eggs.
Brain Challenge– Keep your brain in shape with fun tests and exercises and play with up to four people on one device.
Paper Toss – Don’t be a virtual litter bug. Toss your paper in the trash can.
“Old School” Games for Travelers
Of course if you’re traveling somewhere where you won’t have internet access you’ve still got some options.
Cards—take a deck of traditional playing cards to play solitaire alone, or poker or old maid in a larger group.
Left Right Center—this tiny game packs well, and is easy to learn, the only catch is you need at least 3 players. Play for quarters instead of the green tokens included with the game and you could win some spare change for a coffee.
Hangman—all you need for this one is a some paper and a pen or pencil. It’s a great way to practice spelling and vocabulary words with kids or someone learning a new language.
Tic Tac Toe—another game that only requires paper and a writing utensil. Even the youngest travelers can enjoy this one if you make the grid big enough.