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Playing naughts and crosses on a sandy beach Playing naughts and crosses on a sandy beach

12 games to scratch your travel itch

Here are our favourite travel-themed games – for all ages and abilities, for every device and none, many free to play and every single one a chance to reminisce about your last trip or dream up a new one.

1. Worldle

Mobile phone and browser
Play solo or in a group, 12+ for difficulty
Free to play
John Travolta lost in Picadilly Circus, London

You'll no doubt have heard about the Wordle craze that seemingly took over the world at the end of 2021. Now, try Worldle – Wordle's jetsetting cousin.

Every day, a silhouette of a new country appears. Guess which one it is, and Worldle will tell you how far away the real answer is and in roughly which compass direction. You're then obliged to share the results on social media (if you've got it) or quietly pretend you missed a day because you were too busy to play.

Go to the Worldle website

2. Captain Park's Imaginary Polar Expedition

Board Game
3 to 7 players, 10+ for difficulty but appropriate for any age
Free to download and print

Cheapass Games make board games rather more lightheartedly than most mainstream manufacturers, and as you'd imagine from the name a lot more cheaply. For one thing they assume you already have all the pieces you need (dice, meeples, counters) so they don't sell you any more. For another dozens of their excellent games are free to download and print off their website.

One such free game, travel-themed to boot, is Captain Park's Imaginary Polar Expedition. We cannot improve on the publisher's own blurb:

"Adventure! Excitement! These are the things about which you'll be lying through your teeth, in this non-daring romp that never sets foot outside London….You're all would-be adventurers who are terrified to go on any real journey, so you sneak around London collecting artifacts and stories, and then return to the Adventurers' Club and lie about where you've been."

Download here

3. 80 Days

PC/Mac, mobile and Switch
1 player, 12+ official PEGI rating
£9.99 Switch, £10.29 Steam, £4.99 mobile

80 Days is a mobile steampunk twist on the classic adventures of Phileas Fogg. Nearly ten years old – it won game of the year in 2014 and a stack of awards the year after – it still stands the test of time and was recently ported onto the Switch.

You'll try to get Fogg around the world in, you guessed it, 80 days via a variety of cities and modes of transport. The aesthetic is classic steampunk – a joke, perhaps, for fans of Victorian sci-fi, since Jules Verne's original text isn't in the steampunk tradition but his other masterpiece, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, is one of the steampunk sub-culture's foundational texts.

Buy 80 Days on Steam

4. GeoGuessr

Mobile phone and browser
Play solo or in a group, 12+ for difficulty
Free to play occasionally, charges for regular play

Based on Google Maps, GeoGuessr can be played in a browser or on a mobile device and simply flings the player into a randomly-selected Google Street View anywhere in the world, awarding points for how close you get to finding it on a map.

Sometimes you'll get lucky and be asked to recognise your home town. Far more often you'll be on a road in what for all you know could be the Australian outback, the American midwest or Scotland on a sunny spring day.

You get some guesses free per day, after which the app will start asking for money. If you'd prefer a completely free-to-play alternative, there are plenty – our favourite is City Guesser, which asks you to guess the location from a selection of travel videos.

Go to the GeoGuessr website

5. Travel the world from your dining table

Board games you can also play on PC/Mac
Various group sizes and ages
From free
Carcassonne board game

Always dreamed of visiting the iconic walled city of Carcassonne? Keen to explore the markets of Istanbul? Or perhaps you'd prefer to stay closer to home and visit London or Glasgow. All possible simply by picking the board game of the city you love. These games tend to be on the more complex side, so we suggest you check out a YouTube video explaining the rules before you jump in.

For a travel-themed board game, you've got a couple of options. You can buy the box and play the game on your dining table with family and friends the traditional way. Or if you want to play remotely with friends in another household, you can play a lot of the best boardgames for free on Board Game Arena.

Our favourite destination board games include:

6. The Magic Door

Smart speaker games
1 player at a time, age 5+
From free

The Magic Door is one of the best and most popular of the smart speaker adventure games. Mainly for kids, it's a straight fantasy adventure with wizards and princesses. It's free, keeps inquiring minds busy in a way you can hear from the next room and will keep the family amused.

"Alexa, open the magic door"

7. Where's Wally?

Readers can collaborate, age 5+
From £5.69 on

The famous and original book series in which Wally is lost in a sea of people somewhere in the world and the reader is called upon to find him. The renaming of Wally as Waldo for the North American market causes occasional confusion, but he gets by perfectly well as Hetty in Sri Lanka, Jura in Croatia and Hugo in Sweden too.

There have been countless editions and spin-offs to the series, so you're sure to find the Wally for you.

Buy from

8. Ubi

Board game
2 to 5 players, age 7+ (but really suited to adults)
About a tenner on eBay

The boardgame equivalent of GeoGuessr, Ubi is a vintage board game from the people behind the classic Trivial Pursuit. Based on a world map, players are given clues and must identify the (tiny) segment of the map the clue is pointing to.

It's worth repeating 'tiny segment' because a good game of Ubi can take hours, even for the most seasoned traveller. Trying to find the Memphis Shell where Elvis first played, or Boudicca's last battle, can test the sharpest cartographical skills.

But if you're up for a real challenge and learning a bit about the world (specifically the world up to the mid-1980s, when the game was published), Ubi is proper test of your world knowledge.

Ubi is out of print, but there's lots of copies on eBay and second-hand sites.

Buy on eBay

9. Minecraft

You can play Minecraft on practically any device
Multplayer world, 7+ official PEGI rating
From $7.49 on mobile, varies by platform

Not just for the kids, though they do seem to love it, Minecraft has seen people collaborate to create everything from the Taj Mahal to a working computer inside the game that runs Doom or, for at least ten years, even a version of Minecraft, inside Minecraft.

The people who take this place seriously are pretty creative and they get big things built out of the virtual blocks that make up the creative format of the Minecraft world. There's also a survival mode, which is more straight video-game fare of surviving the night as zombies try to murder you.

And the game offers plenty of opportunity for virtual exploring. The world is quasi-infinite, though that hasn't stopped one record-holder (Guiness-certified no less) from walking 20% of the way to the edge of the map, a feat that it's estimated will take him another thirty years to complete. So if your feet are really, really itchy, maybe you can join him in his quest.

Minecraft website

10. Ticket to Ride

Board game
2 to 5 players, 6+ or 8+
Varies depending on version – around £20 to £40

Relive the golden age of rail travel in this delightful range of games that sees you and your rival rail entrepreneurs collecting sets of cards and building rail lines across the world. With a map for almost everywhere in the world and a host of variants, you'll be transported away for the hour or so's play time. Just try not to fall out with your friends and family when they steal your prime route.

11. Horizon Forbidden West

PS4 and PS5
1 player, 16+ official PEGI rating
Currently £39.99 on PS5, other platforms vary

Horizon fans may remember the buzz surrounding the release of Horizon Forbidden West in 2022, a single-player adventure game based in a post-apocalyptic western United States. Nature has reclaimed the land – you'll find ruined but recognisable landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge have been transformed into lush green towers of thriving plant life, rendered in staggering beauty by next-generation graphics.

If what you miss about seeing the world has been basking in the glory of nature and getting out into the wilderness, Horizon Forbidden West and its predecessor Horizon Zero Dawn will certainly scratch that itch.

Buy from Argos

12. Now Boarding

Board game
2 to 5 players, age 10+
Ships from the US for about £40

Finally, if it's not the actual holiday you're missing but the faff and the hassle (or mystique and anticipation, according to taste) of the airport or getting on and off the plane itself, even that's been captured for you in board-game form.

Experience the thrill of loading planes full of passengers and preparing for takeoff in this clever real time cooperative boardgame. You must deliver all the passengers to their destinations before they get too angry – and new passengers are constantly arriving! It's a tense and exciting experience as you and your friends race to beat the game.

Order from US Top