Best Board Games to Play on an Airplane

best board games to play on an airplane

The best board games to break the monotony of long flights and layovers are games like magnetic chess and checkers or card games like Uno and Monopoly Deal. When traveling thousands of feet above the ground, it is better to have board games specifically designed and packaged for travel; generally, games with magnets are more suitable for your trip.

If you aren’t wanting to deal with the trouble of keeping track of smaller game pieces, you can opt for the card game version of your favorite classic games. Games like Monopoly or Clue, which are both notorious for their smaller metal pieces, have created card game versions of their game.

This article will go more into depth over what games are best suited for airplane travel, how to package them properly, and other important information you need to know for your next trip to the airport.

6 Best Board Games to Play on an Airplane

The best board games to bring with you are those that can be easily carried and tracked. Games that are smaller and contain too many pieces can cause significant issues while you are up in the air. Below are a few examples of games that would work best when traveling on an airplane.

Hive Pocket

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Hive Pocket contains 26 tiny magnetic tiles that easily fit in a small cloth bag. Each of the tiles has different colors and bugs that each carry special movement abilities. 

Two players can easily play Hive, and it takes about 20 minutes to play. The game’s goal is for each player to capture the other person’s queen bee by surrounding it with their bug tiles. 

To check the current price and availability of Hive Pocket, click here to view it on Amazon.

Backgammon Travel

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If you are a huge backgammon fan, there is now more reason to love it because you can easily take it with you! The set comes with a leather cup lined with felt to keep the dice rolling noise to a minimum. However, the dice rolling sound may still bother other passengers, so be sure to be mindful of your surroundings. 

To check the current price and availability of Backgammon Travel, click here to view it on Amazon.


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Uno is a household favorite and is sure to keep everyone entertained. Several different variations of this game make it easy to travel. 

To check the current price and availability of Uno, click here to view it on Amazon.

Related: UNO Flip Card Meanings: Updated Guide 2023


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The classic mystery-solving game comes in a card form, making it a top pick for traveling. Even though the board game is formatted differently, the gameplay is still the same. 

To check the current price and availability of Clue Travel Size, click here to view it on Amazon.

QuadPro Magnetic Chess And Checkers

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If you are looking for a more high-level type of competitive board game, look no further than Quadpro’s Magnetic Chess set. 

You won’t have to worry about losing any of the pieces to your set, thanks to the magnetic chess pieces. In addition, the game board folds out to 9.84 x 9.84 x 0.78 inches, making it the perfect fit to play on the airplanes tray table.

The company also offers a great checkers set with the same sized game board. The checkers pieces are also magnetized, making them easy to carry and track. 

To check the current price and availability of the Quadpro 3 in 1 Magnetic Board Game Set, click here to view it on Amazon.

Monopoly Deal

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Another classic family game is available in a card game form. The gameplay is still pretty similar, but the main difference is that the game time is a lot shorter than the classic board game. You can complete a whole game in under 20 minutes if played correctly. 

The game’s objective is to be the first player to obtain three complete property sets.

To see the current price and availability of Monopoly Deal, click here to view it on Amazon.

How Do You Travel With a Board Game?

When packing your bags, you want to ensure that everything you have is easy to store and carry. On the other hand, traveling with a board game may become tricky if the game is too heavy, contains too many pieces, and is too elaborate for simple gameplay.

If you have a board game too large to bring on the plane, you may have to have it in your checked luggage. Something to be mindful of is that there is a weight limit for checked bags, so if your board game causes your load to be too heavy, you may be subject to an additional fee. 

Bigger board games that you plan to put in your checked luggage should be packaged with a lot of care so that you don’t open your luggage to a damaged game. 

After you check in your luggage, it will be scanned and may be subject to inspection without you present. You should be fine if you package your items carefully enough for that possibility.

Board Games in the Plane Cabin

Another vital thing to keep in mind if you are going to take a board game with you on the airplane is security. Some pieces may look suspicious when you are going through a security checkpoint which may cause your bag to undergo an examination.

Board games aren’t typically brought on flights too often, so when you get a box full of small pieces through an x-ray, it may raise some red flags.

However, more often than not, security will open your bag to double-check what is in your bag, and once they see that it is a board game, they will let you go on your way.

Can You Fly With Dice?

Flying with dice may sound like a fun idea, but you will need to be aware of your surroundings when playing it on the plane, as the noise may bother other passengers. 

If you are planning on playing dice rolling games, we would suggest adding a layer of padding to reduce the noise of the dice. For example, you could add foam padding to the inside of the cup or in the box.

Worst Board Games to Play on an Airplane

The worst type of board game to play on an airplane usually contains several different pieces. It can be an absolute nightmare to try to pick up or keep track of small parts that may be easy to lose. 


Jenga isn’t an ideal game to play on the plane. Turbulence can cause the blocks to fall easily, resulting in loud annoying noises that will bother other passengers.

War on Terror

War on Terror is also a game that would raise many red flags if brought on a plane. So, for the most part, it just isn’t appropriate to bring on a flight due to terrorism concerns.


Operation is fun to play at home, just not on your next flight. A box-like object with a lot of wires is something that will call for security to inspect your bag.

The game also is just too noisy to play in a small and confined space.

Final Thoughts

Should you bring board games on your flight? Yes! Nothing stops you from bringing your board games on your next flight, but you may have your bags examined at the security checkpoint, so be prepared for a possible additional delay.

Bringing on a card game, such as Uno or a game that is specifically packaged and designed for traveling, such as Backgammon Travel, are your better options. However, keeping up with smaller pieces isn’t ideal, especially if you are traveling with more minor children. 

Make your traveling experience one to remember, and bring some board games to play while you are on the plane, at your destination hotel, or make your layover time go by easier. 

Indoor Game Bunker

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