If you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle with screen time at the moment, be kind to yourself - we’re living in unprecedented times and technology is helping many of us get through our working/home-schooling days. But these unusual times can also present an opportunity for family bonding.

Carving out an hour to play a board game with your kids is not only a good way to ease the parental guilt about screen time, it’s also a chance to sneakily enhance their knowledge of the world. We’ve rounded-up ten of the best board games for little travellers.

family plays board game, seen from outside
Families confined indoors are bonding with board games. Image: Getty Images

For adventure lovers: Lost Cities 

Lost Cities (1).jpg
A card game for two players. Image: Kosmos

This two-player card game, where you take it in turns to move your team of adventurers and a researcher along routes, has you mounting expeditions to the remotest corners of the earth. It’s perfect for small people or competitive siblings who like exploring and a bit of risk taking. You can journey to Himalayan mountains, the Central American rainforest, the Egyptian desert, a mysterious volcano and the bottom of the sea, as you deal with challenges and take risks along the way.
Age profile: 10+

For junior trainspotters: Ticket to Ride 

A must game for railway enthusiasts.  Image: Days of Wonder

Another classic game, the aim is to build railway routes from different destinations across whichever continent or country version you are playing. There’s a bit of investment required upfront to get your head round the rules but once everyone is all aboard (forgive the train pun) it’s a fun and fast-paced way to learn some geography. Some versions use early 20th century place names so you can add some history in too.
Age profile:  8+

For budding cartographers: Mapominoes 

Great for fans of dominoes. Image: Mapominoes

Based on the principles of dominoes but with cards that you use to connect countries across a continent, Mapominoes is the perfect example of a game that educates without anyone realising they are learning. The cards have flags, country outlines and available borders, helping players to build up their geographical knowledge as they play. Available for Africa, Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, the UK and the USA.
Age profile:  8+

For enthusiastic passport holders: Landmark Lotto 

This game teaches young children about the world's great sites. Image: Orchard Toys

Made by the British educational games and puzzles company Orchard Toys, this lovely game has young children matching cards to the images on their passport. Landmarks from all over the world appear, teaching them to recognise some of the world’s great sites while also provoking discussions about what a passport is and why we need one. As an added bonus each passport card has fact files on the back. The learning never stops.
Age profile: Players aged 4 to 7 years 

For crimestoppers: Scotland Yard 

 Everyone may want to be the elusive Mr. X. Image: Amazon

This is the perfect game for kids who love a bit of cloak and dagger and for teaching them some of the key London landmarks. One player is a criminal, Mr X, evading arrest while the others are the detectives trying to catch Mr X using brief sightings, the bus, taxi and underground available to them in London and some strategic thinking. There’s also a ‘junior’ version aimed at 6 year olds. 
Age profile: 8+

For all the family: Monopoly 

Junior Monopoly Game. ©urbanbuzz/Shutterstock

For really little people Junior Monopoly is a good way to introduce them to the game, using properties such as ice cream parlours and bowling alleys. But once they’ve got their basic understanding of the rules, the world of Monopoly really is your oyster when it comes to destination specific sets. From places as diverse as New York City and England’s county of Yorkshire there’s a version of monopoly to suit most trips you currently can’t take.
Age profile:  8+

For strategic thinkers: Around the World in 80 days 

Around the World in 80 Days boardgame. Image: Amazon

Inspired by the famous adventures of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, players follow in their footsteps as they attempt to circumnavigate the globe in as few days as possible. To make things trickier players also need to keep an eye on ‘rumour’ cards as well as their financial situation, so it’s a good game for strategic thinking as well as learning a little bit about Victorian-era travel.
Age profile: 8+

For solo players: Brainbox World Traveller 

A great memory game. Image: Amazon

Naturally we picked the version which focuses on travel, but this simple memory game series covers a lot of ground and you could go niche (the UK) or more specific (Cities of the World) or even just leave the travel element out and focus on The World. Whatever you chose, it’s a great way to learn about a subject. It is also the only game on this list that can be played as a one-player game and if your kids get into it there are travel versions too.
Age profile: 6+

Best for learning about Europe: Where is Moldova? 

This requires some time to learn the rules. Image: Amazon

Could this be the best name for a travel-related family board game? And yes, you may just find out where Moldova is but the main aim is to connect countries using strategy, trivia and luck (think Risk meets Trivial Pursuit). Be prepared to spend some time understanding the rules and be open to some old trivia and Anglo-centric questions, but it’s a good game for learning about Europe.
Age profile: 8+

For geography lovers: 10 Days In Europe 

Image: Amazon

If you are lucky enough to find one of these games lurking in the back of a cupboard or can get your hands on one of these sets second-hand, this game is a simple, relatively quick and really fun way to get the whole family learning their geography. From your initial hand of cards you have to make your way across the continent (in ten days, obviously), swapping cards and strategizing as you go. Versions were also made for Africa, Americas and Asia so it’s definitely worth keeping your eyes peeled for this award-winning board game.  Age profile: 10+

You may also like to read:

The best board games for travel lovers 

How to organise your travel photographs

9 travel movies the whole family will enjoy 

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