Vanlife Camping Games You Can Enjoy With the Family

Game to play in a Camper Van

Outdoor activities are fun, especially traveling around the wild side. There are times in van life when the weather would not permit you to go outside. Indoor games are great, especially if done with family and friends. Here are some games you may want to try while waiting for the weather.

1. Bananagrams: Be the Top Banana!

Bananagrams is a simple yet entertaining game for adults and kids seven years old and above. You can play on stop or on the go to entertain yourselves while you wait for your next outdoor activity. This little pouch of bananas will work your brain cells and exercise your vocabulary to its limit. 

The game requires no pencils, papers, or boards. You just have to sit down with all your letters and them to build a word grid the fastest you can. The first player to play all their pieces wins and is crowned as the “Top Banana.” 

Bananagrams are a great way to practice your vocabulary skills while keeping all the fun in. your kids may not even notice that they are exercising their brain much, as the race makes them want to think of more words to build their word grid. This game will be more fun if they have prices to expect after winning. 

2. “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…”: The Test of Memory

This is a word and memory game you can enjoy with kids ages four and above. It’s a test of alphabet and memory skills where each player takes turns to say what they’ll bring on a picnic, starting from the letter “a” then followed by the letter “b” and so on until they cover all the alphabet letters.

Here is where it gets exciting. Players should remember what was said by the player before them and include it in their statement. For example, the first player says, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing an anchor.” The next player should bring another thing that starts with the letter b and includes the anchor in the statement like “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing an anchor and a bell.”

The game continues until a player cannot remember a picnic item and lose the game. You can provide prizes for the winners or give punishment to the loser to make it more entertaining. 

3. Dobble: The Game of the Sharp Eyes

Dobble is a fun game you can play with your kids of six years and above, with two to eight players allowed. This game of speed and reflexes requires players to race and match the identical symbol between cards. You rely on your sharp eyes in this game, so there is no advantage an adult holds over kids, making it an exciting family game.

The game also trains kids and adults to have great observation skills in finding matches. Every card has unique symbols and has only one symbol similar to other cards in the deck. Images may also vary in size in placement on the card, so intense looking and fast reflexes are your armor in this game. 

A dobble card deck comprises 55 cards, an instruction, and a travel tin, perfect for your gaming needs. However, you need to ensure that you play this game in a wider space in our van so as not to bump yourself with anything when you move. 

4. Monopoly Deal: Be the Owner of That Property

The Monopoly Deal card game has an exciting twist to the original board game, which you can perfectly enjoy with your friends or family. It comes with 100 cards, including wild property cards, house and hotel cards, rent cards, and property cards.

The game is pretty simple. Each player will have a chance to charge rent, make tricky deals using the action cards, and raise rent values using the house and hotel cards. A wild property card is used to build property sets, and players will pay their debt using money cards. 

Play in as little as 15 minutes and be the first player to collect three complete property card sets to win the game. This game can accommodate two to four players with ages eight and above. 

5. While You Were Sleeping: A Game of Storytellers

The perfect game for van travel is here! This hilarious game is most enjoyed by adults who have that one friend who’s always snoozing at one corner of the van. The game starts with the phrase “While you were sleeping..” and continues with each player adding a statement to create a whole story.

The storytelling starts when that friend wakes up. A player gets the point when his part was believed by the sleeper and lost one when your friend figures out that it’s all made up. Each player should make it fun and believable by incorporating facial expressions and actions.

Make it more engaging by giving extra points for reactions made by the sleeper like “Really?”, “No way!” or “Are you sure?” and a minus point for “You gotta be kidding me!”. The player who gets the most points wins, but if your friend figures that it’s all made-up stories, all players lose the game. 

6. 5 Second Rule: The Quick Thinkers

This very simple game brings all the fun to the table without the need for any gaming cards and can be done anywhere in the van while sitting or even lying down. You could just hit up the internet for 5-second rule questions, and you’re good to go or buy a set of cards available in many card game shops. 

The 5 Second Rule game requires each player to use their quick minds and tongues to name three uses of common items. You will set a statement that each player would answer before the start of each game. Players would take turns to answer the question in five seconds and continue until a player could not beat the five seconds time. 

A fun way to set the time is to count to five, adding pressure on the player to answer and tricking their minds into thinking in a hurry. You can also use your mobile phone to set up a five-second timer for the game. This is an awesome addition to all your camping games and is great even for two players or a large group. 

7. Cards: Your All-time Favorite Game

This list of best games in a van is not complete without cards. The classic deck of cards is an obvious choice for a fun game, especially if you do not have time to prepare one. These cards are handy and versatile, bringing us all our favorite games like war, slapjack, kemps, and rummy.

For adults, poker and solitaire are the most common games you can play with a deck of cards. If you still don’t have one, you may want to get waterproof cards ready for any spills and accidents.

8. Articulate: Mini-Board Game

The fun does come in small sizes with this Articulate mini-board game. This small deck of cards would cause loads of laughter and panic to each player and can be easily played while on the go. The classic game is a perfect addition to your vacation and holiday trips while waiting for sundown and sleeping time.

Here is how the fun builds up in this game. Each player would describe a word without actually saying it. Sounds easy, but then you are only given 30 seconds to describe many things on the card, and if you fail to articulate and your tongue does not cooperate, you’ll lose a point or get a punishment.

This fast-talking description is great for both children and adults and will surely be one of your favorites on every trip. 

9. Mini Jenga: Stack Balance Game

This pocket-sized version of Jenga brings a whole lot of tremendous fun for you and your family. Our classic Jenga set is in a mini version, perfect for long trips with the kids. The pack includes 18 mini hardwood blocks, which can be played by two or more players of ages six and above.

The rule is simple. You just have to carefully pull out a block from the stack and place it at the top. Playing it in the van is more exciting, as you could keep them balanced while the van is on the road and running. The last player to stack a block, preventing all the blocks from tumbling down, wins the game.

10. Exploding Kittens: Test Your Luck

This game of luck would bring laughter and excitement to the table. In the deck of cards are hidden exploding kittens you need to avoid. Play the game by putting the deck face down as each player takes turns drawing a card. A player is eliminated once he draws a card of exploding kittens.

The thrill of drawing out cards and wishing it not to be an exploding kitten is something you would expect in this game. The game continues as each player is kicked out of the circle, and the only one left to have not drawn an exploding kitten wins the game. If laughter and kid’s giggle are music to your ears, this game should be added to your list. 

11. Campfire Stories Deck: Prompts for Igniting Stories

If you are a fan of stories or want to strike up interesting conversations with your van mates, this game of campfire stories is for you. This is not technically a game but is a great activity that boosts people’s interest in your circle and reveals many interesting stories about one another.

The campfire stories deck includes 50 cards with storytelling prompts to help you be engaged and open up about your life’s fun to deepest experiences. The game would surely bring you closer to your campmates as you tell narratives of your life and perspective you may not have shared yet.

Some sample prompts are “tell a story about the time you left something behind.”, “Tell a story about your first visit to a national park.”, and “Tell us a story about a rock, a tree, mountain, or ocean that gave you perspective.” With these cards, you would never run out of stories to talk about during your entire trip. 

12. Quick Wits: A Round of Outrageous Fun

You would not get away with laughter in this outrageous game of Quickwits. This fast-paced party card game consists of 150 premium playing cards containing a category and a symbol. 

Each player would draw a card and place it face-up on the table. When two symbols on the card match, the players would race to give examples of the category written on the opponent’s card. The first player to successfully give answers get to keep the card. 

A tricky part of this game is this: once a word has been said during the current round, other players can no longer use it again, requiring each one to use their quick wit to win the game. Be prepared to scream at each other’s faces or receive slaps on the shoulder for every stupid answer you’ll hear. That’s normal, and that’s what makes the game fun. 

13. Travel Scrabble: The Game of Words

This list wouldn’t be complete without the classic board game of scrabble, which is more improved for travel gaming with the family. You could play this game on the road while riding the RV without concerns about the tiles flying out of the table in every curve or rough road you pass through. 

The travel scrabbles pack features a classic playing board with special grids to keep the tiles in place during the game. You could just easily drop the letters in these grids and spell out the word. Score as many points as you can using the individual tiles to win the game. 

This pack includes a playing board, four racks, a tile bag, 100 letter tiles, and rules. Be on the move as the game moves with you. You can also enjoy this outside the RV during morning camps, where you can play with two to four players. 

14. I Should Have Known That!

You could hear yourself say this phrase a couple of times throughout this game. The trivia game “I Should Have Known That!” features 400 questions about things you should know but can’t figure out the moment you hear the question, or maybe you haven’t given it much attention.

This game is so fun, as it is not about ancient history, things you’ve never heard or experienced before. You’ll be surprised about the tons of things you should have known, ranging from movies and pop culture to recent events. Questions are easy but may have you thinking about why you don’t know the answer.

The trivia game is different from any traditional trivia format, where you receive points for every correct answer. In this game, you lose a point for every incorrect answer you mutter, and the punishment for the loser would be waiting for you.

15. Magnetic Travel Chess

The classic and timeless chess game completes our list of best games played in a van. These miniature magnetic chess pieces are perfect for travel, so you can play while on the road without worrying about flying chess pieces. A folding board seals these pieces to conveniently store them in the corner of your van when not in use. 


Staying in the van while traveling should never be boring. With these games you can play inside the van (or even outside), you will truly get the play you want and get closer to your travel mates even more. Find that one game that suits your taste and fill your van with laughter and fun, as the joys of traveling are also found in card games. With all the brain games featured above, you might also improve your thinking skills!

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