Playing cards (Buy here or pick up a souvenir pack from wherever you are)
Nothing beats a simple pack of playing card for versatility, also a great way to make friends and learn new games from around the world. Slip a couple of packs into your luggage and search up some games for players of all ages. You can find an astonishing list of games and instructions here.
Story Dice (Buy here)
Simple collection of die each with a different picture. Arrange them how you like to create a story linked to the images. The possibilities are endless!
Articulate Mini Game (Buy here)
This has been a favourite of ours recently and we've been in hysterics playing it. It's so funny how your children choose to describe things, a real little insight into their brain cogs whirring! Basically you just have a describer who has to describe the word and a guesser who has to figure out what the word it. Much more entertaining than it sounds.
The People Game
This is a game we love and have played in restaurants since the children could first draw. Based on the game consequences, everyone has a pen and a piece of paper. Everyone draws a head and a neck. Fold the paper so only a tiny bit of the neck is showing. Pass the papers round in a clockwise direction. Everyone now draws a body down to the hips. Fold the paper again and pass round. Then draw legs down to the ankles and fold over, pass on and finally draw the feet. Pass on one last time before revealing the picture.
Sussed (Buy Here)
This is a recent discovery and we've had lots of fun with it in a very mixed group of ages. Each player has a card and decides which of the three answer options they would pick for each question on their card. Members of the group then have to guess which answer was chosen. The questions range from the fantastical to the philosophical and choices lead to much hilarity and sometimes deep discussions. There's a scoring systems and the person with the most points at the end wins although the scores feel a bit irrelevant compared to the conversations this game generates.
Dobble (Buy Here)
Simple but addictive little game suitable from 4+. Every card has one graphic which matches one graphic on the previous card you just picked up. Spot it, shout it out first and win the card. The person with the most cards at the end wins. Even the grown-ups were playing this one once the kids were in bed! Comes in a nifty little tin too.
Boggle (Buy here)
We played this loads as children and now enjoy playing it with our own kids. Shake the box of letters and make as many words as possible out of the letters that land upright before the timer runs out. Simple but fun and great for spelling!
Uno (Buy here)
For younger children this card game is great fun for counting and outwitting your opponents! Each turn follows the number or colour played before it and there are a few special cards with different powers to mix it up. The person to get rid of their cards first wins but don't forget to shout 'UNO' before the other players if you only have one card left or you will have to take a penalty of more cards.
Quiz Cards (Buy Here)
We really enjoyed these quiz cards on our recent holiday (we had the 'Where in the world quiz' and how to survive' - a fun way to find out what we all knew and learn loads about other places and survival in the process.
We always take a little box of crafty things with us on holiday. It always includes most of the following items: pack of felt tips, pencils and sharpener, stickers (loads), palate of dry paints and a couple of brushes, scrap book/notebook/diary/pad of paper, glue stick, mini flower press, string, playdough, Plastercine and sticky tape.