It goes without saying that rain on a camping trip is less than ideal. Mind you, it’s not a total disaster. Light rain won’t stop you from spending a little time outside, and if you have an awning — as recommended in our look at top items for a caravan holiday — you can even make a nice afternoon or evening out of it. But heavy or long-lasting rain can certainly put a damper on the day.
On these occasions, it pays to have a few ways to entertain yourself and those traveling with you in the caravan. And it just so happens that there are a few popular, fun games that are quite easy to set up in limited space.
A regular chess set may not be ideal for a caravan, unless it’s a larger one. Depending on the space, it might just be tricky to set up a board in a manageable way. Then again, this is why they invented travel chess sets! In particular, magnetized boards that can be passed back and forth without pieces slipping are ideal for a tight space. For that matter, they can even be fun for passengers while on the move. Throw in the fact that the popularity of chess has been spiking of late (thanks to the wonderful Netflix chess drama The Queen’s Gambit), and it might just be the perfect solution. It’s easy to understand, everyone seems to be getting into it, and with the right kind of set it’s a perfectly manageable game in a caravan.
When it comes to card games, the truth is you can bring a deck and play any game that appeals to your group. But poker is a slightly deeper and more involved game than many of the alternatives, and most people have understood how to play Texas Hold’em since its rise to global prominence a few decades ago. It’s an easy game to play in limited space, and one into which you can build some play-money betting fun just to make things more interesting. Granted, you’ll need a place to put poker chips in between rounds of betting and dealing. But that’s easy enough to manage, and it definitely makes Hold’em a bit more fun. So to recap, all you need is a deck of cards, a case of chips (plenty of cases are compact enough to travel easily) and a small central area to place chips and lay out cards. From there you can play poker for hours on end, with each hand bringing fresh excitement and new dynamics.
Bingo might not quite be Texas Hold’em when it comes to popular, casino-style games. But it’s still got a few things going for it. First, it’s actually enjoying some resurgent popularity thanks to some vibrant digital bingo games online. Second, there’s a certain old-school appeal to actually playing the game in person! Beyond these factors though, it’s another game you can make work pretty easily in a caravan. You’ll just need a set of bingo balls, a way to randomize the drawing (which can be as simple as pulling them out of a sack), and bingo cards. People can spread out comfortably and fill out their cards while one person draws the numbers. And of course, if you like, you can work out any kind of prize system you like.
Last up is probably our most surprising recommendation in Chinese Checkers. This is kind of a curious game. For one thing, it never seems all that popular, yet most people seem to know how to play. For another, the origin of Chinese Checkers has nothing to do with China or checkers — the game having originated in late-19th century Britain. Nevertheless, it’s a very fun game for anywhere from two to six people, and it’s extremely compact and portable. Virtually any kind of Chinese Checkers is easy to pass around in between moves — though a set in which the pieces slot into peg holes will be easier than one that uses marbles. And even if someone in your party doesn’t know how to play, it’s game that can be picked up quickly as well.
With limited space, picking the right game for a caravan isn’t always easy. But these four represent portable, fun, and generally familiar options that can help you pass those unwanted rainy hours.