UNO is the best travel game ever

Traveling is a thrilling, exciting, non-stop tour de force that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Except for when you’re waiting at the airport, stuck on a train, killing time in a hotel room until a monsoon stops or waiting for the bathroom at your hostel to have five fewer white kids with dreadlocks hogging the toilets.

It’s times like those that you need the perfect time filler. It needs to be a) fun, b) inclusive, c) easy to pack and d) easy to explain to newcomers. One game possesses all of these qualities. One game can turn a boring flight delay into an epic showdown. One game is the perfect storm of form, function, egalitarianism and pretty colors. Ladies and gentleman, UNO is the best travel game ever.

Let’s take a look at why that’s just a plain and simple fact.Inclusive – UNO can be played with two to ten players. TEN! You could have half of your hostel throwing down brightly colored cards, laughing hysterically and teaching each other how to say “Draw Four” in any number of languages.

No Language Barriers – Speaking of languages, can your friends count? Are they not color blind? Congratulations, you have the perfect UNO partners.

Easy to Pack – Ever brought a deck of cards with you on a trip? Then you also know how to pack UNO! If you can’t fit UNO into your suitcase, you’ve packed too many condoms.

Perfect Timing – A game of UNO never goes on for hours. If you bust out the Travel Scrabble, you can kiss that whole afternoon goodbye. And good luck playing that with your local friends in Russia, China or anywhere else where English is scarce. UNO is perfect for airports, planes, waiting for your friends to get ready for a night on the town and any other downtime you may encounter on a trip.

Sweet Revenge – Did your friend steal the window seat on the plane? Did she “forget her wallet” when you went out for drinks? UNO is all about screwing people over. Rather than fighting over how much someone owes you for the hotel room, why not just throw down a series of Reverse and Draw Four cards until they beg for mercy?

I’ve played UNO in Iceland. I’ve played UNO in Spain. I’ve yelled at a friend for not bringing UNO to Rome. I’ve been shooed onto a flight by impatient airline employees while trying to complete the final hand of a one-on-one UNO match on a trip to Sweden. I’ve played UNO as a child and I’ve played UNO as an adult. UNO is the same everywhere you go. And UNO is fun every single time.

So, rather than trying to pack Mouse Trap or The Game of Life, do yourself (and your friends) a favor and bring UNO with you on your next trip. Your trip, like the cards, will be wild.

Agree that UNO is the best travel game ever? Share your UNO stories in the comments. Disagree? Well, I guess you can try to make a case for Yahtzee if you really want to embarrass yourself.

Photo by Flickr user Natecull.