When you travel around the country, there are certain limitations on your gaming that you need to impose upon yourself. One of the biggest struggles is what to do with your board game collection while you travel around. Let me start by saying that the thing that takes up the most space while we travel, are our board games. Sure, we take clothes and toiletries, but inch for inch, board games are a definite space hog. Every time my wife and I pack up to head to a new location, we have to decide which games stay and which games go. I don’t want to say it’s like picking between my children, but considering I don’t have kids yet, I’m going to count it. Between job placements, we go back to Michigan where our families are, along with the rest of our belongings.
Then the debate begins.
I’m usually on board with bringing every game we own, but in order to do that, we’d need to buy a much bigger vehicle than we currently have. Thank god for my wife. At that point, she becomes the voice of reason and cuts through my decisions like a hot knife through butter. We usually pair it down to 35-40 games, and then things get serious. This is where my wife goes on the offensive. She’ll take a game, like Dead of Winter for example, which is one of our favorite games, and start pitching why we shouldn’t bring it, saying things like “It will make us more excited to play it the next time,” or “It’s such a popular game that somebody will have to have it where we’re going.” Eventually we pair it down to around 25-30 games. At that point, our creativity has to kick in. We have very few games remaining that have their original insert in the box. We pull any insert that isn’t explicitly necessary. Next comes the reboxing. We packed Race for the Galaxy in the box with Roll for the Galaxy. We were able to not only fit all of Euphoria in its box, but also The Grizzled, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Welcome to the Dungeon, AND No Thanks. Some boxes end up with two large games, and that’s all they’ll fit. In the box for Spector Ops, we also have all the components for Steampunk Rally.
Here’s an example of our reboxing. In the box for Royals, we have all of the Royals components, plus Little Devils, Arcadia, and the Codenames box, which contains all the components for both Codenames and Codenames: Pictures (Sorry for the bag glare)
When it’s all said and done, we have a pretty decently sized collection that we’re able to conveniently transport. The games that don’t make the cut usually head to our friend’s houses. We have a few friends back at home that are very involved with our gaming group and we let the gaming group have access to them, while other friends have favorites that they specifically request to hold onto. While it’s difficult to leave games behind, it does give my wife and I something to look forward to when we get back home. We get to rediscover old favorites and there have even been occasions where we have forgotten we’ve even owned a game until we start going through our collection.
Overall, traveling with our own board games has been a lot of fun. We’re forced to decide which games are the ones we want to play and teach, which games we just want to have with us, and which games just aren’t good for traveling. Inevitably, we end up taking more games than we’ll probably play in a 3 month period, but it’s fun to dream. And we never know, but maybe we’ll get through everything we brought and then the next place we go we can take a whole new set. Either way, the important thing is that we get to take a piece of home with us and have fun doing it.
What games would you make sure got to travel along with you?