10 Must-Have Board Games for Your Airbnb

It seems that everyone is so buried in technology these days, people hardly spend time interacting with each other anymore. Board games are a fantastic way to make a human…

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It seems that everyone is so buried in technology these days, people hardly spend time interacting with each other anymore.

Board games are a fantastic way to make a human connection with your friends and family, and adding them to your Airbnb rentals allows couples, families, or groups to interact and create memories at your property.

More memories = better reviews and repeat guests. So which are the best games for Airbnb?

The best board games for Airbnb properties should cater to your chosen demographic. Busy Town and Not Parent Approved is great for families, while Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Cards Against Humanity provide hours of adult fun. Gloomhaven and Fog of Love suit single guests and couples.

Providing guests with good old fashioned board games makes a great alternative to the Hulu/Netflix humdrum.

Not only can it provide hours of fun to solitary guests, but it can bring families and groups together and enhance their Airbnb experience. Below are ten of our top picks for Airbnb board games in 2021.

Best Strategy 3-5 Players: Cosmic Encounter

Ages7 and up
Play Time1-2 Hours
Game TypeStrategy

Cosmic Encounter is a game that is both easy to learn and unpredictable, with loads of strategy and alliances to keep the game from getting boring.

This game aims to colonize each other’s planets in turn by turn encounters with each player starting the game with a unique alien superpower that bends and breaks the game rules.

Players may form alliances, negotiate or fight to the death with plenty of collaborative possibilities to keep any one player from dominating the game.

The best part about Cosmic Encounter is that everyone has a chance of winning, and players from ages 7+ make it an excellent game for Airbnb guests with pre-adolescents.

Best Cooperative Game: Pandemic

Ages8 and up
Play Time45 minutes
Game TypeStrategy

Who would have thought that a board game besides an ouija board could be prophetic?

Pandemic was created way back in 2008 and has gained popularity for rather obvious reasons. This game is another excellent option for Airbnb rentals that accommodate families with children over eight years old and is easy to learn with great expansion potential.

Players are each given a unique skill at the start of the game and collaborate to save the world from extinction.

Four dread diseases are set to wipe out humanity. Each player must use their unique skills to fight the tide of infections by managing the infections or creating cures.

This board game’s feel-good factor is that everyone wins or loses, so it’s the best choice for 2-4 players who would enjoy a more collaborative experience than a competitive one.

Best Fast Paced Family Fun: Ticket to Ride: New York

Ages8 and up
Play Time15 minutes
Game TypeStrategy

Ticket to Ride is a fast-paced ”monopoly” style game with various destinations to match your Airbnb location.

In the New York version set in the 1960s, 2-4 players use their taxis to dominate popular routes in a 10 to 15-minute race to claim destinations on the board.

With 60 different colored taxis, players race to complete routes and fulfill destination tickets. The bonus of this game is that your guests can learn the iconic sites of your rental destinations while having fun at the same time.

The game suits players ages 8 and up, and has a compact board for an economical alternative to Netflix.

Best Horror Game for One to Four Players: Mansions of Madness Board Game, 2nd Edition

Ages14 and up
Play Time2-3 hours
Game TypeStrategy

This Lovecraft inspired board game takes playing up a notch with its app assisted quests through the gothic Arkham’s halls and alleyways.

Mansions of Madness is a beautifully designed game of horror and mystery that offers players either a solo or collaborative adventure where players confront monsters, solve puzzles, and fight madness with the app-assistance for extra fun.

Due to the sheer variety of quests and scenarios, players are unlikely to play the same game twice, which gives this game plenty of scopes. The best part is that the game works equally well for single players, couples, or up to 5 players.

Best for Tweens and Teens: Not Parent Approved

Ages8 and up
Play TimeVaries
Game TypeCard/Amusement

Not Parent Approved is a hilarious way for your guests to get some ”face time” with their kids without resorting to technology.

With edgy bathroom humor that won’t upset parents, kids get to be funny, have ”burp offs ”, and generally cause all manner of mischief.

This tween-friendly game will have your guests in fits of giggles while still being within parental bounds and is easy to learn and, most of all, fun. This game is excellent for larger families and can accommodate up to 10 players.

Although the game has an 8+ age recommendation, more conservative parents might disapprove of some ‘edgy’ references (which is why kids love it!)

Best for Little Ones: Busytown, Eye Found it

Play Time20 minutes
Game TypeCard/Amusement

Busy Town is an excellent way for parents and kiddies around three years old to interact on a fun-filled race through Busy Town’sTown’s 6-foot board.

The game accommodates 1-6 players who seek clues and race towards picnic island. The colorful and simple design makes play easy, and little ones will love exploring all the silly corners of the Busy Town map.

The game allows collaboration each time a player lands on a Goldbug card, where members team up to find hidden objects or solve puzzles as a team. Busy Town is a great game for Airbnb hosts to provide for guests with younger families and provides hours of fun for the little ones.

Best Adult Game for Groups: Cards Against Humanity

Ages17 and up
Play Time30-90 minutes
Game TypeCard/Amusement

Cards Against Humanity is one of the best games for adult guests to let out their dark sides and get downright horrible. This raunchy game is filled with dark humor, foul language, and all manner of irrelevance that will have your larger adult groups in hysterics.

The game is versatile and can accommodate up to 20 guests, making it perfect for larger groups. Each round, a player asks a black card question while players compete to provide a hilarious answer from the hilarious white cards.

Best Adult Board Game: Hedbanz Adulting

Ages14 and up
Play TimeVaries
Game TypeCard/Amusement

Hedbanz is another hilarious adult game that fits well with an adult group of up to four players who like to incorporate a bit of drinking into their play.

This fast-paced game has players placing a card on their headband and trying to identify who their designated identity is by fast-paced yes or no answers in under 90 seconds.

Although it is not specified as a drinking game, it lends itself well to ”forfeits” and can have hilarious outcomes as players race to find out what they are. The game is equally funny without involving alcohol and is an excellent way for guests to unwind and have fun.

However, if you’re concerned about drinking and late check-outs then you may opt for something else.

Best for One Player: Gloomhaven

Ages14 and up
Play Time1-2 hours
Game TypeStrategy

Gloomhaven is an intricate man vs. board with shifting motives perfect for one to four Airbnb guests.

Players adopt the role of a wandering protagonist with specific skills and motives who embark on a dangerous quest through forbidding terrain to fulfill their quest.

Each decision fuels an ever-changing experience where players discover new locations to explore and plunder on their quest for glory. Gloomhaven is versatile and is great fun for both multiple and single playing guests in your Airbnb rental.

Best Board Game for Couples: Fog of Love

Ages17 and up
Play Time1-2 hours
Game TypeCard

Fog of Love tops the list for couples with a game involving characters falling in love and facing unusual challenges to make their relationship work. The game works like a romantic comedy, with plenty of awkward situations, upheavals, and difficult compromises (much like life but funnier).

You can be a knight in shining armor or a heartbreaking womanizer, damsel in distress, or femme fatale according to your whim, which makes for engaging and entertaining play. This rather ”meta” game is an excellent option for Airbnb hosts who often have couples at their rentals.


Board games can be a bonding experience and are a surprisingly novel way to interact in our digital age even though they seem old fashioned.

In fact, the memories that your guests will create with each other will have your Airbnb property play a central role in their experience. Not only will you be rewarded in the reviews, but you may even get repeat guests every year.

It is best to suit your game selection to your rental demographic or keep a variety to suit all kinds of guests. It is a thoughtful touch that ensures that your ratings remain Superhost high.

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1 comment

  • Andrew Bruce

    Hi Ben, great list! I couldn’t agree more about “…everyone being buried in technology”, this was the main reason I decided to design a card game called KOMBIO! It’s great for weekend getaways and traveling because you can play 1v1 or with groups. My partner and I take it on every trip and play it in Airbnbs. People can learn more about it at kombio.cards

    Happy gaming!


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