Must-Have Board & Card Games for Airbnb Vacation Rentals!

Board games are a brilliant addition to any vacation home, especially if you rent your space as short-term rental on websites such as Airbnb or VRBO. Board and card games have relatively small investments but fantastic returns! Guests love them and often reflect on the thoughtfulness of providing these items in their reviews. Board games are ideal for vacation rentals that target families but even in smaller units they can be great additions.

We are always pleasantly surprised by how often our guests mention the board games in their feedback and reviews.

Harrison the Lake | Case Study

When furnishing our Airbnb in Harrison Hot Springs we added two large bookcases to help in the muffling of neighbouring noises. Next step we needed to fill these bookcases!

We wanted to give our guests plenty of indoor activities for when the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities. Spoiler we added lots and lots of board games and books!

Harrison on the Lake Board Games

Harrison is a beautiful lakeside tourist community, with great hiking, boat rentals, an amazing floating waterpark, community events, and wonderful restaurants. However, there is very limited nightlife and indoor activities. We needed to expand the offerings of our property for off-peak season while keeping in mind we have a very limited budget.

With the addition of books, cards, and board games our guests happily enjoy evenings and rainy days. Guest reviews continually rave about the wide variety of offerings in our property.

Classic Board & Card Games for All Short Term Rentals

The following games are great for all short-term rentals; regardless if you are targeting business travelers, couples, backpackers, or large families. These games are nearly expected at home or vacation rental at this point.

Playing Cards

Playing cards are a requirement for any short-term rental. There are countless games that you can play with a simple deck of 52 playing cards. Buy a large multi-pack of cards and swap them out every few months because some of the cards will go missing over time. Parents love teaching their kids simple games and math skills.

Poker Set

A professional-looking poker set is a big upgrade from a simple deck of cards if couples and mature adults are your target demographic. Poker sets are a great offering for “boys away” vacation rentals. This gives your guests a fun and relatively quiet indoor activity.

Chess Board

Chess is great for vacation rentals targeting adults and families. The multi-game board is perfect for most vacation rentals, but you may want to buy a higher-end board if your place has higher-end furnishings and decor.

Pro Tip: A chessboard can be a great centerpiece of a room or outdoor space. View decorating ideas for your Airbnb here.

Games for Kid-Friendly Vacation Rentals

If you have a large short-term rental that caters to kids and families, the following games are a great way to ensure that your guests enjoy their vacation. Your game library should be filled with simple games that are easy to learn, or classics familiar to the parents.

UNO Family Card Game

Everyone has played this family classic! If not, Uno is very easy to learn and teach and surprisingly fun for adults to play with kids.

Sorry! Family Board Game

Do you remember playing Sorry with your brothers, sisters, cousins? Luck is a major factor, but there is just enough strategy to keep young minds thinking.


We are reluctant to recommend Monopoly given the risk of tearing families and friends apart but I’m sure “it’ll be fine.” Ideally pick up a themed Monopoly game such as city theme, Vancouver-Opoly if you’re in Vancouver.

Modern Classic Board Games

Board games are growing in popularity and going through a bit of a renaissance. Even small towns have board game cafes and bars. The 2020 lockdowns dramatical increased the global sales of board games, but the popularity was growing long before 2020 for a number of reasons.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is easily my favourite board game. It has very simple rules and is very easy to learn. The game is strategic but includes luck and social-economic trading mechanics, that ensure that every game is different. Furthermore, there are multiple paths to victory.

Ticket to Ride Europe

Ticket to Ride is a railroad-building game, in which players connect cities to collect points. The game rules are simple and elegant, making it easy to learn, but there is enough strategy to keep it interesting game after game. There are a number of different versions of Ticket of Ride featuring different geographical regions and cities, so buy the version that matches your Airbnb’s area.

Coup (The Dystopian Universe)

Coup is a card-based strategy and bluffing game. Perhaps not popular enough to truly belong in the “modern classics” section but we think it is an excellent game! The rules are simple and the games run quickly.