Ask Jo: Ticket to Ride

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

My apologies to anyone who isn’t into board games as this time the questions are focused around Ticket to Ride.

If you’ve been reading the blog, then you know our family likes board games and our favorite collectively is Ticket to Ride.

The problem, there are many versions of Ticket to Ride, and buying the game can be a little confusing.

Cynthia asked:
Belated Happy Birthday Greetings, sorry this is late. I am happy to read things are improving for Gannon. Who would have ever thought he would have complications? This was a tough go-around. Sounds like things are improving. I was wondering if you could talk about the board game Ticket to aridity. Trying to decide if this would work for any of my kids. There are a lot of versions too, which ones do you play?
Thanks for your help!”

I’m happy to help navigate it all.

The main and most popular version is Ticket to Ride.  The game focuses around getting routes and building the train lines to get from the places listed on your route.  For example, you might get a route card that says, Chicago to New York.  You would have to get colored cards to get you from Chicago to Pittsburgh and then Pittsburgh to New York.  The more routes you complete the better chance you have of winning the game.

This is listed as a game for people 8 and older.  Carver, my 6-year-old grandson is a rare breed and has been playing with us for a year already.  2-5 players can play and it takes from 30-60 minutes depending on how many are playing.  You can find the game HERE.

This is the version we play most often as Carver can easily play and it’s the most basic if we have Kelli’s kids here and everything is wild.

It has an expansion pack.  The only thing in the expansion pack is… larger playing cards.  The cards in this are about the same size as regular playing cards.  The cards in the original game are about half that size.


The game was so popular it has expanded and has several different versions.  We have Ticket to Ride Europe.  it is similar to the US version only it covers European countries.  The game has a couple of other features that are slightly different but for the most part, it’s the same game only in Europe.

2-5 players can play and it takes from 30-60 minutes depending on how many are playing.  You can find the game HERE.

It too has an expansion pack and the only thing in it is again larger cards.

For my birthday last year, the kids bought me Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries.   My grandparents came from Sweden so the kids thought it would be fun for me to have this.  This is again, much the same game only it’s a smaller map.

Because of the smaller map, only 2-3 players can play and it takes from 30-60 minutes depending on how many are playing.  You can find the game HERE.

Last year for Christmas I bought this for our family…This is Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails.  This is my favorite version but, I wouldn’t recommend starting out with this one.  This one goes around the globe and you not only have trains, but you also have boats too…thus the Rails and Sails.  This game has the feature of having ports as well as routes.


This one is the largest map and the most complicated.  This one lists 2-5 players, 10 years and older, and takes 90-120 minutes.

This game is unique in that you can flip the board over and have a whole new game that features the US Great Lakes region.  So…it’s really like two games in one.


As I said, it’s my favorite version…but also might be a little complicated if you bought this one first and haven’t tried one of the other versions.  This does take longer and a lot more concentration.  We can’t play this if the house is full of kiddos…still my favorite.  If you have played any of the other versions and enjoyed them, you’ll easily adapt to this and I’m guessing you’ll love it too!!

Those are the versions we have.  There are many others.  I’m sure they are all similar yet all a little different.

There is a kids’ version called Ticket to Ride First Journey.  You can find that HERE.

There are many other versions:

Ticket to Ride Amsterdam
Ticket to Ride New York
Ticket to Ride London
Ticket to Ride Asia
Ticket to Ride India
Ticket to Ride Heart of Africa
Ticket to Ride Nederland
Ticket to Ride United Kingdom
Ticket to Ride France
Ticket to Ride Japan

You can find any of these HERE on Amazon.

I think I’m kind of done buying any other versions.

Our family has started into other board games…it’s mostly Craig and Karl that are deep into them and they try to pull us all in too.

Some of the games they love are:

Rush MD-
Great is if you have nurses in your life

Scythe
Like Settlers of Catan only deeper.

Dead of Winter
They haven’t gotten me to try this so I have no idea…just know they like it.

I love that we have turned into a board game family.  It’s been kind of fun watching Carver grow and change after playing.  Of everyone in the family, I think it’s my 6-year-old grandson and my 30-year-old son that like playing the most…well maybe that’s not true.  Craig, Kalissa’s husband and my daughter Kelli love playing too…so does my son Buck.  Oh heck.  Everyone really enjoys playing!!

I hope that helps in choosing a game.  If any of you readers have other board game suggestions, I would love to hear them as I’m always looking for an idea of something to get Karl…or Craig.

10 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Ticket to Ride”

  1. I haven’t played it yet, but my friends have raved about Azul. And if you have any hikers or birders, there’s a game called Wingspan where you collect birds.

  2. Stephani in N. TX

    I just wrapped this as a holiday gift today, my grandson love to win, and playing games as a family is fun. Merry Christmas to you and your board-playing family.

  3. Cynthia from Nebraska

    There’s a very easy card game called Three Up, Three Down (I say easy, but the video instructions were awful…it’s actually easy to play). There’s a little bit of skill and a lot of luck, and it’s the kind of game you can play when you want to have a conversation and not have to think too hard when you are playing. One of our kids gave it to us for Christmas, and now we all have it and play at each other’s houses!

  4. Paulette Mae Morgan

    My family and i also play lots of board games. As our boys have grown into adults, we have added more adult games. We love Ticket to Ride. Also, Azul – has many versions as well. One that I find fun is Carcasonne based on the real walled city in France. That one is good for kids as well.

  5. We played Ticket to Ride last Christmas with some of the grandkids and both daughters. It was a lot of fun, and the kids caught on quickly. They were 8 and 9 at the time.

  6. I have read you talking about Ticket to Ride before and how much your family enjoys it. I can’t afford Amazon prices for board games so had yet to buy it. I finally saw one version in Walmart a few weeks ago in the clearance section for 7.00 and grabbed it. It is the London one. We plan on playing it on Christmas Eve at my son and DIL’s house.

  7. Based on Jo’s recommendation, I bought the card game Sushi Go last year. My husband, adult son and I enjoyed playing it so much. Sadly, my husband passed away in August after a battle with mesothelioma. My son and I tried Sushi Go with just the two of us, and don’t care for it. Are there any recommendations for two player games?

    1. I recently received the game Patchwork – Americana Edition from Lookout Games. This is a 2 player game that takes about 1/2 hour per round. Very enjoyable. If you look at the Lookout games website, they have a number of 2 player games. Many are available on Amazon.

  8. Thanks Jo. We like Ticket to Ride and recently started playing Wingspan. I recommend that game but it’s more older children and adults.

  9. My husband and I have been playing Steampunk Rally and it’s super fun. It’s all about strategy and does take some thinking. We love it.

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