I’ve Got A Ticket To Ride And I Don’t Care

Laura’s Team Pick:

Last week, my friend, Angela, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 4.29.39 PM

See, I’d played Ticket to Ride one time last winter and, like so many things that I had once loved in the days of yore, forgot about it over time. The reunion was the stuff of legends. We played until Angela won and then only stopped when she finally had to leave (unfortunately with her board game in tow).

photo 5

“Hey, ladies”

If you haven’t played yet, I’m really not sure what you’re doing with yourself. Ticket to Ride’s got enough rules to make it interesting but is simple enough to play while you’re drinking a beer or three. It’s beautiful design could really only be improved with magnets to help the trains stay in place – which, to be honest, should come with a $50 price tag. It’s great if you’ve got kids or Canadian friends who are looking to learn a little more about American geography. If I’m ever on Jeopardy and I’m asked where Duluth or Sault Ste. Marie are, I’ll be thanking Ticket to Ride in my victory speech.

It’s won USA’s Origins Award, Japan’s Boardgame Prize, Spain’s Juego del año 2005, France’s As d’Or Jeu de l’Année and Germany’s Spiel des Jahres. In other words, people are all about this game. There are also European, German, and Nordic versions if you’re looking for something a little closer to home and there are expansion packs for players who just can’t get enough. And because everything worth anything is online, those of you who can’t handle gaming in three dimensions can get Ticket to Ride on your Xbox, iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. This game. I love board games in general, but this game tops the list. Although, don’t tell Settlers of Catan, it might get jealous.

  2. YOU GUYS MY COUSIN’S HUSBAND DESIGNED THIS GAME (Alan R. Moon)… he is the coolest because he makes board games for a living. and they have a whole room in their apartment devoted to games, with a whole bookshelf of different versions of Ticket to Ride!! I’ll have to tell him about how famous he is :) :) :)

  3. Playing THIS GAME with my family is the only thing we can do together anymore without someone crying over my eternal damnation for being a massive homosexual. It’s kind of a miracle.

  4. Hahaha I love this game! Can’t play it with my brother though or else we start yelling at each other for blocking each other’s routes…

  5. I just played this game last week! I did exactly as you said and played it accompanied by many beers. It’s a great great game.

  6. My neighbor is newly obsessed with this game, and he has asked me if I want to play it about nine times this week. Maybe this is a sign that it is time to say yes!

  7. This game is the most fun! Some friends and I get together every Tuesday and play board games, and Ticket to Ride is usually on the roster.

  8. I love this game. I think people would also like this other board game called Carcassonne. You get to build castles and claim them with your meeples. It is most excellent when enjoyed with friends. When playing at a cat owner’s house, you get an added level of depth in unpredictability and panic when kitty comes and sits on your tiles.

    • Yes! I played Carcassonne for the first time over the holidays. While strategy games are not my strong suit (although I love them very much) this one was easy enough for me to figure out.

      • Isn’t it so satisfying tallying up all your properties at the end? It makes me feel so greedy…and evil..and HAPPY.

    • LOVE Carcassonne!
      We have the base game and a bunch of expansions, and we just gave my sister-in-law the base game and a couple more. Eventually there will have to be an epic game that uses ALL THE TILES and takes up some very large table surface.

      • ermergerd YES. Have you tried the Princess & Dragon expansion? I wanna know what you think of it!

        • The Princess and Dragon is my favorite!
          Do you guys happen to live in NYC? Let’s play!

          Or there’s also an iPad/iPhone app that’s amazing.

          • O hey, I bet you could change my mind about the Princess & Dragon expansion. I’ve sort of avoided it in the past when my friends and I came to the consensus that it was very destructive and went against the constructive flow of the game. I have the Carcassonne Big Box and Princess & Dragon is the only one we leave behind in the box when we play. I hope there are other boardgaymers here to meet and play with you. I think that’s a fantastic idea. I live in the Bay Area, California.

    • Carcassonne is awesome! I play that and Ticket to Ride on my ipad weekly. So easy to lose track of time.

  9. This game is probably the best ever! I loved playing it a long time ago and then it kind of disappeared into the abyss (along with my ex when we parted ways) until I thought of it again a few months ago. I asked for it this past Christmas and I’ve been playing it with my family almost everyday since then! The European version is my faaaave.

    Until they make a map of Tolkien’s middle earth, that is.

  10. The only time I have ever played Ticket to Ride was with my wife’s conservative Christian cousin and his wife. We were playing on teams and my wife made a decision about… something, I don’t remember what. Her cousin said, “Well, that will come in handy when she finds a man!” I was so stunned I didn’t say anything and then when I brought it up on the ride home NO ONE ELSE HAD HEARD IT and then I ragequit humanity.

    So that’s my Ticket to Ride story.

    I do love me some boardgames, though! My favorite is Small World because you get to play as orcs or skeletons or Amazons and sometimes you can fly.

    • SMALLWORLD is so freaking amazing! Also, typing the word Smallworld in capitals then was hard just then because I didn’t use capslock and I’m eating toast with my other hand, but nothing else would capture the glory of the game! Seriously, best game ever. Gorgeous illustration, really different gameplay every time, and so many cool little races (and references to Tomb Raider/Mario/Monty Python/LOtR in the expansion!).

      I hope to see you at A-Camp sometime so we can play this- or just in Adelaide! I need competitors that aren’t my sisters, hahah.


  11. Yaaaaay I love board games! I actually don’t have Ticket to Ride, but I do have Carcassonne and a bunch of others. Who’s in NYC and wants to play? There used to be a great group that met at the LGBT Center, but my friend got tired of running it and quit.

  12. I just got my parents Carcasonne for christmas;
    oh, and if you like Ticket to Ride, Thurn and Taxis is a good game! I don’t know if you can get it in USA, but I would assume so?

  13. I happened upon this because I was looking at Laura’s other articles and I just have to make a few game recommendations! I really like Settlers of Catan (there’s a game board made up of moveable hexagons that can change every game. you build settlements and roads and get resources based on die rolls).
    Small World is a lot of fun (you play as different races of creatures and there are separate ‘powers’ that are randomly paired up with each race. you have to take over different parts of the map and can retire your race for a new race. infinite possibilities. it’s fun).
    Fluxx is a fun, short card game where there are goals(how you win), which you can change with cards so that you are more likely to win.
    Dominion is a game based on cards. you create your own deck of cards as the game goes on so you can buy estates, duchies, and provinces for victory points.
    Munchkin is a slight parody of D&D. You fight monsters, gain levels, have races and classes and items; all in cards! Oh, and lots of puns.

Comments are closed.