Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Rules)

Come along as we take a cross-country road trip! Players in Ticket to Ride: First Journey travel from city to city by mapping their train cars on this colorful game board in hopes of reaching their destination first.

Players draw ticket cards and build trains on the map to represent their travels. The player who can complete their journey successfully wins! 

Learn how to play Ticket to Ride: First Journey by reading the rules below for step-by-step gameplay instructions.

What is Ticket to Ride: First Journey?

Ticket to Ride First Journey Board Game Info image

Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a board game created as a child-friendly version of its original game, Ticket to Ride. 

Beautifully designed, this colorful board serves as a map with train tracks leading from one destination to another. 

Number of Players:  2-4

Ages: Recommended for 6 years and up

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 15-30 minutes

Category: Children’s games, trains

Similar to: Ticket to Ride, Rivers, Roads, and Trails, Catan Jr., Ticket to Ride Europe

Main Objective: Players strategically place their train cars on the tracks to complete a series of tickets or destinations. The player who completes their travels first wins! 

Why We Love It: There is nothing better than being able to share your favorite board games with your children. The original Ticket to Ride game is more challenging; therefore, this junior edition allows younger children to participate in the family gameplay. 

A Brief History of Ticket to Ride: First Journey

In 2004, Days of Wonder released a well-known board game, Ticket to Ride. Over the following years, newer editions were released, including Ticket to Ride: First Journey, developed in 2017. 

Alan R. Moon created both the original and First Journey versions of this board game. While they follow similar gameplay, the First Journey edition is simplified and designed to appeal to a younger age range of 6-15. 

What You’ll Need to Play Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Everything you need to play Ticket to Ride: First Journey is included in the box.

Our Pick
Ticket to Ride First Journey Board Game | Family Board Game | Train Game | Ages 6+ | For 2 to 4 players
$34.99 $27.99
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10/15/2023 11:07 pm GMT

The original box contains: 

  • 1 game board
  • 80 plastic trains
  • 72 train cards
  • 32 ticket cards
  • 4 “bonus” ticket cards
  • 1 golden ticket card
  • 1 rule sheet

Area of Play

Setting up this game is very straightforward. After opening the gameboard, shuffle the cards into stacks based on card type: train cards, ticket cards, and the Coast-to-Coast bonus cards. Keep the golden ticket nearby as well- the winner of the game will claim this ticket at the end.

Each player draws 2 ticket cards and 4 train cards for their starting hand. Players also gather the plastic trains in the color of their selection; red, green, blue, or yellow. Use your trains to represent your travels on the map throughout the game.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey Rules

  • On your first turn, you can draw two cards from the train card deck or play some of your trains onto the map using the cards in your hand. If you choose to draw two cards, your turn ends, and you cannot complete any other actions until your next turn.

For example, if you are traveling from Los Angeles to Dallas, you need to place train cars on the tracks from Los Angeles to Albuquerque first, then on your next turn, you can then travel from Albuquerque to Dallas as long as you have the required cards. 

  • The tracks are color-specific, so to play your train cars on a blue route, for example, you must have blue cards in your hand. Use wild cards to account for any color on the board. 
  • The board does offer different colored tracks to many of the locations, which is a nice feature. The same player cannot occupy both routes on the same path, and if a road is occupied by another player’s train, it can no longer be used by another player.
  • You do not have to travel the most direct route to get to a location. You can also use your previously played train cars to help you reach another destination. 
  • Players can only place one train car per card, but you must complete an entire route on the same turn. Discard the cards once used. 

For example, there are two track spaces between Denver and Kansas City, so if you are traveling this route, you will need 2 white cards or 2 green cards and play both of your trains simultaneously on the same turn. 

  • After completing a ticket, immediately draw a new ticket card to begin travel to your next destination. Flip met tickets over in front of you on the table. Once you have six completed tickets, you win the game.
  • If you cannot complete a ticket, you can use one of your turns to trade both ticket cards for replacement cards. 

Coast-to-Coast Ticket

If a player travels from one of the cities along the east or west coast across the map to the other side, they can pick up a Coast-to-Coast ticket. This ticket accounts for one of your completed travels. Each player may only get one Coast-to-Coast ticket during the game. 

 How to Keep Score in Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Once you complete all 6 tickets or finish 5 tickets and 1 coast-to-coast ticket, you are declared the winner. 

You can also win the game if you run out of train cars. If two or more players run out of train cars, the player with the most tickets completed wins. If two players are tied, they will both win. 

The winner of the game picks up the golden ticket as a representation of their achievement. 

How to Play Ticket to Ride: First Journey – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where do you start on Ticket to Ride: First Journey?

This game board does not have a designated start or finish space. Players start by playing trains on routes based on the destination listed on their tickets. 

What happens if you run out of trains in Ticket to Ride: First Journey? 

If a player runs out of trains, the game ends. At this point, the player with the most tickets wins the game. 

Which Ticket to Ride game should I buy first?

Ticket to Ride: First Journey is an excellent choice for beginners, especially playing with children. The original Ticket to Ride game is also widely popular, so you can start with that if you are looking for something more challenging. 

How many versions of Ticket to Ride are there? 

There are several editions of the Ticket to Ride board game, and the original game comes in the United States and Europe editions. However, expansions are also available for Ticket to Ride: Japan, Nordic Countries, Africa, Germany, Netherland, France, Asia, and Amsterdam. 

Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails includes travel by boat, and the New York City edition features taxi cabs as the mode of transportation. 

Other Similar Games to Ticket to Ride: First Journey (Our Guides)

If you enjoy Ticket to Ride: First journey, be sure to check out these other fun group games: 

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