These travel books for kids will encourage curiosity and appreciation for other places and cultures. Inspire wanderlust in your kids with these suggestions from children’s librarian, Margo Tanenbaum.
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The Summer of 2020 is a summer like no other for travel-loving families around the world. Summer travel plans have been canceled or put indefinitely on hold. But while we may not be able to travel right now, we can still have fun as armchair travelers, planning future trips with our kids around the country and around the globe!
There is an incredible array of travel-related books for kids. Books range from travel guides written specifically for school-aged children to board books for babies about our favorite locations.
And, of course, there are always books set in some of our favorite cities or countries. Consider Madeleine, with its iconic Paris scenes, and Paddington, with its London setting, and many more!
Sharing these books with your kids, especially during these times when we are home-bound, is a great way to create bucket lists for family travel for the future. Get your whole family excited about the places we can go!
These books should be available at your local library, local bookstore, or favorite online bookseller.
I am delighted to offer a few suggestions for travel books for kids, segmented by age group.
Read next: Travel Books by Women Writers
Travel Books for Babies and Toddlers (ages 0-3)
There are travel books even for the youngest set, which make fun read-alouds but also great gifts for baby showers for travel-loving parents!
My Little Cities series
Written by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Greg Pizzou.
Includes board books on London, New York, San Francisco, Paris, with minimal text and fun retro-style illustrations of key landmarks and activities in each city.
Little Traveler board books
From Mudpuppy, illustrated by Erica Harrison.
This brightly colored set of four chunky mini board books, perfect for a diaper bag, introduces little ones to landmarks, food, vehicles, and animals from around the world.
Hello, World board book series
Written by Ashley Evanson.
Introduces babies and toddlers to cities around the world, combined with early learning concepts.
Paris demonstrates the world of shapes, baby will count in San Francisco, learn about opposites in London, colors in New York, senses in Tokyo, and sounds in Rio.
Travel Books for Preschoolers (ages 3-5)
Get your preschooler ready for travel by sharing some of the following:
Travel Guide for Monsters
Written by Lori Degman, illustrated by Dave Szalay.
Preschoolers love monsters, and this new sure-fire winner with the younger set features a family road trip, accompanied by many cheerful monsters.
It turns out monsters are great companions for armchair travel, and this book also introduces many famous U.S. landmarks to young children.
The Airport Book
Written by Lisa Brown.
In this picture book, featuring a multiracial family and an adorable sock monkey, we follow a family on its way through a modern-day airport.
We journey all the way from drop off to pick up, including security clearance, conveyor belts, and long waits at the gates.
Tons of fun details to notice make this perfect to read again and again, and your child can learn lots of airport vocabulary.
Great for prepping your little one for a first plane trip.
Maisy Goes on a Plane: A Maisy First Experiences Book
Written by Lucy Cousins.
Maisy the mouse goes on her first airplane ride in this colorful picture book perfect for preschoolers who love the simple stories and bright illustrations with their signature style.
This is the World: A Global Treasury
Written by Miroslav Sesek.
An abridged compilation of classic picture books from the 1950’s and ‘60’s portraying different cities around the world, this volume is a great value.
You’ll love the whimsical illustrations as Sesek takes children and adults on an around the world trip that introduces readers to art, culture, music, food, and other traditions of many countries.
Want to connect with other moms who travel? Check our Wanderful membership options!
Travel Books for Kids in Primary School (ages 6-12)
For this age range, you can’t go wrong with Lonely Planet’s incredible selection of kids’ travel-themed books. Here are some of my favorites:
Lonely Planet Kids’ City Trails series
In this terrific series of city guides, kid explorers Marco and Amelia travel the world to share amazing stories and fantastic facts for some of the world’s most famous cities.
Fun cartoon-style illustrations and factoids make this series perfect for anyone who plans to go to a particular city or just wants to learn more about it.
Includes separate volumes on Barcelona, London, New York, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.
Lonely Planet Kids’ Around the World in 50 Ways
Perfect for fans of choose-your-own-adventure books, this volume lets kids pick their own route and type of transportation, setting off from London and traveling around the globe.
Over 20 different routes are possible, as kids learn about famous cities and international places.
Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-Trotters
Written by Marc Martin.
An oversize book with large pages crammed full of beautiful color artwork and factoids from 15 different places around the world.
Sure to keep curious kids busy for hours and provide lots of fun armchair globetrotting.
This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World
Written by Matt Lamothe.
Follow along as seven real kids from different countries go about their day.
If you’re looking for something that provides a window into children in other cultures as well as mirrors of our common experiences, this book is perfect.
It shows children a unique look at the lives of others from around the globe.
Lonely Planet Kids’ The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
Get your travel shoes on as you take a trip around the world, with each country getting its own page.
Filled with fun facts, photos, and colorful illustrations to engage the curiosity of every child.
These titles represent just a taste of what’s out there for kids to read travel-inspired books.
For a more comprehensive look at travel-themed books for children, check out kidstravelbooks.com, a fantastic resource that organizes more than 2,000 children’s titles by country, series, and age range, as well as providing travel-themed printables, gift guides, and more.
Wanderful Editor’s Pick!
We love to support our greater Wanderful community and their work! Lauren Pelkey, of WanderLuluu, has written an extraordinary kids’ travel book to inspire curiosity in little ones.
Great for kids up to 7 years old, Wally the Wandering Wallaby takes us on adventures to 8 different countries and teaches greetings in 7 different languages!
How do you inspire curiosity about the world in your kids? Share your tips in the comments below!