Books are a great way for kids to learn about places you’re about to visit and destinations on your travel bucket list.
My kids will often pack a book or two in their backpacks while we’re traveling. That’s how they pass the time waiting at the airport and on the plane – because there’s only so many movies you can watch before you get bored!
When they were younger, they loved books with colorful pictures, rhyming text, and adventurous characters. Now that they’re in school, they gravitate more to guidebooks that teach them about culture, food, history, and art.
Books make great budget-friendly presents. They’re educational, entertaining and don’t require batteries – hurray for quiet activity time! 😉
If you’re looking for book recommendations for a travel-loving child, here are a few of our top “travel” books for kids.
Favorite Travel Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
This board book is perfect for young travelers. Based on Disney’s It’s a Small World theme park ride, each page is filled with colorful pictures. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy learning how to say Hello in 10 different languages.
This book takes you around the world as only Richard Scarry can. Colorful pictures and drawings will keep travel loving children engaged while learning about 33 cities and countries.
In this timeless classic, the journey is more about life’s rollercoaster ride than visiting any particular place. With rhyming text, funny situations, and entertaining illustrations, this Dr. Seuss book encourages readers to forget about their fears and go explore the world.
You can’t go wrong with this award-winning book that has entertained children for decades. Young readers will have fun to listening to Madeline’s mischievous antics in perfect rhyme all happening with a Parisian twist. The author’s illustrations add to the hilarity.
Favorite Travel Books for School-Age Kids
In this book, seven children from seven different countries go about their daily activities – like kids playing freeze tag in Japan and kids jumping rope in Uganda. Young readers learn that while there may be slight differences in our traditions, children are basically the same everywhere.
This book is anything but boring. It’s not about maps, but about all the exciting experiences around the world – including natural wonders, festivals, and celebrations. Fascinating facts and tips for each destination are designed to appeal to both kids and adults.
While this isn’t a book I’d recommend you take on your upcoming trip (it’s quite big), this book is perfect for learning about a destination while you’re in the planning process or counting down to travel day. Packed with photos and interesting tidbits, this book takes readers to 200 countries – perfect for kids who enjoy learning about customs, culture, history, and famous landmarks.
Picture books aren’t just for toddlers and preschoolers. This travel-friendly puzzle book is a collection of several different Where’s Waldo? books. Need to pass the time on a plane, train, car or cruise ship but not interested in reading? This book is for you (or your kids)!
Learn how to make an apple pie with ingredients from around the world. This fun book takes readers to Italy, England, Sri Lanka and other interesting places while teaching kids about geography. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World also made our list of Books that Teach Kids About Diversity.
Favorite Travel Book Series and Collections for Kids
The board book series takes children around the globe and highlights different countries – Good Night America – for example, cities – Good Night Pittsburgh (this one is highly rated), habitats and natural wonders of the world. This series of books is perfect for families with preschoolers – they’re entertaining and help develop a love for nature and cultural diversity.
This series of books explores the landscapes, animals, weather, cultures and natural wonders of countries around the world. My kids love these books and will often spend an entire afternoon going from cover to cover. Our copy of National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World has been read hundreds of times – we might need to purchase a new copy soon!
These beautifully illustrated board books focus on early learning concepts while taking young readers around the world. Learn about shapes while exploring Paris, colors in New York and opposites in London. This series is highly recommended for families with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Follow Larry and learn about exciting sights and sounds of cities around the U.S. The Larry Gets Lost series is great for school-age kids while the Larry Loves board books are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Young readers get to explore the world with Chihuahua siblings Bella and Harry. This picture book series focuses on teaching children about customs, cultures, and famous landmarks of different cities around the world.
Each book in this scavenger hunt/destination guide series is written to teach children about a specific city or country in a fun and engaging way. Children take a journey through the famous sights of major cities with the added enticement of scavenger hunt missions.
We bought the Mission Rome: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure (Travel Book For Kids) and Mission Barcelona: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure (For Kids) books for a recent Mediterranean cruise and the kids loved checking off items from their scavenger hunt list during our days in port.
Have any child-friendly travel themed books to recommend? We’re always looking for more books to add to our collection!