One of our favorite tips for traveling with kids is to read books about where you’re going to get them excited. This is especially true in our current environment. Future travel is uncertain, so we’ve been finding creative travel activities for kids at home. While we own all of these travel books for children, a trip to your local library or a free library app is also a great way to obtain books for the next adventure.
The best part about reading books before going on a trip with kids is seeing the things they read about come to life. I’ll never forget the look in our son’s eyes when he saw the Changing of the Guards after reading about it in this toddler travel book about London. That memory alone was a great reminder of the role books and travel can both play in shaping a child’s life.
Each book listed here is tied to a family travel blog post with the destination or activity that inspired us to read the book. While many of the kids’ travel books listed here are geared more toward toddlers, we’ll continue to add to this list as we go to include travel books for older kids.
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Location Specific Travel Books for Children
Ever since our first family travel adventure, we’ve gotten books about the places we’re going to. When traveling with a baby, we often purchased a book about the location as a souvenir. As we entered the world of toddler travel, books became a fun way to learn about our destination beforehand. (And also reinforce what we saw after a trip.)
The Travel Book from Lonely Planet Kids is one of our favorite travel books for kids. It contains fun facts and pictures about every country in the world and is great for kids of all ages. Below are a several additional books about states and countries for kids.
- Night-Night, Pittsburgh by Kathryn Sully (The Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh with a Toddler)
- Hello, Arizona by Martha Zschock (Phoenix, Arizona: Football, Family & New Years with a Baby)
- Good Night Nebraska by Adam Gamble & Mark Jasper (Omaha, Nebraska with a Baby)
- Go, New York, Go by Josh Cleland (New York City: Exploring Midtown & Central Park with a Toddler)
- Disney It’s a Small World Hello, World! by Disney Book Group (The Best Rides in Magic Kingdom for Toddlers)
- Little James Goes to Big Places… Australia by Janine Ianelli (15 Family Travel Bucket List Ideas From Home)
- Tovi the Penguin: Goes to Ireland by Janita Rossitor (Northern Ireland Road Trip with Kids: 1 Week Itinerary)
- Tiny Travelers Mexico Travel Quest by Steven Pereira & Susie Jarmillo (The Best Resort in Cancun for Families)
- My Little Cities: London by Jennifer Adams (Guide to Spending a long layover in London with Kids)
- Tiny Travelers Puerto Rico Treasure Quest by Steven Pereira & Susie Jarmillo (We visited PR pre-kids and it’s high on our list to return to!)
- Tiny Travelers China Travel Quest (We don’t currently have plans to visit China. We loved learning more about it while traveling virtually from home, though.)
The Tiny Travelers books are a new series of travel books for children that instantly fell in love with. While there are only a few out right now, there are several new countries being released this year. The books include stickers, fun facts and questions to learn more about a specific country as you go.
Holiday Travel with Kids Books
Whether you’re looking for a Disney Christmas book or a holiday book that inspires travel, these are two of our favorites. Where Would Santa Go is a fun travel book for children of any age who are interested in learning about different places in the world.
- Where Would Santa Go? by Julia Inserro
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Christmas by Susan Amerikaner (5 Awesome Places to Celebrate Christmas in Orlando)
Books About Beaches, Sea Life & Animals
We first took our son to the beach as a baby when he was 2.5 months old. Since then, he’s been obsessed with children’s books about the beach, sea life and animals of any kind. While the Coral Reefs book referenced below is for older toddlers/kids, most books listed here are great for babies and toddlers.
- Coral Reefs by Gail Gibbons (24 Hours in Bermuda for Little Kids)
- Deep Deep Sea by Frann Preston-Gannon (Florida Keys with Kids)
- Sally in the Sand by Stephen Huneck (Kid-Friendly West Ocean City, Maryland)
- Penguins Waddle by Rebecca Glasser (Pittsburgh’s National Aviary: First Visit with a Young Toddler)
- Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (7 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium)
General Travel & Transportation Books for Toddlers
These toddler travel books don’t necessarily fall under a specific category. They range from books about flying for kids to cooking adventures to recalling names of boats. The Look Inside an Airport book is especially helpful when preparing kids to fly.
- Look Inside an Airport by Rob Lloyd Jones (Flying with a Toddler: Tips, Tricks and Products to Help You Navigate)
- Planes by Byron Barton (Flying with a Baby: Tips for Before & During Your Flight)
- Around the World: A Follow the Trail Book by Katie Howarth (Intro to Traveling with a Baby: 5 Things to Keep in Mind)
- Boats Go by Steve Light (10 Tips for Cruising with a Baby or Toddler)
- On The Go by Tad Carpenter (How to Survive Long Car Rides with a Baby)
- Cook in a Book: Pizza! by Lotta Nieminen (The Best Kid-Friendly Pittsburgh Area Restaurants & Tips for Eating Out)
Do you have any favorite children’s books about travel? Please share if you have any favorites that we should add to our list!