Best Travel Books for Children According to Travel Experts & Their Kids

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers. As an Amazon Associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases.

The best travel books for kids encourage curiosity and increase global awareness. Children of all ages expand their horizons through literary travel with these stories. To create this list of incredible reads, I reached out to those in the know: travel writers whose kids love to explore the world as much as their parents do! Of course, I included a few of my family's favorites as well. Build your library and learn about other cultures with our recommended picture travel books for young children. For tweens and teens, skip down to our suggestions for chapter travel books for older kids. Here are 22 inspirational travel books for kids according to travel experts.

travel books for kids

Best Picture Travel Books for Kids

Madlenka by Peter Sis

1. Madlenka

During a walk around a New York City block, Madlenka takes children on a trip around the world. The title character visits her favorite neighbors, like a Latin American grocer, a French baker, an Indian news vendor, and a Chinese shop owner. Kids and parents alike will love the detailed illustrations and sweet story of Madlenka sharing the news of her first lost tooth.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas


2. New York Is My Playground

New York Is My Playground is a great introduction to New York City life for toddlers and young children. The copy is big and bold, the photos are gorgeous and the subjects are adorable. Toddlers will love seeing city kids on the subway, running around Times Square, exploring Central Park, atop the Empire State Building, eating oversized soft pretzels, and exploring landmarks all over town. My daughter loves spotting all her favorite NYC sights and pointing out similarities and differences between the children.”

~ Lyla Gleason, Globetrotting Mommy

National Parks of the USA and National Parks of the USA Activity Book

3. National Parks of the USA

Get kids excited to embark on a national parks adventure with National Parks of the USA by Quarto Kids. This book covers all of the national parks included in this story and then some. Children will delight in learning about the animals, plants, and history of each park. To further prepare for your family's nature explorations, take a look at our picks of the best national parks for kids in the U.S.

A perfect companion to the book above, the playful National Parks of the USA Activity Book will engage kids with 15+ activities, a fold-out national parks poster, and 50 stickers. Activities include a word jumble, match game, word search, crossword puzzle, maze, and more.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

A Dublin Fairytale

4. A Dublin Fairytale

A spin on Little Red Riding Hood, in the sweetly illustrated A Dublin Fairytale, “Little Fiona lives in Dublin, Ireland, and one day she goes alone to visit her granny who is sick. She takes off wearing her red hood but her walk doesn't bring her through the woods. Rather she takes the reader on a journey through Dublin city centre and its main landmarks.”

~ Marta Correale,

Wind-Wild Dog ~ Best Travel Books for Children

5. Wind-Wild Dog

My family checked Wind-Wild Dog out of the library in preparation for our Alaskan vacation. We fell so in love with the story about a wild-mannered adopted sled dog with one blue eye and one brown eye, that we bought a copy as a reminder of our trip and our amazing summer dog-sledding experience. If you are considering any family dog-sledding adventures of your own (and even if you're not!), then I encourage you to buy this book.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Hamish The Hairy Haggis

6. Hamish the Hairy Haggis

Hamish the Hairy Haggis is one of my all-time favorite regional children's books. It's funny, enjoyable, and my kids learned about some basic Scottish traditions. They still talk about the story and have asked to return to Scotland for Hogmanay (New Years).”

~ Stacy Jessee, Strollering the Globe

Richard Scarry's A Day at the Airport ~ Best Travel Books for Children

7. Richard Scarry's A Day at the Airport

Prepare children for an upcoming flight with the detailed illustrations in Richard Scarry's A Day at the AirportTeach young travelers reading skills with over 70 labeled words and a sticker sheet, perfect for play on board the plane.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Let's Explore with Cor Cor

8. Let's Explore with Cor Cor

My friend and fellow travel blogger, Cory Lee, wrote Let's Explore with Cor Cor about traveling the world from a wheelchair. He said, “Growing up, I never saw a character that used a wheelchair like me, so I'm elated that the next generation of kids will with Cor Cor.” I love this book's positive message that travel is for everyone, no matter how they get around. Cor Cor's can-do attitude will resonate with all children and encourages acceptance of disabled people.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Olivia Goes to Venice ~ Best Travel Books for Children of All Ages

9. Olivia Goes to Venice

“Like the other Olivia books, the Olivia Goes to Venice is witty and beautifully illustrated. Olivia inadvertently causes trouble and discovers the joy of gelato. My children had the book pretty much memorized when we did eventually take them to Venice.”

~ Shobha George,


10. Gifts

Gifts is a wonderful tale about sharing the passion of travel with children and how it's a gift that can be passed on through generations.”

~ Kevin Wagar,

Molly Goes to Rome ~ Best Travel Books for Children of All Ages

11. Molly and the Magic Suitcase Series

“Parents and children love the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series, “because the characters are always learning about different cultural aspects and food. The illustrations are awesome and draw my kids in even when I'm not expecting it.”

~ Anne Belle, Kids Travel Books


12. Maps

Maps is a beautifully illustrated book that showcases 52 different countries around the world. As well as detailing cities, rivers, and mountains, Maps details native plants and animals, plus local foods. They even highlight traditional dress and the typical names of boys and girls from that country. It’s a brilliant way to travel the world without ever leaving home.”

~ Katja Gaskell,

This Is Hong Kong ~ Best Travel Books for Children

13. This Is series

“We always buy a This Is book by M. Sasek, if there is one for our destination. They are technically picture books but are full of really nice illustrations and all kinds of information. These books were written in the 1950s but they tell you at the end what has changed from the original text. They're beautiful and help my daughter to be interested in the historical sites, monuments, and churches that kids can find boring. In Paris she made me carry the book around so we could refer to it as we came across things. We didn't do that in Edinburgh but she read it on the plane and in the hotel. Almost every tourist site we passed, she'd say, ‘This is in my book!'”

~ Eileen Gunn,

One of the Not for Parents series books by Lonely Planet Kids ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

14. Lonely Planet Kids Travel Books

“My sons love Lonely Planet Kids Travel Books. Even as teenagers, they've enjoyed the Not for Parents series, Great Escapes, and How to Survive Anything. These titles inspire travel and knowledge at the same time.”

~ Claudia Laroye, Claudia Travels

Anne of Green Gables ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

Best Chapter Travel Books for Kids

15. Anne of Green Gables series

“You can't go to Prince Edward Island and not read Anne of Green Gables. This Canadian classic depicts the life of a spunky redhead and her adventures in Canada's smallest province. My daughter was thrilled to be able to visit the house and surrounding woods that inspired the novels. Green Gables Heritage Place was one of the highlights of our trip as was walking through the Haunted Woods.”

~ Jody Robbins, Travels with Baggage

Sisters ~ Best Travel Books for Sisters

16. Sisters

“This fabulous graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier documents her childhood family road trip from California to Colorado. Sisters explores the tumultuous relationship between two sisters that discover that even though they argue, they will always be family.”

~ Becky Mladic Morales, Kid World Citizen

Little House on the Prairie series ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

17. Little House on the Prairie series

For a journey back in time to the turn of the 19th century in American history, Little House on the Prairie series can't be beat. These travel books for children follow Laura and her family as they head west, in search of land of their very own. I read these books aloud to my daughter each night, savoring them over the course of a couple of years. We fell in love with Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary, and the rest of the family and neighbors. (Well, maybe not Laura's mean arch-rival, Nellie Oleson!) Laura Ingalls Wilder paints a vivid world of prairie chickens clucking in tall grasses, bitter blizzards that raged for days, and a time when the focus was on family and simple pleasures. It was a sad day indeed when we finished reading this beloved series together.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Percy Jackson series ~ Best Travel Books for Children

18. Travel books for children by Rick Riordan

“My kids love all of the Rick Riordan books. From Percy Jackson to the Kane Chronicles to Magnus Chase, my kids have learned about Greek, Egyptian, and Norse Mythology as well as world history in a fun way. When we travel, they love connecting in real life with the things they have learned in these books. I highly recommend these series for boys and girls alike!”

~ Kirsten Maxwell, Kids Are A Trip

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul ~ Best Travel Books for Children

19. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney is a great book to read before, during, or after a road trip with your kids. This popular book brings readers along for a ride as the Heffleys go off on a grand adventure that has many twists and turns but turns out to be an adventure no one ever expected, much like our own family's road trip across the country a few years ago. Whether your kids can read chapter books yet or not, you will all enjoy reading this book together.”

~ Keryn Means, Walking On Travels

Magic Treehouse series ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

20. Magic Tree House series

The Magic Tree House “is a wonderful series featuring Jack and Annie, who are siblings that go on adventures back in time all over the world. Before we went to Rome last year we read about Ancient Rome and Pompeii. These books provided just enough history for my kids to really appreciate the destination without bogging them down with details. I honestly believe my kids got more out of our vacation thanks to the Magic Tree House series.”

~ Lara Dorman,

First Class Murder ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

21. First Class Murder

Middle schooler mystery lovers will enjoy First Class Murder, which follows the adventures of best friends, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. “The two are traveling on the famous Orient Express for a vacation with Hazel’s dad, who really wants them to get them away from playing detectives. As luck would have it, they suddenly find that an heiress aboard their first-class carriage has been murdered and the likely culprit is on board with them. It’s an age-appropriate variation on the famous Agatha Christie book, Murder on the Orient Express. This book provides a delightful look at train travel during those glamorous times but also examines casual racism even among the wealthy and elite because of Hazel and her father’s Chinese ethnicity.”

~ Shobha George, Just Go Places

The Wizard of Oz ~ Best Travel Books for Kids

22. The Wizard of Oz

One of my daughter's favorite books, The Wizard of Oz, is a true traveler's tale. With Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow setting off on a fantastical journey in search of their deepest desires. In the end, they find they had what they needed all along. But often, it's the journey that matters, not the destination.

~ Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

No matter which of these travel books for kids your family picks, I hope your children enjoy the journey into another place and maybe even another time.

Best Travel Memoirs to Inspire Wanderlust

Continue Your Family's Literary Travels

Parents need an escape, too! Check out our list of travel memoirs to inspire wanderlust.

Planning a car trip with kids? Be sure to load up on these audiobooks for family road trips that both kids AND parents enjoy!

If your family enjoys Lord of the Rings, then you must read our tips for planning a Lord of the Rings vacation in New Zealand.

Harry Potter fans will definitely want to take a peek at our tips for exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Travel Books for Kids

Save this List of Travel Books for Kids

Be sure to save this list of travel books for kids for future reference. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

What are your favorite books about travel? Want to share other inspirational travel books for kids? Let us know in the comments below! 

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received a free preview copy of Let's Explore with Cor Cor. I did not receive any other complimentary books or compensation related to this story. All opinions expressed here are mine or those of the quoted travel experts.
About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Valerie Van Ballaer says

    Hi, my name is Valerie Van Ballaer, I write and illustrate a children’s travel book series called “The Travel Adventures of George and Paolo” (available in both paperback and eBook). The series follows George the goose and Paolo the cocker spaniel who travel to various countries around the world including Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, Italy, Ireland, Australia and Mexico. Each book includes post-it style checklists of the top recommended things to do and fun illustrations for each area. The Special Editions have additional pictures, fun facts, and a coloring section. I think your little travelers will enjoy them 🙂

  2. This is a great collection! I don’t have any kids of my own but I love giving books as gifts to the kids in my life so this is definitely coming in handy.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Books are such great gifts for kids – keep them off electronics for a little bit! 🙂

  3. AnnMarie John says

    I think these books are awesome picks for the kids! It’s really nice to get them books that will encourage them to see the world. I’d love for my daughter to read some of these!

  4. Our Family World says

    I would have gotten these books if my kids were still young. We do have a few of these books, Wizard of Oz, Little House on the Prairie, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I will send a link to this post to my cousins and friends. Their kids would love to have a few of the books on this list.

  5. Kita Bryant says

    My kids don’t read enough. I need to show them this list and change their minds!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      It’s so important for their development. I hope you can convince them that reading is fun!

  6. Sara Welch says

    This list does look really great. If only I can get them to put the tablet down!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      We’ve learned how to turn off the kids’ Internet…that make reading a little more “fun” for them! 🙂

  7. Those all sound like good choices! We love introducing new ideas with story books so I’ll have to nab some for our next adventure.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      We love to get excited about a new destination by reading about it in advance. After the trip, it’s a fun way to reminisce about our adventures.

  8. i love that you just posted this. My son is actually in the New York is my playground book! So so special to us!

  9. SO many great books here. We have read quite a few of these, like Wizard of Oz, the Magic Treehouse series, and Little House on the Prairie.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I read all of the Little House books with my daughter and am now rereading them with my son. Such a wonderful series! Magic Treehouse is another of their favorites.

  10. We are thinking about taking our girls to Ireland, so A Dublin Fairytale looks like a book that I should have them read through. I think books like these are such an awesome way to introduce children to the great big world around them and get them excited about traveling to those places themselves some day.

  11. Melissa Chapman says

    That is an extensive list of great books for kids. I love the theme and I think children would love these and start wanting to explore new places.

  12. Candace Glenney says

    Thanks for sharing this list. There are a few of my kids faves on there! Usborne has some great kids books for travel too. I recall the Little Book of First Experiences going on a lot of planes!

  13. well, who doesn’t want to read Hamish the Hairy Haggis, now? That looks awesome!

  14. Olilvia went to Venice. I knew I liked that girl. 🙂 My son would love that Diary book, I know he hasn’t read that one yet.

  15. This is such a great list! I am so taking note for my children!

  16. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    This is such an excellent list of books.
    I plan on buying a few of these for my 8yr old niece.

  17. Our Family World says

    I’ve never thought these amazing books for kids! My kids will surely love it.

  18. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    These are really great suggestions! Kids will surely enjoy these! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Reesa Lewandowski says

    Is it ok that I want to read every single one of these??? Putting these in my amazon wish list

  20. A great selection, thank you! I see some great stocking stuffer ideas and birthday gifts, especially for some friends that travel several times a year with their kids.

  21. What a great selection of travel books for kids. My daughter really loved The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I always loved Anne of Green Gables.

  22. Anne of Green Gables brings back so many wonderful memories. I hope my daughter enjoys it as much as I did.

  23. Pam Wattenbarger says

    My granddaughter has been traveling since she was 3 weeks old, and she loves when we read to her. I will have to check out some of these books.

  24. Catherine Sargent says

    This looks like a great list of books. I will have to get Hamish the Hairy Haggis for my little niece. She is getting ready to go on her first big trip.

  25. Jocelyn Cañasa Brown says

    These all seem like really great books. I need to get some of these for the kids. Thanks for the list.

  26. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I love these! I’ve always loved to travel, and I think it’s important to teach kids how much fun travel can be, as well. Great picks.

  27. Robin Masshole Mommy says

    I am a big Lonely Planet fan. I think their books are awesome.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.