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Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust In Kids

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Reading is a way for anyone to open up their minds, enter diverse worlds that we can only imagine, and take us to places we can only dream of going. For kids, reading is one way of learning about the world that surrounds us, connecting them to what’s going on around them, and training them to use their imagination and expand their views.

Combine that with a book about travel and you’re sure to inspire that wanderlust in them that you hold so dear to yourself. As a young child I remember going to the library and checking out books on Italy, Paris, and London and dreaming about one day being able to visit. And while I did not travel often as a child, it certainly helped guide me into the person I am today and was the beginning of my desire to see the world. I hope to do the same for my child and encourage you to do the same! Here are some of my favorite travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids!

Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust in Kids-By Age Group

Ages 0-6

Some of the best travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids up to 6 years

Good Night Hawaii (Adam Gamble)

Good Night Hawaii
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Good Night Hawaii takes you along on a day spent in Hawaii, hitting many of the top attractions of Hawaii, including mountains, waterfalls, whales, dolphins, volcanoes, luaus, hula dancers, fire dancers, and beaches. Good Night Hawaii is a rounded edge board board perfect for younger kids.

Pete the Cat’s Family Road Trip (James & Kimberly Dean)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Pete the Cat's Family Road Trip
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Pete the Cat’s Family Road Trip is a perfect story for parents looking to teach their kids how to read while inspiring wanderlust at the same time. The book follows Pete the cat and family on a cross country USA road trip. Along the route famous US landmarks are visited, including Niagara Falls, New York City, Savannah, and New Orleans.

Berenstain Bears Around the World (Mike Berenstain)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: the Berenstain Bears Around the World
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This book follows the journey of the Berenstain Bears as they travel around the world with Doctor Bear’s Anywhere-Anyplace Machine. Using the machine, the Bears are able to travel to many popular destinations, including England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, India, China, the United States, Mexico, Canada, and more. With each place they visit the Bears explore a famous landmark, learn facts about the destination, and learn about animals native to the area.

Pop Up London (Andy Mansfield)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Pop Up London
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Pop Up London brings the famous sites in London (such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral) to life with vibrant, colorful pop up pages.

Hello, World! (Disney Book Group)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Hello, World!
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Based off of Disney’s popular It’s a Small World, Hello, World! takes the reader across the world with colorful illustrations. Readers will learn how to say Hello in 10 different languages as they travel the world.

Ages 7-12

Some of the best travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids 7-12 years

Around the World in 50 Ways (Dan Smith)

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Around the World in 50 Ways is a great travel book that allows the children to interact as they choose between different transport option, number of days traveling, and travel directions. Each choice will direct you to a different page number, the next step along your journey. The book gives facts and details about each destination along the way to inspire wanderlust in the reader.

MISSION: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure series (Catherine Aragon)

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This series offers a fun, interactive way for kids to learn about the history, art, culture, and architecture of cities around the world. Through the series kids can act as detectives, finding clues and solving problems while exploring the city. The series includes popular cities, such as Barcelona, New York, Rome, Paris, Washington D.C., and Amsterdam.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Marjorie Priceman)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
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This book focuses on making an apple pie when you don’t have the needed ingredients. It takes you through different areas of the world to find each ingredient, from apple picking in Vermont to getting cow’s milk in England, and grabbing some wheat from Italy.

The Madeline Series (Ludwig Bemelmans)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Madeline
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The Madeline series follows the story of a young girl named Madeline who at first lives at a boarding school in France and later on travels to places like London, Washington D.C., and Rome. The Madeline series will teach your child about generosity, friendship, and bravery as well as spark curiosity about the world and new destinations.

Ages 13-18

Some of the best travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids ages 13-18

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small (Kath Stathers)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: he Bucket List
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The Bucket List contains 1,000 ideas for travel inspiration for young adults looking to begin or continue their travels and experiences around the world. The book contains ideas for cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, wildlife viewing, and more. It also provides details to make the planning process easier, including things such as some history of the destination and the best time to visit.

The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Kids)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: The Travel Book
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The Travel Book takes readers to every country in the world, exploring the country’s customs, culture, history, and famous landmarks. This book is also perfect for those looking to plan upcoming trips, as it provides details about when to visit, things to do, and details about the country’s culture, food, music, and film.

Around the World in Eighty Days (Jules Verne)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Around the World in 80 Days
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A well known story, Around the World in Eighty Days follows the character Phileas Fogg and his servant Passepartout as they travel around the world in, you guessed it, 80 days! The story takes place in 1800’s. As they travel around the world, starting in London and visiting places such as Egypt, India, and the US, things don’t go exactly as planned (as I think they don’t for most of us!).

Wanderlost (Jen Malone)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Wanderlost
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Wanderlost is a romantic novel that follows a girl, Aubree, as she takes over for her sister leading seniors on a bus tour through Europe. While in Europe, she meets the son of the tour company’s owner and the two quickly fall in love.

Diary of a Tokyo Teen (Christine Mari Inzer)

travel books to inspire wanderlust in kids: Diary of a Tokyo Teen
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The Diary of a Tokyo Teen is a comic book style novel that follows the life of a young girl born in Tokyo, but who later moved to the US. In the summer before she turned 16 she travels back to Tokyo, where she explores the fashion of Japan’s  Harajuku district, tastes sushi at the Tsukiji fish market, and meets and learns from locals.


Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (Dr. Seuss)

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This book can not be well categorized into any specific age group because it appeals to all ages! Like any other Dr. Seuss books, it is great for reading to young children and inspires imagination, but it is also a very popular gift given to graduates to help inspire them and encourage self-resilience and self-reliance as they venture out into the world.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! inspires wanderlust not through visiting real life destinations but by taking the reader through exciting fictional locations and inspiring curiosity about the world.

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  1. Great post. I’m considering some of these for my classroom next year. I think NPR has subscriptions to something called “Little Passports” which is also supposed to get kids interested in travel. I don’t know much about it but when I hear their ads for it it always sounds intriguing – and like something I would have loved as a kid.

    • Thank you! Yes, I have the Little Passports monthly subscription for my daughter and she loves it! Each month they send you information about a different country with activities and different things to do. There is also a passport book with stickers that come with the monthly package so they can keep track. It is very cool!

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