Best Books That Inspire Kids to Travel

Best Books That Inspire Kids to Travel
Books can inspire kids to travel. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Get the kids reading with a collection of new and classic books that inspire kids to travel. Readers are travelers that travel with a book. And it’s never to early to transport a kid to a new location, be it real or imaginary.

Books that Inspire Kids to Travel


Girl Sailing Aboard the Western Star by RA Anderson

I read this book cover-to-cover as an adult.  A 12-year-old sets sail with her family abroad the Western Star for an entire school year, sailing around the Caribbean.  Learn about life on the 53-foot sailboat along with islands they explore.

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Classic Children’s Books 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder 

A beloved children’s series about the pioneer life of Laura Ingalls written by the author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, later in life. The books differ from the TV series of the 1970s in that the Ingalls family lived in several different locations, not just Plum Creek, Minnesota.

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Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Set on the idyllic Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes, explore PEI with Anne Shirley, a red-headed heroine. Anne, an orphan, is adopted by a brother and sister, Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert to live on their farm.  Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, you can visit a National Park site dedicated to the series on PEI.

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The Books
Anne of Green Gables Hertiage Place on Prince Edward Island

Eloise by Kay Thompson

Explore The Plaza Hotel in New York City with a precocious girl, her nanny, her pug and her turtle.

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Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Learn about Madeline, a red-headed heroine who lives in an old house in Paris with her schoolmates.

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Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

The Swiss family is shipwrecked with a bounty and make  a new life on an island in the South Pacific. Living in a treehouse, learn about their daily life.

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James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Hop aboard a juicy peach and be transported to magical lands only Roald Dahl could create.

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Books about the National Parks 

Stamp Your Way Through the U.S.A. by Emily Matheny, Mary O’Hare and Rose Storey

A charming series of five books divided by region, like Western region and the Rocky Mountain Region. Kids learn about individual parks, like the geological features and the animals of the park.

If kids are visiting a park, they can fill out a page to document their visit, including space for park cancellation stamps. Makes for an excellent companion for national park road trips.

Seek and Find National Parks by Jorrien Peterson

Can’t tell you what I love  better–mazes or the national parks. If you are or know a maze kid, here’s the book. Learn about the uniqueness of the U.S. and Canadian national parks, from Branff to Crater Lake to the U.S. Virgin Islands to Yellowstone.  Work the maze and get to know the park. This book even includes a glossary.

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Lonely Planet Kids: America’s National Parks

In a guide with charming illustrations, kids can explore a big book of national parks. Starts with nifty things to know about visiting National Parks, then learn about the parks in ABC order. So this is a great reference guide for kids. Or get them excited about a national parks road trip.

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John Muir: America’s First Environmentalist

A great read-aloud book to learn more about conservation and the Father of the National Parks.

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How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark

Kids engage with the historical characters so learn about the legendary duo that trekked from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. There are several national park sites dedicated to Lewis and Clark sprinkled across the U.S.

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This is a Book for People Who Love the National Parks by Matt Garczyski

Though not especially for kids, this handbook is good for middle schoolers and above. It features a short introduction into the National Park Service. Then read two page summeries of the more popular parks across the U.S. The illustrations are charming as well.

After reading, I really wanted to see the last of my remaining parks, like Voyageurs National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park.

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Books about Animals


Puffins Take Flight Iceland: the Puffin Explorers Series by RA Anderson 

Learn about Iceland and puffins as a couple of young ones, named Arni and Birta,  explore their native land. Packed with facts and actual photographs, learn about the curious birds that inhibit the colder areas in the northern hemisphere.

Read MorePuffins Off the Beaten Path by RA Anderson

In the second installment, kids follow along as Arni and Brita encounter Iceland’s rugged scenery and animals. There’s even a glossary in the back of the book to help reader’s with new terms.

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Puffins Encounter Fire and Ice by RA Anderson 

In the final book in the series, Arni and Brita learn about the glaciers, waterfalls and geothermic forces. The puffins explore lava fields and pass many lighthouses. Even learn about the Icelandic language.

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Who Pooped in the Park? Yellowstone National Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids

Don’t underestimate the power of poop. Kids dig it. There’s a whole series of these books and they’re a hit with kids in lower grades.

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Travel Guides for Parents 

The Family Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet

If you’re planning your first trip or looking for advice on a big trip, this guide offers thorough advice and tips. It’s more for the UK or European families but solid international tips for North American families.

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More Travel Books 

National Park Books
Books set in France
Best Travel Books 
Ernest Hemingway Books

This post contains affiliate links. Some books received for review purposes.

Books can transport readers to new locations. So here's the best books to inspire kids to travel with books about animals, national parks and more. #TravelBooks #BookLists Best Books for kids | Travel Books for kids | Summer Reading for kids

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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