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Books that Inspire Kids to Travel

Kids Travel Books from Lonely Planet
Written by Stuart Wickes

Travel Inspiration for Kids
Lonely Planet Kids Travel Books

Stuart Profile SmallBooks have a lot to answer for. They’ve long inspired my love of travel and adventure and I hope they will do the same for my kids. We’re long time fans of Lonely Planet’s guide books; they’ve been our trusted guide in many a tight spot around the globe. So it’s great to see the brand evolving and developing its offering of kids travel books. For this post, we’ve teamed up with Lonely Planet Kids to review four of their latest kids travel books. So read on and find out how these books inspired the kids…  

Books that inspire travel

Back in the day it was good old printed books that inspired me to travel and adventure. As a teenager an early hardback copy of Quest for Adventure got me dreaming naively about becoming a Scott or a Shackleton.

Later, trapped in the world of work, a copy of Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia inspired me to quit and take off with Kirstie on a crazy six month honeymoon cycling through Patagonia.

Years later a charity shop copy of Spanish Steps, Tim Moore’s account of riding The Camino by donkey, sowed the seeds for our own family pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with me and Kirstie as the donkeys, riding tandem bicycles with the kids and pulling trailers full of luggage.

Books have a lot to answer for. Good books, in the right hands at the right time, can inspire amazing travel experiences.

Adventure books on a bookshelf

They say a bookshelf says a lot about a person

Travels of the imagination

When I turn off the light, say goodnight to my kids and shut their bedroom door, I know they sometimes go off travelling. Alone. They travel far, to fantastic places. Under the covers. With a headtorch. In a book.

Good books are journeys; journeys of the imagination. Through them we visit impossible places, do unbelievable things, meet extraordinary people, experience unknown worlds.  Reading is like travelling; it expands our horizons, teaches us about other worlds, ignites our curiosity and invites us to adventure and explore. Who wouldn’t want that for their kids?

The latest books from Lonely Planet Kids are great examples of books that do this well. When we received review copies I asked Hannah and her friend to take a look at them and tell me what they found inspiring in them. And this is what they had to say as they travelled Around the World in Four Books.

You Rule

You Rule got the girls talking, no arguing, over which one of them was going to rule their new country, SparkleRainbowLandia. However, they were quick to agree that this is a really fun book that gets you thinking about lots of quite serious things to do with how countries work, what you need to do to set one up and how to rule them. Be warned, if you’ve power hungry kids in your family this book could help them turn their bedroom into their own country complete with border controls, currency, flag, local customs and a national anthem. But all is not lost, there is a chapter on power sharing which you might want to read with them first.

Lonely Planet Kids Adventures You Rule Book

You Rule will have you declaring a new country by teatime

How to be an International Spy

Hannah’s interest in spying was piqued by our recent spy themed scavenger hunt in London so she didn’t need much encouragement to wade into How to be an International Spy. Before long she had a new codename, was sending messages to her friend in code and I’m pretty sure she tried to tail me to the local shop. It seems this is a very practical and modern guide to the tools and techniques of international espionage. Having looked through the contents list I think I may need to tighten up my cyber defences before she reaches the chapters on malware, digital footprint tracking and launching cyber attacks.

Lonely Planet Kids Adventures How to Be an International Spy Book

How to Be an International Spy will have you spying in no time

Adventures Around the Globe

Adventures Around the Globe is hands on travel inspiration for younger kids, full of maps, mazes, quizzes and stickers that take you on a journey around the world, crossing all five continents. With fun facts to learn, a 3D globe to make and lots of pages for colouring, I lost Hannah to this book for best part of an afternoon.

Lonely Planet Kids Adventures Around the Globe Book

Adventures Around the Globe will keep you busy

The Travel Book

The Travel Book is a compendium of travel facts about every country in the world, except SparkleRainbowLandia. A great book to keep by your globe, for helping with geography homework, starting conversations about where in the world you are heading next or exploring the wonders of different ways of life, customs and traditions without ever leaving home. If you like travel trivia this book will have you impressing (or boring) your friends and family with amazing facts about the bokikokiko, Mr Chauhan’s moustache and the strange sport of fierljeppen.

Lonely Planet Kids The Travel Book

The Travel Book – a great addition to your rucksack

Inspiring kids to learn and travel

These are four great additions to the Lonely Planet Kids collection. These kids travel books are colourful, interesting, well researched and designed to draw you in.  All are available in printed editions and (with the exception of Adventures Around the Globe) in electronic format for the Kindle, perhaps more suitable if you are travelling beyond your duvet. If you like the sound of them, why not click through and buy them now. They make great gifts.

Over to you

Has a book ever inspired you or your kids to travel or added something to your travel experience? Do leave a comment below and let us know.

Disclosure Note: This post is brought to you in a collaboration with Lonely Planet Kids who provided the books for the purpose of review. The ideas and opinions remain, as ever, entirely our own.

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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