Photo credit:  Angela Tiffin

Photo credit: Angela Tiffin / History Buff TravelingMom

The holidays are most often a period of travel: traveling to see relatives, traveling home and sometimes if we’re lucky traveling to relax.  It’s easy to pack the tablet or laptop for entertainment and be done with it but next time, consider books. Yes, I said paper books, not Kindle, Nook or iPad.

Adventure Books for Family Travel

I always make a point to get my family to think about the history and natural environment of where we travel and not just about the modern man-made entertainments that are offered.


Into the Field Guides, published by Downtown Bookworks, are great hand-on learning kits (or you can just buy the book) that stimulate the natural explorer in children.  With A Walk in the Woods, walking in Central Park or even Grandpa’s backyard can turn into a quest. The easy-to-read guides along with the kit’s magnifier jar and collecting bag encourage children to engage with their surroundings and hopefully learn something along the way.ProductReview

On our next beach retreat, I intend to bring along the A Walk on the Beach kit to entice my family away from the pool and onto the beach for a treasure hunt. I especially like the keepsake box for all those collections that children inevitably want to take home—the rule: no more shells, rocks, leaves, feathers then can fit in that box.

Photo credit:  Downtown Bookworks

Photo credit: Downtown Bookworks

Entertainment & Fun Facts

For the long waits that are unavoidable during holiday travel, The Icktionary from Assasin Bugs to Zits includes hundreds of fascinating illustrated facts on body parts and functions (always an endless source of amusement) as well as animals, bugs, food and other topics to get kids laughing and interacting with each other instead of a small screen.

Books for Learning

The publisher also makes a great set of science books for young learners on insects, sea creatures, animals and space.  They are accompanied by a related collectible.  My favorite, Bird-Acious, comes with real owl puke.  This mom learned that owls eat creatures and vomit up their remains.  With these books kids can learn fascinating facts about birds AND dissect this fascinating nugget to find out what the bird’s last meal was.  Although, I am not sure you’d want to explain why you have bird puke in your luggage to airport security.  You might want to keep this book at home.