We take pride in providing authentic travel recommendations based on our own experiences. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product or book a reservation. Learn more ›
Going on a road trip? This definitive list of 15 road trip books for kids guarantees a super fun – and melt-down-free – journey to your destination.
A bored kid, plus hours on the road with nothing to do but stare at the passing pavement, is a recipe for disaster. While we adore our children to bits, being pestered with are-we-there-yets once every five minutes can send any parent to his wit’s end.
Parents would want to avoid mistakes to enjoy still traveling on the road with kids. If you’re dealing with a pack of restless youngsters, it may be time to turn to the legendary power of books to keep them occupied!
Also, if you plan to rent an RV, we suggest you research it and look for better options before jumping to a conclusion. It is fun exploring Midwest road trips. You can make great weekend getaways with kids and create memories
Vermont Route 100 is also one that we can suggest exploring. However, to help you search for literature, we compiled the best books for kids on a road trip. This definitive selection is a mish-mash of travel-inspired fiction, fun games, and entertaining audiobooks.
Any of these will have your children glued to the page for hours! Keeping your kids occupied is a crucial family travel hack to keep everyone sane while exploring.
- Best-Of by Category
- Best Road Trip Books for Kids
- National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun
- What Should Danny Do? (The Power to Choose Series)
- The Try Not to Laugh Challenge – Would Your Rather? – EWW Edition
- The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!
- Find Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book
- Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids: 300 Difficult Riddles And Brain Teasers Families Will Love (Books for Smart Kids)
- Mad Libs on the Road
- The Best Ever Back Seat Games: Fun games to play while you are traveling
- The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids: Awesome Activities for Your Adventures
- Junior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the U.S. National Parks!
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Gulliver’s Travels: Retold for Younger Listeners
Best-Of by Category
|Best for Adventure Seekers||Great American Road Trip|
|Best for Young Learner||Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures|
|Best for Animal Lovers||Pete the Cat: Road Trip|
|Best for History Buffs||National Geographic Kids: Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas|
Best Road Trip Books for Kids
National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun
If you’re gearing up for a long drive with your family, National Geographic’s Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas is a boredom buster and an educational tool.
This book includes easy-to-read road maps of each state and a comprehensive map of the United States (most states get a 2-page spread with snippets about cool things to do and popular roadside attractions).
Also, you might be interested in the list of the best road trips location we compiled here in the US. It’s chock-full of fun facts, puzzles, and mazes. The evergreen content makes it a traveler’s companion and a great book to read at home. A comprehensive index of names and places makes it easy for kids to learn about a particular location or historical figure.
See Related: Museums in the United States
What Should Danny Do? (The Power to Choose Series)
It’s time for our kids to experience the fun of choosing their adventure books, a genre of literature we’ve grown to love in our younger years.
What Should Danny Do, one of the best road trip books for kids, is a fun and interactive book that includes nine adventure-filled stories, allowing kids to draw out the character’s paths with choices that will shape their lives.
What Should Danny Do follows the day-to-day life of Danny, a young aspiring superhero. At the story’s beginning, we see Danny playing at home on a school day.
The book gives the reader a choice: should Danny continue playing or get ready for school? Depending on your child’s choice, she turns the page to the corresponding story. The book encourages young readers to think about their choices’ consequences while making them aware of their own power to control their lives.
See Related: Weekend Trips from Amsterdam
The Try Not to Laugh Challenge – Would Your Rather? – EWW Edition
Bust this book out on an extended road trip and watch the hours while away! Try Not to Laugh Challenge – Would You Rather? Eww Edition is a treasure trove of ooey-gooey fun with its compilation of 160+ silly, hilarious, thought-provoking questions about everything icky and revolting.
It’s a great game that offers hours of backseat fun! To play the Would You Rather, you take turns reading and answering choice-based questions out loud. You’ll then have to explain why you chose that one.
If you get giggles from your listeners, you get a point. Would you rather eat a rotten squid donut with eyeball sprinkles or snack on dried scabs with a side of rotten toenails? The questions are super silly while still being family-friendly!
The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!
Educational and fun to read, The 50 States deserves a spot in our list of best road trip books for kids. This beautifully illustrated travel companion features 50 infographic maps of every state with more than 2,000 facts about nature, people, cities, and historical events.
An expansive guide about US presidents and state flags is also included. Each wonderful map is filled to the brim with educational snippets and wonderful art, including a short introduction to each state, key facts, state icons, inspiring people who are associated with the location, region spotlight bubbles that offer deeper insights about a particular place, and moments to remember box that lists significant dates and events that shaped the state’s history.
If you’re still thinking about what state to go to, you might consider going to California for a road trip. We created the ultimate guide for you and ideas you can use in the future.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World
Find Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book
Find Momo Coast to Coast may only be described as a canine version of Where’s Waldo (if you switch the cartoon art with stunning landscape photography). It’s a mish-mash of different things – part game, part photography book, and part road-trip journal.
Right on its cover, the author offers readers a challenge: My dog is taking a road trip. Can you find him? And find him you will – in front of the White House, lost in Grand Central Station, or wandering the streets of San Francisco.
Each gorgeous page features a hiding border collie that you must locate (and trust me when I say that he’s as elusive as a seasoned burglar).
Looking for fun books for kids during a road trip? Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids is a compilation of 300 challenging riddles and brain teasers for intelligent children. It’s as educational as it is entertaining, making it one of the best road trip books for kids.
This brain-teasing book aims to test logic, lateral thinking as well as memory and engages the brain in seeing patterns and connections between different things and circumstances.
Three chapters of ascending difficulty offer hours of fun for kids who like testing their wits. Sample riddles include The more of me you have, the longer your life. The more of me you have, the less you have left. What am I? (Heartbeat) and When is 1500 plus 20 and 1600 minus 40 the same thing? (Military time)
See Related: Best Travel Blankets
Mad Libs on the Road
Mad Libs, the iconic phrasal template word game, gets a road-trip rehash in this hilarious new edition: Mad Libs On the Road. The rules are simple if you aren’t familiar with this six-decade-old pastime.
One player asks the other plays to contribute different words for each blank in a given story – it may be a noun, a verb, or an adjective.
The players don’t know the context of that word. Finally, the story is read aloud with hilarious and silly results. If you’re on a lengthy road trip with kids, this is a great way to make everyone laugh!
See Related: Best Day Trips from Minneapolis
The Best Ever Back Seat Games: Fun games to play while you are traveling
When on road trips with the family, running out of things to say or do is easy. Without activities to keep everyone occupied – the journey feels long and tiresome. Enter The Best Ever Backseat Games, one of the best road trip books for kids.
The 2nd Edition of this popular travel book comes with even more boredom-busting games and activities for people of all ages. It contains more than a hundred varieties of interesting facts and fun games that focus on community, coziness, and presence.
A sample chapter is Car Manual Quiz, where the Game Master flips through the car’s manual to find something interesting that he can turn into a true or false question.
He may ask, The hand break needs to be engaged when you change a flat tire. True or false? A player then answers and gains a point depending on his answer. Samples of other chapters are Tongue Twister, Memory Game, and Name the Capital.
See Related: Best Travel Toiletry Kits
The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids: Awesome Activities for Your Adventures
While digital devices can keep boredom at bay on an extended trip, too much of something is bad. The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids makes your kid’s road trip journey a moment to self-reflect without being glued to the screen.
This popular book is brimming with activities and journaling prompts for up to four, allowing your child to record and immortalize his travel memories.
Created for 6-9-year-olds, The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids comes with guided writing prompts to record their hopes for the trip, discoveries, and highlights.
The book works like a personal diary, allowing young travelers to record what they taste, see, and hear. It also has many games and activities to thwart boredom, including crosswords, scavenger hunts, word finds, and more.
Of course, kids won’t go on a trip with their parents and necessities. If you’re considering travel coolers that’ll change your getaways, we compiled a list of the best ones you can look at.
See Related: Top Travel Agency Blogs
Junior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the U.S. National Parks!
Going on a road trip to a national park? Young rangers will adore the Junior Ranger Activity Book, one of the best road trip books for kids.
Filled to the brim with trivia, jokes, games, silly activities, fun facts, and more, the Junior Ranger Activity Book offers fun and in-depth knowledge about U.S. National Parks.
Each beautiful page offers snippets about each location with photos of amazing park habitats and animals. It’s one of the best travel books for kids who love flora and fauna!
See Related: Best RV Travel Trailers for Couples
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Looking to ignite your child’s love for literature? Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great entry point to fiction and is one of today’s most popular and successful book series.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series follows Greg Heffley, a middle-school student, as he attempts to become popular in school. Greg writes a day-to-day account of his life experiences in his journal “ the eponymous Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
What starts as a fun escapade takes several wrongs (and hilarious) turns. A great book to read for kids while going on their road trip!
See Related: Best Travel Board Games
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar may be simple, but it’s brimming with life lessons that young children will surely value.
This children’s picture book was first published in 1969 and has since sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Today, this well-loved story is one of the best audiobooks for kids to play while going on road trips.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar follows the story of a lovable larva as it munches its way through a variety of food. Later, the caterpillar makes a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. He wakes up weeks later and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. The story teaches the value of patience, hope, and hard work.
See Related: Best Travel Gifts for Backpackers
Gulliver’s Travels: Retold for Younger Listeners
Looking for a kid’s audiobook for a road trip? There’s nothing like a good story to keep everyone in a car entertained for extended periods. For most of us who grew up reading classics, Gulliver’s Travels was a true adventure.
The story of Lemuel Gulliver and his journey to various unfamiliar lands is weird and wacky. Everyone is incredibly tiny in Liliput, while giants thrive in Brobdingnag. In Houyhnhnms, people are horses, while those living in Laputa have mastered magnetic levitation. After all of his travels, Lemuel also learns to see humans differently.
Known globally as one of the most spectacular works of fiction, this modern version sees the classic story simplified and clarified for younger listeners. Though retold, it retains the humor and satire we’ve loved!
- Route 100 Vermont Road Trip
- Best Minnesota Family Vacations
- Best Travel Gifts
- Grand Canyon Packing Checklist
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Joshua Lagandaon is a writer from the Philippines. He has been writing professionally for more than a decade after taking a Creative Writing degree at the Philippines’ prestigious Ateneo de Manila University. He writes for local travel, fashion, and lifestyle magazines while dabbling in theater and the arts.