Book travel worksheet

Book travel worksheet

In episode 8, Amanda Fristrom tells us all about how you can improve your traveling – using books. To help us plan ahead and make it even easier to bring along our favorites, we have a worksheet you can print out for every trip, or laminate and use dry erase markers again and again.

Step one: Read Before

Choose where you’re going, of course! But, after that is all sorted, we start our planning process with thinking about books we can read at home, before we ever step out the door.

Younger children:

Think “sensory;” what will you see, smell, hear, feel when you’re there? Will there be a different climate, language, people, habitat, housing, foods, or maybe even plants or animals? Try to find books that talk about these differences. Amanda talks about using flags as a great, go-to to catch the attention of her young kiddos.

Older kids:

You may want to think about famous people, holidays, facts, or the history of the place you are visiting. Try to incorporate their interests into the plan – and don’t forget fiction books as well!


Are you the travel book type, to read through what Lonely Planet has to say? Perhaps you want to brush up on some art history before making your way to the Louvre. There’s always Wikipedia while you’re standing in front of that painting, true. But reading about your destination before you go can help you be truly present in the moment while you’re gazing at Mona Lisa’s famous smile.

Step two: When we plan to read

Put on some relaxing music or burn a candle and imagine what the days will be like during your trip. Are you going to be in the car a lot? Perhaps you need quite a few family-friendly options to listen to. Are you going to be trapped in a single-room hotel with kids that go to sleep at 5pm and have to be in pitch-black, can’t-see- your- hand-and-don’t-even-think-about-watching-TV silence? Maybe you’ll be with family members who are learning to read, or who would love to sit with your kiddos and read for hours on end.

Now that you have a rough idea for what the days may look like, think about how you can make books work for you and take out some of the hard stuff about traveling. Feel free to get that cheesy romance for the beach. No judgement here! Maybe you want to bring along a child-friendly cookbook or science fair project book for Grandma and Grandpa to use with your kids while you run as far away as you can. Maybe you need to be holed up in London every day from noon until 2pm while your child sleeps off the jetlag. Or maybe you know you need to read to unwind after the aggravation of the rental car queue…

Step three: Books to download

Now we get down to it! If you’re planning on using books on any devices, check up on your Audible, Scribd, Libby, Kindle Fire, or whatever you use for your books, and stock up before you leave, so no lack of wifi is ever going to get you down. Write down the books you’re dying to read or listen to there, and download them!

Step four: Tech pack it

If you’re like Jill and Amanda, you have a lot of tech related to your reading these days. From kindles to headphones to splitters and chargers for all. the. things, you don’t want to be left stranded with a bunch of new books to listen to or read on that e-reader with no way to do it!

Step five and six: Book pack it

We separated this into two boxes so you can distinguish between different categories of books if you’d like. Say, children’s and adult’s books. Or leisurely reading vs. work-related. Maybe “task” books like journals vs. reading books. Maybe you’re doing one of these worksheets for each member of your family, and you just write down all those novels you’ve been saving up for yourself.

The main point is, don’t forget to pack your books!

Extra credit:

Hopefully you’re all set to go with your books. If you want to set aside the children’s books like Amanda does so they are fresh for your kids, you can add that to your calendar or right there on the worksheet.

I am keeping my completed sheets as a part of our travel journals, a sort of snapshot of what our family’s preferences are right now and another layer of memories for our trip.

Take a picture of the lists of books and tech that you bring so you can easily remember to bring them all back.

Let us know where you’re going next, and how you’ll be using books!

Episode 08: How books can help you travel better

Episode 08: How books can help you travel better

Get some ideas for how you can improve your traveling by using books. This week we are joined by One Page at a Time co-host, Amanda Fristrom! Amanda is probably among one of the more well-traveled people out there, having visited 6 continents, 63 countries and 49 of the 50 United States. She has many talents, such as possessing a vast knowledge of spices and the ability to design a whole line of handmade toys centered around camels. She chatted with us about the role books have played in her travels all over the world, both for herself as well as her kiddos.

In this episode we talk about:

1. We dive on in with Amanda’s tips for using books in the prep and lead-up to travels. They have a book of all the world flags that they use to show their kids the flags of the countries they are visiting. They can then use this knowledge to help kids connect with the place they are visiting, as they find flags while they are out and about. Bonus: finding flags can also be used as a distraction for antsy kids!

2. Books can also be used to introduce kids to a new language or landmarks they will be exposed to when they are in the new location. There are plenty of books with these things geared towards kids; Amanda shared the ones her family uses. 

3. One more tip for the lead-up to trips, Amanda has her kids go on a “screen freeze” for up to two weeks before leaving for a trip, to get everyone ready and excited for screen time while travelling.

4. During the actual traveling to the new destination, Amanda has Kindle Fire’s for her kids that she loads with books that can be read off-line and a couple reading apps (details below). Kindle has versions of books that are interactive; the books are read to them, the kids can turn the pages and interact with elements on the pages. Amanda has learned through experience that e-books work best for the actual travel time, although she does pack some “emergency” books in a carry-on to use if needed (low battery on devices, long delays, etc).

5. For herself, Amanda likes to have a physical book, so she has found a genre that works well for her for travelling (autobiographies). Everyone’s travel books will be different depending on your tastes and needs, but when travelling with kids you will most likely need a type of book that you enjoy, but isn’t too engrossing, so won’t mind getting interrupted while reading it (kids needing things, pausing to enjoy scenery, etc.).

6. Book Crossing is a fun website that lets you leave a book in a location with a code printed from the website and then you can track if someone finds and takes your book to a new place!

7. Eventually you will make it to your destination and books can still play a part! Amanda has found that keeping her kids’ bedtime routine as close to what they do at home makes a huge difference in their travels. Books play a big part in their bedtime routine, so she keeps that up while travelling. She either uses the books she brought in her “emergency” supply, borrows from people if visiting family or friends, or sometimes finds new books in stores while travelling. 

8. Travelling can be scary and stressful to kids, with an overload of new places and experience. Reading to them is one way to calm them and bring them back to a comfortable and familiar thing. The same can apply to you, as well- taking some time to read your own book can help you fight jet lag, decompress and settle down. 

9. If travelling to visit family, reading together- even older kids reading to the younger ones- will give family members that your children may not get to see as often that bonding time and is a wonderful way to bring the family together. 

Amanda left us with a great idea of how to get started on putting these great ideas into practice this week. She invited us to write down a quick plan of how we are going to use books in whatever travel is coming up in our lives. Books can play a powerful role in our travels and they shouldn’t be overlooked in our travel prep!

We are so grateful to Amanda for taking the time to talk with us and giving us so many great ideas and books to go look up (details below)!

Resources we talk about in this episode:


Book Crossing – track your books as they travel (like geocaching for books)


Amazon Kindle Fire


The Flag Book by Lonely Planet

Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton

Elephants on Tour: A Search and Find Journey Around the World (Where’s waldo-esque elephant book)

The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Michelle Obama’s Becoming

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Kindle interactive books

(look by author on your Kindle Fire)

Little Critter books by Mercer Meyer

Sandra Boynton (author)