Lonely Planet’s “Not For Parents” Series Makes Travel Planning Fun For Kids

It’s a digital world, for sure.  But I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to books.  I like a newspaper to flip through in the morning and my adventure planning begins when I crack open the cover of a Fodor’s book for the destination I’m traveling to.  I spend plenty of time online researching my destination as well, but a book is a part of my planning.

In order to get my daughter interested in a trip I’ll usually flip through the book and find activities she’ll enjoy and read them to her.  I’ll also search the internet for pictures that will excite her.  I’m sorry it took me this long to figure it out, but  Lonely Planet makes this process much easier and kid-friendly.

We’re taking our daughter to Paris soon.  And, while she’s dutifully excited as a little girl that has read about Paris in Fancy Nancy and other books appropriate for kids her age, she’s not entirely sure what to expect other than the Eiffel Tower.  When I hopped on Amazon recently to buy the Fodor’s Paris book, I searched for kid-related books that she could use to learn about France.  Voila!

Not For Parents

Not For Parents

Lonely Planet has a pretty sizable collection of “Not For Parents” books.  You can see a full list of them on their website, but here’s a short sampling of what countries they cover for kids:






Great Britain


Paris (of course!)


South America


They also have a couple of box sets that package together a few of these choices.  As for what’s inside?  There’s a page or 2 on most of the major attractions as well as history and local flavor.  For example, the first few pages covered the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, the Guillotine (probably could have done without that page for the kiddo), catacombs and the fact that lots of Parisians own dogs so watch out for poo on the streets.  Oh, and beware of snails on plates.

Not For Parents

They’re affordable (discounted to just over $10 a piece on Amazon, with some of the collections costing between $20 and $30) and ready to ship, and they’ve definitely become part of our trip preparation to help get the kids excited.

It’s not like our kids need a ton of energy to get excited about a trip, but there is a sense of ownership when they’re telling you what they discovered and what they want to see.  My daughter, who is 7 years old, was trying to read about Mona Lisa last night and was stumbling on some of the names mentioned.  She wanted me to help her pronounce it but proclaimed, “Daddy, this book is not for parents!”.  Despite that exclamation we were still able to get through about 1/3 of the book last night and I’m sure we’ll plow through a bunch more tonight.

How do you get your kids excited for a trip?

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  1. We have been using Google Map’s street view for our next big trip. I challenged our son to find our hotel and then a good route to walk from the train station. He can get a feel for the city and also tell daddy the directs when we get there. This guide books look great too!

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