5 Shows to Inspire Your Next Family Trip

After highlighting travel themed books for kids, we wanted to share some recommendations for shows we’ve been streaming while dreaming about family travel adventures to come!

Full disclosure: As someone who went to two film schools, I could wax poetic all day about the transformative power of visual storytelling to transport you to far-off places, to empathize with people different from you, and to stoke the imagination so fully that you make those dreams into real life plans. And what better time to plan your next family adventure than now!

1. National Geographic 

I love the animated classics as much as anyone, but truth be told, I sometimes feel the real gift of Disney+ was the addition of all the incredible National Geographic programming. One of my favorite memories from last year was curling up with my own mom on the couch and deciding what program we wanted to watch by picking: 1) a cool country we’ve never been to but really want to and 2) selecting the episode of the docuseries that looked like it had the cutest animals. Within seconds, we were roaming the gorgeous, lush landscapes of Chile with some adorable llamas, all from our living room. (Disney+)

2. Planet Earth 

Note that there are some scenes of animals hunting their prey which may be upsetting for some younger viewers. But for children who have come to understand the circle of life (just as Disney and The Lion King taught us), this is a stunning documentary series about the beauty of the world and every living thing on it -- as well as the incredible importance of respecting it and keeping it safe. (Amazon)

3. Travel With Kids 

This fun and educational program on Amazon follows a family of four as they travel together to amazing locations like Bora Bora and Botswana, learning about history and culture. Travel shows both for and featuring kids can be surprisingly hard to come by, so this is a real gem. (Amazon)

4. Carmen Sandiego 

As someone who got a lot out of my favorite Carmen Sandiego computer game as a child, I was elated to see Netflix throwing their weight behind a reboot for a new generation of geographically-minded kids. But be warned, once you hear any version of Carmen Sandiego jingle, it’s here to stay! (Netflix)

5. Go Diego Go 

As a kid, much of my initial understanding of the world outside of my own neighborhood was animal-based. I was obsessed with our local zoo and that initial memorization of the layout of the park (which was organized by region of the world) was my introduction into a larger understanding of geography and climate. In that vein, Go Diego Go is a show about a young boy who lives in Latin America and goes on adventures learning about and rescuing animals. It’s an excellent program for preschoolers to learn more about Latin America, while showing how a community can work together to help all creatures great and small. (Amazon or Noggin) 

Streaming Tip: Many of our WAYB parents recommend Common Sense Media as a great resource to find out about the appropriate age level and positive messaging of programs for their little ones.

What are your favorite travel shows - or shows on learning about the world around you - to watch? Post a pic and tag @hellowayb to share!

About the author: Sawyer Perry is the Happy Traveler Manager at WAYB. She’s been dreaming of visiting all the new favorite places (and foods) she’s discovered while streaming. Right now she has her heart set on Great Britain, thanks to The Great British Baking Show (Chelsea buns and Bakewell slices anyone?).