*This Little Passports review is based on gifted World Edition and USA Edition kits by Little Passports. All ideas and opinions expressed are that of the writer, Antonia Grant. Find additional disclosure information at the bottom of this article.*
Little Passports recently reached out asking if someone on the Families Love Travel team would be willing to receive and provide an honest review of their subscription boxes. As a traveling mom with an eight-year-old, I jumped at the chance to receive gifted World Edition and USA Edition kits! When she was younger, my daughter received a 6-month Little Passports subscription for her birthday, which we subsequently renewed because we had so much fun with it. Then, during the early days of the pandemic, we renewed it again. In total, my daughter has tried the Early Explorers, World Edition, and USA Edition Little Passports subscription boxes over the past 5 years. Based on these experiences and the recently gifted kits, here is my honest Little Passports review for travel families.
What are Little Passports Subscription Boxes?
Little Passports was founded by two moms with the mission of “inspiring children to learn about the world”. Little Passports subscription boxes are monthly kits that families receive by mail based on their chosen topic (including diverse topics, such as travel, animals, and science). Each kit is designed to spark imagination and learning with multiple hands-on activities. After selecting the subscription box that best suits your child, you can select the duration of the subscription (6 months or 12 months, with the option to cancel at any time). Since its launch in 2009, Little Passports has also received numerous awards from both parenting and toy associations. If you’re wondering if Little Passports is the right fit for your kids, keep reading for my review!
Types of Little Passport Subscription Boxes
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of this Little Passports review, it is helpful to know what kind of subscription boxes are available. At the time of publishing, Little Passports offers 7 different subscription boxes for varying ages between 3 and 12. Certainly, families searching for one of the best travel gifts for kids will have plenty of options to choose from! Here’s a breakdown of each of the options and their age recommendations.
- Early Explorers (ages 3-5)
- Animals Wild (ages 3-5)
- Science Junior (ages 5-8)
- Space Quest (ages 5-8)
- World Edition (ages 6-10)
- Science Expeditions (ages 8+)
- USA Edition (ages 7-12)
In this review of Little Passports, we are going to focus on the three boxes dedicated to travel, culture, and geography: Early Explorers, World Edition, and USA Edition. These three subscription boxes start at $24.95/month for 12 months (or $27.95/month for 6 months).
How Do Little Passports Subscription Boxes Work?
After you select and order the option you want, families will start receiving the Little Passports subscription boxes in the mail each month. In the first box, kids will receive a welcome packet, filled with everything they need to travel the world with Little Passports. Each subscription varies slightly, but this generally includes something to keep everything organized and together (like a small suitcase), a wall map to mark and track their adventures, and an introduction of the friends they get to travel with on their Little Passports journey.
In subsequent boxes, they will receive a kit that focuses on a specific location (there are 24 boxes in all for each subscription box). Little Passports will take kids on a new adventure each month, which includes a chance to learn about the new location, hands-on activities, and more. The activities are culturally-relevant to the location and encourage learning in age-appropriate ways about each place. Finally, it is worth noting in this Little Passports review that you can cancel your subscription at any time.
The Little Passports User Experience
There are a few different things to know before you embark on a Little Passports journey, plus ways that you can maximize your experience. If you’re considering Little Passports for your kids, here is what you need to know about the actual user experience.
Mail is FUN
In my experience, kids love mail! There is something really special about getting the mail together and finding your next Little Passports subscription box waiting for you. This is when the fun really starts! But, you will want to make sure that you have the time to go through each activity together before you rip open the package.
You Need Dedicated Time Together
If you only have one takeaway from this review of Little Passports, make it this: you need dedicated time together to go through each kit. A pro (or perhaps a con depending on your perspective) of Little Passports is that they are meant to be done together. They are not something you can sit your child down to independently work on (especially younger kids). Done right, they allow families to connect and learn together free of screens and distractions. However, this can be complicated for busy families and packages can start to pile up. Before you commit to ordering Little Passports make sure you consider whether you have the dedicated time needed to complete a kit each month (in my experience, it’s about 1-2 hours/box depending on the activities that month and your child’s interest).
Keep Everything Organized
Then, make sure you keep your Little Passports activities and documents organized. Each box comes with a lot of papers and activities. This is very fun and exciting for kids, but can become overwhelming for families who don’t like clutter. As such, it is helpful to keep things organized so that kids can go back to games and unfinished activities if desired. In our family, the small suitcases that come with Early Explorers and World Edition have been large enough to keep track of everything (when packed efficiently), but a large tote or box would do the trick too.
Additionally, I recommend hanging the map up in your child’s room or a common space. This helps Little Passports continue to be exciting for kids, as there are often stickers or other activities specifically for the map each month. Hanging the map can also keep everyone motivated to start and complete each monthly box, as well as stay organized. Not to mention, having a visible map is a great way to start conversations about travel, culture, geography, and more throughout the month.
5 Reasons Why I Think Other Travel Families Will Enjoy Little Passports
Now that you know a little bit about the Little Passports user experience, here are five reasons why I think other travel families will enjoy a Little Passports subscription box. Certainly, my Little Passports review wouldn’t be complete without sharing why we love the concept of this subscription box service!
Learn About Future Travel Destinations
One of the BEST reasons to embark on a Little Passports journey with your kids is to learn about future travel destinations and other parts of the world. My daughter has soaked in a ton of trivia about countries such as Mexico, Japan, and Brazil because of Little Passports. While she has always loved to travel with us, using Little Passports has encouraged her to learn about places we have been and places we have never visited. Each box has sparked great discussions about local foods, music, holidays, weather, and other topics.
Sometimes, the boxes also happen to connect with upcoming planned travel. In fact, in our recent gifted USA Edition, we received a book with information and activities about Idaho. Since we have a planned trip to Idaho coming up, my daughter immediately reached for that book to learn more about the state we are traveling to. She loved learning about Idaho’s outdoor adventures, potatoes (did you know there is an Idaho Potato Museum?), and the state’s famous historic events. The book even included a recipe that she wants to try for Potato Chip Cookies. While she hasn’t finished all of the activities yet, she’s already put it on her packing list to take with her on the plane to learn more before we arrive.
Great for Homeschool/Worldschool Families
Along that line, while we do not homeschool, I can imagine that Little Passports would be a huge benefit to families who homeschool or worldschool their children. Each box is designed with care to optimize learning in a fun way. While the quality of the included activities can vary, each kit comes with hands-on activities to help children and their parents learn about the location of the month. We have done everything from crafts where we create a Brazilian parrot to memory games and word scrambles. If you are not interested in doing crafts with your kids, Little Passports may not be a good fit for your family.
For families who homeschool or enjoy learning together, each Little Passports box can spark learning about a variety of different topics surrounding culture and geography. Think of cultural foods, global languages, informational facts, holidays, weather, and much more. For us, they have been a great way to encourage our daughter to learn about the world around her through interactive play. Then, if your family needs more activities or resources to enhance your learning and fun, you can access a variety of online content too. On the Little Passports blog, you can find recipes, science projects, homeschool ideas, and more.
Shake Up Your Normal Routine
Sometimes, as parents, we can become stuck in a rut and routine from week to week. We tend to have our usual activities, movies, meals, and more. Generally, this makes things easier on us each week, but sometimes, you just want to shake things up! Since a new Little Passport subscription box comes each month, it’s a surefire way to shake up the routine and get kids off screens. It also keeps them excited! Old toys can get old quickly. Having a new box arrive each month keeps them new and fun for kids for a longer period. In my experience, the interest in boxes tends to fade around the 6-8 month mark (either by the parents or the kids), and they can start to pile up when you don’t have the dedicated time to complete them.
Engage & Learn Together
I know I have already mentioned this several times in this review, but one of the huge benefits of Little Passports is the time spent together as a family. Like any good travel experience, it is the connection and shared learning that really makes the experience come alive for kids. It is the same with a Little Passports subscription box. The more time and interest parents put into it, the more kids will get out of it. Engaging and learning together, while traveling or at home, fosters curiosity and creativity in our children, which is one of the main reasons why I think travel families will like Little Passports. Not only are you learning about locations around the world, but you are doing it together in a fun, interactive way.
Little Passports is a Great Non-Toy Gift for Kids
We are definitely a family that values experiences over things. As such, we often seek out gifts that create opportunities for togetherness and learning. If you are searching for a unique travel gift for kids, Little Passports is a great non-toy gift idea. Not only are they educational, but they foster a connection between the child and adult who are working on the activities together in a fun and meaningful way. This is one of the main reasons why I think Little Passports is one of the best travel gifts for kids and why we continue to gift Little Passports to kids that we know!
2 Downsides of Little Passports for Kids
Then, in my honest opinion, there are two downsides to Little Passports for kids that warrant discussion in my review. I would be remiss without mentioning them in my Little Passports review for you to consider. Stay tuned to learn more!
You Can’t Customize Destinations
First, one of the biggest downsides to Little Passports that I want to mention in my review is that you cannot customize the destinations before they arrive. I completely understand why this is the case, however, it would be so helpful for families to have boxes on hand that correspond with upcoming travel. As I mentioned earlier, it is so nice when boxes align with upcoming vacations because kids tend to be more invested in learning about a place they get to visit soon.
They Can Be a Little Spendy
Finally, they can be a little spendy for some families, especially if you are not able to get to the boxes quickly enough and they start to pile up. This is the main reason why we stopped the subscriptions we’ve held in previous years. After about six to eight boxes, our daughter (and us, if I’m being honest) started to get less interested in setting aside time to go through each box. After a while, we started to get busy with other interests – and that’s okay too! It can be expensive to continue to receive them without using them. With that said, it is really nice that you can cancel at any time to avoid too many piling up.
I will also add to this section of my Little Passports review. If you are looking for a lovely gift for a birthday or major holiday, I do think a 6-month subscription is a great fit for most travel families. Because they are so engaging, educational, and filled with information about cultures and places across the globe, Little Passports subscription boxes make a great gift for kids who like to travel.
Would I Recommend Little Passports to Other Travel Families?
So, with all of that said, would I recommend Little Passports to other travel families? Absolutely! While they can be a bit spendy, there is a lot to love about Little Passports for kids. Not only does it encourage time together discussing a topic you are likely very passionate about, but you and your kids are sure to learn something new each month. Certainly, families searching for one of the best travel gifts for kids to encourage a love for travel or those looking for a new way to learn about culture and geography together will enjoy receiving and engaging with the kits each month.
Click here to read 7 Tips For Staying Sane on Family Road Trips!
Happy Learning & Traveling Together
I hope you found this Little Passports review helpful in better understanding what a Little Passport subscription is and if it would be a good fit for your family. Certainly, I think it’s one of the best travel gifts for kids. In fact, I have gifted it to children in my life before. However, before you commit, you definitely need to make sure you can set aside the time to engage in each box together. As with all travel experiences, this time together connecting and making memories is the best part about being a traveling family!
*Unless otherwise noted, all images within this article belong to and are courtesy of Antonia Grant.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are that of the attributed author.
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