Our Travel-Themed Nursery (Plus 7 easy DIY Ideas)

A travel-themed nursery is becoming a popular idea, particularly among parents with a passion for travel.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting a baby in summer 2015, we did what every new parent does… First, we completely freaked out. Holy cow, we’re going to be parents! Will we still be the same people? How will our lives change once there is a tiny human in the house? Will we still be able to travel?

Then, we started envisioning that adorable growing baby. Those tiny fingers and toes! That soft newborn baby hair! The sweet coos and gassy smiles! We can do this parenting thing. Of course, we can still travel with a baby! In fact, it will be cool to show her the world.

Finally, we sprung into preparation mode. We converted the office into a nursery, registered for a bunch of stuff we needed and even more stuff we only thought we needed. (Seriously, you don’t need a diaper wipes warmer. You just don’t.) Then we hit up the baby stores, perused catalogs, and searched Pinterest for the perfect nursery theme.

Butterflies? Eh… Princesses? Not our thing… Chevron print? Cool, but a bit overdone.

Our Baby Girl’s Travel-Themed Nursery

Framed maps

We wanted something unique that reflected our lives and our interests. There was only one theme that we could both truly agree on… A travel-themed nursery. We wanted our nursery and our home to give that feeling of traveling even when we couldn’t actually travel. (You know, like during those sleepless newborn months.)

Nowadays you can find all kinds of  travel-themed home decor items, party supplies, and clothing. Couples who love to travel are even planning engagement parties, weddings, and pregnancy announcements that are travel-themed.

Decorative suitcases in our travel-themed nursery
Decorative suitcases are a great addition to any travel-themed room.

But when we were planning for the arrival of our future frequent flier, travel was not a popular theme. It was not readily available in any baby store, on Amazon, or even Etsy. I’m also not the type of crafty person who can turn a concept into a reality. But luckily, I have some pretty crafty friends, so our concept turned into a perfect, yet inexpensively put together travel-themed nursery.

Putting together a DIY travel-themed nursery

Travel-inspired nursery - Parenthood and Passports

First, we decided on a color scheme that had absolutely nothing to do with the theme. We chose mint, grey, and coral. Then, we purchased items to build the theme around and fabric and scrapbook paper with which we covered those items.

We found picture frames that matched our color scheme perfectly. Then, we framed maps and poster paper of vintage luggage tags and postage stamps. We decoupaged wooden letters to spell out our daughter’s name, and had all of our friends and family sign a globe at the baby shower and write a message to our future tiny traveler.

Finally, after our sweet daughter made her arrival, we had her newborn photos taken sleeping in a vintage suitcase. We had the photo enlarged, and it now hangs on a lightweight canvas above what was once her crib and is now her toddler bed. The room has been able to grow with our daughter and has inspired a love for the world and other cultures in her, just as we’d hoped it would.

Parenthood and Passports - Travel nursery theme
Our travel-themed nursery after it was converted to a travel-themed toddler room.

Tips to create a nursery with a travel theme

For those wanting to do their own travel-themed nursery, or any theme that isn’t readily available in home decor or baby stores, here are a few tips.

  • Think outside the box. We found the prints we framed in the scrapbook aisle, not the decor aisle. And nothing in our daughter’s room, aside from her furniture, was purchased in a baby store.
  • Build around a color scheme. You aren’t constricted by a ready-made theme. So find colors you love, and bring in those colors using accent pieces and picture frames.
  • Don’t think you have to spend a fortune. A custom theme can be done without the help of an interior designer, and it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. While we splurged on our daughter’s crib bumpers and the newborn photos of her in a suitcase, the rest of the decor items cost less than a couple hundred dollars.
  • Decorate with items not typically found in a nursery. Suitcases, maps, road signs, globes, framed family travel quotes, and luggage tags can all be used to bring your theme together.

Do you have a travel-themed nursery or room in your house? Leave us a comment below and tell us how you brought it together.

Like it? Pin this travel-themed nursery to save for later!

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5 comments on “Our Travel-Themed Nursery (Plus 7 easy DIY Ideas)”

This is so different from all the other rooms I’ve seen but I quite like it. It’s different and I feel it captures your essence as a family that love to travel. Your DIY friends did a great job

Thank you! I mainly decided to share the pictures of Avery’s nursery in case other families are looking for a similar theme and need some ideas of how to make it work. Some of her knickknacks are collected from other countries and bought from native artisans so we can support the local economies a little everywhere we go.

I love this nursery! What a wonderful job you did and what a lot of wonderful things to stimulate a young and curious mind!

my daughter is an adult now but I had so much fun painting and decorating her room over the years. I felt like it was really a place to let the imagination take wings. Beautifully done!

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