6 Library Must-Haves for Your Holiday Travels

Written by Joe Armstrong, Contest Specialist, Downtown Main Library and Paul Wellington, Social Media Specialist, Downtown Main Library

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are on the move to celebrate with loved ones. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a holiday adventurer, the Library has free apps, information, and resources to make your journey not only stress-free but downright enjoyable.

1. eBooks and Audiobooks

Take dozens of your favorite stories along with you without lugging around a suitcase full of heavy books. With apps like Libby and Hoopla (available for free with your library card), the Library is as portable as your smartphone or tablet. From timeless classics to the latest bestsellers, you can borrow them all with just a few taps - without exceeding your luggage weight limit!

Download Libby

Download Hoopla

2. Take & Make Kits

For those who crave a touch of creativity on the road (or distractions for any tiny travelers accompanying you), Take & Make kits are a game-changer. Find a library location with a Take & Make kit you depart and unlock your artistic side. We've even recorded Take & Make videos using simple materials you may have around your house.

3. Kanopy

Long flights and train rides can be a bit of a bore, but fear not—Kanopy is here to save the day. Dive into a treasure trove of Oscar Award winners and nominees, documentaries, indie films, and international cinema all from the comfort of your seat.

Available for free with your library card, you can borrow dozens of movies and TV shows per month on Kanopy and unlimited plays in their curated collection for kids.

Explore Kanopy

4. Podcasts

Turn your travel time into an enlightening experience with podcasts produced by the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library. Whether you're into interviews with our Writer-in-Residence, storytelling, or local history, there's a podcast for every taste:

  • Inside the Writer's Head: Intended for aspiring writers, avid readers, and anyone in between, our monthly Inside the Writer's Head podcast features conversations on books, writing, and creativity from the people who know it best.
  • Warlock Vorobock Reads: A monthly storytime for grownups! In each episode, librarian Adam Vorobock reads one fantastical, shiver-inducing tale. If you enjoy sitting around a campfire, listening to a storyteller as the flames leap higher into the darkness and the trees seem to inch a little closer, this podcast is for you.
  • West End Stories Project: An award-winning podcast capturing the experiences of individuals who lived in the neighborhood in the late 1900s. It’s for anyone who wants to learn more about the neighborhood’s history and transformation.

5. Physical Books

Grab a paperback or hardcover from your local branch before you hit the road. Not sure what your next read should be? Check out the over 1,300 lists of recommended books, movies, music, and more, compiled by CHPL staff or use the Library's Book Hookup service to get personalized recommendations from our staff based on your interests. Just be careful not to get too lost in the story—you wouldn't want to miss your stop!

Find a Library Location Near You

Use Book Hookup

6. Freegal

Soundtrack your travels with Freegal, the library's musical marvel. Stream or download more than 18 million songs in 200+ genres, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. Access a vast collection of songs spanning genres and eras, creating the perfect playlist for your journey. Whether you're cruising down the highway or waiting for a train, Freegal ensures you have the right tune for every moment.

Download Freegal

Bonus: Resources to Use Before and After Your Trip

Before your trip:

  • Rick Steves: Prepare for your travels with insights from the travel guru himself. Rick Steves' guides offer invaluable tips, cultural insights, and off-the-beaten-path recommendations, ensuring you make the most of your adventure.
  • Travel Magazines on Libby: Dive into the pages of travel magazines on Libby to gather inspiration and plan your itinerary. It's the perfect way to build excitement for your upcoming journey.
  • Collection of Travel and Destination Guides: Your local library is a treasure trove of travel knowledge. Browse and borrow destination guides to discover hidden gems and insider tips for your holiday destination.

After your trip:

  • Visit a MakerSpace: Relive your travel memories by visiting the MakerSpace at your library. Edit your photos using Photoshop, create scrapbooks, and immortalize your adventures with the help of CreativeBug. It's the perfect way to ensure your travel experiences live on long after you've unpacked your bags.

How will you use the library during your trip? Let us know in the comments below!