Baby Names for World Travelers

Baby Names World Travelers

Maybe pregnancy has you worried that you are going to have to plan fewer trips post-baby or you wish you had been able to travel more pre-baby. Many of these travel names have the benefit of being relatively uncommon as names, but somewhat familiar based on their associations with travel or adventurers. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or have future travel dreams, you can honor your wanderlust with any of these travel-inspired names:

Ocean or Oceania: what better way to honor travel than name your child for international bodies of water? While Ocean might make the most sense for a boy and Oceania for a girl, Ocean could also be a unisex name, and an especially great middle name for both sexes.

Kai or Kailani: Kai and Kailani are names of Hawaiian origin. Along the lines of Ocean, Kai means “sea,” and Kailani means “sea and sky.” While Kai is most often used for boy babies, it is gaining popularity as a name for baby girls as well. Kailani is typically given to girls.

Francis or Frances: these names might make you think of France, but they could also honor explorer Francis Drake or Frances Mayes, author of travel memoir Under the Tuscan Sun.

Atlas: perhaps most commonly a name for a baby boy, Atlas inspires thoughts of maps, as well as harkening back to the Greek myth of Atlas who held up the world.

Barbara: a name of Latin origin that means “foreign,” this name could also honor Barbara Hillary the oldest person on record to visit both the North and South poles or St. Barbara, patron saint of architects, which might appeal to you if you like to travel to see beautiful buildings.

Peregrine: appropriate for a boy or girl, Peregrine is a name of Latin origin that means traveler or pilgrim. It also inspires thoughts of soaring birds—like the peregrine falcon—and comes with a host of great nicknames: Perry, Reg, and Ina, to name a few.

Freya: Dame Freya Madeline Stark was a travel writer who wrote extensively about Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Zephyr: this name, which is most common on baby boys but would make a great name for a baby girl with an adventurous family, conjures all sorts of ideas of travel. While the name itself is of Greek origin and means “west wind,” many vehicles and travel vessels over time have been given zephyr as part of their name and music group the Red Hot Chili Peppers raised the profile of the word by using it in their well-known “The Zephyr Song,” the lyrics of which include the phrase “fly away on my zephyr.”

Terra: a name of Latin origin, meaning “earth,” this name honors the world and has the added benefit of being easy to pronounce and spell, though it is likely to be confused with common baby girl name, Tara.

Rio: Spanish for “river,” Rio is a perfect baby name for parents who want to honor a specific river or rivers in general. This name also has the benefits of being easy to say and easy to spell.

Via: though initially popularized as a nickname for girls’ names like Olivia and Sylvia, Via, which means “traveling through,” is the perfect standalone name for the daughter of world travelers.

Polo: meaning “brave wanderer,” this name is of Tibetan origin. It also brings to mind Italian explorer Marco Polo, who was born in the mid-1200s and wrote about his travels to China and other Asian destinations.

Place names: Perhaps when you think of travel you have loved, you are inspired by a specific place. It is common to give children the names of places that are special in your family. Maybe you traveled there only once, or maybe you return as often as you can. Below are just a few of the place names that are most commonly used as baby names, but feel free to choose the place that is the most important to your family if you follow this route:

  • Florence: city in Italy
  • Israel: country in the Middle East
  • Kenya: country on the African continent
  • Kingston: capital city of Jamaica
  • Paris: capital city of France
Abby Olena
Dr. Abby Olena has a PhD in Biological Sciences from Vanderbilt University. She lives with her husband and children in North Carolina, where she writes about science and parenting, produces a conversational podcast, and teaches prenatal yoga.

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