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5 Books Every Traveler Should Read

best travel books

For a lot of us, travel is a great way to escape the everyday, regardless of what our regular life looks like. In a similar way, that’s exactly what a good book allows us to do – it transports us to far off lands, back in time, to different cultures and inspires us to explore new places when we’re able to do so. 

Especially if the books that you like to read are travel or adventure books, they can provide a base idea for your next unique and exciting trip. So, let’s have a look and discover some of the best travel and adventure books that every single traveller should read and why.

The 5 Best Travel Books

1. Lonely Planet Best Ever Travel Tips

best travel books

First things first is possibly the most useful little book that you’ve ever owned. Now, Lonely Planet has been a reliable authority on all things travel for decades, having made guidebooks, listicle coffee table books, a whole host of helpful and inspiring blogs and much, much more. 

In this pocket-sized handbook, there are plenty of tips and tricks. From helping you to budget for your trip before you leave and while you’re on the road, how to find vegan or gluten-free places to eat even in countries that don’t seem dietary requirement-friendly, to how to keep yourself and all your stuff safe no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Realistically, this is the little travel bible: an absolute essential.  

2. On the Road

Next up is a proper travel writing classic that’s been a favourite of adventures and travellers the world over. Based on the authors, Jack Kerouac’s, own road trip around the US during the post-war period, it’s known as one of the most accurate portrayals of the time period, and the beat poetry and jazz scene that was emerging and gaining popularity at the time.

You’ll love this book if you want to be looking out at the open road with nowhere in particular that you need to be. Everyone should go on a big road trip with their friends or loved ones at least once in their life and where better to do this than the USA. Through Kerouac’s narrative, explore this beautiful, expansive country from coast to coast, experiencing all the little details and relationships that come with discovering new places and new things about yourself. It’s a classic travel book that’s stood the test of time for a reason. It definitely belongs on this list as essential reading for any traveller! 

3. Wild

best travel books

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years or so, chances are you have heard of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, either through the book itself, the Oscar nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon, or the thousands of memes or cultural references that have spawned as a result of it rocketing to popularity. But this popularity is all for a very good reason. 

Wild is the real life story that follows Cheryl’s life changing trek along the Pacific Crest Trail which is about ‎4‎,270km long. It’s important to note that prior to this, she hadn’t really done any long hikes, had a whole host of demons to overcome and felt like she needed to escape. The result is a book that is a true testament to the transformative power of travel and adventure. Whether you’re an enthusiastic hiker, never strapped on a pair of boots or are just a little bit curious about solo, human powered travel, you’ll devour this beautiful story that’ll stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. 

4. No Baggage

best travel books

Our next recommendation is a little bit different and it might be one that you haven’t heard about before. In this spontaneous autobiography, Clara Bensen is massively struggling with her life in Austin, Texas. After trying to cope with some mental health issues, she joins a dating site where she finds a man who, after a couple of dates, invites her on a summer trip around Europe with one caveat – no luggage, just what you’re wearing, what you can fit in your pockets. 

It sounds like a wild way to travel and although it’s not without its considerable hiccups, the two intrepid travellers see Europe and themselves in a completely different way. It’s definitely a book for you if you want to go on a big European trip or you’re looking to ditch the giant backpack and avoid those extra airline baggage fees altogether. 

5. The Penguin Lessons

The last adventure book on our list comes from South America following the collapse of the Peron regime. Primarily set in Argentina, but with some travel across the southern part of the continent including Uruguay, it’s a great, historic look at a part of the world that isn’t often written about, especially in a nonfiction way.

The book follows the author, Tom Michell, when he was in his twenties as he journeys to Argentina from England to become a teacher at an all boys school. Before starting his new job however, he visits Uruguay and finds a penguin stuck in an oil slick. Unable to leave his flippered friend, the newly named Juan Salvador has to be snuck across the border and quickly becomes the secret mascot of the school, with chaos ensuing.  

It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a little bit of fun and whimsy in their adventure travel reads. This book will have you reminiscing about your school days and wanting to quit your job, move across the world and teach – fair warning!

The 5 Best Travel Books Roundup

There you have it, an adventurous and awe-inspiring reading list ready to fuel the next part of your bucket list. With inspiration from all across the world, from romance to physical adventure to cultural and historical insights, there is something for whatever mood you’re in, or whatever kind of trip you want to go on next. So, head down to your local bookstore, start exploring, and ultimately, get booking those dream trips!

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