If you’re looking for the best travel books to inspire your next adventure, you’ve come to the right place.
We’d love to be out traveling ourselves, but that’s not always possible. Thankfully, there are plenty of wonderful travel books out there to keep us dreaming about the next time we get to plan a road trip or jet off on a plane. We reached out to some of our fellow travel bloggers and asked them to share their favorite travel books and what we got was an inspired list full of spectacular journeys that are sure to stay with you long after you’ve read the book.
Books About Travel
Turn Right at Machu Picchu, by Mark Adams
Contributed by: Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel
Turn Right at Machu Picchu recounts travel writer Mark Adams offbeat journey to Machu Picchu. It’s a relatable, modern-day classic of a man who embarks on the original route taken by Hiram Bingham III, the explorer who “discovered” Machu Picchu back in 1911.
It’s full of hilitaries, “ah-so-true” moments, and detailed histories of the Incas and the original expedition. It will fuel your wanderlust and inspire you to get off the beaten track as it did for us.
While in Peru, we opted to forgo the Inca Trail in favor of a hike to Choquequirao, another set of ruins that played an essential role in both Adam’s journey recounted in the book and the original odyssey of Hiram Bingham III, the explorer who discovered Machu Picchu.
The City of Florence, by R.W.B. Lewis
Contributed by: Matt from It’s All In Italy
This book paints a picture of Florence, Italy, in all its glory, primarily during the Renaissance, but also through to the 19th Century when tourism started in Florence.
The author reveals the rich history of Florence, details famous families such as the Medici banking family, artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci through to poets such as Dante.
He shares his personal moments and memories of living in Florence, of the heart-warming shopkeepers and restaurateurs he’d see every day. And in doing so, places you right there in the moment, living a romantic dream life in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
Wild is the tale of a young woman who sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother. She decides to tackle this challenge all on her one – even though she had no experience with anything of the sort. Her journey through California, Oregon, and Washington depicts beautiful landscapes and terrifying encounters along the way.
This moving story of trials, tribulations, and achievements along the way will have you laughing and crying….and, maybe even wondering about tackling the Pacific Crest Trail yourself.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Contributed by: Lauren Cirkot of Always Find Adventure
The Alchemist is an allegorical novel about a shepherd boy, Santiago, from the Andalusian (Southern) Spain region. He listens to his heart and follows good omens to guide his journey through Morocco and Northern Africa to find the pyramids in Egypt, after having a recurring dream about finding treasure there.
Santiago’s journey brings you through some of the most beautiful places in the world, which sparks wanderlust by itself, but it’s his purpose and faith in himself that speaks to all the wanderlusters out there. For those who are drawn to certain places, have recurring dreams, or see recurring signs to visit a particular place, you must go for it. Santiago reminds the audience that by having faith in yourself and what your heart is drawn to will reward you tremendously.
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Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love is the story of one woman’s journey to find herself during what some might call a midlife crisis. She had everything she was supposed to want, but still wasn’t content or fulfilled. So, Elizabeth decided to throw caution to the wind and set out on an adventure to find out what was truly important to her.
Explore the world with her as she tastes her way through Italy, meditates her way through a retreat in India, and excitement as she finds love in Bali. Although setting off on a world tour might not be the way for all of us to handle a mid-life crisis, this book can help you reexamine the priorities in your life.
The Queen’s Fortune, by Allison Pataki
Contributed by: Glory of GSC in Paris
French history lovers will devour this romantic historical fiction novel by best-selling author Allison Pataki. Set during the French Revolution and the subsequent rise of Napoleon, through the eyes of his lover Désirée Clary, an actual person, the book is full of passion, deception and intrigue. But more to the point, readers will feel transported to Paris, between the descriptions of the city itself, Josephine Bonaparte’s elaborate home at Malmaison or the Bonaparte’s residence at Tuileries Palace.
Drinking French, by David Lebovitz
Contributed by: Glory of GSC in Paris
If you dream about spending a long, unhurried afternoon in a Parisian café sipping perhaps a café crème or maybe an aperitif then this is exactly the book you need. Written by Parisian expat David Lebovitz, “Drinking French” is a detailed and delicious overview of the drinking culture of France. Starting with café au lait to yummy cocktails, Lebovitz provides 160 recipes in his beautifully photographed book which will instantly transport you to the sidewalk cafes of Paris.
Children’s Books About Travel
Stand on the Sky, by Erin Bow
Contributed by: Tomer of The Stoke Fam
Stand on the Sky is a story about a girl who lives in the mountains of Mongolia, where they lived in homes called gers (also known as yurts). She wants to learn how to be an eagle huntress, which is traditionally a role only for men, in order to save her brother.
Wherever You Go, by Pat Zietlow Miller
Contributed by: Allyson of The Afternoon Connection
This book will take you on a wonderful ride as you step out of your front door and find all the different places our world has to offer! It is perfect for little adventurers who are eager to explore! This book teaches us that we don’t have to travel far down the road to experience the magic of new places.
Wherever You Go takes you on a scenic journey with some special friends that you’ll grow to adore in this book. A truly remarkable book that reminds you how great it is to travel but also how good it feels to come back home, as the message of this book reminds us that ALL ROADS LEAD HOME. This special and inspiring book will give you alllllll the feels- excitement, joy, comfort, and gratitude.
Tiny Travelers Treasure Quest Series, by Wolf & Jaramillo
Contributed by: Angelica of Toddlin’ Across America
Snuggle in close and take your kids on an adventure to China, Puerto Rico, or Mexico with the Tiny Travelers Treasure Quest series (pre-order new destinations now). You and your little ones will learn about cultural celebrations, historical attractions, and local foodie finds.
The illustrations are bright and cheerful, and kids will love to get lost on the captivating pages. Explore the Great Wall of China or the sparkle of a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico. Search and find unique photos on each page that tell you a little more about the country and its traditions.
Don’t forget the last page of each book. Your Littles will love finding the animals and learning which continent they inhabit.
Best Travel and Adventure Guides
I wasn’t planning on including this section right now, but I realize that a lot of you might be thinking about your next vacation and planning away. So, I decided to go ahead and include a one of our favorite travel and adventure guides that we have found helpful.
The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, by Andrew Doughty and Leona Boyd
We purchased this guide book on the recommendation of a friend before our trip to Kauai last Spring, and we would do it again in a heartbeat. This incredibly useful guide is a Hawai’i resident and has wonderful insider tips that helped us choose the best Kauai activities to do with our family. It helped us to narrow down which helicopter company to fly with, which luau to attend, which hikes to take, how to find quiet beaches, and much more. Grab your copy and start planning your Kauai vacation today.
Heading to a different Hawai’ian Island? No worries, they’ve put together guides for that too!
Wrapping Up The Best Travel Books
We know there are many more incredible travel books out there, and we are working our way through them, but we are always on the hunt for more suggestions.
Do you have any books about travel that have inspired you? Tell us all about it in the comments!