Travel books, magazines, memoirs, and blogs have fueled my wanderlust for years. Sure, I love reading these titles in the comfort of my home, but there’s nothing like exploring a new destination through someone else’s lens.
Travel books have the power to transport us to faraway places, whether that’s the bustling streets of Paris or the heart of India. Like the best literature, the best travel books take you on a journey, lifting you out of your everyday world. This is why the best travel books are essential reading for anyone looking to explore the world, or even just those of us who dream of doing so.
Here Are the Best Travel Books to Fuel Your Wanderlust:
Guide to the Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, is a 500-mile trail that travels across northern Spain from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella. It’s one of Europe’s most beloved walking paths, attracting hikers of all skill levels, from first-timers to hardcore backpackers. And, while you can complete the distance in as little as 21 days, it’s wise to give yourself a bit more time—a week is standard—to enjoy the scenery and take your time.
The Only Thing That Matters (Joshua Ferris)
There are many books about traveling, but Joshua Ferris’ the Only Thing That Matters is unlike any other. The author cleverly takes the reader on a journey into the literary world with short stories that explore literary life. The author draws the reader in with his humor and wit that will have you laughing throughout the book.
No Cities for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy)
There’s a reason Cormac McCarthy is known as one of the greatest novelists of the modern era—his books are truly unforgettable. His body of work includes novels, short stories, and plays, but No Cities for Old Men is his most well-known book. If you want to keep up with McCarthy’s writing habits, check out his list of “favorite books.”
Lost In the Amazon (Matthew Kepnes)
A book that is foreign to many of us, Amazonia, is the word that refers to the vast rainforest on the South American continent where the Amazon River flows. Lost in the Amazon also offers insight into another largely unknown region of the world—the Amazon Basin. The book is about Kepnes’ journey down the Amazon River, a 10-day journey he chronicles in over 100 black-and-white photographs.
A Year in Provence (Elizabeth Gilbert)
A Year in Provence is part memoir, part travel book, and part literary adventure. Gilbert, an author and social media expert details her adventures in Provence, France. She chronicles her travels, including a houseboat trip along the Rhone River, a bus ride through France, and a trip to the beaches of Nice. She also writes about the fascinating people she meets, including Jean Giono, the famed French writer, and Simone de Beauvoir, the French philosopher.
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
The Alchemist is one of the most popular travel books of all time. In this tale of a young boy, many believe the author, Paulo Coelho, was trying to provide guidance for travelers. Coelho says his book’s main character, Santiago, had a profound experience after finding an enchanted flask on a pilgrimage. The magical item helped him find his destiny and answer his lifelong questions about life.
Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
A best-seller, Eat Pray Love is Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of her adventures around the world while on her Eat Pray Love journey. If you dream of leaving your everyday life behind to travel, this book is the perfect read for you. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a memoir of her adventures worldwide while on her Eat Pray Love journey.
Wild (Cheryl Strayed)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a stunning memoir that details the author’s 1,100-mile journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. She left her home in Los Angeles and headed west for a self-discovery adventure. She meets an unexpected cast of characters who join her along the way, including Araceli, a 50-something Mexican single mother who Strayed believes needs a daughter and who she adopts.
If you seek inspiration for your next travel adventure, then these books will light a fire under you. Choose one or two and start reading. You’ll be planning your next trip before you know it. Travel books can provide numerous ideas for planning your next trip. Travel books can help you plan your next trip and make sure you have a memorable experience, from how to pack to how to save money to where to eat. Whether you’re planning a family trip or a solo adventure, there are books that can bring you out of your present time and place. From tales of adventure to the beauty of nature, these are some of the best travel books for every traveler.