With Christmas and birthday and special occasions or off days always around the corner, book lovers near and far will rejoice. More books! Travel books to gift. Travel books to receive. Books to read. And if you are a travel lover on top of that, you might want to mark the best travel books in red. Share your amazon wishlist, drop massive hints in conversations or just hand in a good old wishlist for books on travel. After all, they are the ultimate wanderlust inducer. And that’s the thrill we travel lovers are seeking for anyway, aren’t we?
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my first post on the best travel books from last Christmas (still very much applicable). If you want them all, pin this post. Or, if you know exactly what type of travel literature you prefer, click the respective category. Let’s do this!
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The Travel Book Bucketlists
Who but Lonely Planet can be labelled the ultimate travel guru? Yes, we travel bloggers like to churn out ‘ultimate lists’ but in the end, we can’t compete with the travel literature giant. They’ve been doing it for 45 years now! And with their release, Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See, you can be sure to find the crème de la crème of travel destinations. Basically, this is a travel pinterest board in book form (and with long captions).
If just a list of the coolest places is not enough, why not look into possible trip ideas? Again, Lonely Planet serves just that in their Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips, both on and off land. For instance, you can get full itineraries for cruise trips with best times to travel, the duration, highlights and more. This makes mapping out your next holiday so much easier, especially if you hate travel planning.
If you are one to monitor trends and jump ahead of the crowd (or dive right in), Lonely Planet it still is. Each year, there is a best destinations guide book and this year as well. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 will show you the best ten countries your inner travel lover will yearn for. They have even included vegan and vegetarian hotspots in their travel literature!
If all you care about is Europe next year, check out the travel authority himself. Rick Steve’s Best of Europe will take you around the small continent. He’s been everywhere, he’s seen it all and he has plenty of insider information in this handy and detailed travel guide.
The Helpful Travel Books
To get your inner travel guru kickstarted, why not dig into collected travel knowledge inone handy book? The Book of Everything: A Visual Guide to Travel and the World is highly recommended. With chapters on travel security, planning and everything around the topic of travel, you are in safe hands.
Quite the intriguing mix between travel journal and insightful tips, such as “that it is possible to eat three steaks in one day”, can be had in Miss-adventures: A Tale of Ignoring Life Advice While Backpacking Around South America. I was lucky enough to actually meet Amy Baker (and get the book signed). I devoured the book pretty much instantly, it was both parts nerve-wracking and hilarious.
If you are a city dweller like I am but have a heart for nature and want to try your hand at outdoor adventures, the next book is for you. A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook promises to teach you the basic survival skills – especially as a woman. Yes, the topics of periods, safety and condescending men are also covered. Note, this is aimed at those who are entirely or fairly new to (solo) camping in the wild.
The Crazy Fiction
The iconic Swedish drama with its pointed humour might just top this list. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared became a bestseller for a reason and is prove that stubbornness can move mountains. Sometimes travel is just pure escapism. And sometimes that leads to the most bizarre adventures.
In this book, protagonist Allan Karlsson might have gotten a full suitcase of drug money, but in the next travel novel, it is a yellow envelope. What would you do if you received money to give away and an opportunity to travel the world? That’s the premise of The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and A Life-Changing Journey Around the World.
Not entirely new, but an old-time classic, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is still as puzzling as it was back then. If this book teaches you one lesson it is that craziness can help make every day more colourful. Think yourself a chivalric knight on a crusade, fight windmills (metaphorically), whatever rocks your boat. Everyone’s journey is different.
Since I just travelled Romania and stopped by Bran “Dracula” Castle, I have to include Dracula by Bram Stoker. After all, it is a travel journal in a way, with plenty of trips around Europe. Stops include London, Transylvania, Moldova, Varna, Budapest and Whitby. Ah, the lengths you have to go to to bring down fiery, fanged undead people back to their graves.
The True Travel Tales
Sometimes life writes the most insane stories and this is certainly true for the following travel novels. For a whirlwind travel story around the globe with plenty of catastrophes and personal crises, try All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft. It is not your average “I got fired/left my job and started travelling the world” travel memoir.
I love reading stories about solo travel, but this one isn’t. Family travel has a scary potential for collision built in itself but it also answers the question that is at the heart of self discovery: Where is home? Where do I fit in? At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe might just help you paint a clearer picture. It is especially a great read if you want to encourage families to travel more and longer. Don’t use kids and school as the main excuse. It is important, but there is always a way.
Proof that travel not only opens up courage in you but kindness in others. The world isn’t so bad as the media and your overanxious loved ones want to paint it. To read for yourself, check out The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America. If you prefer more low-key travel journals, such as that of staying put in a single spot, then The Sweet Life in Paris might be for you. It certainly isn’t easy to settle down abroad, navigating another culture and shaping out your own little space among it all.
I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the genius and super snarky travel writer Bill Bryson. Yes, I have covered him in my last article on the best travel books, but one of my favourite books of his, I’m a Stranger Here Myself deserves an extra mention. You can travel at home. And if you return after a long time, you will see your home country in an entirely different light.