The next best thing to taking a trip across the world may be snuggling up with a good book about another person traveling across the world. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next adventure, want to pick up some helpful travel tips, or just need a book to read while you’re en route to your next travel destination, there’s a travel book out there for everyone!
Unleash your inner adventurer by getting your hands on one of these must-read travel titles. We turned to Amazon to discover the top travel books you should consider reading according to real, travel-loving reviewers. This list is compiled of the top travel books on Amazon — those that have nearly perfect 5-star reviews — from at least 100+ reviewers.
Keep reading to discover why you need to add these 11 travel books to your personal collection!
Breaking the rules and living life are the themes of this inspiring read. Driving Miss Norma: An Inspirational Story About What Really Matters at the End of Life tells the story of Norma who, after being diagnosed with uterine cancer at the age of 90 and recently becoming a widow after nearly seven decades of marriage, said Forget the IV tubes and bring on the adventure. Miss Norma, her son Tim, her daughter-in-law Ramie, and their dog Ringo, all set off on an adventure across the country to places none of them have been before. They taste things they’ve never tasted and partake in experiences they’ve only dreamed of. Amazon readers say the book is heart-warming and teaches us all that life is to be lived — and traveled!
Not to be morbid, but have you ever wondered about the death and afterlife practices of other cultures? Well, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death describes the international journey of mortician Caitlin Doughty, who sets off to uncover the rituals and practices of other cultures when it comes to dealing with the deceased. With respect and true interest, Doughty explains to her readers the different cultural customs involving the dead, and the emotions that are tapped into in each unique practice. Amazon readers greatly appreciate the witty humor and style of writing that Doughty uses to approach what some consider a taboo topic.
This book serves as the inspiration for the Discovery Channel documentary series The Last Alaskan. In this book, the cousin of Heimo Korth gives a detailed explanation of the trials that Korth and his family go through as they live 200 miles away from civilization in Alaska. Korth journeyed there in his 20s and left behind his life in Wisconsin. Three decades later he has built a life for himself, his wife, and their two daughters. The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness is described as “a rustic version of the American Dream [that] reveals for the first time a life undreamed by most of us.” Amazon readers say that after watching the documentary series, the book has given them a new outlook and deeper understanding of why the Korths choose their life in the arctic.
Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World$7.99 Buy Now
If you’re a foodie who enjoys global cuisine, consider giving this book a try. Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World is a compilation of travel anecdotes and internationally-inspired recipes from traveling chef Lindsay S. Nixon. Nixon has traveled far and wide and made a collection of more than 135 vegan recipes that are healthy and easy to make. Amazon readers say the book is full of easy to make recipes that are great for people transitioning to a vegan lifestyle (and pining for a getaway!).
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside is the third book in a trilogy that’s been described as “travel writing at its best.” This book doubles as a travel guide and love story. Written as a diary, Susan Branch describes her six-day excursion on the Queen Mary 2 and her two-month experience in the backroads of rural England alongside her husband. With several photos and watercolor illustrations running throughout the book, you will get sucked into Branch’s adventures. Amazon readers felt themselves not wanting to put the book down and loved reading about the daily adventures of Branch and her husband Joe.
To become one with your surroundings away from the bright lights and honking of horns, left completely to your own devices — this either sounds like a dream or a nightmare. For Richard Proenneke, this was a dream that he turned into reality. One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey captures Proenneke’s experience of being alone and self-sufficient in the Alaskan wilderness with nothing but nature to keep him company and sustain him. Amazon readers say the book is a must-read for outdoor lovers. It’s filled many with great respect for Proenneke and his journey.
Little Princes: One Man’s Promise To Bring Home The Lost Children of Nepal invites you to journey with Connor Grennan, who set off on a journey to Nepal for fun and adventure but ended up partaking in an enduring act of kindness. Grennan began volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home for children orphaned by the war in Nepal. Despite his reluctance, he began to fall in love with each of the children he got to know. After eventually learning that they were deceitfully separated from their families, he felt compelled to make things right for them. This book details the great lengths Grennan went to in order to reconnect the children he met with their loved ones. Amazon reviewers appreciate the evolution of Grennan’s character throughout this striking piece.
This is a true and detailed account of the British ship Endurance setting sail for the South Atlantic Ocean in 1914. Although tough to read, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage is one of the greatest recordings of human courage. The story will take you through the journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose ship was trapped and crushed in the ice around it in 1915. Shackleton and his crew had to survive as they drifted on ice packs for five months. Amazon readers say that the book is so detailed that you begin to feel some of the emotions of the men described in the book — they felt as if they were really there with them. In addition to being a powerful travelogue, this book is sure to show you just how strong and capable humans can be, even in the worst of circumstances.
If you’re a traveler who prefers to immerse yourself in the local culture and atmosphere no matter the destination — or think it’s something you’d like to try — this book will guide you every step of the way. Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road is a guide to steering far from resorts, five-star hotels, and mainstream restaurants. This book is for the traveler who wants to know how to enjoy their journey by way of encountering the everyday life of the locals that inhabit unique destinations. That means local foods, local accommodations, and embracing the local people. Amazon readers love how raw the book is and that, instead of glorifying the pretty pictures curated by resorts and uppity hotels, this book truly opens you to the possibility of journeying beyond the beaten path.
If you like traveling, dogs, and interactive reads, then this book will hit the spot! Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book allows the reader to travel with Momo the dog across the country to well-known landmarks and sites. The interactive part comes in because for every location you’ll never know quite where Momo is hiding. Although this book doesn’t offer much text, it’s still a fun “read.” With every flip of the page, a new location is revealed and it’s your job to spot Momo the four-legged adventurer. Amazon readers say the book is family-friendly, but also a book you can enjoy thumbing through by yourself.
Inside Passage: Living With Killer Whales, Bald Eagles, and Kwakiutl Indians represents true adventure — the good and the bad. Its author, Michael Modzelewski, left behind his average life and surroundings to embark on a journey full of beauty mixed with reliance on survival skills. He cruises along the coast of Seattle and Alaska before settling down on a remote island that presents its own obstacles. Modzelewski meets unusual friends — both human and animal — along the way. Amazon readers loved the true adventure aspect of the book and rave about how descriptive it is. You’ll feel as if his journey has become your own and walk away pining for your own Alaskan escapade.
For more book suggestions, read “Find Inspiration: 7 Must-Read Books That Incite Travel” or consider planning a trip to a unique and entrancing bookshop, like China’s Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore, which needs a spot on every book lover’s bucket list. From China, jet to Porto, Portugal, to meet Livraria Lello: Portugal’s stunning bookshop!