About These Travel Books
Best Travel Books. In this post we’re covering the best travel books. These books cover a variety of categories from exotic locations to beautiful nature spots to historical adventures and more.
When you walk into a bookstore or browse online, you want choices. The story of the travel is the story of making choices to learn about culture, customs, events, food, history, people, places, traditions and so much more.
In this post we’ve included:
- Best Travel Books for 2022
- Inspirational Travel Books
- Best Travel Books for Women
- Travel Memoirs
- Adventure Travel Books
When you go forth to new places it’s to do things and to learn things. Our Travel Book List is going to whet your appetite for adventure.
So, what are we waiting for?
10 Best Travel Books
1. The Art Of Travel By Alain de Botton
We begin our incredible compilation of travel books with why you should go forth in the first place. In The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, explores what the point of travel might be and modestly suggets how we can learn to be a little happier in our travels.
The author takes an artistic and philosophical approach to describe travel experiences.
2. A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe Edited By Faith Conlon, Ingrid Emerick and Christina Henry de Tassen
“A Woman Alone,” whether you are male or female, will help you conquer the fear of exploring alone and encourage you to do it on your own terms.
The book features a collection of wonderful stories from contemporary pioneers. They savor the ultimate freedom of solo travel.
Stories include: Marybeth Bond who discovers the dubious pleasures of desert camel-riding when she decides to follow an ancient Indian trading route. Faith Adiele, a black Buddhist nun, who enters a deserted train station at 3:00 a.m. in a Thai village controlled by armed bandits. Ena Singh who negotiates with Russian police to visit the blue-domed city of Samarkand.
These women and others tell their funny, thrilling, occasionally terrifying, ultimately transformative stories of navigating some of the most unusual destinations on the globe.
3. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel By Rolf Potts | Best Travel Books
“Vagabonding” teaches you exactly what it takes to build a life on the road. Anyone with an adventurous spirit can achieve the feat of taking extended time off from work to experience the world.
In 11 short chapters Potts tells you how to negotiate time off from work, prepare for travel, and get the most out of your time on the road. Each chapter contains a profile of a famous proponent of vagabonding (e.g., Thoreau, Annie Dillard).
Also you’ll find quotes from everyday people with extensive travel experience, and a tip sheet of print and online sources for practical travel advice on topics such as airline tickets and accommodations as well as safety concerns.
4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail By Bill Bryson
At More Than Just Parks, we believe that no list of best travel books is complete with stories which reconnect you with the beauty of nature. Author Bill Bryson embarks on the epic Appalachian Trail which spans the eastern coast of the U.S. with his friend Stephen at the age of forty-four.
The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. Bryson introduces the reader to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other interesting folks he meets along the way.
5. Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2022 By Lonely Planet
The Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 showcases some of the most sought-after experiences and destinations of this year.
Covering some of the best value, most unforgettable countries, destinations and cities, this beautiful hardback is a great accompaniment for a sunny afternoon of wanderlust-worthy reading.
6. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Third Edition: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter By Matt Kepnes | Best Travel Books
We don’t want to forget about our budget-conscious travelers. This book is a great one to flick through simply for inspiration and ideas or as a pocket-sized accompaniment on your backpacking adventures. You too can learn cheap hotel tips and tricks of long-time budget traveler.
Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt) has used his massively popular travel blog to teach readers how to travel the world on a budget. This book is a great resources if you’re looking to go forth on a limited budget.
7. 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die By Barry Stone & Julia Bradbury
If you love to walk then why not do it around the world. This wonderful book is a compilation of stunning short walks, mountain hikes and long-distance adventures – the perfect book for walkers and hikers of all levels and those planning for their next big adventure – near or far.
8. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before By Patricia Schultz
Patricia Schultz curates the world. When she published the original 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, she created not only a new kind of travel book but also a new way of thinking about our experiences and interests.
Moving from eloquent word to breathtaking image, the author takes her readers takes on a visual journey of the best the world has to offer. It’s a wonderful expression of how fortunate we are to live in a world filled with beauty and wonder.
9. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World By Eric Weiner | Best Travel Books
The Geography of Bliss, written by New York Times bestselling humorous travel memoir by longtime National Public Radio foreign correspondent Eric Weiner, takes you across the globe to investigate not what happiness is, but WHERE it is.
Also asking questions about whether their geographic position and therefore lifestyles and political bias intrinsically affect their happiness levels.
10. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea By Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
There’s Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Based on the PBS series of the same, it’s a wonderful overview of the history of our parks. And it’s a great way to get ideas as to which ones you would like to see.
This wonderful book begins with the first sighting of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world’s first national park at Yellowstone in 1872. And there’s the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.
If you like national park books you’ll love our article on the 30+ Best National Park Books.
20 Best Travel Books
11. The Innocents Abroad By Mark Twain
The Innocents Abroad, published in 1869, chronicles what Mark Twain called his “Great Pleasure Excursion” on board the chartered vessel Quaker City through Europe, Egypt, the Middle East & the Holy Land with a group of American travelers in 1867.
Believe it or not, the book became Mark Twain’s best selling book during his life and one of the best-selling travel books of all time.
It is a detailed narrative of a long excursion with a group of fellow travelers to the Holy Land shortly after the Civil War aboard the vessel Quaker City. The humorous account covers his visits to Paris, Italy, Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land. At times irreverent, it is always entertaining.
12. In a Sunburned Country By Bill Bryson | Best Travel Books
Another wonderful book by Bill Bryson about life down under. It’s the country that doubles as a continent.
Australia is a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a funny, fact-filled, and adventurous book by a writer who combines humor, wonder and curiosity.
13. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time By Mark Adams
In 1911, Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and “discovered” Machu Picchu. While history has recast Bingham as a villain who stole both priceless artifacts and credit for finding the great archeological site, Mark Adams set out to retrace the explorer’s perilous path in search of the truth—except he’d written about adventure far more than he’d actually lived it. In fact, he’d never even slept in a tent.
It’s a fascinating and funny account of his journey through some of the world’s most majestic, historic, and remote landscapes guided only by a hard-as-nails Australian survivalist.
14. Seven Years in Tibet By Heinrich Harrere
In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet and encounter the Dalai Lama.
15. 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do By National Geographic | Best Travel Books
Looking for a book to help you or someone else plan their next national park vacation? This book is chock full of helpful travel tips and beautiful National Geographic photography.
It’s an expert guide which showcases the best experiences in the top national, state, and city parks throughout North America.
16. Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems By Q.T. Luoung
QTs most recent photo book shines a spotlight on America’s National Monuments like never before. In Our National Monuments, spectacular, never before seen images of these lesser-traveled but equally stunning places are put on full display.
17. Camp: Stories and Itineraries for Sleeping Under the Stars By Luc Gesel
Camp is a great gift for folks who love the outdoors – that includes us park lovers too. This is just a fun read with all sorts of interesting anecdotes and stories.
The book includes: Interviews with expert campers, adventurers, base-campers, and alpinists, hundreds of captivating photographs of sites and set-ups around the world, and how-to advice that covers choosing a tent, building a fire, making coffee, and more.
18. Teddy Roosevelt in California:: The Whistle Stop Tour That Changed America By Chris Epting | Best Travel Books
It’s the story of President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1903 California Whistle Stop Tour. He embarked on three days of epic adventures in the wilderness of Yosemite with the famous and influential naturalist John Muir.
It’s a wonderfully entertaining book and a real page turner too!
19. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West By Stephen Ambrose
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. To understand the story of the trail it helps to understand the story of the men who explored it.
It’s a story of incredible courage and colorful characters who opened up the west told by a master storyteller-Stephen Ambrose.
20. West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express By Jim DeFelice
The Pony Express delivered messages, newspapers and mail using relays of horse mounted riders. Only in operation for eighteen months, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the east and west coasts to about ten days.
An exciting tale of daring young men pushing their limits to the extremes across the vast, rugged, and unsettled American West. It’s by best-selling author Jim DeFelice.
The challenges they faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering tens of thousands of letters at record speed.
21. Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail By Larry Anderson
Benton MacKaye was an American forester, planner and conservationist. He’s also the “Father of the Appalachian Trail.” This co-founder of the Wilderness Society has a story to tell and its told in by Larry Anderson.
22. A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell By Donald Worster
John Wesley Powell was an American geologist, U.S. Army soldier, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He went on to lead a dangerous expedition to explore the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
The book is written by Daniel Worster. He tells the story of Powell’s great adventures and describes his historical significance with compelling clarity and skill.
23. Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island By Will Harlan
Cumberland Island lies off the coast of Georgia. It’s a place where nature and history come together to tell a most unusual story.
One of the most fascinating residents of this island is Carol Ruckdeschel. She’s the road kill eating, bareback riding, wild woman of Cumberland Island.
24. Into the Wild By Jon Krakauer | Best Travel Books
It’s the incredible real-life recount story of an American traveler, Chris McCandless who went “into the wild” and vanished from the face of the earth until his body was found in an abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska in 1992.
25. The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found By Violet Moller
As a retired history teacher, this is one of my favorites. It’s a history book about how knowledge moved around during the dark ages from cities to cities and how they were preserved through time in Europe.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe then this is one read that’s guaranteed to spark your interest and curiosity.
List of Best Travel Books
- The Art Of Travel By Alain de Botton
- A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe Edited By Faith Conlon, Ingrid Emerick and Christina Henry de Tassen
- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel By Rolf Potts
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail By Bill Bryson
- Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2022 By Lonely Planet
- How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Third Edition: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter By Matt Kepnes
- 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die By Barry Stone & Julia Bradbury
- 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before By Patricia Schultz
- The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World By Eric Weiner | Best Travel Books
- The National Parks: America’s Best Idea By Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
- The Innocents Abroad By Mark Twain
- In a Sunburned Country By Bill Bryson | Best Travel Books
- Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time By Mark Adams
- Seven Years in Tibet By Heinrich Harrere
- 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do By National Geographic | Best Travel Books
- Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems By Q.T. Luoung
- Camp: Stories and Itineraries for Sleeping Under the Stars By Luc Gesel
- Teddy Roosevelt in California:: The Whistle Stop Tour That Changed America By Chris Epting | Best Travel Books
- Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West By Stephen Ambrose
- West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express By Jim DeFelice
- Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail By Larry Anderson
- A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell By Donald Worster
- Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island By Will Harlan
- Into the Wild By Jon Krakauer | Best Travel Books
- The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found By Violet Moller
About the Folks Behind More Than Just Parks
You should probably know that we don’t just make this stuff up out of thin air. My sons have spent their entire adult lives exploring and filming America’s national parks and public lands.
As for me, I’m a retired lifelong educator and a proud dad of these two wonderful guys who are hopelessly obsessed with the national parks. I taught history for over a quarter of a century. Now I enjoy researching and writing articles for the More Than Just Parks website. I’m always on the hunt for topics where nature and history intersect so please feel free to share any ideas that you might have with me.
We’ve worked with the National Park Service, the Department of Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service for years creating films on important places and issues. Our work has been featured in leading publications all over the world and even some people outside of our immediate family call us experts on the national parks.
Meet The Parks Brothers
We’re Jim Pattiz and Will Pattiz, collectively known as the Pattiz Brothers (and sometimes the Parks Brothers) and we absolutely LOVE the national parks.
Our goal here at More Than Just Parks is to share the beauty of America’s national parks and public lands through stunning short films in an effort to get Americans and the world to see the true value in land conservation.
We hope you’ll follow our journey through the parks and help us to keep them the incredible places that they are. If you’re interested joining the adventure, sign up below!
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