The Best Travel Books to Read Before Your Next Trip

By Katta Vineesha

The Best Travel Books to Inspire Your Wanderlust

One of the greatest life-enriching experiences we can have is traveling. We may discover different cultures, get to know new people, and broaden our perspectives thanks to it. However, why not immerse yourself in some of the finest travel novels ever written before you set out on your next adventure? These books motivate you and stoke your wanderlust in addition to giving you knowledge about various regions of the world. The greatest travel books to read before your next vacation are listed below.

“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book “Into the Wild” chronicles the life and demise of Christopher McCandless, a man who left behind a luxurious existence to live in the woods. The book describes McCandless’ journeys to Alaska and the West before his tragic passing. The book is a motivational narrative of one man’s quest to discover who he is and live a life unhindered by social conventions.

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist,” tells the tale of a young shepherd called Santiago who sets out on a quest to locate a treasure buried in the Egyptian pyramids. The book is an exquisitely written allegory about pursuing your ambitions, taking chances, and the ability of the cosmos to support you in your endeavors.

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” details her painful divorce-related journey of self-discovery through Italy, India, and Indonesia. The book is an inspiring narrative of one woman’s search for joy, love, and purpose in life. It is a motivating book that will make you want to pursue your aspirations.

“The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton

“The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton’s philosophical work “The Art of Travel” examines the essence of travel and its significance in our lives. The book is a thought-provoking read that explores the motivations behind traveling, the benefits we expect from it, and how we might maximize our experiences. Anyone who enjoys traveling and wants to learn more about why we do it should read the book.

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s biography “Wild” describes her lone walk down the Pacific Crest Trail. Her trials on the road and her battles with her demons are chronicled in the book, along with her victories. The stirring narrative of the novel follows a lady as she searches for her identity and place in the world.

“In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson

“In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson’s travelogue “In a Sunburned Country” describes his journeys to Australia. The book is a hilarious and perceptive description of Bryson’s travels through a strangely attractive nation. Anyone contemplating a vacation to Australia who wants to learn more about the country’s history and culture should read it.

“The Beach” by Alex Garland

Alex Garland’s book “The Beach”, tells the tale of a group of travelers who find a secret paradise in Thailand. The book is an engrossing and intriguing read that explores the shadowy side of backpacker culture and the perils that may be hiding beneath the surface of paradise.

“Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck

“Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck wrote a memoir titled “Travels with Charley” on his journeys throughout America with his dog, Charley. Steinbeck meets people from all walks of life and enjoys the varied landscapes of America in this endearing and perceptive description of his adventures. It is a timeless travelogue that still holds today, 50 years after it was first released.

“A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle

“A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle’s memoir “A Year in Provence” describes his experiences living in the southern region of France. The book is a lovely and funny description of Mayle’s life in a tiny French hamlet as he enjoys the pleasures of French culture and negotiates cultural divides. It’s a beautiful book that will take you to the Provence hills in the sun.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote a memoir titled “The Motorcycle Diaries” on his journeys around South America with his buddy Alberto Granado. The book provides an intriguing description of Guevara’s encounters with the poverty and tyranny of the South American people, which influences his development as a revolutionary leader. It provides a distinctive viewpoint on South America and its people and is a strong and inspirational read.

“Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams

The travelogue “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams describes his trek across Peru in quest of the fabled Inca city. Adams’ adventures as he treks across the Andes and discovers the mysteries of Machu Picchu are described in this book, which is both hilarious and instructive. Anyone who is considering visiting Peru or is interested in archaeology and history should read it.

“Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer wrote the nonfiction book “Into Thin Air” on his ascent of Mount Everest in 1996. As Krakauer and his fellow climbers try to live in the worst of circumstances, the book offers a suspenseful chronicle of the catastrophe that transpired on the mountain. It is a compelling and depressing book that presents a distinctive viewpoint on the risks associated with high-altitude climbing.

“The Lost City of Z” by David Grann

A non-fiction book by David Grann titled “The Lost City of Z” details his inquiry into the puzzling 1925 disappearance of explorer Percy Fawcett in the Amazon rainforest. The story of Grann’s trip, as he follows in Fawcett’s footsteps and learns the mysteries of the jungle, is told in this intriguing book. It’s a page-turning book that presents a distinctive viewpoint on the secrets of the Amazon.

“The Great Railway Bazaar” by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux wrote a travelogue titled “The Great Railway Bazaar” on his transatlantic rail trip from London to Tokyo and back. Theroux meets individuals from many walks of life and travels across the various landscapes of Europe and Asia in this book, which is a hilarious and perceptive description of his adventures. Anyone who enjoys using the train and wants to learn more about the cultures and people of Europe and Asia should read it.

“The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner

“The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner wrote a nonfiction book titled “The Geography of Bliss” on his travels across the globe in quest of the happiest locations on the planet. Weiner’s experiences as he travels to varied nations including Bhutan, Iceland, and Switzerland are recounted in this book in a hilarious and enlightening manner. It is a stimulating book that presents a special viewpoint on the nature of happiness and the various methods in which people search for it across the world.


To wrap it up, reading travel novels before your next trip may be a great way to be ready for it and learn more about the cultures and people you’ll meet along the route. The books on this list, which include memoirs, travel diaries, and historical narratives, offer a variety of viewpoints and ideas. They take readers to many locations across the world, from the deep depths of the Amazon rainforest to the sun-drenched hills of Provence and provide an in-depth look at the local cultures and populations.

Recommended Reading

#The Best Travel Books to Read Before Your Next Trip

#The Ultimate Road Trip Checklist

#How to Plan the Perfect Staycation

Opening all ambiguity regarding reading travel guides for comfortable travel

Do travelogues simply highlight a location’s advantages?

No, travel books may also examine a location’s difficulties and intricacies, offering a more complex and impartial viewpoint.

Can traveling be replaced by reading travel-related books?

Reading travel books can provide you with insights into other locations and cultures, but it cannot take the place of traveling and experiencing a location first-hand.

What categories of travel books are offered?

There are many different types of travel books, such as memoirs, travelogues, historical narratives, and guidebooks.

Can travel guides assist me with vacation planning?

Yes, travel books may provide you with useful advice on where to go, what to do, and what local customs to be mindful of as you plan your trip.

What are the benefits of reading travel books before a trip?

Before your journey, reading travel books can help you better prepare for it by educating you about the history, culture, and people of the areas you’ll be visiting.

Featured Image:

Katta Vineesha
About the author

Katta Vineesha A shy traveler who discovers their extroverted side while exploring new destinations, and captures these experiences through their writing.