11 best travel books

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By David Em
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Learn what the best travel books are to inspire you to travel, enjoy beautiful photos, or read a fun story.

Four travel book covers.

1. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner is a New York Times bestseller. It’s an entertaining and humorous book about Weiner’s journey to traveling the world to find the meaning and destination of contentment.

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho has become a classic that you have to read. It’s about Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. The story teaches the importance of listening to your heart and following your dreams.

3. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

In a Sunburned Country is a funny, adventurous, and wonderful book by travel writer, Bill Bryson. The book is Bryson’s report on what he finds in Australia. From having the friendliest inhabitants to the hottest and driest weather. Bryson takes you beyond the beaten path that most tourists take.

4. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

A Year in Provence book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

A Year in Provence is a best-selling memoir by Peter Mayle. He talks about his first year in Provence, moving into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of Luberon with his wife and two large dogs. As a reader, you’ll live through Mayle to feel a life that is governed by seasons and not days.

5. Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon

Blue Highways book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Blue Highways is a masterpiece of travel writing. William Least Heat-Moon set out on a journey along the backroads of our nation. He takes you along his adventures and shares his curiosity about the little towns that get on the map.

6. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a memoir by author and podcaster Cheryl Strayed. After her mother passing away when she was 22 and her marriage being destroyed, she decides to hike 1,100-miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed talks about it as a journey of self-discovery and healing.

7. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

In the book, On the Road, Jack Kerouac tells the story of two friends who take trips across the country to pursue meaning and true experience. It’s a great story of freedom, Kerouac’s love for America, and compassion for humanity.

8. A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar

A Month in Siena book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

A Month in Siena is a memoir by Hisham Matar, where he travels to Siena, Italy to find solace and pleasure after the disappearance of his father. Matar immerses himself in eight significant works of art from the Sienese School of painting. The book is about what happened between Matar, the paintings, and Siena.

9. Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux

Dark Star Safari book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Dark Star Safari is about a trip from Cairo to Cape Town via trains, buses, cars, and the armed convoy that Paul Theroux took. His epic adventure is full of danger, delay, dismay, and enlightenment.

10. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Vagabonding by experienced travel writer, Rolf Potts, is an impactful book on the power of a long-term trip. Potts shares how to finance your travel time, finding a destination, adjusting to the travel life, working or volunteering overseas, and handling adversity.

11. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love book cover.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert is about her trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels. It has empowered millions of readers to search for their best selves.

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Featured image courtesy of Amazon.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.