65 Books for Travelers: Curing Your Wanderlust One Page at a Time

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Books for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles

You don’t need a plane ticket or a packed suitcase to escape on an adventure… All you need is a good travel book. With a bit of imagination, you can be on a wild journey in a matter of moments, all from the comfort of your living room (or seat on a train…).

We’ve curated a giant list of books for travelers including titles we’ve read (and loved!) ourselves, as well as some books that are on our personal to-read list.

We’ve done our best to round up a variety of different kinds of stories — from funny fictional tales to heart-wrenching memoirs to historical accounts of epic adventures – you’ll find ‘em all on this list: education, inspiration, and just a good old fashioned escape from reality!

Whether you’re stuck at home and need a little “armchair adventure” or you’re looking for a good book to bring along on your next trip, we hope you’ll find something on this list that speaks to you.

Types of Travel Books

Jump to the type of book you prefer and see all the options we’ve gathered just for you!

Read these books for free!

Books for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles

If you don’t already have a library card, now’s the time to get one (especially if you have an e-reader). Not only is it free, but you can rent the digital versions of books and have them sent straight to your Kindle without even stepping foot in the library.

You can do this through the free app, Libby. It’s kind of amazing, especially when you’re traveling and not able to physically go to your local library.

Our thoughts on e-readers: We love real, hard-covered books with actual paper pages you can – gasp! – flip! But while physical books will always have our hearts, the convenience of a Kindle has won over our practical minds… especially when it comes to packing books for travel. I mean, you only need to pack one slim device, and the options are limitless — you can read 100 books if you want. Packing even one “real” book becomes a bit of a bulky burden if you travel light like we do.

Have you ever tried Audio Books?

When I was young, I loved renting audiobooks from my local library. They were just cassette tapes, usually with a semi-boring narrator, but I loved that I could have someone read the story to me.

Funny story: One of my favorite books wasn’t on audio book yet, so 12-year-old me decided to record myself reading the story (with voices for each character!) so my family could listen to it on our spring break road trip. Oh, what I would pay to listen to that “audio book” now!

Lucky for you, you don’t have to listen to 12-year-old Katie or a boring narrator! Within the Libby app, you can switch your preferences to search for audiobooks, and again, you can borrow them for free to your phone!

Books for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles

Travel Stories & Memoirs

Travel vicariously through the stories and lessons these authors have written. From entertaining short stories to lesson-filled memoirs, this list is a great place to start for any traveler looking for their next read.

Books for Travelers | At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe

By: Tsh Oxenreider

Uprooting their lives to go on a 9-month family “gap year” of sorts, author Tsh Oxenreider chronicles her family’s adventures as they discover what life is like all over the world. This one is near the top of our to-read list!

The World | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story

Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story

By: Tony & Maureen Wheeler

Written by the founders of Lonely Planet, this is the autobiographical story of their personal journeys and how the business was born.

The World | Autobiography/Travel Literature | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | A Woman Alone: Travel Tails from Around the Globe

A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the World

Edited by: Faith Conlon, Ingrid Emerick and Christina Henry de Tessan

Solo female travelers tell their funny and sometimes terrifying, albeit ultimately transformative tales of navigating some of the more unusual destinations around the globe.

The World | Short stories/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

What I was Doing While You Were Breeding

By: Kristin Newman

Sitcom writer, Kristin Newman, takes readers along on a hilarious journey through her many solo vacations and the romances and blunders she’s faced along the way.

“Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports.” – Amazon

The World | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Hold the Enlightenment by Tim Cahill

Hold the Enlightenment: More Travel, Less Bliss

By: Tim Cahill

Author Tim Cahill presents a hilarious and insightful collection of essays about his far-flung adventures in unique places around the world, from diving with great white sharks in South Africa to staving off enlightenment at a yoga retreat in Jamaica.

The World | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah

The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca

By: Tahir Shah

After uprooting his family from London, author Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of his family’s adventures in renovating an abandoned mansion by the sea in Casablanca.

Morocco | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Marching Powder by Rusty Young & Thomas McFadden

Marching Powder

By: Rusty Young and Thomas McFadden

This memoir is the account of a British man sentenced to time in the world’s most bizarre prisons in La Paz, Bolivia (which was once a tourist attraction). As a reader, you’ll get a glimpse of the drugs, crimes and humanity inside the prison. While not exactly a book about travel, this memoir encapsulates what it’s like for an outsider to be locked up abroad (in South America’s strangest jail, nonetheless).

Our personal thoughts: Right after quitting our jobs in 2014, we headed to South America on a 3-month backpacking trip. And I can’t count the number of people who recommended this book along the way. Once I downloaded it onto my Kindle, I couldn’t put it down. The story is absolutely crazy (and kind of hard to believe it’s true!).

La Paz, Bolivia | Memoir/True Crime | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russel

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country

By: Helen Russell

Given the opportunity, author and Londoner Helen Russell, packs up her life and moves to the Danish countryside where she discovers the secrets to the happiness of Danish people and where that happiness comes from.

Denmark | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide

By: Peter Allison

In his collection of essays, author Peter Allison recounts hilarious and sometimes terrifying tales of his life living in the African bush as a safari guide, coming face to face with some of the fiercest wild animals, and managing the hordes of camera-toting tourists. If you like this one, be sure to check out Don’t Look Behind You, his other book.

Botswana | Short Stories/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryerson

In a Sunburned Country

By: Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country is popular travel writer Bill Bryson’s account of his personal adventures in the hottest, driest country on earth filled with the friendliest people and the most dangerous wildlife.

Australia | Memoir/Guidebook/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Epic Solitude by Katherine Keith

Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North

By: Katherine Keith

Katherine and her husband create their idyllic life of solitude in northern Alaska. But after suffering a tremendous loss, Katherine must push on with her infant daughter. She finds a new purpose when she enters the world of long-distance dog sledding.

USA | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Travel Books for Foodies

We strongly believe that one of the best ways to learn about a country and its culture is to learn about its cuisine. What ingredients are important can tell you a lot about a place and its people. If you love food, eat your way around the world with these culinary delights.

Books for Travelers | A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World

A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World

Features stories by: Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, Mark Kurlansky, Tim Cahill, Jan Morris and more. Edited by Don George.

Featuring stories from a variety of well-known writers, A Moveable Feast celebrates food from all over the world and how it nourishes humanity physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

The World | Short Stories | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

By: Anthony Bourdain

A follow-up to his best-selling memoir Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw focuses on Anthony Bourdain’s rise to fame as he takes aim at some of the biggest names in the foodie world.

“If Hunter S. Thompson had written a book about the restaurant business, it could have been Medium Raw.” – Amazon

The World | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Cuban Flavor by Liza Gershman

Cuban Flavor: Exploring the Island’s Unique Places, People & Cuisine

By: Liza Gershman

A photojournalistic journey through the streets of Cuba, its paladars, and its flavorful cuisine. More than just a cookbook, this volume is an introduction to a revolutionary era of Cuban cuisine.

Cuba | Cookbook/Memoir/Travel Literature | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure & Discovery on the Road

A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure & Discovery on the Road

Features stories by: James Oseland, Madhur Jaffrey, Frances Mayes, Padma Lakshmi, Marcus Samuelsson and more.

Featuring stories of life-changing food experiences around the world from a variety of food-obsessed writers and chefs.

“The dubious joy of a Twinkie, the hunger-sauced rhapsody of fish heads, the grand celebration of an Indian wedding feast; the things we eat and the people we eat with remain powerful signposts in our memories, long after the plates have been cleared. Tuck in, and bon appetit!” – Amazon

The World | Short Stories | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Under the Tuscan Sun

By: Frances Mayes

Discover the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy along with the author when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside.

“This beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, loving a house and, always, the pleasures of food, would make a perfect gift for a loved one.  But it’s so delicious, read it first yourself.”—USA Today

Italy | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain

A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

By: Anthony Bourdain

Another one from everyone’s favorite food and travel writer, Anthony Bourdain. This New York Times bestseller chronicles his culinary adventures around the globe in search of the perfect meal.

The World | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | An Embarrassment of Mangoes

An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

By: Ann Vanderhoof

Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband Steve decided to leave their 9-to-5s in pursuit of cultural and culinary discovery in the Caribbean. Their two-year journey living on a sailboat brings them to drop anchor in 16 different countries where they explore local cuisine and record the dishes they encounter along the way.

Our personal thoughts: This book was recommended highly to us by a good friend.

The World | Cookbook/Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Bon Appetit by Peter Mayle

Bon Appetit: Travels Through France with a Knife, Fork & a Corkscrew

By: Peter Mayle

A retired schoolmaster from Provence, author Peter Mayle believes that the religion of France is food… and wine of course! This hilarious and witty memoir brings to life the culture of food in France.

France | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books About Travel Adventures

For our fellow outdoor adventure lovers, this list of books will transport you on some epic journeys around the world. From through-treks in the USA to mountaineering feats in the Himalayas and African safaris, your heart will beat a little harder while reading these adventurous tales.

Books for Travelers | Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By: Cheryl Strayed

After losing her mother and her marriage crumbling, author Cheryl Strayed makes the impulsive decision to hike over 1,000 of the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Washington, with no experience or training, completely solo.

Our personal thoughts: This is the story of a transformative journey, and being that we currently live very close to the PCT, this book is making us itch to hike a (short!) portion of it soon.

Pacific Crest Trail, USA | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryerson

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

By: Bill Bryson

This funny account of one man and his ill-prepared companion’s attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Our personal thoughts: A humorous and adventurous quick read, Ben and I both loved this book and even got my parents hooked on it too. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud at several points of this story.

Appalachian Trail, USA | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | A Fortune Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani

A Fortune Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East

By: Tiziano Terzani

After being warned by a fortune teller not to risk flying for an entire year, author Tiziano Terzani travels by every other means possible across the continent of Asia, consulting soothsayers, sorcerers, and shamans to receive advice and ultimately gain an understanding, respect and even fear for the older ways of life that are now threatened by modernity.

Asia | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

By: Jon Krakauer

Making it to the summit was the easy part. In this thrilling personal account of the 1996 catastrophic storm that hit Mt. Everest and claimed 5 lives, Jon Krakauer provides a detailed picture of the people and events he witnessed on his disastrous descent.

Our personal thoughts: We actually read this book as we did the trek to Everest Base Camp, which made our hike seem like a cake walk!

Mt. Everest | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town

By: Paul Theroux

“In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.” – Amazon

Africa | Memoir | Free for Kindle

Books for Travelers | Lands of Lost Boarders by Kate Harris

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road

By: Kate Harris

A born explorer, Kate Harris sets off to pedal the Silk Road by bicycle, chronicling her journey while examining the importance of personal boundaries, the stories behind physical borders, and a meditation on the longing to explore.

China | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

Turn Right at Machu Picchu

By: Mark Adams

Follow along on this fascinating and funny account of adventure writer (but real adventure novice) Mark Adam’s journey to recreate the original 1911 expedition to Machu Picchu.

Psst! If this book has you inspired, why not look into planning your own trip to Machu Picchu.

Peru | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains

By: Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

In this transformative tale, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent shares her journey traveling through one of the least explored regions in India. Along the way she encounters shamans, lamas, hunters, opium farmers, fantastic tribal festivals and discovers a way of life that is soon to be changed forever.

India | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Marrakech Express by Peter Millar

Marrakech Express

By: Peter Millar

Inspired by the 1969 Crosby, Stills & Nash anthem ‘Marrakech Express,’ author Peter Millar decides to reverse engineer the train journey from the song through the country of Morocco.

Morocco | Memoir/Guidebook| Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing

Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey

By: Alison Wearing

“Peppered with accounts of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and political analyses of the country, Honeymoon in Purdah is a departure from our conventional perception of Iran. Alison Wearing give Iranians the chance to wander beyond headlines and stereotypes and in so doing, reveals the poetry of their lives.” – Amazon

Iran | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Tales of Romance & Travel

If you’re looking for something a little lighter with a splash of romance, browse through this list of stories that combine two of life’s biggest adventures: love and travel.

 

Books for Travelers | Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Love With a Chance of Drowning

By: Torre DeRoche

City-girl Torre DeRoche is determined to keep the man of her dreams by joining him on a sailing adventure around the world, even though she is terrified of deep water.

“I was positively swept away by this large-hearted, hilarious story about how deeply and unexpectedly a person can be transformed by love.”  – Suzanne Morrison, Yoga Bitch

The World | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians

By: Kevin Kwan

This is the hilarious and heart-warming tale of a New York City girl who agrees to spend the summer with her boyfriend in Singapore, only to discover he is not only crazy-rich but one of the country’s most eligible bachelors.

You’ll want to check out the rest of the trilogy after you’ve read this first installment.

Singapore | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | My Summer of Love & Misfortune by Lindsay Wong

My Summer of Love and Misfortune

By: Lindsay Wong

Iris is having a rough time coping with a breakup and her identity when her parents decide to send her to Beijing for the summer to stay with family and reconnect with her roots. There she gets swept up in the glamorous lifestyle of Beijing’s elite leading her to discover romance and a little bit about her herself along the way.

China | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love

By: Elizabeth Gilbert

Leaving behind her comfortable life and a marriage she was no longer happy in, Elizabeth Gilbert takes readers on her journey of self-discovery eating her way through Italy, practicing meditation in India, and finding love in Bali, Indonesia.

Our personal thoughts: About as much of a “cliché travel book” as you can get, this memoir from Elizabeth Gilbert is still an entertaining read that both inspires and tugs at your heart.

The World | Memoir | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

By: Jenna Evans Welch

Lena spends the summer in Tuscany to honor her mother’s dying wish to get to know her father. After discovering a journal her mother kept when she lived in Italy, Lena follows along in her mother’s footsteps exploring the magical country, uncovering secrets about her family, and finding love.

Italy | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books About Travel & History

If you’re a history buff and prefer your books to be somewhat educational, this list is a great place to start. Each book in this section has ties to history, whether a memoir or a historical fiction piece, these stories will bring you around the world and back in time all at once.

Books for Travelers | Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

Seven Years in Tibet

By: Heinrich Harrer

After being imprisoned in China during the second world war, Heinrich recounts his escape and journey across the frozen Himalayas to finally be one of the first Europeans to enter Tibet and the Forbidden City of Lhasa where he befriends the Dalai Lama.

Tibet | Memoir/Historical | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

The Great Railway Bazaar

By: Paul Theroux

First published over 30 years ago, Paul Theroux gives a humorous and engrossing account of his early adventures on an unusual journey across the continent of Asia by railway, from London’s Victoria Station to Tokyo Central and back.

Asia | Memoir/Historical | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things

By: Elizabeth Gilbert

Spanning the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this story follows the extraordinary Whittaker family in a tale that crosses the globe —from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond.

The World | Historical Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia

By: George Orwell

Author George Orwell was meant to travel to Spain in 1936 to report on the Civil War. Instead he joined the army and fight against the Fascists. This is his personal account of the war and Orwell’s own experiences.

Spain | Memoir/Historical | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron

The Road to Oxiana

By: Robert Byron

The Road to Oxiana is the brilliant account of Robert Byron’s ten-month journey to Iran and Afghanistan in 1933–34. This classic travelogue is considered by many modern travel writers to be the first example of great travel writing.” – Amazon

Afghanistan | Memoir/Historical | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

The Mountains Sing: A Novel

By: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

This is the multigenerational tale of the Trần family during the Vietnam war and the following conflicts that lasted for generations.

Vietnam | Historical Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | On the Road Jack Kerouac

On the Road

By: Jack Kerouac

Inspired by his own adventures with Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and experience.

Our personal thoughts: My favorite professor in university was obsessed with this book. He taught creative writing and is a NYT best selling author himself, so I trust his taste in books and this one is near the top of my list!

USA | Historical Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky

Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands: 50 Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will

By: Judith Schalansky

Using historic events and scientific reports, author Judith Schalansky paints a picture of remote islands, whose histories are largely based on speculation and lore, with a poetic romanticism.

The World | Atlas/Travel Literature/Historical Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women

By: Lisa See

A story that spans decades, beginning during Japanese colonialism in the 1930’s, this is the tale of two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective.

Psst! Wondering what the island of Jeju is like in real life? We tell you all about it in this article.

South Korea | Historical Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Self-Help Style Guides Based on Travel

A little travel, a little self-reflection… these books weave travel and life lessons all into one package.

Books for Travelers | The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

The Art of Travel

By: Alain de Botton

Follow along on the author’s personal travels as he considers everything from the anticipation to the exotic allure. This witty book is not going to tell you where to go, but why you should travel and how to do it well.

The World | Memoir/Travel Literature | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Place in the World

By: Eric Weiner

In a unique mix of travel stories, psychology and humor, author Eric Weiner takes his readers on a journey around the world to find out not what happiness is, but where it is. Answering questions along the way like: Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? 

The World | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Laws of the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg

Laws of the Jungle: Jaguars Don’t Need Self-Help Books

By: Yossi Ghinsberg

Yossi Ghinsberg was lost in the Amazon jungle for twenty-eight days, alone with no food, supplies or weapons, and against all odds, he survived. In this book, Ghinsberg shares the profound truths the treacherous Amazon taught him.

Check out his personal account of his time in the Amazon next in his book Jungle.

Amazon Jungle | Memoir/Humor | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

By: Rolf Potts

In this one-of-a-kind handbook, travel writer Rolf Potts teaches readers how to discover and experience the world on their own terms with steps for achieving the dream of long-term overseas travel.

“One incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not just for one trip, but for the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss, from the foreword

Psst! We have a wealth of other articles for aspiring digital nomads!

The World | Auto-biography/Handbook | Buy on Amazon

Fictional Books About Places Around the World

Be swept off your feet (or couch!) as you journey across the world with these fictional stories that take place all around the globe. These books will bring you on adventures that don’t require any packing!

Books for Travelers | The Beach by Alex Garland

The Beach

By: Alex Garland

This story starts with an American backpacker in Thailand who hears of an island paradise. When he reaches this idyllic community on a remote Thai island, he finds people from all around the world living together in what appears to be a utopia. But the longer he stays, the more dark secrets are revealed… And yes, you may know this book from the 2000 thriller starring none other than Leonardo DiCaprio.

Our personal thoughts: This is one of those books that it seems all backpackers have read and can be found dog-eared in those hostel book exchange “libraries”. It’s kind of like a “rite of passage” for backpackers, and while some readers aren’t all that enthused, we both really liked the story and the themes of this book.

Read about our real-life experience visiting “The Beach” in Thailand.

Thailand | Fiction/Thriller | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

If I Had Your Face

By: Frances Cha

“A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.” – Amazon

We spent a year living in South Korea while teaching English and while our experience was quite different than the main characters, the descriptions of living in Seoul felt very familiar.

Korea | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham

Black Sunday

By: Tola Rotimi Abraham

This story follows the fate of twin sisters Bibike and Ariyik and their family as their comfortable life in Lagos unravels with a series of unfortunate events and over the following two decades.

Nigeria | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Garden of Burning Sand by Corban Addison

The Garden of Burning Sand

By: Corban Addison

Set in Zambia, an American lawyer and local policeman uncover a crime against a girl who was attacked and left for dead. Despite cultural differences and radically different upbringings, they need to work together to help the girl recover and ensure that justice is served.

Zambia | Fiction/Thriller | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram

By: Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is the story of an escaped convict who flees a maximum security prison in Australia, fleeing to Bombay with his guide and companion, where they can disappear forever in the criminal underworld.

India | Fiction/Crime Thriller | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

By: Paulo Coelho

A classic traveler’s tale, this is the story of a young shepherd who follows a vision that promises he will find treasure and good fortune. His journey takes him through the deserts of Egypt and is full of metaphors and beautiful prose. The underlying themes of forging your own path and seeking your destiny speak to people from all walks of life.

Our personal thoughts: This is a book I’ve read a couple of times, and each time I read it, I find new lessons that resonate. Ben loves this one too!

The World | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

By: Kawai Strong Washburn

After being miraculously saved by a shark while on vacation with his family in Hawaii in his youth, Nainoa and his family drift apart in their separate corners of the country. Nainoa it seems has also inherited strange new abilities. Supernatural events revisit the family in adulthood in Hawaii and force them to face each other and test their bonds.

USA | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

What We Were Promised

By: Lucy Tan

After years of chasing the American dream, the Zhen family returns to China to live a luxurious existence with Shanghai’s elite. When younger brother Qiang resurfaces in Shanghai after years on the run with a local gang, the family is forced to confront their past and what this means for their future.

China | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James

The Tusk That Did the Damage

By: Tania James

A story set in southern India about the moral complexities of the Ivory trade, told through the eyes of a poacher, a documentary filmmaker and a notorious elephant known as the Gravedigger.

India | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Once Upon a Sunset by Tif Marcelo

Once Upon a Sunset

By: Tif Marcelo

After suffering loss and heartbreak, a forced sabbatical leads DC OB/GYN Diana to discover family members in the Philippines she never knew existed. Determined to reconnect, she sets off on an adventure that will change her life forever.

If you are looking for more armchair travel inspiration, check out our articles on the Philippines.

Philippines | Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Angels & Demons

By: Dan Brown

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon finds himself in the middle of a plot to take down the Vatican. With a mixture of historical truths and modern fiction you’ll learn more about the secrets of Rome than you ever thought possible.

Afterwards, you’ll want to pick up the rest of the Robert Langdon series for similar glimpses into Paris, Washington DC, Venice and Barcelona.

Italy | Fiction/Thriller | Buy on Amazon

Coffee Table Books About Travel

Books for travelers
Books for Travelers | Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences

Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Experiences

The book is a collection of all sorts of experiences — from epic hikes to festivals to wildlife encounters — it is packed to the brim of things to add to your bucket list.

Our personal thoughts: This book was one of our first purchases together and was a way for us to daydream of all the adventures we’d take together around the world. We used to open this book and circle the adventures we’d take someday, and now it’s fun to look back on some of the adventures we’ve been lucky enough to experience for ourselves and mark the book with the date of our own experience. If you look at the photo above, you’ll even see our notes!

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Vanlife Diaries by Kathleen Morton, Jonny Dustow & Jaren Melrose

Vanlife Diaries: Finding Freedom on the Open Road

By: Kathleen Morton, Jonny Dustow, and Jaren Melrose

“Step into the world of a new generation of modern gypsies: a range of professionals and creatives who have ditched conventional houses for the freedom of the road and the beauty of the outdoors.” – Amazon

Vanlife Diaries is a a collection of imagery, interviews and advice celebrating this community of nomads who have embraced vanlife.

USA | Non-Fiction/Self-Help | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | She Explores by Gale Straub

She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild

By: Gale Straub

“For every woman who has ever been called outdoorsy comes a collection of stories that inspires unforgettable adventure.” – Amazon

This book combines incredible photography with the fascinating personal accounts of 40 diverse women and their unforgettable journeys in nature.

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | 100 Dives of a Lifetime by Carrie Miller & Brian Skerry

100 Dives of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Underwater Destinations

By: Carrie Miller & Brian Skerry

“Explore 100 breathtaking scuba diving sites around the world–from the cenotes of Mexico to the best wreck in Micronesia–through stunning National Geographic photography, expert tips, and cutting-edge travel advice.” – Amazon

If you are looking for more diving inspiration, we’ve rounded up the sites for the best scuba diving in the world in one article.

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Places to Find Peace & Quiet by Victoria Ward

The Bucket List: Places to Find Peace and Quiet

By: Victoria Ward

“Explore hard-to-find quiet spots in urban jungles, ultimate wilderness hideouts, the world’s best mindfulness and meditation retreats, and ancient centers of spiritual succor and artistic solace – perfect for whether you want to find yourself or get completely lost.” – Amazon

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Life from Above by Michael Bright & Chloe Sarosh

Life From Above: Epic Stories of the Natural World

By: Michael Bright & Chloe Sarosh

Created after the hit PBS Docuseries: Life From Above, this book compiles over 200 spectacular images using advanced satellite technology to view the earth’s surface — from its megastructures to its natural wonders — in breathtaking detail.

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon

Books for Travelers | Destinations of a Lifetime by National Geographic

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places

Published By: National Geographic

Take a photographic tour of the world’s most exciting and visually alluring destinations that will inspire you to get started planning your next trip.This book features spectacular images from hundreds of locations — from ancient wonders to electric cityscapes to deserted beaches to architectural feats — taken by the world-class National Geographic photographers.

The World | Non-Fiction | Buy on Amazon


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Books for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles
Books for Travelers | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

What travel books are on your to-read list? Did we miss one of your favorites? Comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (11) on “65 Books for Travelers: Curing Your Wanderlust One Page at a Time

  1. Mike Honeycutt says:

    This post was truly worthwhile to read. I wanted to say thank you for the key points you have pointed out as they are enlightening.

  2. pseonsaeng@gmail.com says:

    I recommend this blog in general, it has always something worth following up and even if there are books you are not going to read, you will learn something new and may find books you never thought of reading

  3. Kad8585@hotmail.com says:

    Love this. Such an extensive list. Some total classics are on here, like Eat Pray Love, but also love seeing some books I’m not familiar with like Whatever You Do Don’t Run. Thanks for a great lizt.

    • hello@twowanderingsoles.com says:

      Thanks! We tried to have a pretty well-rounded variety for all types of readers (or people like me who prefer all different types of reading depending on their mood!).

  4. amy@wandering-everywhere.com says:

    Oh also, Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places is another I’m going to get my hands on!

  5. amy@wandering-everywhere.com says:

    I love this post! I have read some of the classics like The Year of Living Danishly, In a Sunburned Country, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Whatever you Do, Don’t Run. I have been looking for a post like this for a while, because I really want to start reading the classics and getting to know their writing styles. I’m definitely going to buy What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir!

    • hello@twowanderingsoles.com says:

      That book is super high on my list too! I’ve heard great things, so I can’t wait to read it myself 🙂

  6. limitlesssecrets.o@gmail.com says:

    I love to read and this list just made me so happy! Perfect timing to order some books online! There are so many that look interesting!

    • hello@twowanderingsoles.com says:

      Happy you liked it! There are lots on this list that I’ve been meaning to read for a while! Trying to make it a priority now 🙂

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