travel books

Top 10 Travel Books to Inspire Your Inner Wanderlust

Travel books are a part of my packing list to somewhere gorgeous. I pack the real thing, the paperback edition and, yes, I even have an old fashioned hallmark card bookmark. There is a lot of waiting times at the airport and while in transit. I make use of this free time by reading. I also recharge by reading in hostels common area or in my corner bunk bed. 

If you need some travel books and great reads to accompany you on your travels, here are some that have done me a great job.

Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything


 This book is on the top of my list of best travel reads or beach reads or vacations reads and even holiday reads because I can personally relate to the writer’s life experience. Plus the lead actress in the movie was Julia Roberts, my favorite actress! This book is memoir by American writer Elizabeth Gilbert.

The book chronicles her trip around the world after her divorce and her self discovery in Italy, India and Indonesia. At 32, after her divorce and a devastating rebound relationship, she decided to travel the world for a year. She went to Italy for the “eat” part, India for the “pray” and finally Indonesia and fell in “love”. Truth? I’m watching the movie while Im writing this post.


The Alchemist

The Alchemist

One of my favorite books written by Brazilian Paulo Coelho. The book follows a young Andalusian Santiago in his travel from his homeland in Spain to Egypt, after having recurring dreams of finding treasure buried in the pyramids there.  Santiago has no idea what kind of treasure is waiting for him when he arrives there, or if he will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way.

But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.      



Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes

Lunch in Paris Elizabeth Bard

This book is another memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—with a man and with French cuisine. Yep, I love memoirs! LUNCH IN PARIS is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home.

In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence, the prequel to this book and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life. Believe me, I still have that dream!      



Female Nomad and Friends

Female Nomad & Friends Rita Golden Gelman

I love how this book is presented, in form of short stories for easy read and you can skip some stories if you want to and she even put in her email address at the end. This is a compilation of short stories of her own travels and 40 other women she met along the way.

The stories are funny and sad, poignant and tender, familiar and bizarre. They will make you laugh and cry and maybe even send you off on your own adventure. Also included are the story teller’s website and contact details if you want to meet them along your journey too. There are recipes scattered throughout the book with some of the stories.    




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

The Geography of Bliss Eric Weiner

 I was expecting that this book would be able to answer the question, “What makes people happy?”. But it did not. But the writer, Eric was able to cite some reasons why people from Iceland, Bhutan and India are most happy and people from Moldova are the grumpiest people on earth.

Both revealing and inspirational, perhaps the best thing about this hilarious trip across four continents is that for you, the reader, the “geography of bliss” is wherever they happen to find themselves while reading it. To me that is every destination I have been to.  




Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun Frances Mayes

  Here’s another one of my favourite memoirs, Under the Tuscan Sun. Its about how the writer, after her divorce, buys and restores a villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. I enjoyed reading this book and would love to travel in the Italy countryside soon. Frances is one of the travel writers that I would love to follow.    




All God’s Children Needs Traveling Shoes

All God's Children Needs Traveling Shoes Maya Angelou

This is Maya Angelou’s fifth autobiography, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes. It’s a 242-page book divided into short chapters, great if you get distracted by your seat mate onboard the plane. Most of the locations in this book takes place in Ghana in the early 1960s, at a time when pan-Africanism was on the rise and before the Civil Rights Act was passed.

This book was very much about identity and belonging, themes very dear to the African-Americans who went to Ghana and elsewhere in Africa hoping to be welcomed as returning sons and daughters.      



The Beach

The Beach Alex Garland

  This book is one of the reasons I fell in love with Leonardo, who played the lead actor in the movie, who went backpacking to southern Thailand. I remember reading this book in about three days, one of  the fastest read I’ve done. It is about the story of a young backpacker’s search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism, and his time there, in its small, international community of backpackers. The story is never ending adventure (especially the last 30 pages or so….)  I don’t think you will be able to put this book down.    





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

A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson

I love how Bill Bryson puts in comedy in his travel writing. His curiosity about the Appalachian Trail got him and his friend trying to complete the trail. The book is written in a humorous style, interspersed with more serious discussions of matters relating to the trail’s history, and the surrounding sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people. And you should see the movie!      






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

Vagabonding Rolf Patts


I haven’t started to read this book, but definitely on my list of next read! This book is for those new and haven’t done any long term travel yet, that’s me. I came across this post about an interview with the author from The author, Rolf Potts, has listed in this book all about practical backpacking information, valuable insights, travel quotes and planning for a life on the road. A must read for newbies.      





You should also check this out, What the Florida? for off the beaten paths in Florida.

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Happy travels and reading!    

P.S. – If you’re book shopping soon, consider shopping  through the links in this page. Using the links doesn’t cost you any extra, and it helps keep the site free, fun, and community supported! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at


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  1. Reply

    I’m dropping by from our StumbleUpon FB group. I also posted recently about the travel books that I have in my shelf —

    I can’t help but smile while reading through your blog. 🙂 I have more titles to add to my collection.

      • March 1, 2016

      thank you for this wonderful comment. glad to be of help! I will check your link too to see what I can add to my to-read list! happy reading

  2. Reply

    What a great list. Seeing a location through an author’s eyes is a great way to experience a place. I have recently enjoyed books by Marlena de Blasi (for example The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club, she has also written about Venice). And fiction is an excellent way of getting under the skin of a locale…

  3. Reply

    These are all great choices! There are a few here I don’t know so I’ll be looking those up.

      • March 26, 2016

      Thank you!!! Please use my link when purchasing one. Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  4. Reply

    What an excellent suggestions ! I have read a couple of those but my favorite is Under the Tuscan Sun. This summer I am finally going to Tuscany. My wanderlust for this place became bigger after reading the book!

      • March 26, 2016

      Enjoy your trip to Tuscany! Would love to visit it too someday soon! Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  5. Reply

    I do have Vagabonding waiting on my bedside table. Definitely going to start reading this soon! I also like your suggestions of “The Geography of Bliss” and “Female Nomad and Friends”. They both sound like books I’d enjoy reading while on the road. Will put them on my to-read list for this year 🙂

      • March 27, 2016

      Same here, my Vagabonding book still unread, There’s just too many to read but so little time! Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

    • anna
    • March 27, 2016

    Some great titles here!!! Thanks- I am ned of a new batch of travel reads!

      • March 27, 2016

      Thanks! Please shop thru my links so i earn money 🙂 Visit again soon!

  6. A great list of books for anyone wanting to be transported! I think I need to reread the Alchemist because it always appears on Top 10 travel book lists but it just didn’t resonate with me for some reason. I’d love to read the Geography of Bliss. It sounds like quite an interesting read! Have you read In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree? After reading/crying my way through this book, I was completely inspired to visit Cambodia.

      • March 27, 2016

      Not yet, but this is a great suggestion, I will keep this in mind for next book shopping! Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  7. Reply

    I want to have a lunch in Paris that changes my life – YES please 🙂 Haha! The title of this book really made me curious! Going to buy it! Under the Tuscan sun was one of THE books (alongside with the ever so cheesy film) that inspired me to travel more, actually. I spent a very important Birthday in Tuscany – and it was on this trip, that I decided that I wanted to travel the world and make travel my aim in life 🙂

      • March 27, 2016

      Thanks! Please shop thru my links for help me survive 🙂 Come visit again soon!

  8. Reply

    I read the books ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and ‘Eat Pray Love’ and watched those movies as well (who doesn’t like gorgeous shots of Tuscan landscapes or tempting dishes of pasta;-). Thanks for introducing more travel inspiration books to me!

  9. Reply

    Great list theres two ive seen it on film already.
    I will check out the others for my future travel inspiration book,

      • March 28, 2016

      Great! I hope you shop thru my links to help me survive 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  10. Reply

    I’m in need of new books to read, and travel books are def a great option. Will look at some of the suggested books. Thanks for these!

      • March 28, 2016

      You are most welcome! Please shop thru my links to help me survive 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  11. Reply

    Are you in any book clubs by any chance? I just added a few of your recommendations to my reading list.

      • April 2, 2016

      Thank you! Im on goodreads if that is what you mean. Are you there too? Thanks for dropping by and visit again soon!

  12. Cool list! I’ve been meaning to read eat, pray, love and the Alchemist. It’s hard to find to read some times but really want to go on an adventure without leaving home. LOL

  13. Reply

    I’m not a fan of reading but the title of these books looks very much interesting for travellers.

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