Experiencing different cultures, tasting exotic culinary dishes, shopping in local marketplaces and marveling at amazing scenery and items that you don’t get at home are just some of the reasons why we love to travel. Of course, escaping the everyday responsibilities is a nice perk too!
But while you’re enjoying all the amazing things when traveling abroad, there’s one other activity that you can take advantage of while traveling: getting lost in good travel books.
Reading is a fabulous way to pass the time while commuting from A to B. Whether it’s on a train, plane, or cab ride, time can fly by when you’re engrossed in a good book. So when you head to the store to get supplies for you next trip, save room on your credit card or bring some extra money for a book!
So, what are the top travel books that you should take with you on your adventure?
Fun Travel Reads
If you simply want to be entertained, consider taking the following great book items with you:
Around the World in 80 Trains
This “travelogue” will take you along a 45,000-mile journey with Monisha Rajesh, who chronicles her travels across the world on – you guessed it – 80 trains.
“Around the World in 80 Trains” is Rajesh’s smart, witty, charming, and highly entertaining tales of her incredible eye-opening experience traveling through the most exotic places on the planet by train, from Tibet’s Qinghai railway to the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Use a Walmart coupon when shopping online to shave a few bucks off the listed price.
There might be a lot to see above ground, but have you ever stopped to wonder about lies beneath? In the book “Underground,” journalist Will Hunt, inspired by his experience exploring a local abandoned tunnel as a teen, takes readers on some incredible trips into the world’s underground regions. His discoveries include nuclear bunkers, caves, and even ancient cities. If you’re a fan of archeology, mythology, anthropology, natural history, neuroscience, and philosophy, then this novel is for you. Be sure to use a Walmart coupon to save; you can have it delivered or use the in-store pickup option.
The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca
Inspired by the travels to Morocco throughout author Tahir Shah’s childhood years, “The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca” describes how his childhood vacations inspired him to move from his home in England to Casablanca.
The book is filled with exciting descriptions and takes the reader through all the ups and downs of the move, including dealing with thieves and corruption along the way. You’ll be jumping out of your seat at the intricate details of the adventures throughout the story.
The New Nomadic Age
This book covers the extraordinary and unique life of new and modern urban nomad cultures that have emerged in our world today.
“The New Nomadic Age,” edited by Yannis Hamilakis, takes us on a journey to explain the multinationalism of such migratory lines and a generation that makes itself at home in all parts of the world, and why it should be something for all of us to accept and embrace.
Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked The World
If you’re not old enough to have had the privilege to be part of the three-day festival in Woodstock that is now a fabric of our history, you’ve likely at least heard of it. It truly defined a generation and an era.
“Woodstock” discusses the social impact of this iconic music festival, drawing from interviews with those who were there, and details all the nitty-gritty that happened during those 72 hours of American history.
Author Patricia Schultz created this book as a fun Bucket List, for those who’ve made a lifestyle out of travelling the world, and those who just wish they could. There’s probably no way you get to every single place listed here, but the descriptions make you feel as if you had experienced the culture.
“Change Your World View” Reads
Some books are meant to entertain, while others are designed to open up the minds of readers, including the following.
The Rings of Saturn
This book is a vibrant account of author W.G. Sebald’s walking tour of Suffolk on the eastern coast of England. It will keep you hanging on every word, never wanting the pages, chapters, or book itself to end.
“The Rings of Saturn” details the author’s journey along this mystical part of the world and the things that he comes across, including poor waterside towns, hilly terrain, temples, and WWII bombings. It’s been hailed a “masterpiece” by critics and is certainly one that should make your short list.
The Art of Travel
If you’re looking for a little direction about where you should be traveling, read this book. You’ll be told not only where to travel, but why.
Alain de Botton, the author of “The Art of Travel,” will take you on not only his journeys, but those of others, including artist Vincent Van Gogh, biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and fellow world traveler and poet William Wordsworth.
Paulo Coelho’s novel is about someone who takes time out to travel and search for the world’s best places to see and restaurants to dine in. But this book is so much more than that.
Instead, it’s a book about self-discovery and reflection told through the character Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of treasures. But the riches he stumbles upon are much more valuable than he could ever imagine.
Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road
Another “travelogue” to add to the list is “Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road,” a meditation on remote places that are rarely – if ever – written about. It intelligently and emotionally captures author Kate Harris’s journey by bicycle along Silk Road, a trip that challenges the limitations that we tend to put on ourselves and the environment.
Social media has made it much easier to get information about your destination. But when you’re abroad, you’re not always going to be able to go online and pull up a travel website. Having an actual guidebook or two with you can make your travels a little easier and less stressful. Here are a few reads you might want to add to your collection.
Lonely Planet China
If you’re still in the planning phase of your travels to China, consider grabbing a copy of “Lonely Planet China,” a great read if you’re still not entirely sure about where to go in this vast country. It’s perhaps the most thorough book for this purpose and covers the majority of the area, so it leaves nothing out.
Best for West Coast: Lonely Planet West Coast Australia
Planning a trip to Australia? Before you go, pick up a copy of “Lonely Planet West Coast Australia,” a book that has insider tips for doing whatever the locals do. It’s also got several itineraries and upfront pricing so you’ll be totally prepared for your travels.
The title says it all: this book is an essential guide to take with you if traveling to India. If you’re particularly interested in ensuring that you’re culturally sensitive when visiting, and remain confident about where to go and what to do, this guide will fill in all the gaps that other guide books might leave out. And with a Walmart coupon, you can grab this book at a discount.
With all of these different reads, you’ll have no shortage of entertainment, education, and enlightenment while vacationing abroad and seeing the world. Happy travels!