As an avid plane reader I’m always looking out for great travel books to pass the time. Plus lately I’ve been on a mission to start reading more travel books elsewhere and even at home to inspire more trips! Most of these books hold a special spot on my bookshelf, but some of them are recommendations from friends who have assured me they are great reads that encourage women to get out there and hit the road. I personally love a inspirational stories that follow the author’s journey, with books like Paris Letters and Eat Pray Love being two of my favourite reads that have inspired my own travels. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration… here are some of the best travel books to inspire your travels!
1. 1000 Places to See Before you Die
Personally I’m more of an inspirational story lover, but after buying 1000 Places to See Before you Die, I find its a book I can not only never put down, but am also constantly picking back up as there’s just soooo much information in there! The book literally covers everything – cities, countries, regions, waterfalls, hikes… everything you must see and do before in your lifetime.
2. A Handful of Honey
If you have a solo journey planned for Northern Africa, there really is no better book than A Handful of Honey. The author makes her way through Morocco and Algeria, meeting locals and trying local delicacies along the way. The book strikes a really good blend between history, culture, and the author’s own anecdotes along the way.
3. The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost
In a good girl’s guide to getting lost the author, Rachel, is your typical good girl who wouldn’t normally make the spur of the moment decision to do anything, let alone book a plane ticket to Ireland! From there her adventures continue across three continents as she learns the freedom of getting lost, without plans and without an intent on arriving.
4. A Thousand Days in Tuscany
Love at first sight… the Italian countryside… it really is hard not to enjoy this book! Although I am yet to read it, it is certainly on my list after seeing it mentioned quite a few times by other bloggers… one for the next long-haul perhaps!
5. Eat Pray Love
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in cave (which would be quite impressive to be honest), you would have already heard of the travelogue Eat Pray Love, or at least have heard of the movie. If not, then what are you waiting for! This is the perfect read for any girl or woman considering a change of pace and who isn’t afraid to throw themselves into something, anything, if they just believe in it. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, is wildly successful, particularly for this book.
6. Paris Letters
One of my favourite reads last year was Paris Letters – a story about a middle-aged woman who starts questioning the motions of life in her advertising job and after careful deliberation, decide she will save enough money to live abroad for a year, perhaps longer. She does indeed leave home to travel, starting in Paris and eventually residing there, marrying a local butcher, and you know what’s coming next… the happily ever after. I related so much to this book that I dubbed it the first ever WOW Book Club read!
7. An Italian Affair
Now here’s a good travel memoir for anyone suffering from a bad break up, as the story follows Laura whose husband leaves her for his high school sweetheart (rough!), so she takes off for an escape in Italy. If you enjoy the idea of an Italian affair then this book is for many of us as close as you’ll come!
8. A Field Guide to Getting Lost
For the true nomads (or those who would one day like to be), A Field Guide to Getting Lost is an exceptional read. If you’re going somewhere remote or looking for inspiration to do so, this book will be your leap of faith.
9. Girls Who Travel
If you’re searching for that feeling of empowerment (second thoughts maybe?) then look no further than Girls Who Travel – a witty novel about the ongoing struggles of a wanderluster who is always searching for adventure… and finds it in the most unlikely places!
10. Hearing Birds Fly
Set in a remote village in Mongolia, Hearing Birds Fly is truly an amazing story that takes readers far beyond the conventional locations of travelogues. This story will completely transport you and hit close to home… and hopefully inspire some remote adventures of your own!
11. Lunch in Paris
I read this book shortly after Paris Letters and I’ve got to say the similarities are uncanny! Both authors quit their jobs and lives in the USA, travel to Paris, fall in love, and marry a Parisian. The biggest difference between the two is that Lunch in Paris features a load of French or French-inspired recipes, so its a great gift if you know someone who loves to cook!
12. At Home in France
At Home in France is an honest recount of what it is like to live as an American expat… in France! This is a great read for anyone considering moving abroad to live as an expat and covers many of the topics and situations you will likely encounter yourself!
13. Every Day in Tuscany
After “Under the Tuscan Sun” came Every day in Tuscany. This book isn’t nearly as popular or widely loved as those listed above, as it tends to jump around between long journal entries and short memoires from travels to nearby towns. Nonetheless, worth a read!