Top 10 Great Travel Books

December 2, 2013 by Monica

There’s no marriage quite like the one between books and travel. Books help to inspire, ignite and progress the wanderlust of each reader, whilst also capturing the emotional connection of any great story.

And let’s face it, we’d all like to be swinging in a hammock in the shade of a palm tree!

Here are 10 are of our favourite travel books that we hope will inspire you to take on a journey of your own and see the world as more than just a character in a book. If you have any more to add to the list, please let us know in the comments below!

The Road by Jack Kerouac

This book documents numerous trips made by Kerouac and his Beat Generation friends that took them across America in the years after WWII. We follow the narrator Sal (Kerouac) and his encounters with jazz, poetry, drugs and an overwhelming thirst for life.

Coasting by Jonathan Raban

This book follows Raban on his 4,000-mile journey around Britain in a 32-foot sailing boat. Raban reflects on his life as well as present social and political themes.

The book serves as a metaphor for Raban’s life which he quoted as ‘continually moving on with the tide’.

Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

The cheeky humour and poignant nostalgia are the basis of this book that follows Bryson’s farewell journey across the length and breadth of Britain. The book also offers an insight into Britain’s developing, modernised society. The light-hearted and slightly satirical factor behind travel is captured beautifully by the author.

The Beach by Alex Garland

This book helped to inspire the Far East gap year generation. The Beach follows a British backpacker’s search for paradise on earth, later portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio in the film adaptation. It captures the escapism and timelessness provided by travel.

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux’s first book, and arguably his best, recounts a four-month journey through Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The real star of the show is rail travel, with the book featuring many of the world’s most celebrated rail lines.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

After losing her mother and hitting rock bottom, Strayed hiked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail through California and Oregon. The book captures an emotional and inspiring account of the author’s adventure and mindset.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Whether you love it or hate it, the book is all about leaving everything behind and heading out the door. Eat Pray Love has inspired many travellers to pack their bags and spend some time ‘finding themselves’.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

This book shows that travel doesn’t always have to be about the traveller. After climbing Pakistan’s unforgiving
K2, Mortenson spent the next 10 years of his life helping the poverty-stricken of the mountainous areas of the country.

The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

Directly responsible for guiding me toSouth Americafor 3 months back in 2010, this diary follows Che Guevara’s trip through the continent during a break from schooling. Guevara’s subsequent experiences greatly shaped his future political and social ideals.

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron

This story follows Thubron’s journey along the 7,000-mile, ancient trading route betweenChinaandRome. This 2,000 year-old route threw many colourful and enlightening adventure experiences at the author.

About Monica

Monica is a travel blogger with a love for stylish adventures around the world. She blogs over on The Travel Hack about everything from weekend breaks, stylish hotels, exotic holidays and adventure travel.