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Best Travel Books to Ignite Your Wanderlust

The next best thing to hopping on an airplane, backpacking through a new country or eating our hearts out while on the road is to read about someone else doing it. Books transport us when we can’t necessarily pick up and go. However, there’s nothing better than detailed written inspiration to get us dreaming about where to head next. Here’s a start for you.

Need a beach read for your next holiday, or just some travel inspiration to get you off the couch and into the world? Here are some of the best travel books bound to spark that sense of wanderlust and get you planning your next adventure!

Best Travel Books to Ignite Your Wanderlust

The Best Things in Life are Free by the Lonely Planet

Featuring money-saving travel tips and tricks from over 60 major cities around the world, Lonely Planet’s The Best Things in Life are Free is a no-brainer travel resource for those travelling on a limited budget. Looking for the best place to view Hong Kong’s skyline or how about amazing beaches to stroll in Brisbane? Lonely Planet’s travel experts have collected experiences and ideas that range from parks, museums and galleries to street markets, gardens, sunset spots and more. Lonely Planet consistently publishes some of the best travel guide books on the market. 

book, glasses, cocktail and kobo reader on a table. Travel books for your wanderlust.
Best Travel Books to Ignite Your Wanderlust | Skyscanner Canada

Kiss the Sunset Pig by Laurie Gough

Canada’s own Laurie Gough has been a travel writer for years. She’s inspired many writers to do the same at workshops around North America, including the San Miguel Writers Conference. She’s taken many solo trips (and during the years without smartphones and wifi!) and has found herself on remote islands in Fiji, hitchhiking through New Zealand, and even temporarily lived in a cave by California’s Pacific coast. Laurie’s novels are some of the best travel adventure books and they will leave you impressed, amazed, and inspired to take the leap and venture out on your own. 

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Who doesn’t love Bill Bryson? He’s written some of the best travel books on the market. His stories ooze endearing wit, charm and humour, and Notes from a Small Island is no exception. An amusing and engaging account of touring Great Britain, Bryson’s social commentary of the country’s history along with its distinctive people is written from a satirical lens.

The Beach by Alex Garland

You may have seen the movie way back in 2000 starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but have you ever read the book it was based on? The Beach follows a group of young vagabonds who set out to a remote island in the Gulf of Thailand in search of new experiences in a land full of unspoiled landscapes. If you’ve ever backpacked through Southeast Asia you will be able to relate to many of the tales told in this travel book. 

Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis

One of the many travel books written by intrepid solo female travellers, follow National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis’ epic adventure as she travels alone for three years covering 10,000 miles on foot. Wild by Nature covers her trip from Siberia to Thailand, and then eventually to Australia. Her persistence, wit and resilience will inspire you to contemplate your own solo journey abroad. 

Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips by National Geographic

Taking an extended road trip almost always results in a handful of memorable moments. Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips is practical with its eclectic list to inspire your next getaway. Maybe it will be cruising through the dramatic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains or venturing along the Blue Ridge Foothills, passing orchards, idyllic lakes and meadows along the way.

Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast

Looking for a book that contains engaging, funny and authentic stories on food and travel? A Moveable Feast has personal essays from around the world covering themes from language barrier to cultural taboos. Should you try those street tacos in Tijuana? This is one of the best travel books for any foodie on the go. Anthony Bourdain’s work has inspired a generation of new travellers to set out into the unknown, and learn about the culture through food. 

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

If you’ve ever wanted to pick up and go, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel may be an ideal non-fiction travel book for you. Learn ways to travel on your own terms whether it’s for a few weeks or a couple of years by using the resources found in Potts’ book. A quick read, information on everything from financing your travel to handling adversity while away is included in this travel book. One thing is for certain, if you can dream it, you can actualize it, and this book will have you itching even further to explore the places you’ve always wanted to go.

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

This book is a charming and philosophical look at the question of why people travel. Through a collection of personal insights via memoirs and essays, de Botton dives into ideas of travelling for pleasure, and connecting to the emotions felt experiencing each piece of it, no matter how small. The Art of Travel challenges readers to question the point of travel while at the same time re-examining where we live through the eyes of a traveller.

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

Both a profound history lesson and a candid memoir about living in a rural region in China in the mid-1990s, Peter Hessler serves as a voice for China for us on the other side of the world. If you are in the market for good travel books on China, start with Peter Hessler. In his travel book of River Town, the author recounts his story of working as a Peace Corps teacher’s assistant in the city of Fuling in western China for two years. 

Want to Know How You Can Travel Better and Save with Skyscanner?

Are you feeling the travel inspiration yet? Skyscanner Canada’s got some travel tips and guides for you, including a list of the top cheap holiday destinations for your next vacation. Save our News Site page and be inspired by everything from cheap flight deals, travel savings hacks and travel guides for destinations in Canada and beyond.