10 Travel Books To Give You Wanderlust

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Travel Books That Will Inspire

January and February can become isolating months as we move through the coldest parts of winter. Travel restrictions are slowly lifting and people are getting comfortable traveling again. However, if you’re unable to take a trip right now and need some inspiration (or maybe you just need a good book to read on the plane), I’ve rounded up ten great books to give you serious wanderlust.

best travel books for wanderlust

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

This is a book about a young shepherd boy from Spain who follows his heart and learns a lot about the meaning of life. I actually bought this book in a bookstore in Amsterdam and read it while traveling. It’s an excellent read.

best travel books for wanderlust

Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home, by Matt Kepnes

This book is a memoir about Matt Kepnes’ ten years traveling and backpacking the world. He shares lessons learned, unforgettable encounters, and advice from everything he experienced over the course of a decade.

best travel books for wanderlust

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

I really enjoyed this book (and the movie). Wild is about Cheryl Strayed’s journey along the Pacific Crest Trail when she was just 26 years old. She is in search of a fresh start after the death of her mother, going through a divorce, and her struggles with drug use. Along the way she finds herself having a life-changing experience.

best travel books for wanderlust

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

This is the story of a young man from a well-do-to family who leaves it all behind. Chris McCandless donated his $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and possessions, and walked alone into the wilderness. Unencumbered by money and belongings, and free to experience the raw and unfiltered experiences of nature, this book is heartbreaking and extremely powerful.

best travel books for wanderlust

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, by Matt Kepnes

A book intended for budget travelers, this one will teach you how to travel longer and smarter for less so you can save money and have richer, more fulfilling experiences. Matt Kepnes is the travel blogger behind nomadicmatt.com, a travel resource I use regularly.

best travel books for wanderlust

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

In her early 30s, Elizabeth Gilbert had a great husband, a beautiful home, and a successful career. But instead of feeling fulfilled, she was consumed with anxiety. She leaves it all behind and sets off to explore three different aspects of herslef in three different countries.

best travel books for wanderlust

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

After 20 years in Britain, travel writer Bill Bryson returns to the United States. He decides to reacquaint himself by walking the 2,100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. He writes about his adventure and the astonishing landscape he sees along the way.

best travel books for wanderlust

The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

This is the story of an American ex-pat and British ex-pat who travel from Paris to Pamplona, Spain to watch the running of the bulls and bullfights. Written by Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s, this is a classic.

best travel books for wanderlust

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

This book tells the story of Amir, a young boy from Kabul who experiences tumultuous events, including the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy, the rise of the Taliban, and the mass exodus of refugees to the United States and Pakistan.

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, by Anthony Bourdain

This beautiful book is Bourdain’s guide to some of the most fascinating places in the world. His exceptional experiences are collected into a fun, educational, and practical guidebook that takes readers on a journey to some of his favorite places.

Books Are a Great Gift

Whether you’re currently traveling or not, books have the incredible ability to transport us without leaving our homes. Choose a book for yourself or gift one to the adventurer in your life. Looking for more travel-related inspiration? Check out my blog posts on 9 Reasons to Visit Crosby in the Winter, and Romantic Things to Do in the Twin Cities for Valentine’s Day.


  • Josy A

    Yeees! I love doing this too. Then, when you eventually do get to travel to the place you’ve read about, it is somehow even more exciting. 🙂

    A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson has been on my list of reads for a while. I need to get around to it!

  • Tara

    I’m a book nerd and have read most of these. Reading travel books is definitely an inspiration. My parents didn’t travel with me as a kid. I just read about cool places and wanted to go!

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