Here’s a list of the best and the most popular Travel Books to help you get out of your comfort zone and hit the road. Some of these are travel classics, some notorious, some barely remembered, but all are inspiring.
The following books are the most cited, when discussing on the subject of “Travel”, while some are bestsellers.
The Road to Oxiana
Modern travel writers deem this book the first model of great travel writing. It is an account of Byron’s ten-month journey to Persia and Afghanistan in 1933-34.
A Time of Gifts
The book is an account of the author’s (Patrick Leigh Fermor) first part journey on foot across Europe in 1933-34. His journey began at Hook of Holland and ended in Constantinople. The second volume is titled Between the Woods and the Water and published in 1986. It covered Fermor’s journey through Maria Valeria Bridge, Hungary, and Iron Gate.
Authored by Bruce Chatwin, who went to Patagonia both to fulfill a promise made to a 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray and out of his own curiosity, he spent six months in Patagonia and wrote the book. The book established Chatwin’s reputation as a travel writer and was awarded the Hawthornden Prize and E.M. Forster Award.
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
Not sure how comfortable you would be to visit this place, considering the volatility of the place, this is an an autobiographical account of the author’s journey in the Hindu Kush, which is around the Nuristan Mountains of Afghanistan. This is an outstandingly written travel book authored by Eric Newby.
The Great Railway Bazaar
A notable travelogue written by American novelist Paul Theroux. that covers the authors four-month journey across Asia by train. Theroux travelled through Europe, Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. In his return, he passed via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Many consider this book a classic in travel writing.
Theroux retraced the trails of his original journey and found out that places had changed. He authored a book titled Ghost Train to the Eastern Star that recounts such journey.
Travels with Charley: In Search of America
This is a travelogue written by John Steinbeck, and recounts the road trip Steinbeck took with his poodle Charley around the United States. His travel began in Long Island, New York, then to Maine, Pacific Northwest, Salinas Valley in California, and across to Texas, up through Deep South, and back to New York.
The Snow Leopard
Published and written by Peter Matthiessen, the book recounts the authors two-month journey to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas. It won the 1980 National Book Award for Nonfiction.
In a Sunburned Country
Like going down-under? You may like this travelogue book about Australia, written by best-selling travel writer Bill Bryson. The original title of the book was actually Down Under, but it was also published as Walk About. The latter included Down Under and another Bryson’s books in one volume.
A Year in Provence
This book is about Peter Mayle’s breezy account of his mid-life decision to escape cloudy England to renovate a farmhouse in Menerbes, a village in the south of France, that inspired thousands to physically emulate his life-changing project, flooding Provence and other sunny idylls with expats in search of a rustic fixer-upper and supplies of cheap wine. Things got so crowded that Mayle himself moved out – although he has since returned to a different tiny village, Lourmarin, a stone’s throw from his original haunt.
Across Asia on the Cheap
Tony and Maureen Wheeler, two young travelers roughed it in a minivan from London to Sydney, and they decided to write a practical guide on how to travel cheap and how to find budget hotels and cheap restaurants. Their modest booklet sold 1,500 copies in a week and became the basis for Lonely Planet, a vast guidebook empire with books on almost every country on earth.