We love a good travel book. It’s something to flip through on your subway ride home from work while dreaming of your next getaway, or to roll up and stuff in your suitcase when the time finally comes to hit the road. Based on reputation and reads, here are some of our favorite travel books of all time.
The Beach by Alex Garland
The Beach is a mid-90s fictional tale about a young backpacker who finds his way to a secret society of expatriates on a hidden-fantastical island. Touching on themes of overcoming fear through travel, overpopulated tourist destinations, and the daunting unknown, the story is insightful and super entertaining (much more so than the Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio film adaptation of the same name).
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux is one of America’s most accomplished and well-received contemporary travel writers. His defining 1975 novel, The Great Railway Bazaar is a log of his four-month-train journey from London through the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. The back-half depicts his return home on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
In a Sunburnt Country by Bill Bryson
Taking an expansive look at Australia from the outback to Sydney, Bill Bryson immerses readers in the land down under with this funny and insightful first-hand travel account. Calling on conversations he had with locals and in depth research on the continent’s early 19th century explorers, Bryson creates an intriguing, holistic study at the evocative country.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
An acclaimed Canadian journalist and novelist, Elisabeth Eaves threw the kitchen sink at this story covering 15 years of travel across five continents. Wanderlust shares love stories old and new, insights on self-discovery through travel, and thoughts on the value of feminist beliefs giving modern women the courage to wander.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Some people will tell you this is one of the greatest works of modern American literature, others will tell you it’s the worst. If you can hang on for Kerouac’s energetic, stream-of-consciousness approach, there are numerous poetic meditations of the American highway, cities from New York to Denver to San Francisco, and what it truly means to be On the Road.
What are your favorite travel books?