After traveling throughout the world, I have made many mistakes getting lost and not capturing the best adventures or cultural experiences a destination has to offer. I was told at an early age to turn to some of the best travel books for advice to have the best time on the road.
From what I have learned, it all begins with being prepared and learning the ropes from others. Whether you love to travel by plane, car, or the sea, having the inside scoop from the best travel books makes all the difference for a great trip.
There is nothing better than having a great book to read while on the road. Knowing where to go when visiting a new destination can alter your entire trip and provide you with a more authentic local experience.
We all want to travel like locals so we can be efficient and not stick out like tourists. By doing your research with the following book recommendations, you will learn how to be prepared for your upcoming trips.
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By: Matt Kepnes
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Third Edition: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter offers greats tips that are simple and efficient. The book is very easy to read and an educational tool for traveling on the cheap.
Matt Kepnes did a fantastic job sharing his knowledge by detailing specific steps you should take to prepare for travel, what tools you can use, and how to best time your planning and purchasing. After reading this book my appetite grew for future travel adventures and gave me ideas about what countries to explore next.
By: National Geographic
Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places is the perfect coffee table book to get you inspired for exploring off the beaten path destinations.
National Geographic knows quality destinations and they didn’t disappoint in this book. The diverse locations, gorgeous pictures, and unique stories on every page will keep you entertained.
By: Ken Ilgunas
Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom tells the story of a student who was buried in debt and his pursuit of financial freedom through traveling. Life is about more than consumer products and more so about the experiences you encounter and how traveling will open your mind.
Ken Ilgunas writes in a funny and poetic style sharing his personal challenges of going against American societal norms. Regardless of your age, Ken’s perspective will offer enlightenment in a refreshingly honest way to bring you peace.
By: Nicos Hadjicostis
Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler will enlighten you that travel is more than just visiting a place with a basic itinerary. Traveling is about becoming lost in the culture, the beauty, the history, and connecting in your own perspective with the destination.
Nicos Hadjicostis tells the story of not only his own experiences as he travels over a 7 year period through 6 continents and over 70 countries, but his philosophical reflections provide unique insights into the process and value of education through travel.
By: Jennifer Sparks
Slow Travel: Escape the Grind and Explore the World explores the new way people are traveling. The book shares simple advice, tools, and techniques for pursuing your own adventures at your own pace and on a budget.
Jennifer Sparks highlights the possibilities of long-term travel while offering concrete, logical steps to address the details and life you left behind. By traveling slowly you experience the beauty of the differences in language, culture, and geography around the globe.
By: Bob Wells
How to Live In a Car, Van, or RV: And Get Out of Debt, Travel, and Find True Freedom is the most informative and concisely written book on van camping of any duration. The book gives detailed directions on how to get rid of your rent or mortgage payment and live in a vehicle as a solution, so you can get out of debt, save money, travel, and live free.
Bob Wells shares his first-hand perspective of actually living this lifestyle for a long time and he truly cares about sharing his experience with others. The book contains extensive information about the secrets to efficient RV or van life and is presented in an easy to digest format.
By: Jen Ruiz
The Affordable Flight Guide: How to Find Cheap Airline Tickets and See the World on a Budget captures everything you need to know to get traveling on the cheap, and follows it up with a plethora of useful apps and resources.
Jen Ruiz offers great tips on how to have a side hustle and boost funds as well as how to use points to get a better deal while on the road. Jen’s practical advice shows how we can make our travel dreams come true today, without having to wait for the perfect moment.
By: Nicholas Kontis
Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road is a fantastic book about immersing into local society and taking the road less traveled to live off the beaten path for a more personal experience. After reading, you will feel that a vacation is not only about taking a break and relaxing but also about enriching your life by engaging and participating in the local scene.
Nicholas Kontis’s will encourage you to get off the couch or out of your work rut, to go and travel. The book shares many personal experiences of inspiration, with interviews of prolific travelers and travel writers.
By: Dave Grossman
MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is a wonderful and informative read that will get you to set up travel goals and provides the steps to attain them. The book is filled with numerous travel hacks that many people don’t even realize are possible.
Dave Grossman simplifies the process of getting the most out of your credit card rewards program so you can travel more. Dave’s passion is racking up airline miles and his invaluable tips will help you fast track your next adventure.
By: Rick Page & Jasna Tuta
Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever is a must-read book before you even think about buying a boat. It is easy to get caught up in accessories and unnecessary items when boating. The book gives good practical advice on what to look for in a boat, what equipment to buy and what to leave back on land.
Rick and Jasna focus on the essentials for making a sailing trip happen with an emphasis on frugality and sustainability rather than consumerism. The book highlights the importance of learning your boat and gaining valuable skill-building and seamanship vs relying on over-complicated gadgets.
By: Moon Travel Guides
Wanderlust: A Traveler’s Guide to the Globe is the perfect coffee table book for travelers looking for inspiration. The gorgeous photos and local travel info will keep you glued to every page.
Moon Travel Guides covers a vast range of diverse destinations including all landscapes. Page after page you will be thinking about what adventure is going to be your next.
By: Cheryl Strayed
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is an inspiring and memorable read about the detailed adventure of an epic hike along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail which is both heart wrenching and entertaining.
Cheryl Strayed wrote in a relatable way that really makes you feel her own pain and her own fears and struggles. You will gain a new perspective on life to take your fitness more seriously and challenge yourself more.
By: Jason Odom
Vanabode: travel and live forever on $20 a day describes a step-by-step plan to make the RV or van lifestyle happen simply and on the cheap. If you want to live this way the book will give you a great start.
Jason Odom shares his practical knowledge on van-living as well as his philosophy on living life now vs working years with plans to retire only to die before or soon after.
By: Shyla Esko Bare & Daniel Bare
Before You Go Abroad Handbook: Over 127 Secret Tips & Tools for International Travel is a handy and concise book for prepping for a trip abroad, so you will not get stuck with poor planning. From getting through customs to where to find the best street food, this book is overflowing with information.
Shyle Esko Bare & Daniel Bare share their own travel experiences and resource lists in an effort to prepare you excited to start planning your next trip with ease and confidence.
15. An Intentional Travelers Guide to Unconventional Budget Accommodations: Creative Ways to Save Money on Transformational Travel
By: Michelle C. Chang
An Intentional Travelers Guide to Unconventional Budget Accommodations: Creative Ways to Save Money on Transformational Travel provides you with insight on how to save money while traveling the world. There are some fabulous and life-changing lodging alternatives in the world that will open your eyes to a totally different experience of the destinations.
Michelle C. Change shows us how to think outside the box and urges us to stretch ourselves. If you love feeling like a local, or are just looking for new accommodation types that are actually rejuvenating, Chang’s fresh perspective provides you with the tools to transform your travel experiences.
I hope you find these books to inspire you to travel and see the world! I love learning from others and getting the inside scoop on how to have the best experiences when traveling.
If you have any recommendations for other travel books you love, I would love to read them. Please share any books you recommend in the comments below.
Happy traveling and good luck on finding your next paradise destination!