What Travel Book Should I Buy? 10 Inspirational Travel Books That We Recommend

Are you looking for a decent travel book to read?  We’ve compiled a list of 10 Travel Books that we’ve read and recommend to you.

Little Princes

A heart wrenching tale of a Brit’s discovery that the Nepalese orphanage he is volunteering at, kidnaps the children. Realising the orphans have been trafficked, he starts the arduous & dangerous journey of reuniting them with their families.

By taking photos of the children, he trekks into dangerous lands in war torn Nepal and attempts to find their parents. This book raises some very important issues and the individual stories of the kids are charming. It has a lot of very mixed reviews but it really outlines why voluntourism can be terrible for a country and no charity should ever promote orphanage working.

There’s also an audio book. 

travel books

The Hezbollah Hiking Club

I first came across Dom Joly in his hilarious TV series over two decades ago. His first book ‘The Dark Tourist’ motivated us to visit more unusual countries and one of his more recent books The Hezbollah Hiking Club is just as funny.

Dom convinces some unwitting (and possibly slighty drunk at the time) friends to join him on his traverse hike of Lebanon. Which is roughly 470km if they don’t get lost and with no previous hiking experience, it’s an interesting journey across Joly’s birth homeland.

If you had no interest in visiting Lebanon before this, the hummus will definitely make you want to visit now!

There’s also an audio book.

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Eastern Horizons

Levison Wood isn’t your typical traveller and I think that’s what makes this book a little more interesting. He hitchhikes from Nottingham across Russia before following the Silk Road. He was inspired to follow this route after reading about it in an 1839 book ‘The Great Game’.

If you enjoy reading about travels to less visited parts of the world, you should enjoy this. You have to admire his tenacity, particularly crossing Afghanistan with a war raging along cliff-edge roads little wider than pathways as well as a near fatal crash.

Wood also recently featured in a TV series Walking the Nile which is now also a book tooWalking the Nile Book‘.

There is also an audio book of Eastern Horizons

Canoeing The Congo

A formed soldier (like many of them seem to be) spends five months canoeing the Congo in the first ever descent of the Congo River from its source the Chambeshi in northeast Zambia to the Atlantic Ocean.

The book features some great photography as well as hand drawn maps, along with plenty of references to Bilbo Baggins. The story is compelling and keeps you reeled in to discovering what lies behind the next set of rapids, what is going to happen at the next town or fishing village and if he will ever reach the Atlantic.

There’s also an audiobook.

travel books

War Doctor

David Nott is a Welsh consultant surgeon, specialising in general and vascular surgery, but for more than 25 years he has also volunteered to work in disaster and war zones.

Not a travel book as such but he writes about the conflicts he has worked in: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria. But he has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal.

Nott documents the realities of his work, how he performed complex surgeries on patients and on several occasions how he was at risk as he came face to face with weapons when Isis soldiers invaded his theatre as he performed surgery.

There’s also an audio book

The Blue Sweater

Who could have thought that something so innocuous as a sweater could inspire a woman to leave a career in international banking and spend her life on a quest to understanding global poverty and find new ways of tackling it.

This is a thought-provoking book which reads like an intense novel-memoir-diary-lecture, chronicles Novogratz’s development spanning twenty years, leaving a high-profile career in order to travel to and spending years in Rwanda, Pakistan and India.

There is also an audio book.

Travels With Rachel

George (who is the narrator) and Rachel are attempting to get to Machu Pichu on their honeymoon but first their hilarious journey must take them through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

This is Georgeo’s second book, his first being “Not Tonight Josephine” which is also hilarious.  Here, we join George and Rachel on their amusing journey through the wilds as they climb volcanoes, fish for piranhas, trek through the Amazon rainforest, take death-defying bus rides, sample some of the continent’s strangest delicacies and try to get to Machu Picchu.

It has loads of information on travelling through Bolivia, Ecuador & Peru and George is a witty writer and there are quite a few laugh out loud moments as Rachel is pushed out of her comfort zone.

travel books to read 2020

Don’t Go There

Before I’d even read this the title had me chuckling! How many times have we been told ‘don’t go there!’.

Adam Fletcher is a miserable, balding 30-something, Brit who lives in Berlin with his wife. A self-described couch potato, he decides to get out of his rut and travel to places that will take him out of his comfort zone. Such as Istanbul during anti-government demonstrations, Moldova, a Hare Krishna camp in Argentina and a 48-hour overnight bus ride in China and the country that doesn’t exist Transnistria.

The dialogue between Adam and Annett is funny but in a dry sense. She is the sensible one who believes in making plans and thinking before starting out. She is not shy about blaming Adam when things go frequently wrong.

It’s On The Meter

All the funniest travel plans start in a drunken group and this one is no different when three friends decide to buy a black london cab and cross the globe in it.

Leaving London for Sydney, the three friends begin a 43,000-mile trip that takes them off the beaten track to some dangerous and deadly places.

This is a great book but if you’re looking for educational insights into the countries visited then you’ll be disappointed however, the tales of what it’s like travelling the world with your mates in a taxi are amazing. Breakdowns, arrests, kidnappings and insane parties in all four corners of the world feature in this funny book.

Escape From The Ordinary

Glen & Julie sell everything to sail around the world in their Amel sailboat.  Julie writes in-depth and passionately about the islands and cultures they dock in. Some of which include:  Bequia, The Caribbean, Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, San Blas islands, Peru, Galapagos Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Tahiti, Palmerston Island, Niue, Tonga, New Zealand and Fiji

She’s also charmingly frank & readily admits her mistakes although don’t expect any disaster stories because this couple are well prepared for their adventure as Julie was previously in the Army.

There’s also an audiobook.

travel books for 2020

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There are 2 comments

  1. I would add to that Simon Winchester’s The River at the Centre of the World, where he follows the Yangtze River from mouth to source, and any of Dervla Murphy’s many many travel books (old now but marvellous books). xx

    1. Ooh, thank you Martina! I’ll check them out.

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