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10 Must-Read Travel Books You Need On Your Bookshelf [Updated 2022]

Updated: November 2022

In times when we cannot travel, what better way to travel from home in a way that imprints lessons, inspiration, and joy unlike anything else?

Books of course! And, in this case, travel books.

Books, like travel, are the ultimate gateway to knowledge, coupled with the inspiration of stories to apply the knowledge in a personalized way that fits each individual turning the page.

Reading literally takes us places; from the world as a whole to the single person’s mind that resembles a world of its own – books allow us to travel without moving our feet, as the famous quote says.

So I decided to round up my favorite and promising travel books for you to check out – and the best part here?

They’re all under $10! What!? Scroll to read the post, and get ready to feel inspired โœจ

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good books to read while traveling

Travel as Transformation

Amongst some of my favorite travel books, this one is on the list and the first one I think of.

Personally, this is a book that encouraged and taught me a few years back how to view travel as a transformation.

How much of our current surroundings influence us, and how much we are willing to let go and let in when we travel to other corners of the world?

It really makes you think how open-minded you are/can/want to be, and how each place has not only led to an important lesson to teach but also how to view each destination as an opportunity to allow it to shape our perception of life and ourselves.

It’s truly one of my favorite travel books, and one that encourages reflection on our own relationship with travel, and how each destination has influenced our perceptions, and the sheer freedom we feel when we step into the unknown.

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book (I have waaay too many, but here’s two)

“Stability means that nothing ever changes, which is only a good thing if you are already living the life of your dreams”

Greg V. Diehl
Travel as Transformation

The spirit of adventure will guide you into these unfamiliar territories. When you are already out of your comfort zone, you have more freedom to try things your normally wouldn’t. It will be only your own learner limits which keep you trapped in specific kinds of behaviors – whether favorable or unfavorable

Greg V. Diehl
Travel as Transformation

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Travel as Transformation

>> Read More: What is Transformative Travel? And How To Experience It On Your Next Trip!


Each traveler and non-traveler is sure to enjoy this quick read that illustrates the different outlooks that cultures around the world have on happiness, and what happiness means to them.

A quick but fascinating experience to enjoy from the comfort of home, this travel book will inspire a different way to approach uncertainty, gratitude, and being present, through the lens of the world.

Happy is a read that will inspire you to look out there and then go within.

In the realm of travel books, this is such a happy, fun, and thoughtful read that will leave you with a different perspective of your surroundings when you come back from traveling. It’s a good one!

One of my favorite passages from Happy

When you travel to another country where everything is unfamiliar, your awareness is heightened, you notice every little detail because you are trying to understand and make sense of everything that is going on around you…The opportunity to look at another culture, to see the world from another viewpoint, to see yourself as someone foreign, is the adventure of travel. The freedom, the sense of possibilities, the absence of the routine mundanity of normal life, is the excitement of travel.

Happy – Lonely Planet

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Happy

Alone Time

Ever wanted to take the plunge and go on a trip by yourself?

Maybe you have already, but there were things that were still uncomfortable, and you’re ready to understand how you can make your next solo venture less stressful or worrisome.

In her book Alone Time, Stephanie Rosenbloom not only explores the topic of solo travel, but she carefully and beautifully captures the joy of spending time with yourself while exploring the world, while adding interesting psychological and sociological insight found in solitude and happiness.

The book explores a variety of themes including eating by yourself, discovering interests and passions, and how to be more than ok with your own company, all throughout a year’s time spent in 4 cities: Florence, Istanbul, Paris, and New York.

Talk about an exciting jump into solo travel books – this one is definitely a good one to check out!

It’s a book filled with so much insight for seasoned travelers to feel understood and to inspire those with the desire to explore the world one day, on their own.

Two of my favorite passages from Alone Time

For one thing, time spent away from the influence of others allows us to explore and define who we are. In private, we can think deeply and independently…There’s room for problem solving, experimentation, and imagination. The mind can crackle with intense focus or go beachcombing, plucking up an idea like a shell, examining and pocketing it, or letting it go to pick up another.

Stephanie Rosenbloom
Alone Time

Although I was traveling without friends or family, each day brought passing companions: bakers, maรฎtre d’s, museum greeters, shopkeepers, fellow travelers. The hours were unhurried and entirely mine, like the “limitless solitude” the poet Rilke described in a letter to a friend; “this taking each day like a life-time this being-with-everything”

Stephanie Rosenbloom
Alone Time

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Alone Time

Born to Travel

Travel no doubt is an education in itself, and just as it helps us understand ourselves as humans a bit more. It can also shed clarity and help reinvigorate our professional careers.

In Born to Travel, you will learn practical, inspiring, and inquisitive ideas on how to approach your next travel adventure (and how to reflect on previous trips) to help you with your professional side, whether you work for a company, or you work for yourself.

Inside you’ll learn how to create a personal brand, how to sharpen your interpersonal skills, and how to build a resilient mindset, amongst other helpful tips.

Think of it as the “real world” experience our resume and professional career needs, but sometimes we may struggle with how to include it.

Born to Travel is a book that encompasses the idea of leadership development through 15 countries based on the author, Amy McCune, and how her travel experiences have improved her leadership skills.

Born to Travel is a travel book unlike many out there, but one with immense value, and a way to apply those travel experiences to help leverage not only our lives but professional careers – win!

I love that books like these, especially travel books like these, not only tell a good story, leave you with a good lesson (or a couple), but also leave you with tangible ways to incorporate your travels into your professional life.

Something that many people don’t realize they can do, and will probably give them an advantage over those that have not experienced what they have on the road.

One of my favorite passages from Born to Run

These experiences were truly amazing, but they are only half of the learning experience for me. I’m an introspective person. I like to think about what I’ve learned and apply that learning to other aspects of my life. For me, it is a way to hold on to that experience. If I am able to take an experience and use it to transform my life in some way, to make some small improvement in how I live, that is the true reward of my travels.

Amy McCune
Born to Travel

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Born to Travel

>> Read More: 5 Professional Skills You Learn When Youโ€™re a Language Assistant

Tales of a Digital Nomad

Dive into the world of digital nomads with one of the coolest travel books out there.

In the realm of memoirs, Tales of a Digital Nomad tells the personal journey of the author, Nadia King, and her self-revelations and discovery through becoming a Digital Nomad.

A Digital Nomad is essentially a person who can complete their work from their computer and a steady wifi connection, anywhere in the world.

They are not required by an employer to remain on-site, or in a specific location.

Digital Nomads can also be individuals that work for themselves, and therefore can move about the world as they work.

Nadia is a badass traveler who decided that the mundane routine life of home wasn’t cutting it anymore, and rather than accept that as her reality, she decided to do something about it.

In her search for a break from the predictable, she decided to take a leap and start a business of her own, while traveling Asia and fully embracing the unknown.

Her story is one of inspiration, and curiosity, which leaves her readers questioning and asking themselves if they’re truly happy doing what they’re doing, or if a change is needed.

This travel book, in particular, is one that experiences real-life situations that relate to many of our dilemmas when making tough decisions.

Add the adventures and uncertainties of the road, and you will really get an adventure out of this read.

Tales of a Digital Nomad is a book that will take you places, will remind you to follow your dreams no matter how busy life gets, and encourage you to not only consider a leap of faith but inspire you to.

One of my favorite passages from Tales of a Digital Nomad

I got used to keeping myself company, knowing I was the only constant I could rely on not to change. My home became the road between each destination. The warmth I felt in my heart when I escaped one place, just before I became trapped in another was the closest I got to comfort.

Nadia King
Tales of a Digital Nomad

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Tales of a Digital Nomad

The Idle Traveller

In his book, The Idle Traveller, Dan Kieran starts by asking the reader a simple question: Do we really travel anymore, or do we just arrive?

It’s true that the act of travel has changed A LOT in the past couple of years, along with the rise of social media, and sharing experiences before enjoying them ourselves.

On top of that, viewing travel as “an escape” rather than a journey, and how that impacts the travel experience before it’s even begun.

Kieran challenges his readers to toss out the organized itinerary and learn the magic of true journey-ing by embracing spontaneity, slowing down, and appreciating every step of the way as a stand-alone moment of discovery.

This travel book is one to definitely check out before your next trip, to learn the art of true travel, and to allow the lessons, inspiration, and wonder to flow in.

One of my favorite passages from the Idle Traveller

Above all, idle travel, we might even say “real” travel, awakens the poet and the philosopher within. We are all philosophers, but the myriad cares of modern life tend to make us forget this fact as we seek distractions from our pain rather than facing up to it.

Dan Kieran
The Idle Traveller

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy The Idle Traveller

Arriving Well

Arriving Well talks about the 5 compelling stories of travelers — sharing the re-entry process, the misalignment experienced by travelers on their return back, the process of readjustment, and the mixed feeling of arriving back “home.”

If there’s something I have learned on my personal journey of re-entry, it has been that understanding, compassion, and community is key ingredients that are needed most during this time.

This travel book, in particular, delivers that, and much more.

If you’ve traveled and experienced even a little reverse culture shock, or possibly you’re someone who is still coming to terms with mixed emotions post-travel even months down the line, this book is waiting to connect you with other travelers feeling the same way.

What’s more, their stories will inspire you to rethink home, and what really makes up home, and inspires the courage to view the whole world as your home.

A passage from Arriving Well that I really liked

Often people are very surprised by how significantly they’ve changed while they were gone. You have enjoyed transformation while overseas. And then you might find yourself in a new city in your old country, which looks massively different. Or you may be back in your old backyard, and it seems like nothing has changed at all. Friends and family may feel like strangers. The culture that was once so familiar has become alien. And home has morphed- you probably created a new sense of home where you were. Now it seems indefinable and vague- or possibly not found to be found at all.

Cate Brubaker, Doreen Cumberford
Arriving Well

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Arriving Well

Travel for Stoics

Stoicism is an ancient philosophy originating in Greece, that created the personal ethic of showing indifference to events (good and bad) not by the suppression of emotion, but rather by understanding where the emotion is coming from and understanding the connection between emotion, opinion and actions.

The author, Eva Rome, uses stoic as an acronym meaning the Solo Traveler: Obsessive, Introverted, Compulsive- seeking out travel while using the stoic philosophy.

In this travel book, the author shares her best solo travel tips while infusing stoicism from great philosophers, Seneca and Epictetus to deliver helpful tips that guide travelers all around to venture with calm and confidence, anywhere.

One of my favorite passages from the book

There are things we can control and things we can’t, but we can always regulate our reactions to what happens to us. And to conquer our anxieties, the Stoics believed we must get out into the world and do fieldwork…Exposure to the strange and unfamiliar via travel is the perfect means for attaining mastery over our personal challenges. Amending your will to suit the world, not amending the world to suit you…

Eva Rome
Travel for STOICs

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy Travel For Stoics

The Art of Fully Living

In the Art of Fully Living, author Tal Gur’s goal is one thing: to help the reader understand how to actualize their potential by connecting all parts of their life (love, adventure, wealth, fitness, spirituality, etc.) through the processes already established inside their life goals, in order to really live life to the absolute fullest.

Gur’s goal is to help the reader not only introduce the art of living life to the fullest but also how to master this skill with actionable key takeaways.

This immersive travel book will ask the readers to join the author on his quest around the world of working towards completing 100 life goals in only 10 years, while also sparking that inspiration and prompting the reader to do the same.

Again, when we travel, we learn, grow, and gain substance – in this book, Gur wants to ask you “what do you actually REALLY want?”

How can you leverage your strengths to achieve your dreams?

Looking at how travel can help you feel free, and how to uncover the path and never go back?

One of my favorite passages from the book

I used to be clueless about how to achieve big dreams. My year of socializing taught me the benefits of learning through immersion and focusing on one thing at a time. I’ve learned that most visions don’t get realized, not for lack of trying or even because of the wrong approach, but because of a common tendency to try changing every aspect of life all at once. Our systems simply don’t respond favorably to excessive radical shifts. This overload usually causes us undue stress, and we end up abandoning our dreams.

Tal Gur
The Art of Fully Living

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy The Art of Fully Living

The Little Book of Lyke

Pronounced LOO-ka, this little book of happiness, as told by and lived by the Danes, otherwise known as the happiest people on earth, shares not only the 6 factors that create happiness but also what practical actions and tips look like in order to create more happiness in our lives, whether we live in Denmark or not.

In the book, Meik shares just how much money buys happiness, how to learn to build trust, how to be healthier without ever having to set foot inside a gym, and more.

Obviously, the Danes have famously paved a way that has worked for them for years and years, so this could be an opportunity to not only learn how to be happy, but understand how a culture and population views and prioritizes all of life’s things, and how that plays a part in your life (even if you’re not Danish).

Towards the end of the book, you’ll start to realize and find a roadmap that you can use beyond the book, and into your life going forward that can really light up happiness in your life, and those around you.

One of my favorite passages from the book

Living in Denmark has taught me that while we can all learn a lot from the Scandinavian countries when it comes to quality of life, we can find lessons in happiness from people all over the world. The keys to happiness are buried around the world, and it is our job to gather them up.

Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Lykke

๐Ÿ“š Click here to buy The Little Book of Lykke

The Wrap-Up: 10 Must-Read Travel Books You Need On Your Bookshelf

Here they are!

A mix of travel memoirs, solo travel, ancient philosophy-infused travel knowledge, and re-entry travel books.

As I said, books are the gateway portal to the world, people, and ideas, and these travel books are here to really take you to some pretty amazing places.

Where our feet can’t go, our minds will.

Which book will be your next destination? Let me know in the comments below!

Also, make sure to drop any of your favorite travel books or books in general that you believe we must all read ๐Ÿ™‚

To many {literature} adventures like these โœจ

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