The 15 Best Travel Books That You Need to Read

100 Places Every Woman Should Go

Books have been a part of my life since I was little. I have been collecting, reading, and borrowing books as long as I remember. You could always find me in a library or bookstore. Now that I travel, that doesn’t change much except that my books are more electronic than print. Although I have been starting to collect them again. I wanted to share with you my favorite and the 15 Best Travel Books that you need to read. Hopefully, you will get inspired to travel after reading these as I was.

100 Places Every Woman Should Go

Under the Tuscan SunUnder the Tuscan Sun - best travel books

Most of you have probably watched the movie with Diane Lane, but have you read the book. It is a series of three Under the Tuscan Sun, Bella Tuscany, and Every Day in Tuscany by Frances Mayes. It is about a woman’s journey after divorce and moving to a new country, Italy, and all her adventures while starting over. This book and, of course, the movie inspired me to travel to Tuscany. Which is as beautiful as it is in the film!

Griffin & SabineGriffin & Sabine - An Extraordinary Correspondence is an epistolary novel

Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock is another series of unique books. It is a novel about Griffin & Sabine‘s love story told through their letters and postcards. The book has physical cards and notes for you to open and take out of envelopes. You follow their journey through their correspondence, and each book leaves you to wonder what happens next.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting LostThe Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman is an excellent book for those who like to read about escaping from the expected path of life. In this book, she spontaneously hops on a plane to Ireland, where she meets a fellow traveler from Australia. Who in return, talks her into traveling for a year around the world. Read this book to be inspired to visit Ireland, Australia, and South America or to take an impromptu vacation.

The Solo Traveler’s HandbookThe Solo Traveler's Handbook

The Solo Traveler’s Handbook by Janice Waugh is one of the first books I bought when I knew I wanted to travel more. It has all sorts of planning, packing and safety tips, where to go and when, tons of solo travel stories, and plenty of other resources. This is an invaluable resource when starting on your solo adventure.

No Strings AttachedNo Strings Attached - The Savvy Guide to Solo Travel

No Strings Attached by Leslie Atkins is an excellent book to inspire you to try traveling solo. The stories in this book will inspire you to take a chance and embrace going on your own. You will see and hear more, meet and engage with new people, and experience places in a new light. The book helps you figure out your travel style, whether you like to trek in the mountains, it on a beach or travel for a month at a time. This book also contains a unique guide to showing you how to journal your journey.

Gutsy WomenGutsy Women: More Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road

Gutsy Women: Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road has so many great stories and tips for a woman traveling solo or in a group. The information is brought to you in inspiring and funny stories, all while giving you advice on packing, tipping, and staying within budget, health, and hygiene, thwarting unwelcome advances, safety and security, and romance on the road. It also gives advice for first-time travel, traveling alone, the online travel community, mother-daughter trips, traveling with children, and provides resources for older women. This is an excellent book for any woman heading out on their next big trip.

Wildwild - From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail

Wild by Cheryl Strayed has probably inspired more women to pick up a backpack and hike than any other book I know. The book goes through all of her crazy adventures while backpacking the Pacific Coast Trail with no advance training. Cheryl learns on the way how to pack more efficiently, which is something that I struggle with on every trip. She also learns how to heal from the loss of her mother. If you haven’t read it yet, you should!

Queen of the RoadQueen of the Road

Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion was a book I read when I was in a book club. It is The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own. A self-proclaimed Long Island princess and her husband take off in an RV for a year to travel the country. The book tells hilarious stories of all their misadventures, the marvelous places they visit, and delightful people they encounter. Which, when you travel, has a life-changing effect on you.

Without ReservationsWithout Reservations - the travels of an independent woman

Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach is a beautiful memoir of discovering who you are as a person away from others. She travels and shares stories from Paris, where she finds a soul mate; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; and Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married. All of these places are ones that I have traveled to and adore as well. Her stories are beautifully illustrated with postcards from her journey. This is a fabulous book if you ever question what your place in this world is.

The Lost Girlsthe lost girls

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner is about three friends who make a pact to quit their jobs, leave behind everything familiar, and embark on a yearlong round-the-world search for inspiration and direction. This book is about true friendship, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and sticking with each other through every mishap, disaster, or heartache that comes their way. I love that this book is about women sticking by other women. More of us should do this every day!

My Love Affair with EnglandMy Love Affair with England

My Love Affair with England by Susan Allen Toth is a book that will inspire you to travel to England. Susan has taken so many trips to England, and she recalls them with such vivid, humorous stories. She talks about how she explored the countryside, traveled both second-class and in luxury, theatre-hopped, hunted for ghosts, and honeymooned in England. I loved reading this book as it reminds me of my travels throughout England.

Superlatives U.S.A.Superlatives USA - The Largest, Smallest, Longest, Shortest, and Wackiest Sites in America

Superlatives U.S.A. by Melissa Jones is a book on the largest, smallest, longest, shortest, and wackiest sites in America. I love exploring off the beaten path, and this book has so many crazy places for you to see. There are humorous stories for more than 100 sites and the curators who watch over them. I’m always hunting out for weird roadside attractions, and this book adds so many more for me to visit while on the road trips through the U.S.

100 Places Every Woman Should Go100 Places Every Woman Should Go

100 Places Every Woman Should Go by Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a book that you can keep on your coffee table to inspire you to get out and see the world by yourself or with a group. I love that this book has the sections broken up into categories like Places Where Women Made History instead of countries. You can use this book as a bucket list and cross off the places as you visit them.

1000 Places to See Before You Die1000 Places To See Before You Die - best travel books

1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz is another excellent coffee book to add to your book collection. This is the ultimate travel book with why you need to go to these places, all the information you would need once you are there (hotels, restaurants, etc.) with website information and phone numbers. This is the perfect book to see how you are doing on the ever-expanding bucket list of yours.

Tales of a Female Nomadtales of a female nomad - best travel books

Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman is one of the most recent travel books I have read. Rita is a true inspiration for nomads. She sold everything to travel the world. But, she doesn’t just visit, she embraces the cultures and stays to live with them for a while. Becoming emotionally tied to their families and their lives. This book also does a great job of telling how hard it is for nomads to come back and adjust to the life they left behind. This inspirational book will give you some great insight into cultures you wouldn’t think of ever being a part of and hopefully inspire you to do more than vacation someplace, become a traveler!


Books have always been my comfort. They have opened my eyes to far off places that I only used to dream about. But, now I get to travel to these places and immerse myself in their culture, food, and lives. I hope that these groups of books inspire you as much as they have inspired me to become more than a vacationer to become a traveler of the world

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  • Roy Stevenson 23April2020 at 8:04 PM Reply

    Great compilation, Heather! I have a few of those books on my Seattle bookshelf.

    • Heather 23April2020 at 8:16 PM Reply

      They are great! And I finished Mission Mongolia. What a great book, but I didn’t care for the abrupt ending. That is probably one of my biggest pet peeves in movies and books that end too quickly.

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