Best Books on Travel

Life is full of moments of waiting. Waiting for your doctor to see you at your appointment, waiting for traffic on your way to or from work, or waiting to catch a flight to your next destination. No matter where it is, it can get pretty boring to say the least. Why not take advantage of that time not being used, to learn something? Whether you get a hard copy, an ebook or an audiobook, I’ve found that you can discover a lot of new information in a short amount of time, if you take advantage of these moments in your daily life. Here’s a list of our favorite books on travel to learn from in your unused time.

  1. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts This is the first book I would recommend to anyone before they are about to head off to somewhere new, or even before returning to a place they have been before. I got this through Audible for my free trial and have listened to it multiple times. It’s a pretty short book but it holds so much valuable information. Each time I’ve listened to it again I have picked up on something I didn’t catch the first time. This is the kind of book you will find yourself actually wanting to take notes on. Rolf Potts is an extremely knowledgeable traveler and much can be learned from him. The philosophies discussed in this book help you to take a step back and discover what kind of traveler you really are.
  2. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt)Just look up the reviews on this book and you will find that it has helped a great deal of people prepare for their trips around the globe. This how to guide demonstrates traveling is not only for the wealthy, in fact with easy common sense solutions you can travel for far less than you ever spend at home. Free flights and accommodations can be had free-of-charge with the knowledge of travelhacking passed on by this sensei of sightseeing. You can easily turn your own travel goals into a reality. One of the few books worth it’s weight in your backpack. 
  3. The Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist may be a short read but the message runs deep. The story follows Santiago, a shephard boy, as he travels from Spain to Egypt to find a treasure that appeared to him in a dream. Along the way, he meets a series of characters that give him wisdom and help him to achieve his personal legend. Paulo Coelho is an artist with language, and as a quote lover and I was not dissapointed in the abundance of quotable lines in this story.
  4. The Prophet by Khalil GibranThough this book is neither a how to guide nor a memoir about someone’s life changing journey through the mountains, I think it’s important for it to make the list. Traveling is as much about the inner journey as the outer. Are you looking to just escape your normal life or to change it? Become who you want to be. The picture above is a copy that John and I picked up from a thrift store while on our U.S. cross country trip this summer. It spoke to us personally because we had lost our previous copy in a fire that had destroyed nearly all of our belongings, a couple months before. Inside this copy, the previous owner had tucked away two, four leafed clovers. A gift of luck meant for us.

While in your travels keep an open mind and open eyes for books along the way. You never know what you’ll find, where you’ll find it nor where it will take you next. Who knows, you may find something that will change your life.


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Wisewanderer grew up as a third cultured kid. Living a nomadic lifestyle, she moved to various countries and learned from many different cultures. As a result of her upbringing she has become passionate about travel and encouraging others to step outside of their comfort zone.

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