Book Club

The 50 Best Travel Books for Wanderlust Lovers in 2024

Looking for your next adventurous travel books on distant lands, vibrant cultures, and unforgettable journeys? We’ve compiled the ultimate collection. These 50 Best Books for Wanderlust Lovers are your one-way ticket to the world’s most captivating destinations. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a novice explorer, these top-selling travel books promise to inspire, offering new perspectives on the globe’s wonders.

Best Travel Coffee Table Books

Perfect for adornment and inspiration, these travel books about wanderlust combine stunning photography with the art of travel, inviting conversation and daydreams of your next destination.

Collage of the best travel coffee table books for wanderlust lovers, featuring titles like 'Vogue on Location', 'Kinfolk Travel', 'The Journey is the Destination', 'Paris in Color', 'Destinations of a Lifetime', 'Beaches', '1,000 Places to See Before You Die', 'Atlas Obscura', 'Great Escapes USA', and 'Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist'

“Vogue Vogue on Location: People, Places, Portraits”

This travel book is all about the glamorous side of adventure with glossy pages that spell luxury in every longitude and latitude. It’s my first coffee table book purchase and I still can’t get over it! It’s THAT iconic.

BUY HERE | Vogue on Location

“Kinfolk Travel: Slower Ways to See the World”

This book redefines the art of travel and takes you on a serene journey, advocating for a slower, more mindful approach to exploration. It’s a personal manifesto that has reshaped my travels, encouraging me to savor each moment and delve deeper into the experiences each destination offers.

BUY HERE | Kinfolk Travel

“The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon”

The pages of this book are a personal inspiration, a reminder that the journey truly is the destination. Travel photojournalist Eldon’s artful storytelling captures the essence of youthful wanderlust, blending visuals and words into a powerful narrative that urges you to seize life with both hands.

BUY HERE | Journals of Destination

“Paris in Color”

This book is a celebration of Paris’s palette, from the pastel pinks of its patisseries to the deep blues of its twilight skies. It has personally given me a fresh perspective on Paris, transforming familiar scenes into a kaleidoscope of everyday wonders.

BUY HERE | Paris in Color

“Destinations of a Lifetime” by National Geographic

Each destination featured has sparked my imagination, pushing me to think beyond my travel bucket list to the experiences that await. This travel book is not just a guide; it’s an inspiration to make travel a transformative part of your life story.

BUY HERE | Destinations of a Lifetime

“Beaches” by Gray Malin

Malin’s aerial photographs are a personal escape for me, turning each page into a sun-soaked journey from the comfort of home. His eye for the vibrant tapestry of colors and patterns that nature and humanity co-create along the shores has forever changed the way I see our planet’s waterfronts.

BUY HERE | Beaches by Gray Malin

“1,000 Places to See Before You Die”

Each page bursts with inspiration, leading you on a journey to the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations. Whether it’s the majesty of ancient ruins or the vibrant pulse of city streets, this book is a personal invitation to discover the abundant joys our planet has to offer.

BUY HERE | 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

“Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.”

A travel book that serves as a treasure trove of the planet’s best-kept secrets. Personally, it’s been a source of endless inspiration, challenging me to venture beyond my comfort zone to experience the top wonders of the world.

BUY HERE | Atlas Obscura

“Great Escapes USA: The Hotel Book”

Flip through a collection of retreats that redefine the meaning of paradise. This luxury travel coffee table book been my personal guide to the unique and unforgettable places to stay, from rustic lodges to luxury resorts. It’s an invitation to indulge in the diverse landscapes and rich experiences that the USA offers, all from the comfort of its most exceptional hotels.

BUY HERE | Great Escapes USA

“Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist.”

The definitive bucket list for every wanderlust-stricken traveler, detailing the top sights and experiences around the globe.

BUY HERE | Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist

Best Travel Itinerary Books for Wanderlust

Step into my well-thumbed pages of adventure with this personal selection of the Best Travel Itinerary Books for Wanderlust. These travel guides have been my trusty companions on the road. They invite you to chart your own course to the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.

“The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small”

Considering I got this book as a gift, I can honestly say it is perfect for wanderlust lovers looking to carve out their path in the world. This travel book proves that the quest for adventure is boundless, and the time to start ticking off your bucket list is now.

BUY HERE | The Bucket List

“The New York Times: 36 Hours Europe, 2nd Edition”

Are you a weekend getaway lover? This book compiles expert itineraries from “The New York Times'” popular “36 Hours” column, covering Europe’s most beloved cities. Ideal for those who want to make the most out of every trip.

BUY HERE | The New York Times: 36 Hours Europe

Collage of covers for Best Travel Itinerary Books for Wanderlust, featuring Lonely Planet's 'Ultimate Travel List', 'The Bucket List', 'The New York Times: 36 Hours Europe', and 'Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door'.

“Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… Ranked”

This comprehensive guide from the travel experts at Lonely Planet ranks the top 500 must-visit destinations across the globe, providing travelers with the ultimate bucket list. Each entry is more than just a name. Furthermore, it’s a mini-itinerary, rich with tips, best times to visit, and must-see highlights.

BUY HERE | Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel

“Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door: The Travel Skills Handbook”

Brace yourself for invaluable insights and practical tips for traveling through Europe in a smart, affordable way. This book is part guide, part travel philosophy, teaching you how to become a savvy traveler who can navigate the continent’s varied landscapes with confidence.

BUY HERE | Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door

Best Romance Books for Wanderlust

Step into my world of heart-fluttering adventures with these cherished travel reads my favorite love stories that ignite wanderlust. They are my invitation to you, to explore the globe through tales of romance that transcend borders and awaken the soul.

Book cover of 'The Geography of Bliss' by Eric Weiner, featuring a paper airplane soaring over a blue background with dashed flight path lines.

“The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner

Synopsis: Eric Weiner’s global quest for happiness combines travel, humor, and philosophy. This travel book takes readers from Iceland to Bhutan, exploring what constitutes happiness in different cultures.

Takeaway: I was captivated by Weiner’s witty journey and the wonderful blend of travel tales and reflections on contentment struck a chord with me, reminding us that adventure and self-discovery are integral parts of finding joy.

BUY HERE | The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Cover of 'Paris in Love' by Eloisa James, showcasing an illustration of a chic woman walking a dog with Parisian street sketches in the background.

“Paris in Love” by Eloisa James

Synopsis: Eloisa James’s year in Paris weaves together romance, family, and the enchantments of French life, offering a window into the transformative power of the city.

Takeaway: “Paris in Love” stole my heart with its intimate portrayal of falling in love with Paris itself. James’s journey is a testament to how travel and new experiences can lead to profound joy and personal renewal.

BUY HERE | Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Cover of 'People We Meet on Vacation' by Emily Henry, featuring two people lounging on beach chairs against a vibrant orange backdrop with tropical leaves.

“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

Synopsis: Two best friends discover love while exploring the world together.

Takeaway: This book was a breath of fresh air, perfectly capturing the spirit of adventure and the complexities of love. A heartwarming read for those who cherish travel and personal growth.

BUY HERE | People we meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Cover of 'From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home' by Tembi Locke, depicting hands holding a heart-shaped piece of dough.

“From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home” by Tembi Locke.

Synopsis: A poignant narrative of love, loss, and the healing power of Sicily’s culture and cuisine, as she navigates grief and the process of rebuilding. PS: If you haven’t seen the series on Netflix, it’s a must!

Takeaway: Its raw honesty and beautiful depiction of Sicily as a place of healing and new beginnings loved me deeply. An inspiring and touching travel read for anyone who believes in the power of places to shape our lives and help us find home again.

BUY HERE | From Scratch by Tembi Locke

Bestselling Non-fiction Travel Books

These are the bestselling non-fiction books for wanderlust lovers, that chart the globe, offering wisdom, adventure, and the pure essence of exploration for every avid reader seeking to quench their thirst for the world’s wonders.

“The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” by David Grann.

Synopsis: Grann’s gripping narrative follows the mysterious 1920s Amazonian expedition of Percy Fawcett, a man consumed by the legend of an ancient civilization.

Takeaway: This thrilling account left me spellbound, marveling at the human spirit’s relentless pursuit of discovery. Grann masterfully blends history with adventure, reminding us that the world still holds secrets waiting to be unearthed.

BUY HERE | The Lost City of Z by David Grann

“Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time” by Mark Adams.

Synopsis: Adams invites us on a humorous and historic trek, retracing the steps that led to Machu Picchu’s re-discovery, breathing life into the stones of the past.

Takeaway: A travel read that reignited my wanderlust for ancient worlds with its perfect balance of adventure and history. Adams’ engaging storytelling proves the past is as thrilling as any present journey.

BUY HERE | Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

Collage of covers for Bestselling Non-Fiction Travel Books for Wanderlust, including 'The Lost City of Z' by David Grann, 'Dark Star Safari' by Paul Theroux, 'Turn Right at Machu Picchu' by Mark Adams, and 'In a Sunburned Country' by Bill Bryson

“In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson.

Synopsis: Bryson takes us on a tour of Australia’s highlights and hidden corners, uncovering the country’s quirks, dangers, and undeniable charm.

Takeaway: Bryson’s journey is a delightful reminder of the joys of travel; his wit and insights turned my reading into a vicarious trip through the captivating landscapes and narratives of Australia.

BUY HERE | In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

“Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town” by Paul Theroux

Synopsis: Theroux’s intrepid journey by land from Cairo to Cape Town unveils the transformative beauty and complex realities of the African continent.

Takeaway: This travel book offered me a deeper perspective on Africa, far beyond the typical safari. His blend of personal history and contemporary analysis paints a raw, eye-opening narrative that’s as much about the soul of Africa as it is about the journey itself.

BUY HERE | Dark Star Safari

Best Fiction Travel Novels for Wanderlust lovers

Escape into the pages where adventures leap off the map with my top picks of Best Fiction Travel Novels for Wanderlust Lovers. These stories blend the thrill of new horizons with the warmth of romance, perfect for those who dream of distant lands and love that knows no borders.

Cover of 'The Alchemist' 25th Anniversary Edition by Paulo Coelho, featuring ornate golden patterns on a rich red background with a central motif of a mountain landscape.

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Synopsis: A timeless tale of Santiago, a young shepherd on a quest to find worldly treasure, discovers the richness of understanding his own personal legend and the universal language of the world.

Takeaway: Sendker’s novel is a testament to love’s timelessness that resonated with my wanderlust spirit, reminding me that the heart’s journey is the most profound of all travels.

BUY HERE | The Alchemist

Elegant cover of 'The Art of Hearing Heartbeats' by Jan-Philipp Sendker, adorned with gold ornate patterns and colorful butterflies around the title - One of the best books for Wanderlust

“The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker

A poignant love story set in Burma, spans decades and continents, exploring enduring love, loyalty, and the mysteries of the human heart against a backdrop of stunning landscapes.

Takeaway: This novel is a testament to love’s timelessness that resonated with my wanderlust spirit, reminding me that the heart’s journey is the most profound of all travels.

BUY HERE | The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

Cover of 'The Beach' by Alex Garland, featuring a montage of eclipsed suns and a silhouette of a person standing in the center, symbolizing the novel's themes of paradise and darkness. One of the Best books for Wanderlust

“The Beach” by Alex Garland

Synopsis: A gripping adventure of backpacking in Thailand that uncovers a hidden beach utopia, which soon reveals darker secrets. It’s a compelling look at the search for paradise and the illusions of perfection.

Takeaway: “The Beach” is a vivid narrative that captures the darker side of wanderlust and the quest for an idyllic existence, challenging my perceptions of paradise.

BUY HERE | The Beach by Alex Garland

Cover of 'A Year in Provence' by Peter Mayle, featuring whimsical illustrations that depict the rustic charm of Provencal life, including a man savoring wine and a chef with culinary delights.

“A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle

Synopsis: Mayle charmingly recounts the quirks and delights of life in Provence, from wintry winds to summertime feasts. A delightful narrative journey into the heart of French country life.

Takeaway: This book transported me to the rustic beauty of France, infusing a zest for life’s simple pleasures and the enduring charm of Provence.

BUY HERE | A Year in Provence

Cover of 'Under the Tuscan Sun' by Frances Mayes, depicting the warm, sunlit façade of a Tuscan villa, inviting readers to a world of Italian romance and renovation.

“Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes

Synopsis: While Mayes’s work is a memoir, it reads with the beauty and descriptive power of a novel. It invites you into the sun-drenched landscapes of Tuscany and the joys of starting anew in a foreign land.

Takeaway: “Under the Tuscan Sun” offered me a sun-kissed escape into Italian splendor, illuminating the beauty of new beginnings in unfamiliar places.

BUY HERE | Under the Tuscan Sun

Best Travel Influencer Books for Young Adults

Get ready to be whisked away by these globetrotting gurus with my handpicked collection of best travel influencer books for young adults.

Forever Wandering by Emilie Ristevski 

Emilies (@helloemilie) captivating travel book offers a glimpse into her mesmerizing journey across the world. Think capturing breathtaking landscapes and moments that evoke a sense of wanderlust. Known for her unique perspective and ability to capture light, this book is a must-have for those who appreciate the art of travel photography. PS: I was there when she took the cover photo for that book in Nambia!

BUY HERE | Forever Wandering by Hello Emilie

“Roaming America: Exploring All the National Parks” by Renee and Matthew Hahnel

Renee (@reneeroaming) captures her enchanting journey through the natural wonders of the United States. This beautifully crafted book invites readers on a breathtaking tour of all 59 U.S. National Parks, combining awe-inspiring imagery with captivating travel narratives and practical advice.

BUY HERE | Roaming America

Graphic display of the Best Travel Influencer Books for Young Adults, showcasing covers from 'Forever Wandering' by Emilie Ristevski, 'Roaming America' by Renee & Matthew Hahnel, 'World of Wanderlust' by Brooke Saward, and 'How to Travel the World on $50 a Day' by Matt Kepnes.

“World of Wanderlust: How to Live an Adventurous Life” by Brooke Saward.

This book for wanderlust lovers inspires those seeking to inject more adventure, travel, and exploration into their lives. Brooke Saward (@worldofwanderlust), the founder of the popular travel blog World of Wanderlust, shares her experiences and insights on solo travel. She embraces new cultures, and finds adventure in the everyday.

BUY HERE | World of Wanderlust

“How to Travel the World on $50 a Day” by Matt Kepnes

This essential guide by Matt Kepnes, also known as @NomadicMatt demystifies the idea that travel is an expensive luxury reserved only for the wealthy. Through practical advice, insider tips, and personal anecdotes, he empowers young adults to explore the globe in a financially sustainable way.

BUY HERE | How to Travel the World on $50 a Day

Top Selling Travel Books for Photography

Capture the world through the lens of storytellers with our collection of Top Selling Travel Books for Photography. These visually stunning volumes are the ultimate companions for those who speak in the language of aperture, shutter speed, and the perfect shot, igniting wanderlust with every snapshot.

“National Geographic: The Photographs” by Leah Bendavid-Val

To me this is one of the best books for wanderlust lovers of all time. This showstopper features the most iconic and breathtaking images published by National Geographic over the years. It’s a world tour through the eyes of renowned photographers and trust me, you will love it!

BUY HERE | National Geographic: The Photographs

“Before They Pass Away” by Jimmy Nelson

Nelson’s powerful photography book documents the lives and traditions of the last surviving tribes around the world, offering an intimate and stunning visual journey.

BUY HERE | Before They Pass Away

“Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton

Stanton’s project turned book offers a heartwarming and inspiring look into the lives of everyday people in New York City through candid photographs and stories.

BUY HERE | Humans of New York

Collage for Top Selling Travel Books for Wanderlust Photography, displaying iconic covers from 'National Geographic: The Photographs', 'Before They Pass Away' by Jimmy Nelson, 'Humans of New York' by Brandon Stanton, 'The Atlas of Beauty', 'Van Life', and 'Spectacle' by National Geographic.

“The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits” by Mihaela Noroc.

Noroc’s global project celebrates the diversity and beauty of women around the world through compelling portraits and stories.

BUY HERE | The Altas of Beauty

“Spectacle” by National Geographic

A collection of extraordinary photographs from around the world, showcasing the awe-inspiring and the unusual in a way that only National Geographic photographers can.

BUY HERE | Spectacle

“Van Life: Your Home on the Road” by Foster Huntington

A visually-rich book exploring the van life movement through stories and photography of people living on the road.

BUY HERE | Van Life

Bestselling Travel Memoirs on Wanderlust

Up next: a roundup of the best travel memoir books for wanderlust lovers. These pages are gateways to distant lands, inviting you to satisfy your craving for adventure with every turn of the page.

Collage of The best books for wanderlust in the category of travel memoirs, featuring covers of 'The Sun Also Rises' by Ernest Hemingway, 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer, 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert, and 'Tracks' by Robyn Davidson.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto Che Guevara

Synopsis: A captivating journey of a young Che Guevara exploring South America, revealing the raw humanity and revolutionary thoughts that would shape his future.

Takeaway: Guevara’s youthful expedition resonated with my own sense of adventure and the belief that travel can fundamentally change who we are, igniting a passion for justice and a deeper understanding of our continent’s soul.

BUY HERE | The Motorcycle Diaries

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed.

Synopsis: A powerful memoir of healing and personal transformation on a solo hike that captivated millions.

Takeaway: “Wild” spoke to my core, a reminder that every step we take in nature can lead us back to ourselves, healing our wounds and reinforcing our inner strength.

BUY HERE | Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback” by Robyn Davidson

Synopsis: Davidson’s extraordinary solo journey across the Australian Outback challenges the limits of solitude and human endurance.

Takeaway: Her story is a testament to the power of resilience and the profound growth that comes from embracing solitude against a backdrop of harsh, yet beautiful landscapes.

BUY HERE | Tracks by Robyn Davidson

“Seven Years in Tibet” by Heinrich Harrer

Synopsis: An extraordinary account of friendship and survival during the author’s time in Tibet during World War II.

Takeaway: This book was a window into a world of spiritual depth and cultural richness, highlighting the enduring human spirit in times of adversity.

BUY HERE | Seven Years in Tibet

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson

Synopsis: Bryson’s humorous and insightful reflections on the history and ecology of the trail, mixed with the challenges of long-distance hiking.

Takeaway: His journey through the woods was a delightful mix of laugh-out-loud moments and thoughtful musings on the natural world, inspiring me to find my own trail.

BUY HERE | Walk in the Woods

“In Patagonia” by Bruce Chatwin

Synopsis: A classic of travel literature, blending adventure, history, and myth in the southern tip of South America.

Takeaway: “In Patagonia” fueled my imagination with the allure of the unknown and the stories that landscapes hold, a reminder that mystery still exists in our world.

BUY HERE | In Patagonia

“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway

Synopsis: Hemingway’s novel, based on his own travels to Spain, captures the disillusionment of the post-war generation and the exhilaration of the bullfighting scene in Pamplona.

Takeaway: This classic stirred in me a nostalgia for an era of raw passion and the pursuit of life in its most vivid moments.

BUY HERE | The Sun Also Rises

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Synopsis: Gilbert’s memoir of self-exploration and seeking fulfillment across three cultures has inspired many to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery.

Takeaway: Her memoir inspired me to believe in the transformative power of travel and the possibility of finding oneself in the vastness of new experiences.

BUY HERE | Eat, Pray, Love

“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer

The gripping story of Christopher McCandless’s journey into the Alaskan wilderness, exploring the allure and dangers of escaping civilization.

Takeaway: The book was a gripping reminder of the fine line between the romance of solitude and the stark reality of nature’s indifferent beauty.

BUY HERE | Into the Wild

Best Books for Wanderlust: Wrap Up

And there we have it, a journey through the pages of the best books for wanderlust lovers, each a passport to distant dreams and heart-stirring adventures. Whether you’ve been vicariously sipping wine in Tuscany or trekking through the Amazon from your armchair, these stories have promised to fuel your wanderlust and inspire your next great journey.

So pack your bags, or at least your bookshelf, with these timeless travel books that are sure to carry you away to lands of wonder. Until the road calls you by name, happy reading, explorers!

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hello there.

I’m Anna,
Your new creative Friend.

Expert at content creation, wellness junkie, and my obsession is empowering others in their journey towards creative freedom.

I'm a small-town journalist, photographer, wellness junkie, and lover of life who is not afraid to enjoy the adventure. My definition of success is living my life in the most expressive and fulfilling way possible. 

hello there.

I’m Anna,
Your new creative Friend.

Expert at content creation, wellness junkie, and my obsession is empowering others in their journey towards creative freedom.

I'm a small-town journalist, photographer, wellness junkie, and lover of life who is not afraid to enjoy the adventure. My definition of success is living my life in the most expressive and fulfilling way possible. 

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