Books - photo by Abhi Sharma under CC BY 2.0
Books - photo by Abhi Sharma under CC BY 2.0


Not sure where to travel to next? Here are some travel books to read before you go on a new journey – titles to give you inspiration for your next destination.

This post contains affiliate links.


Travel Books to Read before You Go – A House in Fez – Suzanna Clarke

Knitted with the love story that forms the core of this book are interesting descriptions of the Moroccan culture – from its everyday life to its fascinating lore, festivals and customs. The novel also features snippets of the cuisines and architectural styles that define Morocco.

Travel Books to Read before You Go – In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson

Published as “Down Under” in the United Kingdom, “In a Sunburned Country” is a travel book that centers on traveling across Australia while staying alive against hot, dry weather, and peculiar and lethal animals. This funny, adventurous and fact-filled travelogue also features the friendliness of the Australians.


Travel Books to Read before You Go – Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

While this book describes a series of events in a disastrous Mount Everest climb, it remains an inspiration for those looking at taking on the intricacies of conquering the highest point on the planet. “Into Thin Air” is a good title to pick up to prepare for a journey into the Himalayas.

Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains – Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

In this memoir, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent takes you to a journey to a relatively unheard of portion of India: Arunachal Pradesh. This chronicles the adventures of the author in this seemingly forgotten part of Asia and is filled with stories of lamas, shamans, opium farmers and hunters. It also includes stories one might not have heard about World War II, as well as descriptions of bizarre tribal festivals.

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

“Memoirs of a Geisha” welcomes you to a world that places great value to appearances. This historical fiction novel is a lyric account of the hardships that go along with becoming a geisha. The entirety of the novel is set in Kyoto and inspires one to discover the traces of history in this iconic Japanese city.

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

This American novel takes inspiration from the cross-country US travels of Jack Kerouac, along with his friends. The protagonists are painted on an Americana backdrop of poetry, jazz and drug use, to later on emerge stronger, better and more confident.

Paris Echo – Sebastian Faulks

Paris is definitely a popular travel destination but this book paints it in a different kind of light. “Paris Echo” features different historical places in the city that echo with volumes of unacknowledged stories. It also makes mention of Paris Metro stations, odd corners and the more popular tourist attractions. All these are spun into a story full of twists and turns and revealed by two narrators.

The Beach – Alex Garland

A tale about backpackers seeking tropical paradise, “The Beach” is set in Thailand. It can inspire one to go cycling in Thailand and explore its famed beaches. The novel is a great reminder that searching for the “ideal” can sometimes ruin that very ideal. Nonetheless, it can still greatly motivate one to discover the pristine beaches of Thailand through the vibrant imagery in its plot.

The Island – Victoria Hislop

One can easily sense the pain entrenched in this novel… and the descriptions of the various places in and around Crete meshed with the yarns of tragedy can be enough reasons for you to journey into this part of Greece.

What We Were Promised – Lucy Tan

Set in Shanghai, this novel delves into themes involving social status, family traditions and new-found affluence. As it hooks one with its tumultuous story, it also makes one wonder about personally seeing the splendor of Shanghai’s skyscrapers that co-exist with traditional Chinese structures.