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10 Travel Books Sure to Spark Your Wanderlust

Unpack these travel books for armchair adventures sure to inspire, amuse, and astonish. You don’t need a passport to dream, but you may find a journey you cannot resist.

how not to travel the world book cover

How Not to Travel the World, by Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff quits her job, sells everything, and sets out to travel the world alone in spite of having very limited life experience. She battles bad luck, leeches, wrecks, and scams, but falls in love with life on the road anyway. Warning: Her misadventures will leave you wondering if maybe you could do the same.

footsteps anthology book cover

Footsteps, a New York Times anthology

Discover Elena Ferrante’s Naples, explore F. Scott Fitzgerald’s French Riviera vacation spot, and wind your way through Alice Munro’s Vancouver with this curated collection of NYT travel columns.

microadventures book cover

Microadventures, by Alastair Humphreys

A microadventure is a journey close to home. It’s cheap, simple, and short, but it’s enough to renew your soul. Let author Alastair Humphreys guide you outside your comfort zone and open your mind to the pleasures in your own backyard.

vagabonding book cover

Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts

The opposite of microadventuring, vagabonding means taking weeks, months, or years off from your regular life to experience the world on your own terms. Author Rolf Potts offers “an uncommon guide” to where to go, how to find work, and how to handle yourself once you have to return. (As if there were a common guide to such an endeavor?)

dark star safari book cover

Dark Star Safari, by Paul Theroux

Author Paul Theroux takes you on an epic journey through Africa via bus, canoe, cattle truck, ferry, train, and even armed convoy. Always witty, sometimes jarring, and occasionally cranky, he gives you his clear observations and insights into the people and food of the continent — along with a scathing look at the aid workers and charity donors he despises. 

in a sunburned country book cover

In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is our favorite traveler on the planet (RIP, Anthony Bordain). In this tome, Bryson tackles Australia, from its cheerful people to its lethal wildlife to the hottest, driest weather on the planet. Prepare to laugh your way through the Land Down Under with this master storyteller.

love with a chance of drowning book cover

Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche

City girl Torre DeRoche has her feet planted firmly on the ground when she meets an Argentine sailor about to sail around the world. She takes a chance on him — and his oceanic voyage — and experiences all the ups and downs a high-seas adventure has to offer.

geography of bliss book cover

The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner

This is a travel memoir with a side of happiness data. Weiner travels the globe for National Public Radio, looking for the smiliest, sunniest destinations and insight into what makes people joyful. Spoiler alert: You will want to book a trip to Iceland ASAP.

hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy book cover

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Pair this read with a pan galactic gargle blaster (ask your bartender), sit back, and enjoy a quick, fun, romp through the galaxy. “And, of course, the answer to the universe and everything is always the number 42.”

lonely planet best in travel book cover

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018

A Lonely Planet guide book is a surefire way to get the travel juices flowing, and this updated bestseller answers the question, Where should I go next? Categories include top 10 lists, best values, best new places to stay, and more. Even if you’ve used up all your vacation days for 2018, it’s fun to dream about next year.

For more ways to feed your mind, check out these hot summer reads.

Photos: Courtesy of the publishers

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