Looking for inspiration for a new adventure? Or are you looking for a new travel book for your coffee table?
There is something about the shiny pages of a travel book that I can’t resist! Whether it’s just browsing through amazing photographs or reading up on the latest travel tips, I cannot get enough of inspirational travel books.
I have several travel books on my coffee table that I like to switch up every now and then. I use them for ideas, such as ultimate bucket list items, or I check for countries I might add to an existing travel itinerary.
Travel stories, and especially the people behind them, have my interest, too. From life changing decisions and stepping out of the comfort zone to memoirs of years spent on the road: they have a place on my book shelve for sure!
Are you always on the lookout for ideas to add to your bucket list? Me too! The travel books listed below all have one thing in common: they give you insane wanderlust!
They are also my favorites among the travel books I’ve read so far. Curious to see which travel books remain on my to-read list? Scroll all the way down for a (shortened) list.
My favorite inspirational travel books
Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… Ranked
Lonely Planet is probably the OG inspirational travel book writer. Every traveler has probably seen or owned one of their guides. This travel book, however, is to replace your own bucket list. Or so they say!
They’ve ranked 500 unmissable sights and attractions for you. Some are well-known and visited, like the Eiffel Tower but there are some hidden gems in there. Even when you’re an experienced traveler, you might find something cool to do in here.
Also, this is esthetically one of the finer travel books out there. Excellent coffee table material!
How to live in a van and travel by Mike Hudson
Live everywhere, be free and have adventures in a campervan or motorhome
“Imagine being able to live wherever you want, travelling the world with everything you need in your own cosy home on wheels.” He had me at this sentence and so I bought the book.
This travel books describes the story of someone who was fed up with his desk job and changed his life for the better. Now, he travels around in his self-built vehicle, with no rent due or other obligations whatsoever.
When you’re interested in the nomad lifestyle or you just want to see how to turn a regular van into a home, this is the book for you. It teaches you how to pick the right vehicle, how to stay on the road and how to make money once you’re living your nomad dreams.
I don’t own a van. Heck, I don’t even have my license! Still, this book gave me sensational wanderlust!
Destination Earth by Nico Hadjicostis
A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler
Destination Earth is more a guide to travel than a travel guide. When you’re interested in the more philosophical side of traveling, this is the travel book for you!
After 6,5 years of travel, 70 countries and 6 continents, the author wrote down his inspirational story. The book delves into the connections between regions and people and gives you a deep insight in travel.
It teaches you how to catch the soul of a destination as well as how to deal with the less fun parts of being on the road.
Destinations of a Lifetime by National Geographic
225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places
Because of the amazing photographs, this is another great travel book for the coffee table.
It is one of these travel books that takes you to hundreds of amazing travel locations. The photos inside inspired me to add a few of these destinations to my bucket list at least.
Destinations of a Lifetime has something for everyone: whether you like sandy shores or lush forests. Inside you’ll also find cool travel tips per destination, such as what to see, where to sleep and what to eat.
The Bucket List by Kath Stathers
1000 Adventures Big & Small
The Bucket List is one of those travel books that gives you directly applicable travel advice. The book lists things to do all over the globe, from glass blowing courses and surfing or swimming with dolphins.
Some ideas are location specific while others are applicable at almost any location. For those of you with never-ending bucket lists, make room for some more!
Don’t Go There by Adam Fletcher
From Chernobyl to North Korea—one man’s quest to lose himself and find everyone else in the world’s strangest places
Don’t go there is a story about a man and his eccentric German girlfriend who travel the world to better understand themselves and the world around them.
On their journey they encounter the strangest situations: from being teargassed during a demonstration in Istanbul to ruining a dance in North Korea.
This book, although often hilarious, teaches you to step out of your comfort zone and travel to places everyone avoids.
I personally love places that are out of the ordinary, so I couldn’t wait to read this book. Without a doubt, this is one of the travel books that got stuck in my memory!
The Beer Bucket List by Mark Dredge
Over 150 essential beer experiences from around the world
Bucket listing with a purpose, is how I best describe this book. The title says it all: a list of amazing things to do whilst sipping the liquid gold.
Whether you’d like to know about specific locations to drink beer or fun experiences revolving around it, The Beer Bucket list of one of those travel books that can’t be missed in a great book collection!
It takes you around the world and serves as a travel guide, but better!
Travel books that are on my wishlist right now:
- How the Wild Effect Turned Me into a Hiker at 69: An Appalachian Trail Adventure- by Jane E. Congdon
- The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills – by Tristan Gooley
- The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal – by Jonathan Mooney
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed
- No Wrong Turns: Cycling the World, Part One: Paris to Sydney – by Chris Pountney
- Van Life: Your Home on the Road – by Foster Huntington
- Ireland: A Luminous Beauty – by Peter Harbison (great coffee table book)
- Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders – by Joshua Foer
What are your favorite travel books?
Let me know if you have any suggestions for my to-read list or coffee table by leaving a comment below!