Best Travel Books

Best Travel Books © Moyan Brenn

Best Travel Books © Moyan Brenn

Best Travel Books

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine


Nothing gives you wanderlust like a good book. It’s the perfect way to escape the everyday and helps your imagination to run wild. Being on the road travelling is a great excuse to get stuck into reading and the backpacker circuit is full of inspiring, can’t-put-down reads.

Below are our top travel books. Pick one, settle down in a comfy chair and get reading.




  • Neither Here Nor There. Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies — in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth.
  • Mr Nice. Smuggling drugs across Europe is bad, kids. Just ask Howard Marks.
  • Tintin. Who are we kidding, Tintin doesn’t belong in a single continent. One of my life ambitions is to own every Tintin issue.


North America


  • Into The Wild. Read the book by Jon Krakauer before watching the film.
  • A Walk In The Woods. Bill Bryson delivers a hysterical account of walking the Appalachian Trail.
  • Now What? Monika Lutz failed to get into college the first time round. What she does next should be inspiration to us all. Get the exclusive NomadHead excerpt from her book in Issue 10, just click here.  And don’t forget to read the interview with Monika here!
  • How To Travel The World On $50 A Day. Get the hard copy or eBook version of Matt Kepnes’ bible for cheap travel. Matt, better known with the prefix Nomadic, runs an insanely popular blog and has been on the road for 10 years and counting. I.e. his advice works.




  • Into Thin Air. This book by John Krakauer is one of the scariest you’ll ever read about Everest.
  • Shantaram. This book by Gregory Roberts is a fat one and will definitely get you through your own trip around India (just don’t do what he did).
  • Slumdog Millionaire. Fun fact, this book was first called ‘Q&A’ until the movie was released.


Latin America


  • Papillon. A Frenchmen is sentenced to a penal colony in French Guyana. A childhood favourite. By Henri Charriere.
  • Marching Powder. For those who aren’t sure about this book, it is subtitled ‘A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America’s Strangest Jail’. Worth the read, trust me.
  • Killing Pablo. This account of Pablo Escobar’s rise and fall is based on journalist investigation yet it reads like a badass thriller. By Mark Bowden.




  • Down Under. By Bill Bryson, easily the world’s funniest travel writer.
  • Cloudstreet. A hauntingly accurate depiction of Australian life in the 1950’s. By Tim Winton.




  • What is the What? A mesmerising account of Sudanese refugee Valentino Achak Deng by Dave Eggers.


Have a recommendation?
We’re always on the look out for more great travel books, so if you have a hot tip please let us know. Send an email to or comment below and we’ll add it to our list. If you write a proper review we will even feature you in a blog post.


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