You may not be able to venture far right now, but you can travel as far as your imagination will take you with some of our top travel book suggestions.
From classics to humorous travelogues and light reads, all will take you on voyages to popular places and far-away corners often overlooked by ordinary tourists.
Here are our some of our favorites–presented in no particular order.
Travels With Charley (John Steinbeck)
Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in Literature for other books, but Travels With Charley remains one of his finest–and often overlooked–works.
Ideal for Steinbeck fans, as well as those new to his writing. Filled with humor, as well as sharp observations about 1960s America.
Read it to see the world through Steinbeck’s eyes, as well as have a few laughs at his travel companion, French poodle Charley.
The Innocents Abroad (Mark Twain)
Book lovers around the world have known and loved Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for a long time. Few modern readers come across The Innocents Abroad, Twain’s humorous travel chronicle from 1869.
Twain boarded a chartered vessel with a group of Americans and visited countries across Europe, making stops in the Holy Land as well.
Typical Twain humor mixed with insightful observations made it his best-selling work during his lifetime.
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Rebecca West)
Originally published in two volumes, this book will last you through the longest quarantine. A single-volume edition is over 1,100 pages of 1930s Yugoslavia.
West penned her observations about a small monarchy on the verge of World War II, also adding sections about the region’s long history.
New York Times rightly called the book “a masterpiece of history and travel.”
Dark Star Safari (Paul Theroux)
If you’re looking for a good “intro to Theroux” book, start with this one.
In one of his finest travelogues, Theroux shares the story of a road trip he took from Cairo to Cape Town.
The author traveled by cars, buses, trains, and even armed convoys. If going on a unique African safari after the virus tops your bucket list, this book will help tide you over until then.
The Travels of Marco Polo (Rustichello da Pisa)
Written by a romance writer from the 13th century, this book presents stories told by Marco Polo, who traveled throughout Asia and visited Kublai Khan’s court.
Though he didn’t write this particular work, some consider Polo one of the world’s first travel writers. There’s little doubt he remains one of the most famous explorers and adventurers of all time.
In Patagonia (Bruce Chatwin)
Chatwin’s first and perhaps best book narrates a trip from Buenos Aires south, all the way to Ushuaia.
Readers get familiar with Patagonian wildlife and landscapes. As well as the story of Butch Cassidy’s adventures in Patagonia and European colonizers and explorers.
Down Under (Bill Bryson)
Bryson’s book allows you to visit Australia without leaving the comfort of your private reading space.
Exploring the vast continent by car and railway, the author conversed with ordinary people and learned about Australia’s history, wildlife, geography, and frequent lack of modern amenities.
Venice (Jan Morris)
The canals of Venice are now clear of tourists–but you can still visit them, courtesy of Jan Morris.
In a book considered a travel masterpiece from the 1960s, Morris portrays a unique city filled with history and ghosts of the past.
If you have time enough for just one Jan Morris work, let it be this one!
The Lawless Roads (Graham Greene)
Regarded as one of the finest novelists of the 20th century, Greene produced this travel book in the 1930s.
It tells the story of his journey across Mexico, including visits to northern border towns and the cosmopolitan Mexico City.
Under The Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes)
A light read for those long days–and nights–under lockdown. You’ll bask in the Tuscan sunshine without even having to put one foot out of your door.
The 1996 memoir–made into a movie with Diane Lane–tells the story of an American woman restoring an abandoned villa in the Italian countryside. Bonus feature: several chapters of Italian recipes!
With these books, you can still go on some amazing trips–in your mind and from your sofa for now. When normal travel resumes, you can turn these famous voyages into your own itineraries using Inspirock’s Trip Planner. An ideal way to create, save, and share your favorite journeys around the world.