People from all over the world love traveling, and Americans are no exception. Economic output from the travel and tourism industry in the U.S. accounts for over $1 trillion dollars in economic output a year!

The most up-to-date stats reveal international tourists spending record amounts on travel in the United States.  

Are you a born traveler? Is “Wanderlust” your middle name? Reading fuels many a desire for getting out of the daily grind and onto an airplane for parts unknown. 

If you love to read, chances are you’ve read a few travel books too. Are you looking for travel inspiration? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

There are so many great travel books, from novels to know-how. If you’re wondering where to start, keep reading for a list of some of the best travel books around. 

The Alchemist

This little book is a powerhouse of inspiration for traveling and life in general. Paulo Coelho had no idea his book would turn into one of the biggest-selling books in history. 

The book tells the story of a young shepherd boy, Santiago. Santiago journeys to find some treasure but also finds his personal legend. Along the way, he learns some life lessons that apply to us all. 

What does Santiago learn? That fear is something we all deal with and can all overcome. Pursuing your life’s dream is risky but it’s also the most rewarding thing you’ll do. 

The young boy also learns that the truth endures. The book holds lessons on gratitude and learning to live in the present. 

The Alchemist should be on every reading list but it’s perfect for those who want more travel in their lives. It’s one of many books found in the Kindle reader for Mac

The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca 

Are you interested in Morocco? Tahir Shah’s youthful vacations to Morocco inspired him to go back. 

Yearning for something more than his current London life, he moves his family to Casablanca in the Central-West region of Morocco. Shah writes of the realities of life in this engrossing memoir. 

Read about the local bureaucracy, corruption, thieves, and gangsters as Shah shares his story. 

In a Sunburned Country

If you’ve never read Bill Bryson, you’re in for a treat. Bryson tells his stories with wit and humor.

Is it a dream to visit the Land Down Under? In a Sunburned Country is a must!

While not an actual guidebook, the book offers a real sense of Australia, it’s people, places, and wildlife. This book is a laugh-out-loud read!

Speaking of wildlife and laughing out loud, Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods is another must if you’ve ever had dreams of hiking the Appalachian Trail. 

A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World

Are you a foodie who loves traveling? Then A Moveable Feast is for you. The book features 38 stories from writers and chefs from around the world. 

Food brings people together in a special way and that’s celebrated in this book. Each tale offers a glimpse into food and culture that’ll have you aching to visit a new place. 

There are stories from Anthony Bourdain, Jan Morris, and Andrew Zimmerman among others. Celebrate food with these wonderful stories. 

The Art of Travel

Travel is about much more than seeing exotic or famous lands. Travel gets us outside of our comfort zone and teaches us new things. Not every aspect of travel is fun or glamorous. 

Alain de Botton reminds us of the purpose behind the traveling. He shatters the fantasies of our travels with the realities of life with a philosophical and honest look at traveling. 

He describes the less grand moments of travel in a beautifully articulate manner. He reminds us of the small moments within the big picture. 

A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe

Many people forego travel because they don’t have a travel partner. That’s unfortunate. 

As the shepherd boy from The Alchemist teaches us, fear is an obstacle we must overcome. Traveling alone teaches you as much about yourself as it does about the places you visit. 

The book is full of various tales from solo female travelers that are real as well as uplifting. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready for your first solo travel adventure.

On the Road

Jack Kerouac’s adventure On the Road is a must-read. It’s the classic story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty as they hitchhike across 1940s rural America. 

It’s a semi-autobiographical story written as a journal. It’s a bit rambling at times but a fun read that’ll put you in the mood or travel adventure. 

If you’re looking for escapism in your travel books, this is the one for you!

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This book by Robert Pirsig is a book of fiction. It’s about a 17-day motorcycle trip from Minnesota to California. It was inspired by Pirsig’s real trip with his son Chris on his 1966 Honda Super Hawk motorcycle. 

This unusual book is part philosophy book, part travel diary. If you love motorcycles, or even if you’ve never ridden one, you’ll be ready for a motorcycle trip after reading this wonderful book. 

Eat, Pray, Love

If you’ve suffered a divorce recently, this is the perfect travel book for you. Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is an autobiographical look at her travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia. 

As she travels, she discovers other people, cultures, and eventually herself. This is a great book for women looking to fly solo on their first travel adventure!

A Plethora of Great Travel Books

There are so many great travel books, it’s tough narrowing down the list. Try one or all on this list for an escape or inspiration for your own travels. 

You’ve never traveled alone? Read The AlchemistA Woman Alone, and Eat, Pray, Love for a taste of getting outside your comfort zone. 

If you love adventure and motorcycles, try Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and On the Road.  Whichever books you try, you’re sure to find a reason for traveling. 

Looking for more insight and inspiration? Keep reading the blog!