A travel book can suggest your next vacation destination, fuel a passion for travel or influence the direction your life will take.  What follows is a collection of travel books that made strong impressions on the travel aficionados that read them.


Blood of Brothers. Cover of book, Blood of BrothersI love reading about the history of a place while I am travelling in it and this book is the best I’ve come across. Written by the bureau chief for The New York Times during the Sandinista revolution, this book recounts in vivid detail the history and aftermath of the Sandinista uprising and the CIA-backed Contra insurgency.

I read it while traveling Nicaragua and it really gave me a much richer appreciation for the complex social tapestry that is Central American politics (not to mention the role that my own country played in the region). The history is so unbelievable that in places it reads more like a novel than non-fiction.

Nathan Hake’s blog is Travel Lemming.  Check it out here.


Cover of book, Ali and NinoWhen I was a teenager in high school I used to stop at a candy store that also sold paperbacks on my way to and from school.  One day I found a book called  Ali and Nino by Kurban Said. It was a Romeo and Juliet themed love story about a Muslim boy and a Christian girl. The story took place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. What impressed me the most about the book was the description of Baku which made me feel like I was inhaling the aromas of the roasting meats I was reading about and feeling the sun on my face in the plazas the author described. I fell in love with the place and determined to see it some day.

Many years later I became a fan of Paul Theroux’s travel writing. His books on train travel around the world fascinated me; The Great Railway Bazaar, Riding The Iron Rooster, The Old Patagonian Express and others. Reading a small bio on Theroux I learned about one of his favorite books, Ali and Nino. He said this book made him fall in love with Baku, Azerbaijan and influenced his life-long passion for travel. I was amazed, delighted and intrigued that someone like Paul Theroux had the identical reaction to the same book as I did! It’s worth a read. Maybe you too will develop a passion for travel and fall in love with Baku.

Check it out here.  Talek Nantes’ blog is Travels with Talek .


A History of the World in 500 Walks.Cover of book, 500 Walks I enjoyed reading it because it gives the reader so many great ideas of places to visit! My family and I enjoy hiking and this book has inspired me to learn about the history and culture of a  destination by walking and hiking! Also includes great maps and important information to consider on each hike.

Check it out here.

Jacki Dyrholm’s blog is Offbeat Sightseeing.



Cover of book, The 4-Hour WorkweekFor this entry, two readers chose the same book, The 4-Hour Work Week, as their favorite travel book.
The 4-Hour Work Week. Tim Ferriss is my ultimate life guru and in this book he teaches all about designing your ideal life. Ferriss teaches how to work less and travel more, including real world templates and case studies. It’s all about creating an income machine that creates passive income for you, so that you can take sabbaticals around the world!
Kaila Yu’s blog is Kaila Yu.

Check it out here.

This book is definitely one that made me realize just how attainable long-term travel can be. It was a big catalyst in making travel a bigger priority in my life.
Danielle Isbell’s blog is Snaps, Scribbles, and Suitcases.


The Backpacker by John Harris.Cover of book, The backpacker John’s adventure takes you through some of the most interesting countries the world has to offer and leaves you hungry for more.  The book is a whirlwind of emotions and leaves you feeling the way any good travel book should – like you’re itching to pick up your passport.

Check it out here.

Sheree Hooker’s blog is Winging the World.



Cover of book, American ShaolinAmerican Shaolin. This is a hilarious account of a guy who went to live at Shaolin Temple in the early nineties and the adventures he had learning Kung Fu and living in a China that was just opening up to the outside world.

Check it out here.

Will William’s blog is Monkey Steals Peach.




The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux. Cover of book, The Great Railway BazaarI love traveling by trains; as the author quotes “…I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I were on it”. His odd experiences and acquaintances reminded me of some of my own that I will never forget. This travel book really made me travel.

Check it out here.

Gina Theodoropoulou’s blog is Traveling Soul.




How To Travel the World on $50 a Day written by Matt Kepnes from “Nomadic Matt.” Cover of book, Travel the World on $50 a Day  This is the first book I read before I went on a 6 month backpacking trip around the world. This book made me believe it was possible to live my dream of seeing the world without spending a lot of money if I followed some of his money saving tips before I left and while on the road.

Check it out here.

I recommend this book to any traveler but especially the first time traveler who is unsure how they will be able to fund their own adventure.
Edgar Hernandez’s (III) blog is Couple of Roamers.


What is YOUR favorite travel book?


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