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10 Great Travel Stories

Updated on April 11, 2014

Great books for lovers of travel literature

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to drop everything and take a long vacation every year. With a well written book in hand an armchair traveller's imagination can take them to all the corners of the globe.

Travel literature can increase our understanding of ourselves and others through the writer's experiences and present stories of people and places that may have otherwise remained unknown to us.

I have compiled a list of my favourite travel writing that will make any reader feel like they are exploring new places - all from the comfort of their favourite chair. I would love to know your favourite travel book so please add it below.

"Tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going."

- Paul Theroux

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Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - by: Graham Robb

Is it a history book? A work of fiction? A travel story? I think it's a mix of all 3. I love how the author tells the history of the city through the lives of some of it's famous and infamous citizens. I read this on return from my trip to Paris last year and it helped improve my understanding of things I had seen. I wish I had discovered it before I went. This is not a light fluffy read but well worth your effort.

5 Ways to Carry a Goat: A Blogger's World Tour - by: Ben Groundwater

Another book I really enjoyed this year. Ben blogs for our local newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald. He decided to travel around the world relying on the kindness of his readers to provide accommodation and tour guide services. His only rule was that he would go to places he would not normally choose to go when they were offered.

5 Ways to Carry a Goat: A Blogger's World Tour
5 Ways to Carry a Goat: A Blogger's World Tour

In his 14 weeks on the road he visited 14 countries including; South Korea, Bangladesh, Thailand, Ethiopia and the Czech Republic. I particularly liked his time with the family in Thailand. If you want to know the five ways you can carry a goat don't miss his story on Ethiopia!


Vroom with a View: In Search of Italy's Dolce Vita on a '61 Vespa - by: Peter Moore

I loved this book. It inspired me to go beyond the beaten track on my 3-week trip to Italy last year. When I did make it to some of the places described here I really felt like I had been there before. Excellent writing from this consistently good author.

Amazon Price: $5.75 (as of 07/24/2012)

The Best American Travel Writing 2012

The Best American Travel Writing 2012 (The Best American Series ®)
The Best American Travel Writing 2012 (The Best American Series ®)

This book is a perfect gift for a traveller who is not sure where they are going next. With stories from places such as Cameroon, Korea, Japan and Senegal the writers share their experiences and feelings of the places they have encountered.


Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam - by: Walter Mason

This book caught my eye because Vietnam is on my travel list this year. Get an insight into the Vietnam of today. The author explores the attitudes of the Vietnamese people to various aspects of life from relationships and religion to food and drink. This book only intensified my determination to visit the country.

Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam
Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam

This book only intensified my determination to visit Vietnam. A good look at life in the country today.


Rock and Hard Places: Travels to Backstages, Frontlines and Assorted Sideshows - by: Andrew Mueller

"The best foreign correspondent of his generation." -P.J. O'Rourke In this book Andrew Mueller describes his time on the road with bands including U2 and Radiohead and in places from Bosnia to the French Alps.

Rock and Hard Places: Travels to Backstages, Frontlines and Assorted Sideshows
Rock and Hard Places: Travels to Backstages, Frontlines and Assorted Sideshows

The book is a collection of his writings, mostly from the 1990s but it's a great insight into that decade.


Some travel anthologies you might enjoy - These are great for quick reads.

Wild Writing Women: Stories of World Travel
Wild Writing Women: Stories of World Travel

This is probably my favourite anthology of women's travel writing. The 12 women showcased in this book take you on their journeys with them. I admire their bravery to travel alone to exotic destinations.

The Oxford Book of Travel Stories (Oxford Books of Prose)
The Oxford Book of Travel Stories (Oxford Books of Prose)

This is a big collection with 33 stories from quality writers including Jack Kerouac, Anthony Trollope, Evelyn Waugh and Alice Adams. The stories spam several decades and writing styles


Dolman Best Travel Book Award - Dolman Best Travel Book Award These books were all nominated for this prestigious British travel writing award

The winner - The Dead Yard : Tales of Modern Jamaica by Ian Thomson is currently not available.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by those you have. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain

Do you have a favourite travel story? - I would love your recommendations

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    • profile image

      ResortMembersAssociation 5 years ago

      That is a great list of books!! I really think its important to learn about the place before you visit. You may learn something that you never knew! Thanks for sharing!

      Resort Members Association

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 5 years ago from Sydney Australia

      @cbessa: Totally agree Cbessa!

    • cbessa profile image

      cbessa 5 years ago

      Great list, indeed. And, i think that as important as reading histories of the places we travel is to bring great stories from there!

      Right? :-)

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      Great list of books. The Rock and Hard Place book sounds interesting to me. Used to be an avid concert goer in my college years.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I'm always on the look out for great travel reading -- thanks for the recommendations!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Reading travel books seems interesting. Thanks for sharing these books.

    • SweetMarie83 LM profile image

      SweetMarie83 LM 7 years ago

      I love to read and I love to travel, I don't know why I never thought to read travel books before! The ones you've posted here sound really interesting, I'm going to look into them for sure! Thanks!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I don't get to read as much as I should, but some of your recommendations sound like must-haves.

    • jp1978 profile image

      jp1978 7 years ago

      Wanderlust is one of my favorite words.