My Ongoing List Of Favorite Travel Book Recommendations

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As I was putting this list together, I definitely thought it would have been a lot longer, but apparently, it’s not! Next up in my personal book recommendations list is my favorite travel books, both travel memoirs and adventure travel books.

I have a ton of travel and adventure books on my TBR still, so I’m sure as I work my way through them, this list will definitely be growing.

Some of them that I tend to think of as travel books aren’t really, but are more survival, which feels weird to categorize as travel so they’re in my favorite nonfiction books list. Here are my favorite travel books of all time!

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

Stans By Me

Ged pictures himself as the ideal blend of Indiana Jones and James Bond. Indiana Bond, if you will. So the idea of an organized bus tour is not very appealing but to experience the wonders of Central Asia in three weeks he doesn’t have much choice. This is a fun travel memoir full of unexpected experiences.

Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon

This is part adventure, part education as Paul Rosolie, a naturalist, conservationist, and explorer, takes us into the most remote sections of the Madre de Dios.

His love for the Amazon started in 2006 on his first trip there and over the coming years would return as often as possible. 

He ventured into some of the most inaccessible areas of jungle alone, seeing floating forests, jaguars, poachers, and more.  He raises an orphaned anteater and helps fight to protect the Madre de Dios from developers, oil giants, and gold miners.

Sola: One Woman’s Journey Alone Across South America

Amy has left her pleasant narrow life for one rich in experiences with panpipe-playing Zen masters, nighttime jungle boat rides, Incan ruins, Patagonian glaciers, accidental volcano climbs, and even Giardia.

At the center of it all is a quirky surfer with wacky bits of wisdom and one real question: can you ever go home again?

No Summit Out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits

Jordan Romero is actually the youngest person to summit Mount Everest at just 13 years, 10 months, and 10 days old.  And that was just the beginning.  By 15, he was the youngest person to reach the highest summits of all seven continents.

This memoir is the story of his journey, the idea of which was sparked at just nine years old, where we see all the hard work and training result in a dream come true.  I read this and really enjoyed it!

Amazon Woman: Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and a Quest to Kayak the World’s Largest River from Source to Sea

On her 35th birthday, Darcy set off on a 148-day journey kayaking the entire length of the Amazon River with her boyfriend of twelve years and a mutual kayaking friend/colleague. The emotional waters encountered on the trip were often more difficult to navigate than the class five rapids on the river itself.

Along the way they encounter 25 days of whitewater rapids, illegal loggers, narco-traffickers, Shining Path rebels, ruthless poachers, and surprisingly friendly locals before reaching the triumphant end becoming the first to achieve this accomplishment.

Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One lifetime of Travel

Her first life-changing trip was solo to Australia as a young graduate. Over the next 30 years, Rosita became enchanted by travel and visited some of the most remote parts of the world where she carried little more than a beat-up backpack and a diary.

Here are nine journeys from nine different moments in her life spent exploring the world, sharing how these experiences and the people met along the way can shape the course of a life dramatically.

To the Moon and Timbuktu: A Trek Through the Heart of Africa

Nina always yearned for adventure in far-off places but at 34 she found herself married and contemplating motherhood while living in Paris. She catches her reflection in a window and no longer sees the fearless woman of her youth.

Inspired by female explorers of the 1800s, she hops on a plane headed to West Africa to make her way overland to Timbuktu on her own.

Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America

This is actually why I went to Central America. For real. And yes, this is the amazing thriller author Catherine Ryan Howard.  

She invited herself on her friend’s backpacking trip through Central America, not sure what she’s getting herself into.  She’s happier reading by a pool but ends up climbing volcanos, attempting to learn Spanish, drinking coffee, living with mutant cockroaches, and throwing up in the street.

This is one of my favorite books ever and I re-read it probably every year.

How Not to Travel the World

Lauren Juliff, one of my favorite travel bloggers, hit rock bottom years ago and decided to leave home to travel the world.  She was suffering from debilitating anxiety, an eating disorder, and just had her heartbroken.  She had also never eaten rice or been on a bus.  What better time to leave it all behind for bad luck on near-death experiences on the road.  Not only that, but she falls in love and tries new food with the whole world opened up to her now.

Don’t Look Behind You! A Safari Guide’s Encounters with Ravenous Lions, Stampeding Elephants, and Lovesick Rhinos

Peter Allison is an Australian safari guide in South Africa and Botswana with a penchant for misadventures. These are the stories of his off-the-wall experiences as a safari guide.

Best. State. Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

No one knows what will happen next in Florida, just that something will. We get to follow Dave Barry as he travels to all the magnificently weird things Florida has to offer.

Nowhere Like Home

Jamie Alexander was nineteen when he took an impulse trip into the jungles of Kalimantan.  After his experience with the Krayan tribespeople, he decided to discover the truth of the world around him. 

From Indonesia to Palestine and the Philippines to Nepal, he visits some of the most remote and volatile places possible.  It’s a story of global change with a quirky sense of humor.  This is one I read on a semi-regular basis.

Have you read any of these books? Which ones? What are your favorite travel and adventure books?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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