Essential Books for all Travelers (Plan Better, Travel Smarter, and Have a Safer, More Enjoyable Trip)

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Are you looking to improve the way you plan or take trips? Or perhaps you’re looking to buy a gift for a loved one who likes to travel. With 50 book suggestions, this list has something for every traveler. Learn how to earn more money and plan more trips, etiquettes of cruising, where to go for the best luxury stays, how to take better photographs on your trips, and more. There is a book out there for every type of traveler. There are even books for those who cannot travel but wish to see the world.

Here is the complete list of essential books for all travelers:

Books about Planning and Financing Travel

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Third Edition: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter

Money, You Can Hack It: 101 Creative Ways To Increase Your Net Worth, Grow Your Wealth, and Have Fun Along The Way

For those interested in long-term travelling, this may be the ideal book. However, even those interested in short trips only can gain a lot of insight from this book. Get step-by-step tips and tricks from someone who travelled full-time for over a decade on how to save money, stretch your budget, make the most of your time, and more.

This book is a great introduction for those who don’t know where to begin when it comes to getting their finances in order. You will learn how to lower your expenses, earn more money, invest so that your money can earn money, become financially independent, and more.

Live Camp Work: How to Make Money While Living in an RV and Travel Full-Time, Plus 1000+ Employers Who Hire RVers

Buying Real Estate Overseas For Cash Flow (And A Better Life): Get Started With As Little As $50,000

Although aimed at RV travelers, Live Camp Work is useful for everyone wanting to travel full-time. Learn how to make money on the road, how to apply for jobs and prepare your resume. The book also features a list of 1000 employers and their contact information. Primarily aimed at those traveling across the United States, this book makes a great read before embarking on a long-term trip.

Buying properties and using them as short or long-term rentals could be a good cash flow strategy to fund your travels. Buying real-estate overseas is not only cheaper but it has the potential to appreciate much better than in Western Countries. And once you’re ready to settle down you can sell the properties, or retire there. If this sparks your interest, Buying Real Estate Overseas For Cash Flow will teach you how to build your cash flow, where to look for good opportunities, how to move money across borders, and more.

Take More Vacations: How to Search Better, Book Cheaper, and Travel the World

International Travel Secrets: Take Shorter Trips, More Often, for Less

In this book Scott will teach you strategies to book cheaper airfares so you can take more vacations. Learn how to book the flights you want (even when your schedule is not flexible) at the lowest prices, the best times for international trips, why small airports are better deals, and more. Take More Vacations is a USAToday Bestseller and makes a great read before planning a trip.

This book is a great first read for an inexperienced traveler planning a trip (both overseas and domestically). International Travel Secrets will teach you how to avoid unnecessary fees (such as baggage and ATM), how to keep yourself safe while traveling, how to travel on a budget without using credit card miles, how to plan trips, find the best hotels, and more.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

The 4-Hour Workweek is a great book for those interested in learning how to work less and earn more. The book will show you how to outsource tasks to virtual assistants, how to simplify your work, how to travel the world while keeping your jobs, case study from readers, how to design your lifestyle for unpredictable economic times, and more. This book will make you reassess the value of your time so you can live a more fulfilling life without trading hours for money.

This book is aimed at those interested in earning more money and becoming financially independent. The Millionaire Fastlane will teach you why being frugal won’t make you rich, why most entrepreneurs fail and how to increase your odds of success, the law of wealth, the cause of poorness, how the rich really get rich, the mathematics of wealth, and more. That being said, don’t read this book thinking you will get step-by-step instructions on how to be become wealthy. That has to come from you. What you will get is a mindset change necessary for success.

The Family Travel Handbook

The Solo Travel Handbook

This book is a useful read for parents looking for advice on how to plan and take trips with children. Learn how to decide where to go, budget your trip, how to approach air and ground travel, where to stay, how to introduce your children to unfamiliar foods, how deal with changes in routine and more. Information from this book can be applied to short day-long trips, to traveling around the world for months at a time. Information presented in this book is appropriate for everyone, regardless where in the world they live. In addition, you can expect advice on varying types of trips from camping to city vacations.

This is a great first read for those interested in taking their first solo trip. Published by Lonely Planet, The Solo Travel Handbook covers topics on: how to overcome travel worries, how to decide where to go and plan an itinerary, how to set a budget, how to find deals on transportation and accommodation, how to pack lightly, how to meet people, how to stay safe, and more. This is a great book for those who need a little help to gather the courage to take their first trip, however the information in this book may be too light for those who are already experienced solo travelers.

She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild (Solo Travel Guides, Travel Essays, Women Hiking Books)

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places

She Explores is a book aimed primarily at women interested in outdoor adventures. The book is part stories and part useful information. Learn how to prepare for a solo hike, what kitchen essentials to bring with you on a road trip, planning for how to handle unknown terrain, and more. This book also feature gorgeous photography, making it a useful tool and an interesting coffee table book. It makes a great gift for anyone interested in camping, hiking, RVing, and any other type of travel in nature.

If you are unsure where to travel to, this book may be just what you need. Destinations of a Lifetime is divided into 5 sections: nature, cities, sea, mountains, and country side. As a book published by National Geographic, you can also expect numerous photographs to inspire you to travel to place you never dreamt before. There is sure to be a destination in this book for everyone.

Books about Cruising

Cruise Control: A Complete Guide to Carefree Cruising

The Cruise Vacation FAQ Book: 109 Questions and Answers About Booking, Boarding, Cruising and Dining on Your Next Cruise

This is a great book for travelers who are looking for a comfortable, stress-free trip. It is great for those who are new to cruising. Cruise Control will teach you how to save money on your cruise, what documents you need with you, embarkation and debarkation, practical tips on solo cruising or cruising with children, what to pack and what not to pack, what to wear, what to do on the ship, dining options, tipping etiquette, and more. This is a great book to read before going on a cruise, as well as to bring with you on the trip and consult when you’re unsure of anything.

Get all your cruise-related questions answered! The Cruise Vacation FAQ Book follows a Q&A style format with detailed, multi-paragraph long answers for every question. Find out the difference between the cabins, fastest way to embark and debark, why some destinations are more popular, difference between the dining packages, what happens if something goes wrong, what to do if you get seasick and more.

World Cruising Routes: 1000 Sailing Routes in All Oceans of the World

The Practical Mariner’s Book of Knowledge, 2nd Edition: 460 Sea-Tested Rules of Thumb for Almost Every Boating Situation

The book for those interested in sailing or cruising on their own! World Cruising Routes is the best tool in planning passages depending on the time of year and weather, in an organized, easy-to-read format.

Written in an entertaining tone, The Practical Mariner’s Book of Knowledge is intended to prepare you for unexpected situations at sea. Learn how to change a boat’s name, how to tow, prevent wood rot, hold a burial at sea, how to ratio for survival, and more. This is not the book to reference during an emergency, but rather the book to read before setting off on your trip.

Books about Camping and RV Travel

RV Hacks: 400+ Ways to Make Life on the Road Easier, Safer, and More Fun!

Where Should We Camp Next?: A 50-State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations

Intended for both newbies and experienced RV travelers, this book is composed of tips so you can have a better experience. There are over 400 hacks and each hack is a paragraph long. This makes RV Hacks an easy read and quick reference for when you’re on the road. You can find information on how to properly drive and care for your RV, stay safe, have packages delivered while on the road, and more.

Where Should We Camp Next? was written as a guidebook for family-friendly camping and includes more than 300 camping and glamping spots across the United States. You can read about the different campsites and which are best for you and your desired amenities, prices, when and how to book, and more. You can also find information about local dishes, attractions, and activities.

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide: How to Visit 47 U.S. National Parks in Two Months on a Budget

Rand McNally 2022 Road Atlas (United States, Canada, Mexico) (Rand McNally Road Atlas: United States, Canada, Mexico)

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide was written from the perspective of two young women who spent 2 months in 2017 traveling across the U.S. to visit all national parks. In this book they lay out all the information they wish they knew before setting out on their endeavour. Read about how they planned the trip, managed finances, maintained their friendship while living in a small truck for two months, kept things organized, cooked, kept themselves entertained, stayed clean, and more. This book would make an entertaining read to an experienced road trip traveler, and a useful tool to a newbie.

When traveling across the country, you will encounter many zones with no phone or wifi signal. Having paper maps will be important so don’t get lost or take a wrong turn that might take you thousands of miles away from any town or gas station. The Rand McNally 2022 Road Atlas isn’t just a simple book of maps. It contains countless of other important information such as: the nearest roadside park for lunch or which road to take for the most scenic route. In addition, the book format makes it easy to flip through, and it allows you to see the bigger map in front of you (as opposed to a tiny cellphone screen).

How to Camp in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Finding, Outfitting, and Enjoying Your Adventure in the Great Outdoors

How to Eat in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild

Intended for both novices and experienced campers, How to Camp in the Woods will give you the tools you need for safe and enjoyable camping experiences. Learn basic survival skills such as fire building and making essential knots, what gear to pack and how to DIY what has broken, how to camp comfortably, recipes, games to keep you entertained, and more. This book makes a great gift for anyone to learn basic survival skills, even if they’re not interested in camping.

A more detailed book on survival skills, primarily eating when traveling off grid. Written by wilderness survivalist, Bradford Angier, this book will teach you: how to track, trap, kill, and prepare various animals, how to identify edible plants and fruits, how to start a fire and prepare food without utensils, how to find potable water, and more. How to Eat in the Woods also makes a great read for anyone interested in living off grid.

My Airstream Mentor: How to “Airstream” for Beginners & the Well-Traveled

DIY Motorhome & RV Rehab and Renovation Guide: How to Remodel & Restore Travel Trailers & Campers – Redecorate a used Camper to Give New Life to Your Home on the Road and SAVE MONEY!

A niche book for those who own or are interested in purchasing an Airstream. Learn how to prepare your Airstream before traveling, how operate it and maintain it at the campground, when and how to use alternate power, how to secure it, how to deal with roadside emergencies, and more. You can also find a troubleshooting guide.

A good resource for those interested in renovating a camper or RV. DIY Motorhome & RV Rehab and Renovation Guide covers topics on how to pick the best RV or camper for you, cost estimates, how to design it and floor plan suggestions, how to remodel and repair it, tips on saving space, and more.

Books about Backpacking

How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking

Backpacking 101: Choose the Right Gear, Plan Your Ultimate Trip, Cook Hearty and Energizing Trail Meals, Be Prepared for Emergencies, Conquer Your Backpacking Adventures

How to Suffer Outside is an easy-to-read, in-depth book for all backpackers. It is an engaging, funny book that is relatable for experienced backpackers, while still providing useful information for novices. The book is written by a female backpacker, it is beautifully illustrated and provides advice on: gear, food, hygiene, clothing, and more.

A more detailed guide on how to hike like a pro. Backpacking 101 will give you the tools you need to select the best gear for you, choose an appropriate destination, read a map, set up a campsite, interact with wildlife appropriately, what to do if you get lost, and more. The small format of this book allows you to easily take it with you so you can consult it when in need.

Europe by Train: Backpacking for Beginners

From Heartbreak to the Hippie Trail: Sex, Drugs, and Backpacking in Europe, Israel, East Africa, and Asia

Europe by Train is the perfect book for those wishing to go on a low cost Euro trip but are unsure how to plan one, or what to expect. Learn about how much to budget, what to pack, how to find affordable tickets and accommodation, popular travel routes, and more. Keep in mind this book focuses solely on getting around Europe by train and if you don’t like taking the train, this might not be the book for you.

For those interested in reading other people’s personal experiences backpacking, this is the book for you. From Heartbreak to the Hippie Trail follows the story of a man during the ’70s whose wife left him and he embarks on a backpacking journey across multiple countries. This is not a book for the faint of heart, as you may be able to tell from the title. Nor does it provide you with any information on how to plan a trip in the modern world. However, it will give you a good idea of what travel in the past was like.

Books about Luxury Travel

Best Unique Hotels & Retreats: Eighty Four Rooms

A WEALTH OF INSIGHT: The World’s Best Luxury Hoteliers on Leadership, Management, and the Future of 5-Star Hospitality

For those interested in staying at luxurious hotels around the world, this book provides great inspiration. The Best Unique Hotels & Retreats provides beautiful imagery and detailed information on all hotels presented to help you plan your next trip. There is something for everyone from ocean front rooms, to mountain chalets, safari lodges and more. The book is in both English and German language, and it makes a fantastic gift for someone who appreciates the finer things in life. In addition, it makes both a useful tool and a beautiful coffee table book.

If you’ve ever been curious about what it takes to run a luxury hotel, this book will provide some interesting insights. Learn about recruiting culture, technology, marketing and branding, design, current trends, and more. A WEALTH OF INSIGHT is a required reading for many of those who work in the luxury hospitality industry. There are more than 35 luxury hotels from around the world presented as example. This book makes a great gift for anyone, regardless if they work in the industry or are travelers.

The Monocle Book of the Nordics and Beyond

Be Well: New Spa and Bath Culture and the Art of Being Well

When I think of luxury, the Scandinavian region springs to mind. From work to lifestyle to travel, no people in the world do don-to-earth luxury better than the Scandinavians. This Monocle book presents the core values that have helped the Nordic countries succeed in design, diplomacy, business, good living and eating, and more. The Monocle Book of the Nordics and Beyond is perfect for anyone who is open-minded and looking to learn from others.

A great book for those who travel for wellness. Learn all about contemporary culture, design, philosophies treatments, and more when it comes to the body and mind. Be Well takes you around the world and presents you the most unique spaces, and practices you could incorporate into your daily life.

Books about Living Abroad

How To Move Abroad And Why It’s The Best Thing You’ll Do

How to Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad

If you ever wondered about the logistics of moving abroad, this book is for you. With 15 years of living, working and travelling abroad, the author, Jessica, will guide you on how to finance the move, find a job, pay taxes, blend in, and more. In addition, you can also read and draw inspiration from Jessica’s own experiences.

What better way to travel than moving to your dream destination. Regardless if you intend to live there for one year or the rest of your life, this book has some useful information. Learn how to find a home, deal with taxes and health insurance, open bank accounts, and more. This is a great first book to pick up and start your research.

Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home

U.S. Taxes For Worldly Americans: The Traveling Expat’s Guide to Living, Working, and Staying Tax Compliant Abroad

In 2006 Matt left the U.S. to travel the world for one year and didn’t return home until 10 years later. Ten Years a Nomad is part memoir and part useful tips and tricks every traveler needs to know. You can also read about how long-term travel changes one’s perspective and priorities in life. This is a great book to read while on vacation. It is also particularly useful for inexperienced travelers who have no idea what to expect after leaving their country.

For many U.S. citizens tax challenges are a major factor that stop them from moving abroad. Written by a CPA accountant and expat, U.S. Taxes For Worldly Americans will teach you how to lower or even avoid paying taxes on your overseas income, and file your taxes correctly to avoid penalties. Get step-by-step instructions on what forms to file, how to qualify for deductions, how to open bank accounts overseas, how your spouse and children affect your tax situation, and more.

Books about Photography

Wildlife Photography: An expert guide

Mastering Wildlife Photography

A useful resource for those who are starting out in wildlife photography. You can learn about the best techniques, and gear to use, as well as what to avoid. The books also features numerous images to look at and draw inspiration from. Thus Wildlife Photography: An expert guide makes a great learning tool and a beautiful coffee table book to display.

Another tool useful for beginners, this book also covers ethics and legal matters concerning wildlife photography. In addition you will learn location scouting, when to take trips based on seasons, how to assemble a basic kit, as well as photography techniques and composition. Mastering Wildlife Photography also features numerous gorgeous images, making it another great book to display on the coffee table when you’re not reading it.

The Enthusiast’s Guide to Travel Photography: 55 Photographic Principles You Need to Know

52 Assignments: Travel Photography

A comprehensive book on multiple types of travel photography. The Enthusiast’s Guide to Travel Photography will teach you: how to plan your trip, what equipment you need, how to shoot landscapes, portraits, urban scenes, food, and more. The book is well organized and concise, with plenty of images used as examples.

A book for those who are looking for inspiration on how to take their travel photography to new levels. In 52 Assignments you can find one year’s worth of weekly assignments and tips to create stunning travel images of landmarks, locals, festivals, and more. Small enough to fit in your bag, this book makes a great travel companion, regardless of the type of travel you’re about to embark on.

The Photography Storytelling Workshop: A five-step guide to creating unforgettable photographs

Digital Photography Complete Course: Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks

Learn about storytelling and incorporate your personality into your pictures. Although great for anyone looking to improve their photography skills, this book is primarily aimed at photographers looking to earn income and work with brands. The Photography Storytelling Workshop is a beginner to pro book that teaches you about equipment, techniques, how to capture and edit, how to improve smartphone photography, and more. In addition, the book teaches you about the importance of a strong online presence and how to achieve that. You will also learn how to work with clients and deliver projects.

This book is great for novices who don’t know where to start when it comes to digital photography. Digital Photography Complete Course is presented into modules with lessons, demonstrations, and assignments. There are countless photographs and illustrations to help you better understand how to use your camera and create a good photograph. Become a great photographer in as little as 20 weeks!

Books about Ethical Travel

Destination Unknown: Sustainable Travel and Ethical Tourism

The Sustainable Travel Handbook

This book presents the issues the travel industry faces as it recovers from the pandemic. Expert voices from around the world are brought to weigh in on how travel could become more sustainable for people and the planet. Destination Unknown touches on multiple types of tourism from safaris to cruising, to volunteer tourism and more. This book aims for us to develop more sustainable travel opportunities while continuing to enhance the economic and human benefits associated with travel.

Published by Lonely Plant, this book aims to help travelers plan and take more sustainable trips. There is advice for different types of trips such as: wildlife, adventure, luxury, wellness, culture, volunteer, and more. You can also learn how to reduce your footprint and give back while you travel.

Coffee Table Books

Accidentally Wes Anderson

There and Back: Photographs from the Edge

Authorized by Wes Anderson himself, this book showcases a collection of photographs of real-life places and objects from around the world that seem like they came straight out of a fairytale. With more than 200 images with description and location, Accidentally Wes Anderson wants to inspire you to travel to more quirky destinations. This book is also great for those interested in architecture, landmarks, and cities.

Immerse yourself into the beautiful photographs of Jimmy Chin, The Academy Award–winning director of Free Solo and National Geographic photographer. There and Back takes you to cliffs, edges, deserts, and other death-defying places. The photographer shares the stories behind the adventures as well as how he captured the images. This book is a great gift for all nature photographers and those who enjoy looking at beautiful landscape images.

The Man Behind The Maps

The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits

A collector’s book featuring over 200 hand-painted ski trail maps by James Niehues. The Man Behind The Maps also presents the techniques used to create such works of art, as well as the process of mapping and sketching.

A book of 500 inspirational images and stories of women from around the world. The Atlas of Beauty will give readers a perspective of what life is really like in other parts of the world.

Let’s Get Lost: the world’s most stunning remote locations

The Cities Book

Pick up this book and get lost into some of the most remote regions on Earth. Let’s Get Lost features more than 200 images of mountains, wilderness, coast, ice & snow, lakes & rivers, and forests. Information about the regions and what it took to create the photographs are also provided.

The Cities Book by Lonely Planet is the perfect gift for the urban traveler. The book features 200 of the most interesting cities. You can find itineraries, tales about local culture, what the cities are the most famous for, and more.

This has been my list of 50 books for all travelers. Do you have anything to add? Have you read any of these books?

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