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Travel books you should read this year


Because I’m a travel writer and a published author, I’m often asked to recommend a few travel books someone should read. 

Admittedly, I love books and it warms my heart when someone wants to buy them, but I usually don’t like telling someone what to read because everyone’s tastes are different. Some like travel memoirs while others do not and if I recommend one and you don’t like it, I feel guilty.  

However, I’m finally making an exception because I think there are so many good travel books out there right now! I picked five for you to start. Hopefully, after you’re done with these you’ll want to keep reading and, of course, keep traveling: 

NATIONAL PARKS  

I’m a big proponent of visiting the national parks and just as big a fan of reading books on the parks. One of my favorites is the “National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States” by Mel White. This 544-page hardcover book is the second edition and includes 400-plus parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, scenic trails, recreation areas and seashores.  

The book also has beautiful full-color photos of the parks as well as maps. You can read a lot about the historical background of the parks and learn before you go about the best times to visit, what you can do there and more. 

THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING  

There are so many good travel writers out there that it’s hard to keep up with all of them and read all their well-written travel essays. These take us to places that some of us will never see in our lives and they bring us there in such a way we can feel and smell the air and experiences that the writer had.  

“The Best American Travel Writing” compilation, edited by Lauren Collins, consists of some of the best essays from around the world and is a must-read for anyone who loves to travel or those who just love a well-written essay. 

THE SOLO TRAVEL HANDBOOK  

Traveling by yourself can be exhilarating and daunting all at the same time, but this guidebook helps take away some of your worries and concerns while properly preparing you. It addresses your fears (“I’m not brave enough”), and provides you with a lot of resources to help you book your trip, pack and get the most out of your travel time.  

“The Solo Travel Handbook” just came out recently and, if you have any desire to see the world solo, then this 168-page Lonely Planet book should be tucked into your luggage. 

ROUTE 66  

One of my bucket list road trips is to drive Route 66. I hear so many wonderful things about it, but after reading this 208-page “Secret Route 66: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure” by Jim Ross and Shellee Graham, I’ve learned that there are so many weird things about it too.  

Some of those include a secluded cemetery and trap doors in a Kentucky Club. If you're into the out-of-the-norm tourist attractions, this is the one you want to read. 

BONUS: Guide Books  

In this case, I have no specific recommendations. Just pick one up. Where do you dream about going? Buy the guidebook. Start reading about your dream destination and, before you know it, you’ll be making plans to visit. 

———  

(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com


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