Travelling is incomplete without a good book in your backpack and plays a significant role in igniting the fire in your heart. We believe that travelling without a book is like leaving a part of you behind and so we decided to curate a list of our favourite travel books of all time. Read below as we explain why these books fall under the top 10.


Long before the travel bug crawled into my brain, I was an avid reader and came across this book in the bestseller section of a pretty impressive bookstore. I bought it home, not knowing the impression it will leave on my mind.

Ever since On The Road was published in 1957, it has shaped, supported and inspired every ‘beat generation’ that has gone through its mind-boggling words. The book is a ledger of the legendary Jack Kerouac’s and his friend Neal Cassady’s mad adventure through the North American continent.
If you are alienated from the realm of everyday routine and count yourself as a proud member of the ‘beat generation,’ bag this book and see how a book can change your life.

on the road

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Favourite line from the book:

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centre light pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ “
― Jack Kerouac


It is fair to say that I put my plans to explore Jodhpur on a halt for good four days because I locked myself in a backpacker hostel’s room. Why? Well, you already know. This book is a definite page-turner with all its drama and thriller while physiological aspects play with your head in the background.

The book is a part autobiographical and part fictional story of Gregory David Roberts escape to Bombay from a maximum security prison in Australia. With. A. Fake. Passport. Yes, with a fake passport. Read this book as he carefully complies his 10 years in Bombay before finally being caught and extradited.

Shantaram, travel book

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Favourite line from the book:

“If fate doesn’t make you laugh, you just don’t get the joke.”
― Gregory David Roberts


This Rolf Potts book is exactly what you need if you are planning to leave your job for travelling and fulfilling your passion. At least this is what did the trick for me. It gave me the courage to take the road less travelled and finally quit my job. In my not so humble opinion, if long-term travelling and backpacking had a bible, this would be it.

This book teaches you how to travel. It taught me how to travel. Not for one trip, but for the rest of my life.

vagabonding, travel book

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Favourite line from the book:

“Vagabonding is an attitude—a friendly interest in people, places, and things that make a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It’s just an uncommon way of looking at life—a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time—our only real commodity—and how we choose to use it.”
― Rolf Potts


Okay, let me start by saying, this book is a must, must, must read. It has been a pleasure reading this book from page one until the end. The book has too much going on with all the drama that it holds within it. It takes you back to 1939 when a passionate mountaineer Heinrich Harrer finds his way to India to summit a glorious Himalayan peak but ends up getting detained at a detention camp in Bombay. It outlines his failed and the finally successful attempt of escaping the camp and running off to Tibet in search of freedom where he eventually makes the young Dalai Lama his friend.

The book is a swirl of emotions with sad tragedies but happy endings and I cannot recommend it enough.

seven years in tibet, travel book

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Favourite line from the book:

“In the time between the two wars, a British colonial officer said that with the invention of the airplane the world has no secrets left. However, he said, there is one last mystery. There is a large country on the Roof of the World, where strange things happen. There are monks who have the ability to separate mind from body, shamans and oracles who make government decisions, and a God-King who lives in a skyscraper-like palace in the Forbidden City of Lhasa.”
― Heinrich Harrer

Also Read: 10 Movies that made us Quit our Jobs and Travel.


This Hermann Hesse book is one beautiful piece of literature that I have loved and respected with all my heart. It is set in the period of the Buddha and his teachings. It is a story about a brahim boy who leaves his home in the quest for enlightenment and the meaning of life (can you connect? Soft chuckles). He rejects the orthodox teachings and sets off on his own path making friends and lovers along the way only to find something missing. When he finally meets Buddha, he understands that enlightenment cannot be taught but only gained through experience.

This small little book occupies a large place in my being and right now, is smiling at me from across my room, sitting peacefully on my bookshelf.

siddhartha, travel book

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Favourite line from the book:

“My real self-wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life.”
― Hermann Hesse


What can I say that has already not been said about this book? It compels every cell in your body to chuck everything out of the window, pick up your emergency travel bag, make some phone calls and leave on your metal horse to some far off place. It compelled me to do so and I found myself on the shores of South India in the next week, riding along the Indian coastline, living the life I loved.

The book is a result of a dairy record of 23-year-old Che Guevara who set out to ride along his friend Alberto Granado to explore. The book says nothing that you don’t already know about yourself. But it just stirs something inside of you. It makes you want to discover places that are not marked on any map or learn languages you haven’t heard yet. It makes you want to meet new people and make new memories.

I can go on and on but still would not do justice to the 8 times I have already read it.

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Favourite line from the book:

“All night, after the exhausting games of canasta, we would look over the immense sea, full of white-flecked and green reflections, the two of us leaning side by side on the railing, each of us far away, flying in his own aircraft to the stratospheric regions of his own dreams. There we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only ever faintly–not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things the outer limits would suffice.”
― Ernesto Che Guevara


As more and more people are falling in love with travelling, what was an off-beat destination then, is a commercial spot now. Aren’t we all sad about this never-ending urbanisation and commercialisation f the places we went to seek serenity at? Well, this Alex Garland talks about the same phenomenon. Richard is a traveler who is desperately looking for an off-beat destination to lose a few days at when he is handed over a map of a hidden beach by an old traveler, Daffy. Needless to say, he goes through a series of hurdles to reach the beach after cliff diving alongside a 40-feet waterfall (sooo jealous right now, to be honest). The beach is inhibited by 40 something people, passionate about living life on their own terms and surviving on spearfishing, natural produce and a lot of pot. But, there has to be a story spinner. Right? Read the book to find how Richard eventually regrets his decision.

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Favourite line from the book:

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite & never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience— And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.”
― Alex Garland


What is the key to happiness? While most men just spend there entire lifetimes searching for it at one place, Mr. Weiner actually travelled the world in search of the happiest place to be at (pstt.. India made to the happy list). The book entails his experience one country in a chapter and the humour makes it a very light-hearted read.

I rarely laugh out loud when I am reading, but you have to give it to this book; it made me look like an idiot on a bus en route Uttarakhand.

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Favourite line from the book:

“For me, a place unvisited is like an unrequited love. A dull ache that- try as you might think it away, to convince yourself that she really wasn’t the right country for you- just won’t leave you in peace.”
― Eric Weiner


I was on my way to Nagaland when I started reading this book and as soon as I reached there, I already wanted to book a ticket for Australia. This book by Bill Bryson is the perfect book about Australia with general information, history, and trivia.

The book takes you from east to west through tiny mining towns, sun-kissed deserts, never-ending coastlines and untouched places as Bryson tries not to get killed by the deadly wildlife.

The book is not your guide to Australia but do give it a read if you plan on visiting.

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Favourite line from the book:

“Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country’s dangers are vastly overrated and that there’s nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it’s okay now because he’s off the life support machine and they’ve discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.”
― Bill Bryson


Love makes you do crazy things; things you never thought you were capable of. If you don’t believe what I just said, read this Torre Deroche book and decide for yourself. The story is a memoir of a girl who leaves behind her sophisticated, city life to accompany her lover across the Pacific ocean for a year. Though she was deadly afraid of the ocean and ‘wet things that crawled,’ she took the plunge and followed Ivan towards oblivion.

Set as a foreground to beautiful landscapes and breathtaking destinations, love with a chance of drowning tells you exactly why some risks are worth taking.

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Favourite line from the book:

“If something happens on the ocean, we’ll die as two people in love who are living a remarkable adventure. That’s a good way to die.”
― Torre DeRoche

How many have you read? Leave a comment below telling us your favourite travel book and why it is so close to your heart.

The Metamorphosis

take down at 6:09 pm, June 9, 2018 - Reply

Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and
I am impressed! Very helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
Thank you and good luck.

take down at 6:10 pm, June 9, 2018 - Reply

Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
Very helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I
care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a long time.
Thank you and good luck.

Geeta at 11:23 am, May 4, 2019 - Reply

I hadn’t met anyone yet with my passion of reading travel books. A BIG thank you for the list! I look forward to checking out all of them. Except In a Sun Burnt Country ( also named as Down Under) I have read that already. Bill Bryson is one of my travel favorite writers.
I have watched the movie 7 Years in Tibet. But as a book cannot be replaced by a movie, I will checkout the book.
Here’s the list of my favorite books:
Notes from a Big Country – Bill Bryson
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
A Year in Provence – Peter Mayle
(All above laugh out loud unputdownable books:) )
View from the Summit – Sir Edmund Hillary Autobiography
Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer (true account of the Everest expedition on which the movie Everest was based)
Paths of Glory – Jeffrey Archer ( based on true account of George Mallory Everest expedition)
Tracks – Robyn Davidson . Her account of a solo journey across 17k miles with 4 camels and a dog, in the harsh Australian outback.
And there’s more..

Insane Traveller at 2:31 pm, May 4, 2019 - Reply

Thank you for the comment and to give us a wonderful list of travel books. I also like Bill Bryson, I am currently reading his book ” The life and times of the thunderbolt kid “. And also I have read Neither here nor there. I like them both.

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