10 Adventure Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Trip

Not only are books the best travel accessory, but adventure travel books also can work to inspire your next vacation. Telling tales of fantasy or describing true-life events, books have been sources of adventure and inspiration for years — ever before the screens, TV, and movies. 

The following travel adventure books will be sure to light the way for your next big trip! These novels will leave you with the eager feeling of wanderlust for the city, mountain, or any of your other adventure travel ideas.

1. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald. 

This novel is sure to inspire a coastline adventure reminiscent of England. Find similar coastal vacations in charming Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Maine. Expect quaint towns, windswept beaches, and historical architecture. 

The novel is considered a hybrid book as it entails fiction, memoir, biography, and travel. It takes you alongside the character’s journey and also dives into a bit of the history of the region, describing landscapes in a way that will leave readers breath taken and minds racing. 

2. Call of The Wild by Jack London

This classic adventure travel book is based on the story of a dog’s journey as a sled dog in Alaska, learning to survive in the wild and compete for his dominance. This book is sure to inspire snow-filled vacation fantasies. 

Aside from fun winter travels, Jack London’s house has actually been turned into a State Historic Park. The historic London household and estate is located in Glen Ellen, California just north of San Francisco. The State Historic Park documents the author’s life and the inspiration for his books. 

3. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

This travel adventure book gives instructions on how to experience and travel the world on your terms. Taking time away from your normal routine to travel is an “art” as this book suggests. 

Vagabonding details travel adversity, adjusting to vagabond life, and finding inspiration for your next destination. The premise of the book is based on a certain outlook on life, emphasizing growing in creativity and spirit. 

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4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This travel book will inspire wild terrain adventures and long-distance thru-hiking and backpacking.  Though initially inexperienced at hiking, the author learns the ropes of backpacking and experiences many adventures along the way. 

Strayed treks the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from the Mojave Desert to Washington State, and details in her book the obstacles and delights that came with this journey of self-discovery. 

5. The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton

The Art of Travel will change your mindset on travel and exploration. Perfect for those with an appetite for adventure, the book takes you through pre-travel anticipation all the way to the return home, back to everyday life. 

The travel book will challenge the reader’s views and values regarding travel and leave them feeling eager for their next trip. 

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6. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

This 1997 non-fiction novel is the bold, harrowing, cautionary, and true tale of Christopher McCandless and his solo travels to Alaska. Giving up his previously successful life to travel alone, McCandless tragically loses his life in the Alaskan backcountry due to unpreparedness. 

The book may make you realize that travel experiences and happiness can be best when shared, and may spark inspiration for a hike or a thrill-seeking adventure with the family. If you still seek a solo adventure, the book will encourage you to spend time researching your next destination and use extra safety and precaution measures along the way.

7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

This book will pique your interest in the Deep South Coastal, Savannah, Georgia specifically. The non-fiction book follows a murder trial and introduces you to the haunted Mercer-Williams House (which is now a museum). 

The Museum is a tourist site popular for its history, architecture, and decor. However, this is also the house, as described in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, where Jim Williams allegedly murdered Dan Hansford in the study. The elegant mansion was well maintained by Williams, who spent years restoring the house.  

The story also focuses on Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery, sitting on a scenic bluff along the Wilmington River. The “Bird Girl” statue on the cover of the book is held in Savannah’s Telfair Museums, though it was originally kept at the Bonaventure Cemetery, as pictured on the cover. 

8. Heat by Bill Streever

Part history, part fiction, and part science, Streever takes readers throughout the world’s fieriest places, like Death Valley, Hawaii, and even Santa Barbara. From volcanos or deserts, the differing aspects of heat on this planet will give you a new mindset toward temperature. 

This travel book will provide unique travel inspiration, specifically for the hottest places to visit while enhancing appreciation for the extreme weather. 

Similarly, Streever has a book called Cold that follows the same format, detailing the coldest places to visit on the globe. 

10 Adventure Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Trip
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9. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This 1950s American classic novel, Catcher in the Rye will bring forth visions of snowy Christmas-time in New York. Centered around a teenage boy’s misadventures, turn rite of passage into manhood, the scene of the city adventure will inspire your next wintery travel getaway. A walk through Central Park may leave you feeling like the protagonist of this short novel. 

10. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A librarian and an artist’s love story is twisted into an adventure travel book due to the chronic time dislocation that the protagonist suffers from. Without being able to control his time travel, his love interest continues to wait and follow her lover. The many adventures through space and time will be sure to inspire a new sight or travel of your own.