10 Great Books to Read While Traveling - The Abroad Guide

10 Books to Read While Traveling


Throughout your travels you’ll surely find yourself tapping your fingers with a few hours to kill. Whether it’s on a plane crossing the Pacific, on a ferry traveling around Greece, or on an overnight train across Europe, sometimes you need to find ways to keep yourself entertained. Personally, I’ve found reading a good book to be one of the easiest ways to pass the time. This list offers an array of great books that will keep you entertained and wanting to read more.

travel books wild

1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

Wild is a beautifully written story about loss, pain, almost giving up, and pushing through.This is an intriguing memoir about a woman on a trip to reclaim herself. Cheryl retells her experience during her three-month solo journey along the Pacific Crest. She captivates readers with her bravery and allows us to living vicariously through her adventure.

Buy it on Amazon

good books to read while traveling shantaram
2. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

Any novel that is narrated by an escaped convict who flees prison in Australia to live in India is at least worth a chance. It is a lengthy read, so reading it on a Kindle would save a lot of room in your luggage. The narrator arrives inMumbai carrying a false passport in the name of Lindsay Ford. The story goes on to describe Lin’s life and his insights about India.

Buy it on Amazon

books to read traveling uganda

3. Uganda Be Kidding – Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler’s stories always provide for an easy read and good laughs. Travel with Chelsea around the world and try to put yourself in her shoes, which might be easier for some than others.

Buy it on Amazon


Good travel books The Beach
4. The Beach – Alex Garland

This book is a backpacker must-read! Join Richard, a fellow traveler in Bangkok, as he searches for a beach located on a remote island that is forbidden for tourists. After discovering the Beach and an Edenic existence, it becomes clear that its culture is rather troubling and dissolves in a rather disturbing fashion.

Buy it on Amazon

books to read while traveling malala
5.  I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Malala Yousafzai

I am not normally one to suggest biographies, but this is an inspiring story that opens your eyes into the lives of what some women experience in the Middle East. Malala teaches us what courage and passion can do for the world and serves as an international role model who’s recently become world-famous. I felt that the book does a great job focusing on Malala’s story, while also including information about the current and previous political situations within Pakistan.

Buy it on Amazon


happiness project books to read while traveling
6. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

If you’ve been intrigued by the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge, then this book is for you! Gretchen Rubin had an realization one afternoon. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” That is when she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

Buy it on Amazon

Eat Pray Love Travel books

7. Eat, Pray, Love  – Elizabeth Gilbert

This popular memoir tells the story of a woman who takes a life-changing journey through Italy, India, and Indonesia. This book offers short chapters that allows for a light-read. You will follow Elizabeth as she sets foot on an adventure to find what she truly wants out of life.

Buy it on Amazon

The Backpacker travel books
8. The Backpacker – John Harris

Some say that The Backpacker can be compared to The Beach. If you enjoy spontaneous adventures, then John Harris’s unbelievably real story across Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and Hong Kong is for you! It combines tales of danger, friendship, and travel into one unexpected journey.

Buy it on Amazon


sense of the world good travel books

9. A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler  – Jason Roberts

Imagine being blind before Braille was invented and traveling the world…tough right? Well James Holman did it and this biography rediscovers his story for us to read. If you’re a history buff and adventure lover, then the story of James Holman will be one you’ll always remember and continue sharing.

Buy it on Amazon

game of thrones what books to read while traveling

10. Game of Thrones  – George R. R. Martin

This is not necessarily a “travel book”, but reading it allows you to join the GOT fan club. I haven’t had a better conversation starter than just holding my Game of Thrones Book. I’ve never read a book like Game of Thrones before, so the first 100 pages took a while for me to get through, but once you become familiar with the style of the book and the main characters it becomes hard to put down. The only advice I’ve been given regarding GOT is to not get attached to characters.

Buy it on Amazon

Pin these travel reads for later:

Get these 10 books that are perfect to read while traveling. Pass the time on the train or plane with a good travel-themed book.

Featured photo by Steve Bennett, all other images via Amazon

Alyssa is a recent graduate from the University of Florida. After studying abroad in Florence, Italy for the summer, Alyssa could not stay away from Europe so she decided to spend the year studying in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Spending the day with Alyssa includes jumping off cliffs, exploring mysterious new places, and watching the sunset along the sea. You can read about all of her adventures on her blog.

3 thoughts on “10 Books to Read While Traveling

  1. Tom Brucia

    Some more suggestions. Since we are all adventurers and explorers, I will let y’all Google these to find out why I think they make great travel reading .
    (1) “Deep Survival”, Laurence Gonzales
    (2) “A Time of Gifts”, Patrick Leigh Fermor
    (3) “Between the Woods and The Water”, Patrick Leigh Fermor (the continuation of ‘A Time of Gifts’)
    (4) “The Last Grain Race”, by Eric Newby
    (5) “Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah”, Sir Richard Francis Burton


  2. Ali

    Three Cups of Tea was proven to be a false account. What’s more the author has been embezeling the donation money and making millions off of exploiting the people he never helped. While a good story, it is mostly false and the proceeds do not benefit the scools or orphanages they claim to.

  3. Kristen

    Would any of these suggestions, either above or in the comments, be appropriate for a 13-year old traveler? 🙂

Comments are closed.