Travel Book Gift Ideas

We’ve read a bunch of travel books — some better than others. If you’re buying a gift for a travel dreamer, vagabond, or dirtbag this holiday season, consider one of these from Amazon instead of waiting for serendipity.

Also note: Amazon kicks us back some gas money if you follow the link and buy a copy. Everybody wins!

  • Desert Solitaire — This is the book that inspired our honeymoon, a roadtrip through Colorado and Utah. We fell in love with canyon country through Edward Abbey, a surly, radical, crusty environmentalist, and, in the setting of Desert Solitaire, a ranger at Arches National Park. One of the great ideas of the book: close parks to car traffic; lend bikes for free instead. Have shuttles for the weary. They’re nearly doing this in Zion already. They just need the bikes.
  • Vagabonding — Rolf Potts’s awesomely inspirational book on taking serious time off from regular career life. Be careful though — it’ll make you quit your job.
  • On the Road — A classic by Kerouac and worth a read to anybody who dreams of living on the road.
  • Travels with Charley — Somewhat disputed factually, but really a great read. Steinbeck is great, and we’ve said it before.
  • Vagabonding Under Sail (out of print) — You’ll have to find this classic at a used book store, and if you do find it, buy it, because it’s awesome. Humor is wildly dry, and it’s wonderfully written.
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage — This book is phenomenal. Lansing’s writing is great and the story is wild. If you haven’t read it, you should. Now I want to go to Antarctica.
  • Lord of the Rings (trilogy) — Everybody needs to read this. Your travels with go smoother than Frodo’s.

Creative Commons License photo credit: auton james