Uncharted Backpacker

My Favourite Books for Travel Inspiration and Trip Planning

Travel Books

I am not sure about you, but once i settle into the routine of being home after long trip abroad, the first thing I do is pick up a few travel books and begin planning my next big trip. Throughout the years I’ve built my travel book collection up including pictorial books, travel guides, trip idea books, and some area-specific books to inspire me. Many of these travel books have given me the knowledge I needed to become a successful travel blogger and design the epic adventures you can see right here on Uncharted backpacker. Check out my list of my favourite travel books to inspire your inner wanderlust!

Best Travel Books for Pictures and Photography

The Travel Book


Lonely Planet’s answer to a giant book that features every single country on earth including detailed descriptions, sights and valuable country information. Every time I open it I discover countries I never thought I had wanted to go to before!

Destinations of a Lifetime


This is National Geographic’s hardcover book series, which includes plenty of incredible photographs of beautiful destinations around the world and plenty of information on these destinations like when to visit.

1000 Ultimate Sights


Have an interest in gigantic clocks around the world? How about marine animals, natural phenomenon and plenty more? This book by Lonely Planet breaks down all the different interests and niches in travel and gives detailed descriptions with beautiful photos.

Planet Earth Travellers Guide


If you’re a fan of the Planet Earth BBC series then you will love this travel book as much as I do. Planet Earth Travel Guide takes you to each of the destinations featured in the series and gives detailed information on how you can travel there too! Amazing Photography from the series is included in the book!

Best Travel Books for Unusual Destinations

Atlas Obscura


Welcome to the travel world of the weird and wonderful. Atlas Obscura has been the most famous travel book for those who are interested in haunted, forbidden, mind-blowing and bizarre sights. I often have traveled to places just because of this books awesomely detailed accounts that are often hard to find anywhere else.

Marvels of the World


Similar to Atlas Obscura, Lonely Planet’s answer to the stranger sides of travel is the Marvels of the World. This one offers very different sights from Atlas Obscura, with gorgeous photography and great tips for when you decide to travel to any of its mentioned oddities.

Off the beaten Track Travel Stories

Tony Wheelers Bad Lands


Tony Wheeler is one of the pioneers in Dark Tourism. He has traveled to countless war zones, politically strict, and downright lawless destinations. His stories have helped inspire me to travel to the places I have. Great read!

In the Footsteps of Marco Polo


In the 90’s these guys backpacked the silk road overland. Crossing a lot of destinations that were thought to be unheard of in the travelling world, including Afghanistan! Their book has amazing stories of this journey and stunning photographs.

Seven Years in Tibet


The classic seven years in Tibet is a story all off the beaten track travel fanatics rejoice in. The stories of a traveller to Tibet escaping from the war who ends up befriending the Dalai Lama. It’s an incredible story that I will always keep close to my heart.

My Top Travel Books to Inspire Trips and Build Itineraries

Great Journeys


Lonely Planet’s Great Journeys gives you detailed itineraries with great travel photos to help inspire you on a journey of your own. These itineraries might look a bit “adventurous”, but that’s the point! Many of these trips are classics, which most travellers won’t dare to do these days.

The World


At first, it looked strange to me, but looking further into it The World is quite possibly one of my favourite books. It includes all of the countries in our world and shows a detailed map with photos and the top highlights to see in these countries. Basically, it’s the first couple pages of every single lonely planet every made, plus more.

Lonely Planet’s Atlas of Adventure


If you’re an adventurous traveller like me who likes long arduous hikes, mountain climbing, jungle exploring and much more than this one is for you! The big book of adventure will show you the ultimate adventures there are waiting around the world!

Lonely Planet’s Where to Go and When


Much of the travel world is very seasonal, this book gives you dates of when festivals, seasons and general rules to when you should visit many popular destinations! Great source of info/photos to look up to see if you will make it for any special events for a trip you’ve already planned.

My Favourite World Cuisine Cookbooks to Inspire Wanderlust

World Atlas of Street Food


Any jaded traveller will tell you that street food is their all-time favourite cuisines in travel. Lonely Planet’s Street Food book is a compilation of favourite street food recipes from around the world!

Pok Pok Thai Food


The white guy who cooks awesome Thai Food. Andy Ricker the man behind Pok Pok in Portland often travels to Northern Thailand to get the most authentic Thai Recipes. Detailed information on what ingredients you should use and basically the only cookbook I trust for good Thai Food, seriously all the other Thai Cook Books suck.

Korea Town


Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern both feature in this book Korean Cook Book. This is my favourite Korean Cook Book and in my opinion the best one on the market. Plenty of cool Korea Town late night stories as well!

Anthony Bourdain Appetites


My favourite travel host and the one who has inspired me without a doubt to be who I am today. Your book is amazing it’s filled with great stories, delicious world cuisines, and photos of your life. Thank you Anthony, I’ll never forget what you have done for me!

Our Syria


When it comes to Middle Eastern Cuisines, I love Syrian Food. This book designed by Syrian Refugees brings out delicious and fairly easy to make dishes. Great stories and photos of Syria as well!

I Cuba


Whoever said Cuban food sucks was a very wrong and mislead individual. Cuban food is scrumptious and ever-changing. I Cuba is a detailed Cuban cuisine cookbook that is filled with stunning photographs and interesting stories. Oh, and the recipes are amazing!

Travel Inspiration to Help

Travel Writing


Being a good travel writer is hard. Lonely Planet’s Travel Writing is designed by travel writers. This book breaks it down on what the industry is looking for and gives plenty of great examples on how you can become a successful travel writer yourself.

Travel Photography


If you’re a beginner, amateur or pro this book will help you navigate yourself into the world of travel photography. Breaking down the basics of the industry and explain how to use different cameras and how to construct amazing photography. One of my favourite travel books.


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Stephen Gollan

Stephen Gollan

Uncharted Backpacker is a glimpse at the past eleven years of globetrotting I have done. Now at over ninety countries I share my travel knowledge for you so you too can travel the world and see what wonders it has to offer.

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