If you can’t go out and explore the world, bring the world to you. One of the ways to escape without actually booking a flight is by immersing ourselves in a wonderful travel book. Yes, the web might allow us to plan and anticipate our travels in amazing and useful ways but nothing can give you the pleasure of getting your hands on a shiny new guide book or flipping through beautiful glossy photos or illustrations in a coffee table tome featuring somewhere exotic.
Whether you’re fascinated by maps, nature, city guides, luxury hotels or adventurous road trips, books are still a great way to ignite your mind and your soul, inspiring your wanderlust straight from the comfort of your couch. Books also say as much about your interests, taste and personality as your art: they offer a chance to show off your personality.
Inspirations for your bucket list
To help stimulate your imagination, CrunchyTales has rounded-up some of the best travel books, hoping to keep you dreaming whilst stuck at home. In the end, books are less expensive than a plane ticket, aren’t they?
She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild by Gale Straub (Chronicle Books)
Beautiful, empowering and exhilarating, this book is a spirited celebration of female bravery and courage and an inspirational companion for any woman who wants to travel the world on her own terms. Combining breathtaking travel photography with compelling personal narratives, ‘She Explores’ shares the stories of 40 diverse women on unforgettable journeys in nature: women who live out of vans, trucks, and vintage trailers, hiking the wild, cooking meals over campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Women biking through the countryside, embarking on an unknown road trip, or backpacking through the outdoors with their young children in tow. Complementing the narratives are practical tips and advice for women planning their own trips. Great coffee table book to spark conversation about travel and exploration.
With stories of 50 incredible hiking routes in 30 countries, from New Zealand to Peru, plus a further 150 suggestions, Lonely Planet’s ‘Epic Hikes of the World’ will inspire a lifetime of adventure on foot. From one-day jaunts and urban trails to month-long thru-hikes, cultural rambles and mountain expeditions, each journey shares one defining feature: being truly epic. The book is organised by continent, with each route brought to life by a first-person account, beautiful photographs and charming illustrated maps. Additionally, each hike includes trip planning advice on how to get there, where to stay, what to pack and where to eat, as well as recommendations for three similar hikes in other regions of the world.
Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places – Various Authors (National Geographic)
National Geographic takes you on a photographic tour of our world in this spellbinding new coffee-table gift book. Hundreds of the Earth’s most breathtaking locales, both natural and man-made, are illustrated with vivid, oversized full-colour images taken by the organisation’s world-class photographers. These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, scenic islands, stunning artwork, electric cityscapes, white-sand seashores, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets, and both classic and innovative architecture. Loaded with hard service information for each location, this book has it all: when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do to ensure the most enriching and authentic experience.
This book introduces to you the secret gems in well-known regions such as Napa and Sonoma, Tuscany, Burgundy and Rioja, and also explores off-the-beaten-path regions in Georgia, Greece and beyond. Detailed itineraries recommending the most interesting wineries and the best places to stay and eat in 52 wine regions near major cities make this perfect for travel enthusiasts who enjoy wine. Winemakers offer personal insights into what wines to taste and why they’re special and help you to understand a place, its people and their traditions through the wine that is made there. Gorgeous photography, maps and in-the-know authors complete the package.
‘The Art of Looking Up’ surveys spectacular ceilings around the globe that have been graced by the brushes of great artists including Michelangelo, Marc Chagall and Cy Twombly. From the lotus flowers of the Senso-ji Temple in Japan to the religious iconography that adorns places of worship from Vienna to Istanbul, all the way to Chihuly’s glass flora suspended from the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, this book takes you on a tour of the extraordinary artworks that demand an alternative viewpoint. First and foremost, this is a visual feast, but also a desirable art book that challenges you to seek out fine art in more unusual places.
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before, by Patricia Schultz (Artisan Publishing)
Moving from eloquent word to breath-taking image, Patricia Schultz takes us on a visual journey of the best the world has to offer: from mist curling over the Great Wall to elephants grazing on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, from the sun setting on the wild coast of Donegal to the masked whirling dancers at a festival in Bhutan. The book itself is a thing of beauty, an oversized feast of 1,100 all-new photographs and 544 pages, every spread and page designed to showcase these mesmerising photographs and hold just enough of Schultz’s lively text that we know why it is we’re looking at them. It is a perfect gift for every traveller, every fan of the original, every dreamer whose Instagram feed is filled with pictures of places near and far.
While flowers might not be the first thing you think of when you picture New York City, the city offers access to some of the best blooms on the planet. A companion to the popular ‘Paris in Bloom’, ‘New York in Bloom’ reveals a softer side of New York, showcasing extraordinary parks, gardens, flower markets, and the work of some of the world’s best florists, alongside the city’s iconic architecture. Stunning photography from Georgianna Lane takes readers on a floral tour of the city, juxtaposing floral beauty with the city’s trademark energy and grit. Also including a detailed list of recommended venues to explore and a guide to the season’s signature blooms, ‘New York in Bloom’ is a beautiful gift for New York lovers and New Yorkers alike.
Showcasing 60 of the world’s greatest and most unforgettable train journeys, from classic long-distance trips like Western Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer and Darwin to Adelaide’s The Ghan to little-known gems on regular commuting lines, the book is the culmination of asking more than 200 travel writers for their absolute favourites. Some are epic international adventures, other short suburban routes along the stunning coastline. There are incredible feats of engineering, trains that snake their way through mountain peaks, and even those which have achieved Unesco World Heritage status. Each profile contains practical information including ticket options, timetables and stops, plus inspiring photos and illustrated maps.
Following the successes of both ‘Beaches’ and ‘Escape’, Gray Malin turns his unique eye to the coasts, beaches, and landscapes of Italy. From the sparkling blue waters of the Amalfi Coast to the dramatic coastal scenery of Cinque Terre, the book captures and celebrates many of the country’s most famous and beloved destinations. Inspired by Malin’s bestselling photographic series -La Dolce Vita-, ‘Italy’ highlights timeless details of the Italian Riviera: happy beachgoers, retro beach umbrellas, luxury motorboats, and of course, the sun-soaked water. Featuring never-before-seen, -published, or -privately-sold images, the book beautifully depicts the incomparable scenery and enviable lifestyle that the Italian coastline has to offer.
Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent by Mike and Anne Howard (National Geographic)
In this informative book, Mike and Anne Howard, founders of the acclaimed travel blog HoneyTrek, whisk you away to journeys of a lifetime. Drawing on their experience travelling together across seven continents, they curate the globe and offer tested-and-approved recommendations for intrepid couples, bringing culture, adventure, and romance to any couple, no matter their age or budget.