I love nothing more than getting stuck into a book full of adventure and travel. If that sounds up your street, then look at my 3 ultimate books to get you feeling all the travel vibes.

I blame books for igniting my desire to travel. There’s something liberating about picking up a book and being transported to unknown territory. An adventure book is my absolute favorite to read. The characters always discover things, learn things, and grow from one state of being to another.

Adventure tales are about identity, travel, idealism, and most of all… fun. Personally, I’d choose a book over a movie any day. A book is sensual, descriptive and really unpacks the psyche of the characters. Continue reading for my top 3 travel books, full of adventure and oozing with entertainment.

Book #1: The Beach – Alex Garland

Photo of an open book
A book is a great way to travel without traveling
Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

The protagonist in this book is Richard, a British backpacker, who is given a map leading to a secret island on his first night in a Thai hostel on Khao San Road. The travel adventure begins when he finds the so-called Eden with French couple, Francoise and Etienne. The trio find and assimilate into the island, enjoying the community and responsibility that comes with it. The island is idyllic. They fish in the morning and relax in the afternoon. Until unknown tourists approach the island, and the untouched spot becomes more well known than any of them ever imagined.

While the 2000 movie adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t anything to rave about, the book is a wonderful tale of discovery and adventure. This book gets pretty dark as Garland seduces the reader into the imperfect world of travel. Tourists always want something more. They want to travel to places that are different, places that haven’t been turned into a tourist trap, places that are pure. Can anywhere truly be pure? The founders are committed to keeping their island a secret, and they’ll do anything it takes to keep it that way. Read this book for a grippingly entertaining travel tale, draped in tragedy.

Book #2: Wanderlove – Kristen Hubbard

Photo of an open book on the beach
Let your book be your adventure
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

This journey will resonate with anyone who has braved the unknown in search of an adventure–and ended up finding themselves in the process.

Andrea J. Buchanan

Travel writer and YA author Kristen Hubbard nails a realistic adventure in this awesome novel. Her protagonist, 18-year-old Bria, signs up to a guided tour of Central America and arrives to discover her tour group are tame, middle-aged holiday makers. After ditching the group to join wandering backpackers Rowan and Starling, Bria finally begins her vagabond journey of travel and self-discovery.

What I love about this book is Hubbard’s incredible depiction of Central America. She touches on the obvious and the unique. The beautiful scenery, the delicious foods and wonderful beaches. That almost everything you buy will come in a clear plastic bag and no matter where you go, you’ll see a stray dog. Hubbard also shows the dark, questionable sides of Central America. She mentions the drug trade, sketchy bathrooms and armed guards outside every shop. The characters grow, learn, and respond to the environment in this book. It’s a page turner from beginning to end.

Book #3: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

Photo of an open book on the beach
Open book on the beach
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Allan Karlsson wants an adventure. When he goes missing from his old people’s home on his 100th birthday, he begins a wild journey. His travels involve criminals, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. Oh, and an elephant named Sonya! As the story unfolds, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. It turns out he was involved in many of the twentieth century’s most momentous events. This is a lovely and silly travel book, showing just how kick-ass our elders can be and the strength of human spirit.

This book is an epic adventure. I wish I could be half as cool as the protagonist who bails on his own party that the mayor (and press) is attending. Despite the troubling situations and serious predicaments Allan gets himself into, the tone of the book remains light-hearted, humorous and fun. For an entertainingly wild real about travel and adventure, pick this book up today!

These are three awesome but different adventure books, perfect to scratch that travel itch. There’s excellent travel fiction out there. I knew I would head to Thailand, so The Beach was a natural option. Do some research and locate some adventure fiction set at the destination you desire to travel to next! Thanks for reading, I hope you’re next book is your best yet.

What’s your favorite travel book? Do you prefer non-fiction or fiction?

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