Top travel reads – books that inspire adventure

There’s nothing like a good book to transport you away to a new and exciting land!

travel reads

At APH we never forget to pack at least a couple of books when we set off on holiday; plane rides fly by when you have a book in your hand.

To help inspire you, we’ve compiled some of our favourite travel reads; the ones that make you want to run upstairs and pack your bags right away. Exotic foreign lands, exciting adventures and stunning scenery await you with just the turn of the page…


The Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto Che Guevara

travel reads


At 23, Che Guevara was an aspiring doctor; this memoir traces the early travels of the would-be communist revolutionary as he explores South America. Setting off on a rickety old motorcycle with best friend Alberto, he takes a journey that will eventually shape the rest of his life.

Along the way he encounters social injustice; exploited mine workers, lepers forced to live in segregated colonies, and the plight of these people has a lasting effect on him. At the end of the nine month journey spanning over 8000 miles, a revolutionary is born. This is a lively and entertaining coming of age tale that is set against the beautiful backdrop of South America.


Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer

travel reads


The mysterious true story of student Christopher McCandless is retold in this haunting tale; following graduation the promising student gave away his college fund, cut contact with his family and disappeared into the American wilderness in search of truth and adventure.

Eventually ending up in the wilds of Alaska, he survives for 100 days before starvation takes its toll. If you have a spirit for adventure then this is a must-read; the book stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page, as does the untamed beauty of Alaska.



Down Under – Bill Bryson

travel reads



Any one of Bill Bryson’s travelogues could have made our list; his witty accounts of his travels really bring characters off the page and give you a sense of the destinations he’s visiting.

In Down Under he heads south to Australia; here he journeys across the vast country by car and rail, depicting events, people and places he sees and taking his chances with the poisonous animals that lurk in the bush; all the while falling helplessly in love with the gorgeous scenery, friendly people and lively cities.



Make the Most of Your Time on Earth – Rough Guides

travel reads


The title may be a little coffee table sentimental, but this huge book really is a travellers dream; packed full of a whole host of inspiring adventures, from looking for lemurs in Madagascar, to sleeping in a yurt in Mongolia, you will return to this book time and time again.

This is not a guide book as such; the finer details are a little thin on the ground, but if you’re an adventurer at heart it is a great place to dream of future trips; perfect for a rainy afternoon when adventure seems far away!


Humans of New York – Brandon Stanton

travel reads


Beginning life as a street project in the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out one long hot day to create a photographic census of New York City.

A blog was born and thanks to its huge success, along came this fascinating book. Filled with everyday New Yorkers from all walks of life, the characters really jump out from the page thanks to his vivid images; if you’re looking for an insight into what life in New York city is really like then this is the book for you.




On the Road – Jack Kerouac

travel reads


No list of travel reads would be complete without the cult classic On the Road. Based on the travels of Kerouac and his rowdy companions across post-war America, this is the ultimate road trip novel and continues to inspire generations of would-be travellers.

The book is in five parts, each one a different adventure for aspiring author and narrator Sal Paradise (Kerouac) and his carefree free-spirited friend Dean Moriarty. Travelling across the USA, the book takes in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Denver while depicting the escapades of the pair.



The Beach – Alex Garland

travel reads


If you’re in need of inspiration to travel, then this adventure thriller will certainly do the trick. We follow Brit traveller Richard as he goes in search of adventure; heading to Thailand, he is in Bangkok for only a few days before he meets a strange Scotsman who bequeaths him a map to a hidden paradise.

Enlisting the help of fellow travellers, he sets out on a quest to find the legendary beach, but what he uncovers is more breath taking and terrifying than his wildest dreams. Set against the stunning backdrop of Southern Thailand, you may find yourself booking a ticket to Bangkok before the last page has turned.



The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

travel reads


The Historian follows several generations of scholars as they try to track down the ‘living’ legend that is Dracula. Part thriller, part detective tale and part adventure; this gripping read weaves an epic journey from 1930 to 1970, via Amsterdam, Budapest, Istanbul and France.

We first meet Paul, a young graduate; in 1930, when he finds a mysterious old book with a dragon woodcut at its centre. Discovering a link to Dracula, he sets out on an adventure to discover the origins of the book leading him and his daughter into the path of danger…



Life of Pi – Yann Martel

travel reads


Following the exploits of a young Indian boy, this incredible tale begins in beautiful Pondicherry, India where Pi lives a blissful existence. His father owns a zoo which serves as the backdrop to his childhood adventures, as we watch Pi grow from a small child to an adolescent, the beauty of Southern India really dances off the page.

When his father is forced to move his entire family to North America in search of a better life, things take an extraordinary turn as the ill-fated boat trip ends with a shipwreck out on the open sea, and Pi finds himself with an unlikely travelling companion.


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