Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

While we’re waiting to return to the skies, roads, and seas we’re dreaming of upcoming trips inspired by our favorite travel books. We’ve been sticking with some non-fiction classics to relive our top travel adventures and inspire new ones, here are the 9 best travel books we’ve been reading during Covid.

Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Unruly Places | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett

Our world may feel incredibly interconnected and accessible but there are still so many unknown and untouched locations. Uncover the most unique and out of the way places scattered across the globe. Bonnett brings to life these places like cities that never existed, bizarre sovereign nations, weird borders, and various no man's lands. There’s something about places that shouldn't exist or that are impossible to get to that draw us in, and Unruly Places will crank your geographic imagination to another level. This book is split up in multiple sections with each location spanning a handful of pages. Perfect to pick up when you’ve got a few minutes to spare or don’t have time to jump into something in depth.

Maphead | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Maphead, Ken Jennings

If you’ve ever found yourself zooming and scrolling across some far away part of the world on Google Maps this book is for you. Ken Jennings the self professed maphead extraordinaire, known best for his record run on Jeopardy, takes you on a journey exploring the weird and wild world of maps and the map nerds that love them.

The Human The Orchid and The Octopus | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

The Human, The Orchid, And The Octopus, Jacques Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau’s final published book is half memoir and half parting advice for the future. From retelling of his time in the French Mediterranean inventing and testing the original SCUBA system to sharing his outlook for a world facing irreversible damage to the climate, Cousteau’s final words bring together everything he is known for and leave a lasting legacy. For any traveler who loves to get out in nature or explore the depths this book will leave a strong impression.

The Lost City of Z | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

The Lost City of Z, David Grann

Journalist David Grann takes you through his journey retracing the ill fated exploration of Percy Fawcett’s 1925 search for an ancient lost city in the heart of the Amazon. Along the way, Grann uncovers new evidence of exactly what happened on the original expedition including how Fawcett and his team met their deaths and just how close they were to discovering the lost city of Z. Many times throughout this book you’ll feel like you’re reading fiction. It’s a captivating recount of the last journey of one of the last true global explorers.

Into Thin Air | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer

Journalist Jon Krakauer’s personal retelling of the 1996 Everest expedition that had the third highest number of deaths in a single day on the mountain. This dramatic account of the harrowing climb distills the dangers and egos that come with summiting Everest. An eye opening story of the modern dangers associated with this epic trek and the impacts that the relatively recent pay to summit model is having on the mountain and its climbers.

Into The Wild | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer

The movie of the same name was adapted from Krakauer’s book. As is often the case, the book adds many details to the life story of Chris McCandless as it recounts his epic odyssey into the Alaska backcountry. After university, McCandless gave up what savings he had, hitch-hiked out west and ultimately made his way to Alaska, surviving for months with nothing more than his clothes and light pack.

A Cook's Tour | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain

Eating with locals across the world, Bourdain is on a quest to find the “perfect” meal. And he’s tasting everything put in front of him to find it. Part memoir, part behind the scenes look into the travel life of this culinary and globe trotting icon. An easy read and a must for fans of Bourdain and his shows.

Beyond The Trees | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Beyond the Trees, Adam Shoalts

Follow adventurer Shoalts’ 4000 KM 2017 solo journey across the Canadian arctic in his canoe. Shoalts braves this unforgiving landscape through icy waters, raging rapids, wild muskox encounters, and hordes of mosquitoes. He’s in a race against time to reach his final destination in Hudson’s Bay as fast as possible before the impassible ice starts freezing in early fall. Highly recommended if you’re currently residing in a warm climate. Reading about the frigid temperatures Shoalts endures immediately makes it feel like your ambient temperature drops a few degrees.

Marco Polo Didnt Go There | Best Travel Books to Read During Covid

Marco Polo Didn't Go There, Rolf Potts

Legendary travel writer Rolf Potts shares his top travel articles from decades of jet setting and writing around the globe. Each story includes a robust endnotes section where Potts shares additional behind the scenes details about the adventure that didn’t make it into publication. He also provides a wealth of writing tips from his long spanning career. The book is split up into 20 sections so you can comfortably get through a story in 30 minutes and then start a new one next time you pick it up. This book is sure to inspire your wanderlust and inevitably leave you researching many of the destinations Potts writes about.

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Best Travel Books to Read During Covid | Travel Inspiration

About the Author

Jason Kraemer | Flashpacker Co Jason Kraemer is the co-founder of Flashpacker Co. When he’s not testing the coolest travel gear you can find him searching for the best beaches, the tastiest tacos, or the most exciting dive sites. Read about his adventures in our travel blog.
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