I have to be honest, I am not the massive reader I once was. I very much like to be busy and therefore can often find I read a page and have no idea what it said, or I suddenly remember an “urgent” task I must get done straight away.
However, there is one type of reading I have no problem concentrating on, travel books (non-fiction mind you)! Whether they be inspirational, for the coffee table or for planning, as long as they are related to travel I really don’t mind. They give me both my travel and organisation fix and I always come away with new ideas for my next trip.
All of the books on this list are ones I personally own and love, some so much I have also gifted to other travel (and organisation) lovers in my life!
Table of Contents
Best Travel Coffee Table Books
I would love to have more travel books that look great on my coffee table, but I don’t actually have one to put them on! These are the two that I couldn’t resist buying though and now take up lots of space on my bookshelf instead.
Chic Stays: Condé Nast Traveller’s Favourite People on Their Favourite Places
This is the ultimate travel inspiration book for any luxury travel lover. It is in no ways practical, but the photography is fantastic and the writing is nothing short of fantastic story telling. It’s the kind of book that you read after a bad day to lift your spirits, remind you why you love to travel and have you dreaming about all manner of luxury hotels in every corner of the globe. It also happens to be the perfect gift for that dreaded person in your life that has everything…..
Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When
Decidedly more practical, this is the book you go to when you know you need to book a holiday and have no idea where to start. It breaks down the best places to travel dependant on the month of the year and where your interests lie; be it culture, journey, adventure, value, personal growth, food and drink, wildlife and nature or relaxation (all have some combination of these attributes).
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Luxury & Boutique Hotel Books
If, as I do, you prefer your hotels to be more unique, boutique but no less luxurious, these are the books that will help you discover some of the best places to stay around the world, some well known and some virtually unheard of.
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Where Architects Sleep: The Most Stylish Hotels in the World
Contributed by architects and curated by the founding editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveller UK, Sarah Miller, this is the book you use when you have decided on the location of your travels and now need some killer inspiration for where to stay.
There are no pictures, instead, the hotels are organised by location and each have a summary of the key information, a brief description and are assigned a variety of icons that best categorise the hotel’s attributes, such as eco-conscious, family friendly and budget.
The Great British Hotel & Inn Guide
A collection of wonderful places to stay in the UK, these hotels and inns have been selected on six criteria; warm service, atmosphere, sense of place, great food, character, generosity of spirit and bedrooms and bathrooms better than your own (the latter being the most important and most often overlooked in my opinion). Each accommodation has its own page with pictures, key information and a compelling description as to why you should stay there.
I have had the pleasure of spending the night at several of the places mentioned in this guide (Burgh Island in Devon was my favourite) and can attest there are some excellent recommendations in here. There is also a great section at the front that rate the top six places for romance, families, views etc, perfect for when needing a bit of inspiration to plan that spontaneous staycation.
Britain’s Best Dog Friendly Places to Stay
Part of the same series as the recommendation above, this one is the most recent addition to my collection after our beautiful cockapoo puppy joined us last summer. I don’t ever leave him unless I have to, which means our travels within our home country had to be adapted to incorporate our little bundle fun.
Hotels across the UK are becoming increasingly dog friendly, to the point that it isn’t that difficult to find them anymore, but if, like me, you are also fussy about where you stay, it can take a lot longer to locate the perfect place. Not so with this book, they have a lovely selection of places to keep both you and your pup happy.
Travel Planning Books
For those that love a bit of travel inspiration, but also embrace practicality. I am personally a big fan of anything that helps me be more organised and efficient when planning my travels.
How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip
I believe that you aren’t born knowing how to pack, it is very much a learned skill. This book will teach even the most seasoned traveller a few things; it really has everything worth knowing about shopping, packing and how best to equip yourself for the journey. It’s also a lighter and more pleasant read than you would expect, as well as including some incredibly detailed packing list templates, the perfect book to satisfy your inner organiser!
Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips
The best collection of bite sized travelling tips, from finding the best value travel deals to international plug sockets, tipping charts and how to avoid being scammed. This is a great all encompassing travel book with relevant advice collated from a variety of travel experts that is applicable to wherever you plan to go in the world.
Best of the Rest
Still related to travel, but neither fit in any of the above categories as such and both are Lonely Planet recommendations. I honestly think they do the most comprehensive range of general travel books and they are also my first pick of guidebook when travelling to a new country.
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Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Photography Tips
I am not a natural photographer, but running a blog, I have had to learn! This was the first book I bought when I decided to develop my skills (or lack thereof) and it was super for giving a really good, no nonsense and easy to understand guide to all of the things a beginner and intermediate photographer needs to know.
Great for someone who wants to improve their photography without having to learn the lingo (which is often the first hurdle when using other guides), this is the book I return to again and again.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel
Published on an annual basis, this is gifted to me from my husband every Christmas for the upcoming year. This book gives you Lonely Planet’s best places to visit with a mix of some old favourites and some destinations that fly under the radar, but all have something about them that means now is the time to visit.
This travel book is broken down into the top countries, cities and regions for travel as well as the places that are offering the best value, the best new hotel openings and new attractions for kids. It will give you all the inspiration to try something new for the New Year ahead and get you excited about somewhere you may or may not have ever heard of.
Final Thoughts: Travel Books for Planning & Inspiration
Whether you like to read or not, books are a wonderful tool for both inspiring your travels and helping you plan them. I hope you find these recommendations helpful, whether you intend to treat yourself to one or gift to another.