We may inspire your trips here on DoItYourselfRV, but there’s something extra special about flipping through a travel book. The thick, quality paper with brilliant color photographs gives us a first-hand tour around the world and you don’t even have to leave your seat. Travel guides are great to read on long road trips, or when you’re just dreaming of where to visit next. We put together a few of our favorite travel books available on Amazon that will give you a serious case of wanderlust. Check them out!
National Geographic and their world-class photographers will blow you away with this 320-page collection. It features over 250 large quality photographs of must-see places around the world, from sugar white-sand beaches to huge ancient monoliths. They also included a bit of info on every page, like some of the top lodging and dining options near the destinations. Find these books on Amazon here.
2. Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America
Spanning from Chicago to Santa Monica, Route 66 is lined with quirky roadside attractions, neon sides, and spectacular landscapes. It’s now been renamed in various segments over the years, but still remains a popular route among travelers to this day. This guide by Jim Hinckley explores some of the highlights in each state along the way, with detailed descriptions and top quality color photos. You can get your own on Amazon here – or if you’re not looking to spend any money right now – take a look at some of our favorite stops along this historic route.
3. Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 900 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More
We may cook a lot as RVers, but sometimes it’s nice to take the night off and find a good restaurant near where you’re staying. Yelp reviews will narrow down your search a little, but if you don’t always have Internet, this coast-to-coast guide can be really helpful to find the local favorites. It will point you in the right direction of the tastiest BBQ, breakfast, and more, with dollar signs indicating how expensive each place is. It’s also nice the authors, Jane and Michael Stern, keep their collection updated – this one’s their ninth edition, published in 2014. Get more info on Amazon here.
No need for a passport – this guide to 50 of the greatest historical sites will give you plenty of fascinating trip ideas right here in America. What makes it even more special is the fact the book was put together and written by Brent D. Glass, the former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. From Washington state to Washington D.C., he details some of our country’s most essential historic places, along with photographs, websites if you’re looking for even more information, and other suggestions for places to go. Read more about this book on Amazon here.
5. Pacific Northwest Camping Destinations: RV and Car Camping Destinations in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia
The Pacific Northwest is a wonderland for RVing and camping, and it’s easy to see why: there’s lush Evergreen forest, towering mountains, and miles of beautiful coastline. This book by Mike and Terri Church explores the premiere destinations for camping across Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. They also give you a few itineraries around the cities including Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. If you’re thinking about exploring the area, this is a great book to get started. Get your own on Amazon here.
Avid hikers, this bucket list is for you. At about 224 pages, the guide includes stunning photos and detailed descriptions of the top excursions around the world. Many will inspire you to hit the trails in other countries, while several of the trips can be done right here in the U.S. It’s a great, motivational book to leave on the coffee table, or to give the outdoor lover in your life. Check them out on Amazon.
7. Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy, and Healthy Eating on the Trail
If you don’t just love hiking, but also backpacking on longer ventures, check out this fun guide for preparing amazing, healthy meals ahead of time. Updated with new recipes, this 2nd edition book has a collection of 180 recipes for casseroles, pastas, soups, stews, chowders, pilafs, dried fruits, trail mixes, bars, and cookies. The book was published recently in 2014, and includes up-to-date information on dehydrators and stoves, water purification, and food storage. Get more info on Amazon.
8. Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting
Famous sites like Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon are fun to see, but sometimes it can be nice to venture off the beaten path and explore the underrated hidden gems. This reference guide from Reader’s Digest will give you 1,000 new trip ideas to U.S. destinations that are less crowded, but still just as inviting. It doesn’t just include where to go, but how to get there, and what you need to know about the site (for example, if there’s an admission fee). Sounds like something you’d read? Find it on Amazon here.
As RVers, a collection of road trip ideas can’t be handy enough. This book from Lonely Planet USA lists 52 of the best drives you can take across America (including Route 66, of course), ranging from two-day trips to ones that last for over two weeks. Get this travel guide on Amazon here.
For more ideas here in the US, this beautifully illustrated book has you covered. This guide by Nat Geo focuses more on what to see and what to do in each of the fifty states. Some are more obvious, while others are complete hidden gems. The places include: beaches, museums, national parks, historic Civil War battlefields, and key places like the best spot on the central California coast to watch sea otters. In addition to the places in America, it also includes a small section dedicated to Canada and its provinces. Check it out here.
There are so many inspiring travel books out there! What are some of your favorites?