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10 Inspiring Travel Books That Will Fuel Your Wanderlust

We may inspire your trips here on Do It Yourself RV, but there’s something special about flipping through a travel book. The thick, quality paper with brilliant color photographs gives a first-hand tour around the world and you don’t even have to leave your seat.

Travel guides are ideal for long road trips, or if 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!

1. Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places

travel books

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This 320-page collection includes 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. National Geographic, hardcover $27.19 on Amazon

2. Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America

travel books

Spanning from Chicago to Santa Monica, Route 66 will take you past quirky roadside attractions 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 quality color photographs.

You can get the paperback version on Amazon here—or 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

travel books

Sometimes it’s nice to take the night off from cooking and dine at a restaurant near where you’re staying. Yelp reviews will narrow down your search a bit, but if you don’t have Internet this coast-to-coast guide can be 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. Book by Jane and Michael Stern, on Amazon

4. 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.

travel books

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., the author details some of our country’s most essential historic places, along with photographs, websites if you’re looking for more information and other suggestions for places to go. About $8 on Amazon here.

5. Pacific Northwest Camping Destinations: RV and Car Camping Destinations in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia 

travel books

The Pacific Northwest is a wonderland for RVing and camping with lush forest, towering mountains, and miles of 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.  By Mike and Terri Church, available on Amazon.

6. Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die: Outdoor Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations

travel books

Avid hikers, this 224-page bucket list is for you.  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 motivational book to leave on the coffee table or to give the outdoor lover in your life. By Chris Santella, about $19 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

travel books

If you like backpacking, 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, pasta, soups, stews, chowders, pilafs, dried fruits, trail mixes, bars, and cookies.

The book also includes information on dehydrators and stoves, water purification, and food storage. About $13 on Amazon.

8. Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting

travel books

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 only 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). About $15 on Amazon.

9. Lonely Planet USA’s Best Trips

travel books

This book from Lonely Planet USA features 52 of the best drives you can take across America (including Route 66 of course).  They range from short two-day trips to ones that last over two weeks. About $18 on Amazon.

10. 50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do

travel books

This beautifully illustrated guide by Nat Geo focuses on what to see and do in each of the fifty states. Some are more obvious, while others are more hidden gems.

Examples 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.  About $15 on Amazon.

If you love reading, check out this Book Lover’s Road Trip

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