back to top

27 Books That Are Perfect To Read While Travelling

Make the most of your time in the air or on the road.

Posted on

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the best books they've read while travelling. Here are some of the books they shared:

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

@forgivemebrother / Via

"There is something really pleasant about reading the story of an epic journey while you travel. I felt like reading this made me more excited to travel every day on all adventures. It is also a really long book so you can be sure you won't run out of things to read right away."

–Lucy Delves, Facbook

2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

@whatshotblog / Via

"I have read and re-read this book over multiple travels and found that it is the perfect escape for me. The story is a psychological drama set at a small college in Vermont, where a close group of friends murder a member of their own and attempt to cover it up. Chapters don't end in cliffhangers, so you don't have to worry about stopping at any point to enjoy the real scenery around you."

–Mitchell Finlay, Facebook


3. The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

@emmajoyfulford / Via

"I'm a huge fan of Robert Macfarlane. His slow, philosophical style is perfect for long train journeys, which most of my holidays involve. The Wild Places, where he explores all different kinds of wilderness in the UK, is probably my favourite."

–Tom McAteer, Facebook

4. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

@cbear_86 / Via

"I read The Magic Mountain during a transatlantic crossing. It's not about travel at all (it's actually quite the opposite) but I found it really comforting to return to a book that was so firmly grounded in one place. The protagonist builds his own world up around his room in a sanatorium on a mountain. And as the novel progresses, he keeps binding himself and his personal history more and more to the mountain around him."

–Annie Osborn, Facebook

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

@myrestoftheworld / Via

"I read this book while I was in Sri Lanka, and it was such an eye-opening read. I live in Italy, and I loved the Italian part, but reading the Indian part was extraordinary, even if I technically wasn't in India."

–Lucia Biagini, Facebook

6. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

@afterthe_tree / Via

This novel follows the story of Mim Malone, and her Greyhound bus trip back home to her sick mother.

"I read it while in Peru and it's a lovely, heartwarming book. Definitely perfect for travelling!"

–Emma Demerath, Facebook


7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

@nourachanful / Via

As Earth is demolished to make way for a freeway through the galaxy, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect begin a journey through space, following instructions from The Hitchhiker's Guide.

"I read it while I was in London. The book and the city were equally fantastic."

–Kate Marks, Facebook

8. Paper Towns by John Green

http://@books.andthings / Via

One night, Quentin's life-long crush Margo climbs through his window asking him to help her get revenge. After a night causing trouble together, Margo disappears, leaving behind a trail of clues for Quentin.

"I read most of Paper Towns on my way to Toronto two summers ago. I hated the ending but the journey to it was pretty decent."

–Zari Helena Miller , Facebook

10. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

@vintagevertigo / Via

Lin had fled Australia - and prison - for Bombay with a false passport. Shantaram is his story of navigating the slums, mafia, and so much more.

"I think I read Shantaram while returning from the beautiful place that is called Delhi, and it immediately became one of my all-time favorite books."



11. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

@booksdippedinbooks / Via

This book is about the kids that aren't The Chosen Ones. In this young adult fantasy novel, the main characters are those who aren't tasked with saving the world.

"While travelling I love reading books where the main character goes on a journey in the story. Especially books with relatable issues in them."


12. The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

@beckybentrim / Via

Amy Wilde's new boyfriend Leo is secretly a prince. This is the story of a girl getting wrapped up in a world of loyalty, wondering if she belongs there.

"It sounds really soppy but I swear it’s amazing. It will always hold a special place in my heart. There was a copy in a caravan that I stayed in. One day of the holiday it was raining so I began reading it and loved it so much that now, every time I go away I have to find a copy to bring with me."


13. Marching Powder by Rusty Young

@gianttraveller / Via

This is a true story by Australian journalist Rusty Young. While travelling in South America Young heard about a convicted English drug trafficker, Thomas McFadden, who ran illegal tours inside Bolivia's San Pedro prison. This book is everything Young learned during three months inside the prison.


14. The Dark Tourist by Dom Joly

@tessabryson / Via

"The comedian/author travels to unusual destinations with dark histories. He goes skiing in Iran, goes on tour in Chernobyl, and visits the temples and the killing fields in Cambodia. He also goes on a bus tour through North Korea. It’s a fascinating and funny read."



15. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

http://@the.bibliofiles / Via

After a divorce and her mother's death, Cheryl Strayed decided to take on the Pacific Crest Trail. This memoir tells the story of her journey.

"The most inspiring and cathartic book I’ve ever read. I picked it up from a book swap in Italy as a random read and it was incredible. If you’re ever in a position of wanting to break free from a situation you don’t want to be in, whether it be a job or relationship, whatever, you need to give this book a read. You’ll laugh and cry and end it believing you can make any change you want to… and be okay! Honestly, the film didn’t do it any justice."


16. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

@readeruniverse / Via

Set in Barcelona in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, this novel follows the journey of a book dealer's son Daniel. After discovering a book, The Shadow of the Wind, Daniel tries to find other works by the author and discovers that someone is trying to destroy every book they've written.

"Especially if you’re in Spain or Barcelona. It’s so brilliant and beautiful and gothic."


18. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

@probablysomeplace / Via

"I was away somewhere, sitting in my bed staring out the window with a hot chocolate, reading Jane Eyre, and it just made me smile. It’s still the best book I’ve ever read."



20. The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley / Via

The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell are both essays written by Huxley about human consciousness and mind-expanding drug use.

"I read this when I was travelling from DC to NYC solo. It contains some extremely poignant theories about life that have stuck with me for years. Travelling alone is always a good time to reflect, so it was very fitting. I actually found it at a bus stop on the trip, so it was obviously destiny for me to read it immediately."


21. The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

@nicholashigginson / Via

"The Rum Diary is an early novel from Hunter S. Thompson that tells the wild story of his days as a reporter in Puerto Rico. It’s a fun read while travelling because it essentially covers his travels. But if you end up in the Caribbean drinking rum it can be especially worthwhile. Not a long read, but an entertaining and enthralling one."



23. Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas

@thebookcube / Via

"It’s witty, gritty, and full of fun. Kika learns there’s adventure wherever one might travel - even if it means staying in one place. All the description makes you taste adventure and want to experience one for yourself."


24. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

@aj_macao / Via

This short book is about a shepherd, Santiago, who travels across the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure and the fulfillment of his destiny.

"So inspiring and perfect for the traveller."


25. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

@carocho / Via

"The Sex Lives of Cannibals is the best book I’ve ever read while traveling. The hilarious non-fiction adventure of a young man travelling around remote islands had me laughing so hard during a long overseas flight."


27. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

@persdotterlaser / Via

"Over the summer, I read All The Light We Cannot See. Doerr creates unique character perspectives: one is a young aspiring engineer growing up in Germany and another is a blind French girl who is on the run with her father. This book causes you to look at the world in a whole new way by becoming more conscious of the different struggles people face all over the world. This is a book that gets better every time you read it."


Make sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Twitter and Facebook.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.