8 Reads to Inspire Wanderlust, Whether You’re Booking Your Next Trip or Armchair Traveling

Chances are, you grew up with a quote scrawled across your childhood library wall about armchair travel: books’ ability to let you see the world without needing a plane ticket and passport. Why not both? 

Hotels Above Par is admittedly partial to picking up the latest beach read while actually in a cabana in Mexico, or reading the Amalfi-set Beautiful Ruins while actually sipping a cappuccino in Positano.

Whether you’ve already planned your next trip or are immersing yourself in wanderlust, we’ve rounded up eight recent favorite books that inspire us to travel.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer focuses on one woman’s Positano vacation after her mother’s death, experiencing the sensory pleasures of the Italian seaside on a trip the two were supposed to embark on together. 

This strangely magical book paints a lush portrait of long, fresh seafood dinners at cliffside restaurants, reflective conversations, and awe-inspiring views. Serle goes on to thank the Hotel Poseidon in her acknowledgements, and its inspiration is clear. 

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin

Does your step count climb past 10,000, itinerary-free? You may appreciate this cultural history and memoir about wandering through various metropolitans. For the cities you’ve been to, Flâneuse feels like a love letter; for those you haven’t, it’s sure to inspire immediate wanderlust.

Small Damages by Beth Kephart

Written for young adults by a National Book Award nominee, Small Damages is an evocative coming-of-age about a disgraced, pregnant teenager sent to a ranch near Seville. Its quiet, colorful atmosphere is hazy and lush despite the sparse prose, emphasizing the dizzying feeling of being uprooted to somewhere new.

You practically feel the summer’s wavy heat and the grit of dirt roads under your feet. The sensory immersion will appeal to those seeking a quick, poetic story or a one-way ticket to a Spanish village.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Love it or hate it, Crazy Rich Asians is considered the “ultimate plane movie” for several reasons; its high-dollar escapism, characters’ whimsical global jaunts, and visceral sense of place will have you itching to visit Singapore alongside protagonist Rachel Chu. The book focuses on the private-jet set in a truly over-the-top way that might have you jotting down some more bucket list of five-star hotels. Its romance and family drama are indulgent too.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

If you’re in a rom-com mood, pick up this frothy (yet layered) story from Emily Henry, focused on a travel writer anxious to make amends with her long-time companion. While People We Meet on Vacation centers around an accident-prone reconnection in Palm Springs, California, interspersed chapters vividly detail previous trips to Croatia, New Orleans, Vail, and other destinations.

On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moore

If you’re always the one finding the nearest hiking trail, join thru-hiker, Robert Moore. Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, On Trails takes a human geography focus to the footpaths and pathways of the globe, wandering through topics of history, digital connection, and more in a way that makes you even more appreciative of the “big picture” of global travel—whether you’re outdoorsy or not. Warning: may inspire a hiking boots purchase.

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Get philosophical with this iconic collection of essays from renowned thinker Alain de Botton, exploring the appeal of the exotic, the value of observation, and other facets that impact the way we travel—and why. (The answer may just be a seriously incredible spa in Belize, but sure, let’s get deeper.)

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

This sharp, emotional, magical realism pick combines gritty Hawaiian hardship and legend for a truly transportative and sprawling family saga unfolding across the Big Island, Oahu, Washington, and California. Sharks in the Time of Saviors will appeal to literary readers, with the story covering fourteen years and five points-of-view.

Other Articles You May Like:

About Hotels Above PAr

My Photo

Subscribe to our newsletter

Privacy Policy