The best travel books of 2022 (so far)

From summer on a Greek island to pony trekking in the Outer Hebrides, there's plenty of travel inspiration to be soaked up from the pages of these latest releases...

5 mins

Tourists: How the British Went Abroad to Find Themselves

By Lucy Lethbridge

A fascinating study of the emergence of the UK’s travel industry, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars through to the package holiday boom and on to the Instagram era, taking in tour guides and guide books along the way. Lethbridge casts a canny, sharp eye on the British traveller’s often-misguided perceptions of both themselves and their hosts.

Check prices on Amazon

My Family and Other Enemies

By Mary Novakovich

Part-travelogue, part-memoir, Mary Novakovich focuses on the relatively little-known Lika region in central Croatia as the battleground for exploring her own complicated relationship with the country and her family’s roots. As she visits and revisits her relatives over the years, she crafts a moving, living portrait of the landscape, the people who inhabit it and the culture and history surrounding them.

Check prices on Amazon

High

By Erika Fatland

Having established herself as one of travel writing’s rising stars with Sovietstan and Border, Erika Fatland ascends to new heights with her fascinating journey among the isolated villages spanning the fractious borders that divide up the Himalaya region. Expect a collision of religion, history, tradition and politics at the roof of the world.

Check prices on Amazon

The Draw of the Sea

By Wyl Menmuir

What is it about the water that calls us back to it? Using Cornwall and its communities as his muse, author Wyl Menmuir poetically explores our fascination with and dependence on the sea. He talks to fishermen, beachcombers, surfers and other locals about living their lives by the tides, and explores his own personal emotional connection to the water.

Check prices on Amazon

Island to Island: From Somerset to Seychelles

By Sally Mills

Isolated, with neither electricity nor running water yet teeming with rare species, Aride Island in the Seychelles is the stuff of Robinson Crusoe-esque dreams. It was certainly enticing enough to lure conservationist Sally Mills and her husband to take a job there. This account of their 20-month experience managing the Aride Island Nature Reserve is a blend of wondrous wildlife and hard decisions, as they try to bridge the vast culture gap with the local rangers.

Check prices on Amazon

Taverna by the Sea: One Greek Island Summer

By Jennifer Barclay

More than one traveller has dreamt of spending the summer working at a bar overlooking the Aegean. For her latest intimate insight into Greek island life and culture, Jennifer Barclay does just that, finding herself serving customers and fending off vicious competition at the titular taverna in the old village of Olympos on the Dodecanese island of Karpathos.

Check prices on Amazon

The Raven’s Nest

By Sarah Thomas

The otherworldly scenery of Iceland seems to capture most visitors’ imaginations, but Sarah Thomas fell hard for its rugged charms – and a local, too – and quickly decamped to the island. While her marriage plays out in the background, the book details Thomas’ growing connection to and understanding of that extraordinary landscape and the people and wildlife that call it home.

Check prices on Amazon

Zero Altitude: How I Learned to Fly Less and Travel More

By Helen Coffey

It’s no secret that travel has a flying issue, but can we really avoid it and the environmental harm it does? Yes, reckons Helen Coffey, whose book explores flight-free science and thinking with her on-the-road attempts to put it into practice. The opportunities that open up for adventure are encouraging.

Check prices on Amazon

Along the Amber Route

By CJ Schüler

Now out in paperback, CJ Schüler’s acclaimed – and timely – account of following the millennia-old trade route of those supplying amber to high-end customers takes him from St Petersburg down to Venice, tracing a history of Central European progress and suffering along the way.

Check prices on Amazon

Wild Places

By Sarah Baxter

The draw of the wild – the remote, the untamed, the inhospitable, the bizarre – has long spurred travellers forward. Here long-standing Wanderlust contributor Sarah Baxter collects 25 raw areas to visit, from UK spots like Ennerdale, St Kilda and Strumble Head to Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and New Zealand’s Te Wāhipounamu, all colourfully illustrated by Amy Grimes.

Check prices on Amazon

Marram

By Leonie Charlton

A paperback release for those who missed Leonie Charlton’s beautifully written memoir about pony trekking in the Outer Hebrides first time around. The journey serves as a cathartic expedition for the grieving writer – but also a great sketch of one of the UK’s wildernesses.

Check prices on Amazon

Shape of a Boy

By Kate Wickers

Becoming a parent has put paid to many a traveller’s ambitions. Not Kate Wickers, who relays her family’s misadventures in the likes of Japan, Cuba and Borneo and what she found out on her journeys – usually learned the hard way, and often the funniest way too.

Check prices on Amazon

A Trip of One’s Own

By Kate Wills

After her marriage falls apart within a year, journalist Kate Wills takes inspiration from a litany of female travellers and writers throughout history – from Emily Hahn to Gertrude Bell, to Virginia Woolf – to experience the world on her own terms. This memoir recounts her solo journeys and collects plenty of tips for travellers. Now out in paperback.

Check prices on Amazon

From the Cliffs of Cornwall to Kilimanjaro

By Eric Marks

Eric Marks, a sprightly 75-year-old, has an ambition to join his nephew and climb Africa’s highest peak. But before he can get to Tanzania, Marks needs to get into trekking shape. This is how he finds himself tackling large northern sections of the South East Coast Path – from Minehead to St Just – where he picks up a taste for walking and meets plenty of characters along the way.

Check prices on Amazon

Lost Lanes Central

By Jack Thurston

With many post-pandemic cyclists continuing to enjoy the delights of home, you can avoid the crush of the pack with this guide to 36 routes of varying ability in the under-appreciated Midlands and beyond, taking in the likes of Lincolnshire, Shropshire, the Peaks and the Lakes.

Check prices on Amazon

The Slow Road to Tehran

By Rebecca Lowe

Figuring that the best way to discover the truth about a place is to experience it yourself, Rebecca Lowe grabbed her bicycle to wind 11,000km through the Middle East. Taking her from Europe to Iran via Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and the Gulf, the novice cyclist’s oft-punctured journey allows her to see the human faces behind the headlines. Illuminating, gripping and often funny.

Check prices on Amazon

The Green Traveller

By Richard Hammond

It’s something of an understatement to say that green considerations are a major concern for travellers and tour operators alike these days. It’s certainly a reality that the founder of greentraveller.co.uk, Richard Hammond (not the guy from Top Gear), takes very seriously. Here he provides handy tips on helping you plan an eco-conscious trip, including ways to see through “greenwashing” and how to be a more thoughtful visitor, as well as lists for destination inspiration.

Check prices on Amazon

The Saviour Fish: Life and Death on Africa’s Greatest Lake

By Mark Weston

Once one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, Lake Victoria and the communities that rely on it are grappling with the devastating results of climate change. Mark Weston goes to live on an island on the Tanzanian side of the lake, and paints a vivid picture of a way of life under man-made threat.

Check prices on Amazon

Wanderlust Himalaya

Edited by Cam Honan

Get a widescreen dose of trekking inspiration with this glossy guide that’s part coffee-table read, part practical advice. Taking you through Nepal, Bhutan, India, Tibet and Pakistan via maps, alternative itineraries and tips from those who have done it, this book will still look sharp on your shelf while you’re out wandering the roof of the world. 

Check prices on Amazon

Walking with Nomads

By Alice Morrison

Adventurer Alice Morrison’s passion for her adopted homeland of Morocco takes her on three expeditions across it, centred on the Draa River, the Sahara and the Atlas mountains. But she doesn’t just shine a fascinating, intimate light on the life and culture outside of the cities – as well as on the sex lives of camels – but also the threat that climate change poses to this already challenging landscape. 

Check prices on Amazon

Riding Out

By Simon Parker

People travel for all sorts of reasons. In Simon Parker’s case, it’s to heal. With a close friend dying and COVID-19 looming large – sparking a suppressed anxiety disorder – he sets off on a 5,500km journey around Britain on a bicycle. Along the way he discovers a new sense of hope and optimism, not just in himself but in a country blearily emerging from lockdown. 

Check prices on Amazon

Galapagos Crusoes: A Year Alone with the Birds

By Bryan & June Nelson

Imagine spending a whole year on the Galápagos Islands. The late zoologist Bryan Nelson’s 1968 ornithological classic gets updated with the input of his wife, June. Having undertaken the isolated, wild study with him, she further fleshes out the experience of living alone (and often roughly) in this wildlife paradise.

Check prices on Amazon

The Architectural Guides

The Architectural Guides

The Architectural Guides

A good way to truly understand a country is through its architecture, revealing the true history of culture, politics and economics than underpin it. DOM publishers’ The Architectural Guides don’t just provide an excellently curated list of the most intriguing buildings in a destination for visitors to seek out, but also the context behind their construction and ideas they represent. Successfully combining DOM publishers’ joint passion for architecture and high-quality books, the 150-strong series is not only one of the best on-to-go travel guides to appreciate some more off-the-beaten track destinations – including Bishkek, Iran, Kabul, Kazakhstan, Minsk, Sofia, Tunis and the UAE – but beautifully constructed enough to simply inspire armchair travellers at home. You can find the full catalogue at dom-publishers.com.

The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century Edited by Jessica Vincent

The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century Edited by Jessica Vincent

The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century

Edited by Jessica Vincent

The best travel writing inspires and educates at the same time. Collecting together 30 of the best travel stories of the last two decades, this book doesn’t just send us around the world, but brings it a little closer to us too. And obviously Wanderlust is featured in it!

Check prices on Amazon

Crossed off the Map By Shafik Meghji

Crossed off the Map By Shafik Meghji

Crossed off the Map

By Shafik Meghji

Wanderlust contributor and South America expert Shafik’s new title uses a mix of travel writing, history and reportage to tell the story of Bolivia – how its impressive influence helped shape the world, and how its people are responding to the modern world. 

Check prices on Amazon

Great Escapes: Alps

Great Escapes: Alps

Great Escapes: Alps

Europe’s big mountains are gaining travellers’ attention, especially out of ski season. This coffee table book reveals the most picturesque places to stay – historic inns, monasteries, mountain huts, palazzi, even a youth hostel – balancing the accommodation imagery with the widescreen scenery.

Check prices on Amazon

How to Become a Professional Travel Writer By Mark Eveleigh & Narina Exelby

How to Become a Professional Travel Writer By Mark Eveleigh & Narina Exelby

How to Become a Professional Travel Writer

By Mark Eveleigh & Narina Exelby

Fancy becoming the next Paul Theroux? This handy title breaks down the practical realities of becoming a proper ‘getting paid’ travel journalist – how to pitch, how to get on press trips, how to balance the books and, of course, tips on actually writing the pieces. 

Check prices on Amazon

Black Lion By Sicelo Mbatha

Black Lion By Sicelo Mbatha

Black Lion

By Sicelo Mbatha

The moving, inspirational tale of how Sicelo Mbatha was irresistibly drawn to becoming a guide in South Africa’s Imfolozi Nature Reserve, shaking off a childhood trauma and instead forging an astonishing spiritual connection to the wilderness.

Check prices on Amazon

Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain By Matthew Green

Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain By Matthew Green

Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain

By Matthew Green

Historian Green goes on a moving journey across Britain to find the ghosts of places that found themselves lost – whether through disaster or mis-deed – telling the disappeared occupants’ long unheard stories.

Check prices on Amazon

Epic Train Journeys By Monisha Rajesh

Epic Train Journeys By Monisha Rajesh

Epic Train Journeys

By Monisha Rajesh

Mixing the spectacular with a good selection of the niche and little-known, the 40 journeys is this well-presented photobook take you from the Andean Explorer in Peru through to The Ghan in Australia.  

Check prices on Amazon

Life Lessons From the Amazon by Pip Stewart

Life Lessons From the Amazon by Pip Stewart

Life Lessons From the Amazon

By Pip Stewart

Following her gruelling world’s-first 1,014km journey following Guyana’s Essequibo River from source to sea, Pip Stewart bring home with her a lot of life lessons and a flesh-eating disease. In this absorbing read, she shares the story of her encounters with caiman, jaguars and the indigenous Waî Waî community – and the life-changing perspectives that the experience gave her.

Check prices on Amazon

Related Articles