Travel Book Gift Guide

01 Nov 2016 Jules Verne
Open book with out of focus lights in the background

Travel books to gift this Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your loved ones. Since starting the #JulesVerneReads series a couple of months ago, we’ve found many books which we think our friends and family would love to read –  and some that we just want to purchase for ourselves!

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

This is a different take on the travel book. Rather than focussing on the destination, de Botton looks at the process of travelling itself, bringing out aspects of the journey with a philosopher’s eye and an artist’s touch. Borrowing musings from great travellers before him – Ruskin, van Gogh, Baudelaire, Flaubert – this book is filled with a love for the aller-retour or roundtrip of travel. For those looking for something, anything to sustain them until their next adventure, this book might just be the perfect gift. It opens up a range of questions to consider about your own travel habits.

Point it: Traveller's Language Kit by Dieter Graf

This photo dictionary makes a great gift for the intrepid traveller as it uses the universality of the image to aid conversation.  On a VJV tour, travellers have the best local guides to facilitate dialogue, but Graf’s book can help solo travellers or those wishing to break away from the crowd. By pointing at images to communicate, you can share more intimate moments with people you meet. The over 1300 original photographs in this book cover just about every aspect of life, opening up myriad conversations.

Inside China by National Geographic

Coffee table books are a perennial favourite when it comes to Christmas gifts, but this National Geographic book is especially stunning. China is a breath-taking country to visit, and the National Geographic photographers have managed to capture the aesthetic beauty and rich character of this diverse country. It will appeal to your friends whether they’ve already been to China or want to go soon. Flipping through the pages will take them on an amazing journey second only to visiting the country.

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Of course we couldn’t create this list without including a book by our namesake. Jules Verne perfectly captures the spirit of travel. Although Phileas Fogg’s famous journey is sometimes seen as a children’s book, this satirical look at travel will please travel-lovers of any age. Packed with dry witticisms, shrewd observations and larger-than-life characters, this short book makes a wonderful gift.

New Life Stories by David Attenborough

Perhaps one of the most famous travellers of our time, David Attenborough is also one of the best communicators. This book, which serves as a follow up to his popular radio show, is filled with stories about extraordinary plants and animals as well as the fascinating natural history which has led to their lives. With his in-depth knowledge and child-like enthusiasm, Attenborough is an unparalleled guide on this journey across the world.

Forks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection by Allan Karl

Relying on the one mode of transport VJV doesn’t regularly employ, Allan Karl rides his motorbike on an incredible 5-year journey across 5 continents and 35 countries.  In documenting his travels in this book, Karl shares photographs, stories and recipes from all four corners of the globe in a completely unique way. This book is the perfect gift for travel-lovers with a hunger to recreate their favourite dishes from around the world.

An Innocent Abroad edited by Don George

Travel changes lives. This book pulls together narratives from the most famous travel writers of our time – Alexander McCall Smith, Cheryl Strayed, Pico Iyer and others –  telling stories of the travel experiences which had the largest impact on their lives. Travel to the Arctic Circle and Swaziland, to Guatemala and Morocco, to Vietnam and Cuba, all in the company of experts.  Your loved ones will discover what travel means to some of their favourite writers and will be inspired to plan a trip of their own

If you’re looking for more gift inspiration, consider giving the gift of travel with a Jules Verne gift voucher.