Travel Tips

Bookstore Owners Share Their 10 Top Travel Books

Locations in this article:  Los Angeles, CA Tokyo, Japan

Travelers are easy to shop for. Give them pens and parchment, paper maps, antique globes, or our favorite, a great travel book. The only thing better than unwrapping a gift for the holidays is using it to dream about the next trip. World travelers and co-owners of Traveler’s Bookcase Natalie Compagno and Greg Freitas found ten travel books that might make the traveler in your life a very happy person.

Alaska: A Visual Tour of America’s Great Land by Bob Devine $40


America’s biggest, tallest, and most spectacular state gets the National Geographic photographic treatment, in all its visual splendor.

Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein $40


Travel-inspired cookbooks are one of the most popular segments of the gift book market. Goldstein explores the deep culinary histories of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, where centuries of extremes—light, dark & cold—have produced some of the most distinctive cuisine in the world.

Destinations of a Lifetime by National Geographic $40


National Geographic again, doing what it does best, with world class photographers shooting the world’s most beautiful locales. This coffee table-worthy volume also provides plenty of practical information to make sure everyone from food lovers to outdoor adventurers can find a trip to swoon over—or add to their bucket list.

Luxury Collection: Certified Indigenous by Assouline $50


The third in Assouline’s excellent Luxury Collection series, this tome tasks concierges from dozens of deluxe hotels to provide only the most insider-y of travel tips. Each curated experience is indigenous to the hotel’s region, providing a one-of-a-kind compendium of exclusive but practical travel know-how.

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson $29.95


James Beard Award-winner Swanson creates 120 vegetarian tasty dishes from every corner of the globe. From Moroccan flatbreads to Tokyo tempura, the easy to follow recipes and wonderful photography allow readers to cook their way around the world.

100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go by Marcia Desanctis $19.95


The follow up to Susan Van Allen’s highly successful 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, this latest from Traveler’s Tales takes a look at France from a feminine point of view. Told in 100 short, well-written essays, the book has unique insights into the world’s most romantic country for first-timers and veteran Francophiles alike.

Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries by Hayato Hishinuma $104.95


Japan lovers will swoon over this compendium of 60 different sake breweries, from Okinawa to Hokkaido. The closely guarded artisanal craft has never received book treatment quite like this—the pictures alone will put readers on the next plane to Narita.

Sea & Smoke: Flavors from the Untamed Pacific Northwest by Blaine Wetzel $40


Trek vicariously to The Willows Inn on Lummi Island in the Pacific way way Northwest: one of the world’s greatest destination restaurants. More than a cookbook, it is a triumphant tale of one chef’s vision of localism brought to a tiny remote outpost.

The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George by Don George $16.95


Veteran travel scribe Don George regales readers with his 40 years of adventures. This is armchair travel at its finest, with the added perspective of decades of experience—something missing from most travel writing today.

World’s Most Magical Wilderness Escapes by Michael Poliza $75


Legendary photographer Michael Poliza photographs wild animals like no other, and his books on Africa and Antarctica have been gift book staples for years. Poliza himself has been guiding private tours of his favorite locales for the past five years. Now for the first time, readers everywhere can follow along on these personal travels in glorious full color from top publisher Te Neues.

For more travel book suggestions, check out:

By Natalie Compagno and Greg Freitas for Compagno and Freitas are the Co-Owners of Traveler’s Bookcase in Los Angeles. All of these books are available at local bookstores or at