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Travel Tips

Books That Help You Be A Better Traveler

Art of someone hiking over a book

These books help you get the most from your summer adventures.

Summer is a great time for reading, but why not exchange your airport novel for something that teaches you how to travel? Whether you’re poolside planning your visit to Japan, packing for a hike into the wilderness, or dreaming of your next road trip, these titles have you covered.


How I Make Photographs by David Yarrow book cover


How I Make Photographs, by the famed conservationist and photographer David Yarrow, features 20 lessons on capturing wildlife on film. Learn about composition, perspective, using remotes, and pushing boundaries (safely). Yarrow shares examples of his own work to illustrate his lessons, including a leaping lion and the face of an inquisitive polar bear that appears so dangerously close that the viewer doesn’t know whether to cringe or reach out to touch the subject. (Laurence King)


Ultimate Road Trips book cover


Ultimate Road Trips: USA & Canada by Andrew Collins provides all the info you need to plan and enjoy an epic cross-country road trip. It’s filled with detailed itineraries including California’s Highway 1 and dozens of others from coastal New England and the Rockies to Hawaii and Alaska. Ultimate Road Trips is a roadmap on what to do outside your car as well, with advice on when to visit, where to stay and eat, and what to do like nature hikes and museum visits. Collins visited every U.S. state and Canadian province to pen the perfect guide for your next trip, whether you’re traveling with family or going it alone. (Hardie Grant)


Mindfulness Japan book cover


Mindfulness Travel Japan: Nature, Food, Forest Bathing, Tea Ceremonies, Onsen, Craft & Meditation by Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh is for those looking to transform their visit to the island nation into a mindful experience, centering nature and culture. Learn the art of the Japanese tea ceremony, meditate in a Zen garden, soak in a medicinal hot spring (onsen), or try your hand at calligraphy. Turn your itinerary into a wellness experience that relaxes the body and soul while enriching the mind. (Hardie Grant)


Around World in 80 Birds book cover


Around the World in 80 Birds by Mike Unwin and illustrated by Ryuto Miyake is a gorgeous and informative book featuring 80 birds from across the globe. Each is lovingly illustrated and full of incredible details, whether revealing the “apartment blocks” of multiple nests constructed in the deserts of Namibia by the Sociable Weaver, or the Bar-headed Goose of China which crosses the Himalayans on its twice-yearly migration. 80 Birds shares human cultural connections with birds as well, sharing their important connections to folklore and myths. (Laurence King)

This piece initally ran in Out Traveler print Summer 2022 edition now available on newsstands.

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Donald Padgett

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.