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World Travel Through Literature

Nowadays it seems like everyone is traveling. In an age of social media, our feeds are inundated with photos of seemingly carefree individuals exploring far-flung places around the globe. Of course, summer Euro trips, spring break in Mexico and backpacking adventures across Southeast Asia are nothing new. Individuals have been exploring the globe for decades, but never has travel been documented the way it is today — visually.

This quest for wanderlust is undeniable and generationally unique. Largely millennial driven, this cohort is investing in overseas experiences at rate unlike the generations before them — and hoping the bet pays off. But don’t just take our word for it. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an agency of the United Nations and WYSE Travel Confederation estimate the youth travel market accounts for nearly 25% of international travelers and generates more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue. Say what you want about this frequently disputed age group, but they’re re-shaping the way we travel, and more importantly, how we research our next destination.

For years, the way we chose a travel location was typically word of mouth, Frommers tourism picks, magazines or books. Yet, in the digital age, we’ve transitioned away from one of the best educational travel resources — books. Instead, we rely so heavily on hashtags, geotags and blogs to conduct our research, and in the process there’s a lot of missed details about a destination, it’s history and culture. Books offer a wealth of information that go beyond the top Instagrammable spots and “10 best” things to do. Sure, these are modern resources designed for the modern traveler, but to truly gain valuable insights into a location, it’s history, people and cultural differences, there’s no better place to start than by cracking open the pages of a book. From tomes written as historical fiction and graphic novels to memoirs and travelogues, there’s no shortage of genres that capture the essence of a country and its people.

Whether you’re an armchair traveler, expert road tripper or jetsetter, we’re taking travel education to the next level with this comprehensive database of books. Sorted in the form of an interactive map, these reads will help you better understand the diverse history and culture of different countries around the world. All you need to do is click on a country of interest and a list of the top recommended reads will populate. Each book list comes complete with a download feature, so you can save it for later or share digitally.