Many insightful things have been written about the horrific impact of COVID-19 on travel, and many predictions have been made around when travel will return. Here at A5 Travel Books, it is now time to look forward. It will be possible to travel again, and our prediction is that 2021 will bring a renewed appreciation for the tremendous impact travel can have on our lives. As such, now is the perfect time to inspire others with the gift of travel books. Here are our recommendations for some inspiring and affordable holiday presents this year.
Our top holiday gift travel book recommendation is Humans, the new book by Brandon Stanton. Most people know Stanton from his enormously popular blog Humans of New York, a series of short interviews with real-life people all over New York City. Stanton has a gift for empathetically capturing the true worries, hopes and dreams of regular people. With Humans, Stanton took his approach overseas, traveling to over 40 countries across the world and providing an intimate view into humanity that wonderfully illustrates how we all are so very alike. It is an uplifting book at a time when the world needs uplifting, and an excellent present.
Travel writing collections are always a good option for those who love travel. Our two recommendations this year are The Best American Travel Writing (2020 edition) and the Best Women’s Travel Writing (vol 12), both which were just recently released in November. Each series has consistently delivered a new handpicked selection of the best short travel stories from the previous year. We also recommend buying past editions; the writing doesn’t go out of date and it can be interesting to see how life has changed over the years.
2021 will be a year to celebrate travel, and there may be no bigger travel enthusiast than Don George. Don is well known in the travel writing community for his literary skills and for his experience as a travel editor at Lonely Planet Publications and National Geographic Traveler. We highly recommend The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George.
Coffee table books are almost always a good present. Our first recommendation is Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel List 2: The Best Places on the Planet. The famous travel guide company’s second edition was published in October 2020, providing this year’s ranking of the 500 greatest travel destinations on earth. For those who might want something more obscure, we recommend Atlas Obscura, the bestselling collection of curious and unique destinations, including both architectural wonders and bizarre events. Be sure to get the second edition, published in late 2019.
In 2020, travel writing lost one of the genre’s more interesting figures, the renowned Jan Morris who died at the age of 94. Travel writing devotees might enjoy The World: Travels 1950-2000, a compilation of her best selections from her many books and from her many years as a global correspondent. Highlights include historic eyewitness accounts of Edmund Hilary’s successful ascent of Mt. Everest, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to return control to China.
And finally, why not go with an old-fashioned travel magazine subscription as the perfect present for a traveler? National Geographic remains our favorite, with a year’s subscription available for just $39. National Geographic is of course the iconic magazine from the National Geographic Society covering culture, science, geography and nature, famous both for stunning photography and high-quality writing.
We here at A5 Travel Books sincerely wish you and yours health and happiness over the holiday season and of course for a return to travel in 2021.
All the best -
the A5 TRAVEL BOOKS blog
Alan Josephs is the founder of A5 Travel Books and a huge fan of all things travel. We occasionally will invite other travel writers to guest post.