There’s just something about well-made travel books I can’t resist, especially beautiful hardcovers with stunning photography.
Earlier this year I shared my collection of the best travel books of 2023, but now I’m looking even closer at the year’s new releases to curate my recommendations of the best book gifts for travel lovers in 2023.
All of these books are incredibly special, offering gorgeous snapshots of the world’s most inspiring places and travel experiences. Some of these travel book gifts are adventurous, while others are more easygoing. And most of them are high-quality hardcovers for perfect coffee table browsing, thoughtful gifting, and sharing (or, in the case of your favourites, keeping to yourself).
I hope you enjoy these recommendations – and that they can help you out with a few Christmas gift ideas for travel lovers on your list.
(P.S. For more book gift ideas for Christmas, you might also like the recommendations I share on my books website, Tolstoy Therapy.)
Gift guide: The best books for travel lovers 2023
Kinfolk Wilderness by John Burns
Kinfolk Wilderness is one of the most beautiful hardcover travel books for… adventure travelers who love wild nature and remote places.
Known for their exceptionally high-quality books and magazines, Kinfolk’s new adventure book for 2023 is one of the best book gifts for travel lovers who adore both wild travel and awe-inspiring hardcovers.
Kinfolk Wilderness is one of the best travel books I’ve found to adorn coffee tables and encourage browsing, complete with wanderlust-inspiring photos and maps. Once you see it for yourself, you’ll probably want your own copy too. Here’s my video look inside the book.
Leaving the Comfort Zone: The Adventure of a Lifetime by Olivier Van Herck and Zoë Agasi
Leaving the Comfort Zone is one of the most special book gifts for… adventurers drawn to the road less traveled.
Detailing a 40,000-kilometre journey spanning four years and accompanied by incredible photographs, Leaving the Comfort Zone is a story of a shared dream and a desire to break free from expectations.
It’s also one of the very best travel books of 2023 (which I’m confident you’d agree with after picking up a copy of the utterly beautiful hardcover.) With awe-inspiring stories, photographs, and production that nails the perfect formula for a travel coffee table book, this story of a couple’s adventure of a lifetime is a book to treasure.
Slow Escapes: Rural Retreats for Conscious Travelers by gestalten and Clara le Fort
Slow Escapes is one of the best gifts for travel lovers who… adore rural retreats, remote places, and conscious travel.
Published in late 2022 and edited by sustainable tourism expert Clara le Fort, this delight of a travel book leads the reader on an enchanting worldwide tour of places that embrace slow travel and hospitality, from converted monasteries to transformed windmills.
Browsing these inspiring pages offers a unique view of how travel can breathe new life into a region, penned for anyone who wishes to be more than just a tourist or consumer of place.
National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States
The National Geographic Complete National Parks of the United States is a perfect book gift for hikers and travelers who… have always dreamed of visiting all of the US National Parks.
Now in its third volume, National Geographic’s Complete National Parks of the United States isn’t just practical, it’s delightfully adventure-inspiring.
Covering 400+ parks, monuments, trails, and more, this 544-page reference guide is the ultimate travel planner for all things national parks, complete with full-color photos and detailed maps. For each park, you’ll also find practical info such as the best times to visit and the best activities on offer.
Wanderlust British & Irish Isles: Hiking the Trails of Great Britain and Ireland by gestalten and Alex Roddie
Wanderlust British & Irish Isles is a beautiful travel coffee table book gift for… adventure travel lovers who can’t resist planning their next hiking trip (or three).
In our household, Wanderlust Europe is one of our favourite books, usually found sitting in the living room for anyone on the sofa to flick through, but also regularly picked up for travel inspiration.
As one of the new additions to the series by gestalten in 2023, Wanderlust British & Irish Isles includes the publisher’s trademark stunning photographs, maps, and high-quality production. For anyone who loves hiking, this is the perfect book to inspire trips to the best trails the UK and Ireland have to offer.
Cabin: How to Build a Retreat in the Wilderness and Learn to Live with Nature by Will Jones
Cabin is one of the best book gifts for nature lovers who… have always dreamed of building a cabin in the woods.
Published by Abrams, this wonderful book by Will Jones for 2023 is for anyone who’s read Walden and wanted to move to the woods. Cabin isn’t necessarily a travel book per se, but there’s definitely an overlap between those who yearn for adventures and readers who’d love this book.
With beautiful drawings to inspire wilderness dreaming, it’s one of my best gift ideas for travelers who love getting off the grid and into the wild.
Abroad in Japan by Chris Broad
Abroad in Japan is one of the best book gifts for travelers who… would love to spend more time in Japan.
At precisely the time the pandemic hit, I was meant to be moving to Japan to be with Iain while he did his post-doc in Nagoya. Needless to say, that did not end up happening. (And the borders didn’t reopen to tourists until nearly two years after Iain had left the country.)
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t love having an excuse to read about Japan, such as Chris Broad’s Abroad in Japan. As one of the best new travel memoirs of 2023, this is a fantastically vibrant story of the Englishman’s time in Japan, right from the moment he landed in a rural village in the north without any knowledge of the language and zero teaching experience.
Joie: A Parisian’s Guide to Celebrating the Good Life by Ajiri Aki
Joie is one of the best book gifts for… readers who love inspiring coffee table books, the good life, and most of all, Paris.
One of the most gorgeous new coffee table books for 2023, Joie is a charming book gift for travelers who long for slow, sun-kissed days sampling wine and living the good life. As you browse through these rejuvenating pages, you’ll uncover the Parisian secrets to celebrating life (including how to find a good baguette) based on author Ajiri Aki’s time spent living in the city.
Lonely Planet Epic Snow Adventures of the World by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Epic Snow Adventures of the World is one of the best new travel books for… anyone who dreams of winter getaways and fresh powder.
Just added to Lonely Planet’s collection of wanderlust-inspiring hardcovers encouraging epic adventures (I’ve previously enjoyed the titles covering hiking and bike trips), Epic Snow Adventures of the World is an excellent new guide to the world’s most thrilling winter adventures.
From Swedish ice hotels to volcano ski descents in Hokkaido and swims in Arctic Finland, this book is packed with once-in-a-lifetime experiences below zero for every level of challenge and endurance.
Mother, Nature by Jedidiah Jenkins
Mother, Nature is one of the best new travel books for… readers who love inspiring travel memoirs written by kindred adventurous spirits.
This just-released book by bestselling travel writer Jedidiah Jenkins, author of To Shake the Sleeping Self, is one of my top recommended book gifts for travel lovers who enjoy adventure memoirs.
In Mother, Nature, Jedidiah shares the story of how he and his mother, Barbara, had found themselves divided by her version of a faith that views his sexuality as a sin. However, when she turned seventy, they decided to focus on their common ground.
This was time for the trip they’d always talked about: retracing the thousands of miles Barbara trekked with Jedidiah’s father in the 70s. That first trip was the basis for the bestselling “Walk Across America” trilogy, and the story that documents this return to the trail is also excellent.
For more of the best travel books, you might also like reading…
- 16 best travel books to inspire wanderlust and adventure in 2023
- 10 of the best novels set in nature to escape into the wild
- 14 books like Walden to imagine life in the woods