Travel tips | Books that inspired us to travel

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 06 Apr 20

Whether it's before, during or after we return home from a trip, there's nothing quite like that feeling of being immersed in an incredible book. We asked the Bunnik Tours team which books inspired them to travel, and have compiled a list of their favourites.

Ateneo Bookstore, Buenos Aires by David Hein

Ateneo Bookstore, Buenos Aires by David Hein



Get inspired to travel by reading these unmissable books!

If you're looking at travelling to Africa, Asia or just about anywhere in between, we've got you covered. The below books are a great place to start to find inspiration, check them out!



Born Free by Joy Adamson

Undoubtably Born Free has to make a list for those inspired to travel to Africa! We love the amazing animal encounters and interaction with the locals that are described in this wonderful novel.

Born Free

Born Free2

Born Free3

The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham

This book attempts to tell the full story of the race between Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal etc. to colonise Africa. It is simply astounding to think that Africa went from being largely untouched by imperial Europe to nearly colonised within 30 years.

Show me the Magic: Travels round Benin by Taxi by Annie Caulfield

A great overview of life in Benin and its voodoo culture. This incredible novel provides a really interesting insight into life in Benin and parts of West Africa.



South by Sir Ernest Shackleton

This one is the incredible story of Shackleton’s last journey to Antarctica on the Endurance and his epic mission to save his team. But don't stress, your journey to Antarctica won't be anything like this one!




Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This book appeared on the list more than once. The detailed descriptions of life in Japan during the time of the geisha inspired a number of those in our team to visit the country and Kyoto’s Gion district in particular.


Lost Japan by Alex Kerr

Written by American Japanologist, Alex Kerr, this book delves into Japanese culture providing a fascinating insight into Japanese landscape, history and the nation's future.


Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Just the places visited (Bali, India, etc.) really attracted one of our team members to travel to India for the culture shock of travelling to an exotic location -- and spoiler alert... they loved it!

Koto by Tracy Lister

A beautiful Vietnamese cookbook that is a great introduction to the preparation of Vietnamese street food. But be warned, it may cause serious cravings!



Almost French by Sarah Turnbull and A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

There are so many books about France, but these are favourites of one of our Travel Specialists as they provide really interesting views from people who live there. They describe the frustrations of living in a foreign country, but also the highs of learning and discovering the culture. Both books are beautifully written with a touch of humour about the food, people and places.



Egypt & the Middle East

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Who doesn’t love the little Belgian Hercule Poirot? This has to be one of our favourite Poirot stories and has put a Nile cruise firmly on many bucket lists.

On our In-Style small group tours to Egypt & the Middle East, our travellers stay at the very hotel where Agatha Christie stayed and wrote this famous mystery novel! 


South & Central America

The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz del Castillo

Bernal Diaz del Castillo was a soldier with Hernan Cortez when he first arrived in Mexico. This is a fascinating adventure story about the incredible conquest of Mexico that peaked one of our team member's interest in the history of Mexico and its conquest.


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This book took our reader a while to get through, and it was one of those books that they'd set to the side and revisited when ready. That said it was still completely beautiful and magical -- a delightful combination of fantasy and history set in the jungle of Central America.


Only Two Seats Left by John Anderson

This guy has travelled the world and started a hugely successful business off the back of it. John Anderson founded Contiki in the early 1960s, and how he turned a small bus trip amongst mates in to this globally recognised brand is a story of true entrepreneurship.

Lonely Planet Guidebooks

Lonely Planet Guidebooks are fantastic for fast facts and destination must-dos! 

Lonely Planet: See it for Yourself

This was received by one of our team for a 21st birthday present and inspired them to try to visit all of the incredible places where the images were taken.

Novels by Daniel Silva

Good spy thrillers and they’re always set in amazing locations!


Need more inspiration to get you started on your reading adventures again?

We recommend Nick Hornby’s 2004 The Polysyllabic Spree. It collates a year of monthly columns that Hornby wrote on what he bought and read each month. Not only does it give you a great range of literary classics and modern tales to choose from it is also funny and easy to dip in to.


The biggest take-home...

Don’t struggle through a book you aren’t enjoying. You wouldn’t continue to eat a meal you didn’t like so why feel you need to persist with a book that isn’t to your taste? Also, books are not only great for inspiration but they are a great way to exercise your grey matter!


What are some of your favourites? We’d love to know!

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