Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

| June 13, 2010 | 15 Comments
travelbooks Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

Six books to help you plan (and inspire) your round-the-world adventure

A visit to you local neighbourhood bookstore will reveal a massive array of travel-related books. Here is a small and very carefully chosen selection of what Kathryn and I consider to be the “best of the best” when it comes to helping you plan your round-the-world trip.

Below you’ll find a few superb books certain to enhance your round-the-world travel skills. Some provide detailed information on specialized topics; others are more inspirational in nature. Each one, however, has proven itself to us as a significant cut above the usual crap. And buying them through our affiliate links helps to support our blog!

1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

vagabonding1 Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. He provides the necessary information on: financing your travel time, determining your destination, adjusting to life on the road, working and volunteering overseas, handling travel adversity and re-assimilating back into ordinary life. Not just a plan of action, Vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit. Click here to purchase Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel from Amazon.

2. The Rough Guide First-Time Around The World, 3rd Edition

roughuides Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

Planning a trip around the world? Let First-Time Around the World get you started. Loaded with the very latest travel information, including all you need to know about round-the-world tickets to teaching and working overseas, this pre-departure guide will help get you make the most out of your ultimate journey. The guide begins with a full-colour ‘Things Not to Miss’ photo section with suggested itineraries, route maps, details on what to bring, when to go, how much it will cost and which vaccinations will keep you healthy. The individual country profiles highlight the best places to visit with country-specific websites and necessary budget information for your first-time world trip. There are plenty of useful tips to help save you money, keep you safe and maximize your time on the road. The guide comes complete with concise regional information, with overland maps and details on weather, major attractions and unmissable festivals. Click here to purchase The Rough Guide First-Time Around The World from Amazon.

3. Where To Go When

wheretogowhen Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure 

Packed with detailed weather info, events, festivals and practical advice, Where to Go When has everything you need to plan the perfect trip at the perfect time to go. Thirty destinations are presented for each month, with 11 covered in depth. Tuscany, Italy, is recommended for October, when the grape and olive harvests take place, and when porcini mushrooms, prized truffles and other specialties appear on regional menus. The listing includes a six-day itinerary on the “Chianti Trail,” from Florence to Siena. With travel inspiration at your fingertips, planning your round-the-world trip has never been easier. Click here to purchase Where To Go When from Amazon.

4. The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World

 travelbook Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

The world is a breathtakingly big place, and in this big book Lonely Plaet has undertaken the big task of detailing as much of it as they can—every single country, many of the larger dependencies and other, smaller destinations. With the traveler’s experience at its heart, this book shows a slice of life in every corner of the globe, and all points in between, engaging the reader’s senses in an adventure which conjures up the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feel of our amazing world. Click here to purchase  The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World from Amazon.

5. 300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World

 300unmissable Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

Unmissable: 300 Events & Festivals Around the World is a four-colour inspirational guide book to events and festivals, celebrations and natural phenomena in the world’s top cities, secret retreats and far-flung places. It also offers practical information and insider tips, from how to get there, to where and when to buy tickets before they sell out, the best vantage point for a street festival or cycle race. First-person recommendations and lively descriptions bring the sound, smell, feel and taste of each experience to life. Click here to purhase 300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World from Amazon.

6. The Packing Book: Secrets of the Carry-on Traveler

packingbook Six Books To Help Plan Your RTW Adventure

From choosing the right kind of luggage and the appropriate travel gear (money belts, ear plugs, etc.) to customizing your wardrobe according to the length and type of your intended travel, Gilford covers all the bases. She provides plenty of checklists so you won’t forget the essentials, gives detailed instructions (complete with illustrations) on just how to pack items such as skirts, jackets, and slacks to minimize wrinkling and maximize space, and offers suggestions on packing for children and teens. Medical needs, entertainment needs–even security tips–are included in this invaluable guide to getting the most out of the least amount of luggage. The Packing Book takes the anxiety out of preparing for a trip, and even the most seasoned travelers may be surprised at how much they never knew about packing light. Click here to purhase The Packing Book: Secrets of the Carry-on Traveler from Amazon.


Travel blogs are amazing but the printing press isn’t dead—yet. Travel writing of all kinds is more popular than ever, and there are books on every aspect of travel and every kind of traveller. Remember, too—the books make great gifts for the person who loves travel or is planning a trip round the world. Here are a few recommended books to inspire and to help you plan.

Know a publication that should be included here? Let us know. Feel free to recommend titles in the comment stream, as well!

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About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. His latest book, The Physics of Flocking, gathers his favourite writing featured over the past two years on Two Go Round-The-World in columns like 'Looking Back' and 'The Whole Picture'—along with new reflections.

Comments (15)

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  1. Adam says:

    Excellent choice for #1!

  2. I’m a big fan of The World Awaits: How to Travel Far and Well by Paul Otteson. His book clearly describes multiple methods of travel—and why you might decide to choose the method which he calls “threading.” A method of travelling that many backpackers who have taken multi-week trips or longer might already be familiar wit—but he clearly outlines it and compares it with other methods. Check it out here.

  3. Organic says:

    Good list. When people say to me that you should just go travelling without a travel guide I give them a look that basically says “are you crazy?!”. I’m sorry but they are essential!

  4. Great picks guys, it’s nice to see a travel books shortlist that goes beyond your typical “place-inspired” novel. These seem really handy.

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks, Nico. They’ve served as great reference and inspiration when considering what to do when the big trip finally comes — we don’t want to overplan and these books provide just enough information so that we’re educated on the regions without crossing the line into overprepared!

  5. I own most of these titles. Im impressed that you’ve read and reviewed them all. I am still reading Vagabonding.

    I also recommend it though, a travel-inspirational book.

  6. Laura says:

    I would add “1000 Place To See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz

  7. Great list! Thank you for compiling it! Planning my own RTW starting in April.

  8. I’m a huge fan of your number 1 choice, Vagabonding and think everyone should read it.

    Even though we have been on an open ended, non-stop world trip since 2006, I’m afraid I haven’t read the rest although we are also huge fans of packing light so Carry-on Traveler sounds right on.

    I think 4-Hour Workweek is also a must read for those interested in a freer life and extended travel ( and not just because we were case studies in it). I think it is a classic to be reread often.

    I’ll have to add the others to my never ending list. ;)

  9. Linda says:

    What about The World’s Cheapest Destinations? That’s essential reading if you’re not made of money. It was a huge help in planning an itinerary I could afford.

    • Daniel says:

      Hey Linda — true! We hadn’t had a chance to read Tim Leffel’s ‘World’s Cheapest Destinations’ before this post went up. Luckily, however, we’ve since rectified this — with a review of Leffel’s book last August. Check out our post entitled Cheap Trick: A review of Tim Leffel’s ‘World’s Cheapest Destinations’ by clicking here. In short, we found that Leffel’s book will prove to be a good tool and a good jumping-off point that will quickly provide an indication of where one might find great value in some of the most exotic regions in the world. In any case, we consider this book highly recommended for adventurous round-the-world travellers who are looking to travel on a shoestring. And a worthy addition to this list, too.

  10. Sabrina says:

    I always thought the internet would be a better resource because it can be so up-to-date and current. I haven’t spent much time reading travel guides, which is weird because I’m kind of a “book person.”
    Now, I’ll have to check out some travel guides…

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