My bucket list is L-O-N-G! I’ve been creating the “places I must travel to before I kick the bucket” list for years now. And although I have found it easy to find a new and worthy destination to add ON the list, I haven’t been able to scratch many OFF. Partially because life happens, some of it has to do with my chosen career, and the other reason is that travel is just expensive! But that doesn’t stop me from perusing through my travel books and hypothetically planning my next dream vacation.

So how are you inspired to travel? I spend a ton of time online reading Travel & Leisure and Lonely Planet but I do have several books that have always provided me with a lot of travel ideas. Whether you are planning your next girls trip, choosing the ideal spot for a romantic getaway, or you just wanna jump ship on a solo tip, these five books not only inspire but they look super cute on your coffee table!

[amazon_textlink asin=’1426201257′ text=’Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’11319098-6851-11e7-84bf-431ac6c46f31′]

Published by National Geographic, Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips groups your next travel experience or bucket list adventure by type of journey (ex. Across Water, On Foot, Up and Away). Their travel writers have handpicked the top trips that are perfect for more seasoned travelers who crave a vacation like no other. The pictures are amazing and it really takes the guesswork out of planning something different, unique and creative. Also take a look at [amazon_textlink asin=’1742205895′ text=’Great Journeys’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’981be2fc-6856-11e7-8e8e-57bb2eb7ab00′] by the Lonely Planet.

A post shared by Murad Osmann (@muradosmann) on

[amazon_textlink asin=’1629145505′ text=’Follow Me To’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b8240f1e-6851-11e7-bcfb-11be19cc4cf8′]

I’ve been following the Follow Me To and Murad Osmann Instagram accounts for several years. I don’t remember how I came across their page but I have been hooked ever since. In each picture, photographer Murad Osmann is led by his now wife Nataly Zakharova to beautiful destinations around the world. It is definitely more of a photography book but I love fiddling through the pages just to experience each location as if it were my husband and I. [amazon_textlink asin=’1743215053′ text=’One Planet’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’27a94150-6852-11e7-8567-69c69afd010d’] is another great book that is full of beautiful photos.

[amazon_textlink asin=’178657120X’ text=’The Travel Book’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f16e9dbb-6850-11e7-8567-69c69afd010d’]

I have several books from the Lonely Planet and this one has been around for a while. Now in its second edition, the book takes you through 229 countries and shares the best time to visit, top things to see, top things to do, random facts, and even what to eat and drink. The simple structure is perfect to use when nailing down your “where to next?” short list.

[amazon_textlink asin=’0761156860′ text=’1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’121f681f-6850-11e7-87e0-e9f5c3dd5058′]

Also in its second edition, 1,000 Places to See Before you Die is a New York Times bestseller. I love it because it does more than provide the typical details on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. It also focuses on complete travel experiences that won’t break the bank so it’s really handy when planning a budget conscious vacation. You can also check out [amazon_textlink asin=’1760342777′ text=’The Ultimate Travel Guide’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c6196a44-6856-11e7-a974-e3da136b97e8′] by the Lonely Planet.

[amazon_textlink asin=’1743601654′ text=’The Best Place To Be Today’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’056482372410′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7a84c2ba-6851-11e7-a3c5-819ee26f7274′]

I try my best to keep up with all the festivals going on around the world but you’ll be amazed at how many annual events span the globe. Taking you month by month and day by day, this must-have read shares the best thing to do every single day of the year. They not only cover festivals, but single and multi-day events that you would never know existed. This is a great book to have when you know when you want to go but just need to figure out the where.

Now you have something to grab the next time you are looking for a little travel inspiration!

Shanna Jones

Shanna is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food and travel.



  1. Reply


    July 14, 2017

    The 1000 Places To See Before You Die book is great – own both copies myself!

    • Reply

      Shanna Jones

      July 14, 2017

      Awesome! Checked out your post on Houston too! You made some great choices, especially stopping in at Ray’s BBQ. It’s one of our favorites!

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