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Top travel books for 2019

We've searched high and low for the tomes that'll shape your world view for the next 12 months. Here's our pick of the best travel books for 2019

By Sarah Barrell
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:22 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 15:35 BST
Best travel books for 2019
Best travel books for 2019

Haven't got your travels for this year mapped out yet? Then start here. Our round-up of top titles for 2019 should help you get some way towards finding the best routes, the most seductive destinations, and some very unique ways to see the world this year. From Lonely Planet's new Travel Goals to inspire transformative travel experiences, and Monisha Rajesh's inimitable insider's guide to global rail travel, to Will Hunt's expedition into our planet's hidden subterranean sights, and Rough Guide's celebration of the end of WWII with book charting the Allied advance across Europe 75 years ago, these titles will help you travel with purpose. Even if that purpose to help you avoid being a globe-trotting eejit (we're looking at you, Keggie Carew).

And if you still can't decide on where to go, there are some beautifully illustrated books that bring the world to you. The Incredible Ecosystems of Planet Earth might be aimed at young readers but we've been happily immersed in its colourful pages, learning about everything from desert weather cycles to ocean biodiversity.

Around the World in 80 Trains
An irreverent travelogue detailing Monisha Rajesh's 4,500 miles of rail journeys circumnavigating the globe, from the heights of Tibet to the wheat-filled Canadian flats, new high-speed routes through China, the Death Railway of Cambodia and more. Due to be published in January. RRP: £20 (Bloomsbury)

Caves and catacombs, subway systems and long abandoned mines: author Will Hunt has a fascination with subterranean worlds. Follow his expeditions in this book examining how the unseen places beneath our feet shape our consciousness. Due to be published in January. RRP: £16.99 (Simon & Schuster)

Quicksand Tales
A collections of ignominious travel moments as told by Keggie Carew, Costa-winning author of Dadland. A traveller with a unique gift for misadventure (being talked into buying a camel to accidently drugging a friend among them) and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Due to be published in January. RRP: £16.99 (Canongate)

Underground Caves and Catacombs, Subway Systems, and Long Abandoned Mines
Author Will Hunt has a fascination with our subterranean worlds. Follow his expeditions into these netherworlds in this book examining how the unseen places beneath our feet shape our consciousness. Due to be published in January. RRP: £16.99 (Simon & Schuster

The New Nomad Migration
The political battle cry of our time. Yet humans have always sought better lives for themselves. Today migratory lines are multinational, rather than from country to city or east to west, but humans are innately nomadic, says author Felix Marquardt, and it's something we should embrace. Due to be published in March. RRP: £20.00 (Simon & Schuster)

The Globetrotter: Excursions from the East
This richly illustrated history comes from the British Library archive, and takes a closer look at the first European leisure tourists to venture into India, China and Japan in the mid-19th century. Due to be published in May. RRP: £30 (British Library Publishing)

The social impact of Three Days Of Peace & Music is examined — and celebrated — in this 50th anniversary year of America's groundbreaking festival, with photos taking many travellers to a place and time they'd love to have experienced first-hand. Due to be published in June. £TBC (Reel Art Press)

Travel Goals
What are your travel resolutions for this year? To take a solo city break or see a wonder of nature, or simply sleep out under the stars? Whatever it might be, this book's wild ideas and first-hand accounts should inspire some transformative trips. Due to be published in August. RRP: £19.99 (Lonely Planet)

Liberation Route Europe
This guide, marking 75 years since the end of the Second World War, follows the route of the Allied advance. It's an erudite but accessible partnership project between Liberation Route Europe Foundation and Rough Guides. Due to be published in the summer. RRP: £19.99 (Rough Guides)

Follow @TravelBarrell

Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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