Have you read The Best Travel Books of 2020 on The Next Somewhere

Recapping the best travel books of 2020 from authors around the globe.

2020 was a long year but one silver lining was the incredible amount of travel books published. This reading list features 15 of the best travel books and my reviews to help expand my mind and transport you to new places, all from the comfort and safety of your own home. There are page-turners and beach reads, books that will tingle your tastebuds, and books that will take you to alternate universes. If you are in the mood to delve into some somber essays or looking for US road trip inspiration, this is the spot for you. For more book recommendations, check out my 2020 Unique Christmas Gifts for Travelers shopping guide featuring the much-talked-about “Accidentally Wes Anderson” chronicles. In an effort to diversify my media consumption, I have identified which books on this list are written by BIPOC authors, distinguished by a “” emoji.




Two lucky readers will receive any book of their choice off this reading list. Contest ends Sunday, January 24 at 10 PM PST. Winners will be announced Monday, January 25 at  9AM PST. Enter today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to all residents worldwide. Winner receives either a hard copy or an electronic edition of book, subject to availability, their preferred reading format, and the postal conditions in their respective countries. Multiple entries encouraged. Must be willing to offer valid mailing address to receive hard copy. Prize is transferable. Cannot be exchanged for cash money. For any questions, please contact me here.

The Girl with The Louding Voice Best Travel Books 2020

The Girl with the Louding Voice ⭐

by Abi Daré

Born into poverty, 14-year-old Adunni wants nothing more than to go to school so she can find her “louding voice,” the voice that she believes will help her fill up a room and be seen for who she truly is. This story will uplift you, deflate you, and then piece you back together with an unshakeable promise of hope in the face of adversity.
For those interested in: Nigeria’s socioeconomic climate, coming-of-age stories, and inspirational fiction.

Buy on Bookshop

NK Jemsin Fantasy The City We Became

The City We Became ⭐

by N.K. Jemsin

The first of the Great Cities trilogy, this urban fantasy tells the tale of New York City’s five protectors who must band together to defend their beloved home from an ancient, stirring evil.
For those interested in: New York City, cities personified, and strangers coming together.

Buy on Bookshop

Mexican Gothic Travel to Mexico The Next Somewhere

Mexican Gothic ⭐

by Silvia Morena-Garcia

A chilling tale about a young woman, Noemi, whose trip to her cousin’s new home in the countryside takes a terrifying turn when the mansion, and the secrets it keeps, begin terrorizing her every waking moment.
For those interested in: The allure of 1950s Mexico, gothic horror subgenre, retro fiction.

Buy on Bookshop

The Midnight Library Best Travel Books The Next Somewhere

The Midnight Library

by Matt Haig

Discouraged by her failed existence, Nora is ready to be done with living. But as her planned death draws near, she stumbles upon a magical library with books that are portals to different lives she could have led on earth.
For those interested in: Existential crisis, inspirational pep talks, and alternate universes.

Buy on Bookshop

Chinatown Pretty Coffee Table Book

Chinatown Pretty ⭐

by Andria Lo and Valerie Lu

What started out as a featured one-page story on The Bold Italic morphed into a six-years-in-the-making pictorial portfolio of senior citizen street-style in San Francisco, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Oakland’s Chinatowns. Bucket hats never looked so good.
For those interested in: Chinatown neighborhoods, elderly wisdom, and OOTD fashion instagrams.

Buy on Bookshop

The Mercies Feminist Literature

The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Loosely based on historical events, The Mercies is a vivid reimagining of a small hamlet sitting on the edge of the world, ruled by women after all their men drown in a horrific storm. But the matriarchy is threatened by the arrival of a well-known witch hunter who is hellbent on crushing Vardø and its liberated citizens.
For those interested in: Norway’s remote towns, 1620 witch trials, and feminist societies.

Buy on Bookshop

Graphic Novel Year of the Rabbit

Year of the Rabbit ⭐

by Tian Veasna

The horrors of genocide are illustrated artist Tian Veasna’s secondhand history as he recounts the hardships his parents faced in the wake of the Khmer Rouge takeover, first as laborers in work camps, and then as unwilling refugees fleeing their beloved homeland.
For those interested in: Cambodian history, graphic novels, and refugee stories.

Buy on Bookshop

Forest Feast Mediterranean Travel Cookbooks 2020

Forest feast Mediterranean: Simple Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by My Travels

by Erin Gleeson

The next entry in Erin Gleeson’s stunning “Forest Feast” franchise, Gleeson’s cookbook brings the bright and sunny flavors of Mediterranean coast to your dinner menu. Your eyes will thank you for the visual feast, demonstrated in her food styling and watercolor page spreads.
For those interested in: Cooking Mediterranean cuisine, vegetarian/vegan meal prep, and hosting banquets.

Buy on Bookshop

Migrations Charlotte McConaghy Travel Book 2020


by Charlotte McConaghy

In a near-imagined future, researcher Franny Stone sets off to Greenland to follow the last migration of the world’s sole flock of Arctic terns. The imminent extinction sets in motion a series of self-destructive events, unveiling the equally fragile inner worlds of our very beings.
For those interested in: Expeditions to Greenland, nature conservation, and science fiction.

Buy on Bookshop

InstaTravel Travel Inspiration Aggie Lal

InstaTravel: Discover Breathtaking Destinations

by Aggie Lal

This reads like a blog come to life. Get ready for bucket list ideas by the dozen and comprehensive travel guides accompanying each recommendation. Discover breathtaking destinations, experience amazing adventures, and capture stunning photos.
For those interested in: Global experiences, creating bucket lists, and travel photography.

Buy on Bookshop

Thai History A Good True Thai

A True Good Thai ⭐

by Sunisa Manning

Thai-American writer Sunisa Manning spotlights the little-known Thai student uprising through a fictionalized tale of three collegiates who find themselves in the passionate and turbulent throes of political activism and young love.
For those interested in: Thai history, youth-led revolutions, and nationalism.

Buy on Amazon (Kindle Only) | Buy from Independent Seller

Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country US-Mexico Border Relations

Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country ⭐

by Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Sarah Booker

A catalog of essays, firsthand accounts, and testimonials of the violence experienced by those living along the US-Mexico border and the humanity lost —and found—  in wake of media sensationalism. This is a showcase of the power of words and the forms grief takes on as a means to empower and make reparations.
For those interested in: The U.S.-Mexico Border Region, contemporary politics, and journalism.

Buy on Bookshop

The Next Somewhere's Best Travel Books 2020 The Guest List

The Guest List

by Lucy Foley

A wedding weekend on a haunted Irish island gone awry. This murder mystery is told from the viewpoint of five characters—The Bride, The Bride’s Sister, The Groom’s Best Friend, The Wedding Coordinator, and The Wife of the Bride’s Closest Friend. The past and present collide in bloodshed… but the burning question is, who did it?
For those interested in: Destination weddings, remote places, and beach reads.

Buy on Bookshop

The Next Somewhere 50 Adventures in 50 States

50 Adventures in 50 States

by Lydia Hill and Kate Siber

From digging crystals in Oklahoma to exploring an active volcano in Hawaii, this illustrated treasury is a prescription of all the family-friendly adventures in the great outdoors. A perfect companion for keeping children engaged on long car rides.
For those interested in: USA travel, road trips, and family adventures.

Buy on Bookshop

Latitudes of Longing Indian Travel Book The Next Somewhere

Latitudes of Longing ⭐

by Shubhangi Swarup

A lyrical portrait about the sacred relationship between humanity and nature, sweeping across the vast nation of India, and told across the series of four interconnected tales.
For those interested in: The vastness of India and the connection between humans and nature.

Buy on Bookshop

Shortlisted Picks

If you couldn’t get enough of the list, here are more books that were published in 2020.

DISCLAIMER: This blog does not receive any commission for Amazon links shared with you in the post. I hope that you support local, independent book retailers at this time.

More Reading Lists:

🚩 Best Travel Books of 2019

🚩 Best Travel Books of Summer 2017

🚩 Best Books of 2016

🚩 Best Travel Books of Summer 2016

👉 If you have any other travel books from 2019 to discover, I’d love to hear your book recommendations in the comments section!

Give me a shout-out on Pinterest pretty please?

The Best Travel Books of 2020 on The Next Somewhere

Filipina-American Millette Stambaugh is a thirty-something former expat who has traded her nomadic ways for Philadelphia living. Corporate worker by day, content creator by night, Millette specializes in visual storytelling and joyful journeys and wants to help others find their "next somewheres." Follow her escapades on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok @thenextsomewhere.


  • Serina

    January 11, 2021

    What a great list of books to add to my reading list for 2021! If I’m lucky enough to win, here are my top three, so you choose!
    The Girl with the Louding Voice
    A True Good Thai
    Hopefully, you get to start travelling again in 2021!

  • Kay

    January 12, 2021

    Ooo I’m going to need to pick all of these up for the year! The only one ive read was Mexican Gothic (loved it). Thanks for the suggestions!!

  • Sheena

    January 12, 2021

    I love this idea!!

  • Caline

    January 12, 2021

    This is a great list! I’ve had Mexican Gothic and the Midnight Library on my list for a while!

  • jillian

    January 13, 2021

    i love the idea of the mexican gothic book!!! so engaging

  • Nicolette

    January 22, 2021

    What great recommendations! Mexican Gothic and Midnight Library were already on my list, but I’m excited to check out everything else on this list.

  • January 27, 2021

    You have just made my list so much longer than it already is ! Thank you so much for this lovely x

  • January 27, 2021

    Oooh I’m so glad I came across this post! I would love to pick up a copy of A True Good Thai or Year of the Rabbit. Thanks for sharing these books 🙂

  • January 27, 2021

    I love this post! I am such a book lover and the concept of Travel Through Reading is awesome! Definitely adding some of these to my Must Read list!!

  • Kitti

    January 27, 2021

    This is a great list of good reads! Many thanks for sharing will definitely buy a few and read them!

  • Liz

    January 27, 2021

    This is such a great post. I now want to read ALL of these books! Definitely saving this to reference later. 🙂

  • January 28, 2021

    Neat post! I love to read and am always looking for the next book!


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