5 Books to Read on Vacation: Travel Memoirs, Beach Reads, and More!

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Last Updated on: 13th January 2023, 03:28 pm

Most of the time, choosing the best books to read on vacation is just as important as choosing the destination of your vacation. I mean, after all, a good book can change your life!

Finding the right books at your preferred location – whether it’s on a beach, plane, long train ride, or in bed – has the power to transform your experience for the entire day. There are thousands of books available for you to read.

Both fiction and non-fiction can be interesting to read. You can pick a book inspired by or set in your destination, or you can pick something you’ve just been hoping to read for a while.

If you’ve been wondering which books you should carry with you on your next vacation, Connie Elser share a few recommendations on the best books to bring with you on vacation to keep you company along the way.

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Best Books to Read on Vacation_ Travel Memoirs, Beach Reads, and More!


My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2024

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

Best Books to Read on Vacation

In no particular order…

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Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayers

Tuscany landscape at sunrise. Typical for the region tuscan farm house, hills, vineyard. Italy

If you decide to read this book while traveling, you might end up feeling inspired to change your current life and move to a comfy villa in Italy. The author’s tale of doing just this is narrated through lyrical prose that should be read while sipping fruit juice or your morning cappuccino on the balcony or veranda. One of my favorite books about Italy, it’s also been turned into a delightful movie you can devour when you’re back home!

The best thing about this book is that it’s both real and dreamlike. And this settles perfectly into the author’s lifestyle after a divorce that makes her endure loneliness, hard work and take the journey to self-discovery. Even if you don’t end up buying a Tuscan home, her story will stick in your heart and mind for the rest of your life.

>>See Under the Tuscan Sun on Amazon<<

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Spain - Mallorca - streets of palma de mallorca, spain, winter blue sky

There’s nothing better to read on your vacation than a story about a coming-of-age family with lots of interesting drama. The story has been set in a beautiful beach town. Emma’s story takes place along the coast of Spain in the Balearic Island where you’ll meet the Post family.

The parents try to save their marriage halfheartedly; their daughter ends up falling for her tutor and their son with an older girlfriend whom they don’t like. Apart from that, you’ll be fascinated by the author’s description of the meals and sandy beaches.

>>See The Vacationers on Amazon<<

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Germany - Frankenstein - Castle Frankenstein, Germany

Frankenstein is a character who appears in Mary Shelly’s famous novel nineteenth-century novel. In her story, Dr. Frankenstein creates a creature in his lab through a complex method that he discovered. Unfortunately for him, the monster is not only hideous but also emotional. As it does in any good novel, havoc ensues.

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Many kids in the US get assigned Frankenstein in high school English class, so can find Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein essay examples if you want a full literary rundown. However, sometimes when a novel gets entered into the canon, people begin to think of reading it as an assignment or a chore. This is such a shame, as Frankenstein is almost a romp and quite funny at times! Mary Shelly even wrote it while traveling, so it is really the perfect novel to take on vacation if you want to feel you’re accomplishing something while you read.

>>See Frankenstein on Amazon<<

Hiroshima by John Hersey

Japan - Hiroshima - Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan floating shrine.

John Hersey was among the first journalists to land in Hiroshima after the US released bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima back in 1945. The dropping of the first bomb killed seventy thousand people and destroyed the entire city. The ones who were left had life-altering conditions. And it would take a lifetime to rebuild the areas that were destroyed.

The author uses different perspectives to describe the events that affected millions of people. Based on his interviews with the affected people, he shows how a single event can shape the rest of an individual’s life. However, he doesn’t shy away from talking about the brutality of the event as he discusses the health effects of those living in Hiroshima. It is a life-changing book.

>>See Hiroshima on Amazon<<

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Beautiful view from the rooftop of Duomo cathedral, Milan, Italy

If you love the art of traveling itself, you need to read the works of Italo Calvino. His works are light and airy and serious and important all at once, so you always come away feeling like you’ve really read something. In this work, he tackles many concepts, but one is how cities are all alike and different, and what makes a city come alive.

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”

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Once done, you might feel as though you have exited a beautiful and strange dream where you can’t quite put your finger on what happened, but you will long to return to it again and again.

>>See Invisible Cities on Amazon<<

So What Will You Read on Vacation Next?

Best Books to Read on Vacation_ Travel Memoirs, Beach Reads, and More!

The books that we’ve discussed here will tell you about humanity, the world, and most importantly, yourself. All these books are informative and entertaining. One of the best things you can do during your vacation is read good books that enrich your mind and soul.

Learning is a never-ending activity. It helps you expand your vocabulary, boost your memory, develop strong analytical thinking skills, and improve concentration. Plus, it’s one of the most effective forms of entertainment. Every avid reader can find something good to read during their free time. Put your phone and computer aside for a while during your vacation and open one of these books to enrich your soul!

Good to Know: This guide to what to read on vacation comes to us from Connie Elser, who is an exceptional writer and proofreader. She is interested in drawing, literature, health, and personal development. She enjoys painting and singing during her free time.

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Best Books to Read on Vacation_ Travel Memoirs, Beach Reads, and More!

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