Ever since I can remember I would flip through image-filled books about other places. It’s still one of my favorite past times. These books don’t just look good on the shelf, they’re thoughtful gifts. If you’re looking for ideas for your travel-loving friends, this Gift Guide: Gorgeous Travel Books for the Whole Family is for you.
Awesome travel-themed coffee table books
I had fun putting together this list of coffee table books. They’re paired in similar, but different themes. Like two sides of the same coin. You know what that means, there’s something for everyone.
Perhaps one of these will be one of the three travel books every family should own?
A little bit of everything, and a little bit of the best
These choices are for friends who want to know about everything, or who want a curated list of the best.
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
By Lonely Planet
I have an older version of this book and I absolutely love it. Anything that shows me all of the countries (which this does), has gorgeous photography (also included), and gets me reading about both the places I know and love and places I’m not as familiar with (yes, yes) – is a huge winner. If you know a traveler, an adventure, or someone who just loves the world – this is THE book for them.
Oh, P.S. There’s also a version for kids
The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small
by Kath Stathers (Editor)
I’m not a bucket list checker offer, but I kind of am. I like this book because it talks about really cool things to do around the world. It’s also a really beautiful book to keep on a coffee table for someone who loves the world.
The Journey is the Destination – and Vice Versa
If your friend prefers the journey or the destination – one of these books is for them.
Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips
by National Geographic (Author), George Stone (Foreword)
If the “Journey is the Destination” then these are the journeys worth taking. Give this to someone who loves everything about the trip. They’ll be inspired to find even more ways to enjoy the journey. This is what elevates family trips to memories.
Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places
by National Geographic (Author)
The Journey might be the destination, but the destination is also the destination. This book promises 225 amazing places, and if it’s an amazing place around the world, I want to know about it. And then I want to go there.
On and off the beaten path
Do they like to be in the know of what everyone else is doing (or should do)? Or do they like to talk about the places few know about? These books cover both.
Timeless Journeys: Travels to the Worlds Legendary Places
by National Geographic (Author), Ford Cochran (Foreword)
Timeless places are timeless for a reason. Make sure to include these awesome destinations in your family’s travel plans. I think they make wonderful foundation trips to appreciating the world.
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
by Joshua Foer (Author), Dylan Thuras (Author), Ella Morton (Author)
Atlas Obscura is my go-to source for all things off-the-beaten-path. Their finds are both fascinating and not too familiar for people visiting from out of town. Finding the balance between popular and hidden makes for the best trips.
We have and love this version for kids.
I love Gray Malin’s Photography
Beaches and Escape
Gray Malin’s images bring me the greatest sense of joy that a photograph not of my kids can bring me. While I can’t afford to hang them on my walls, I can afford these books. If you have a friend who loves photography and travel, these coffee table books are a good fit.
BUY ON AMAZON: BEACHES or ESCAPE
Reference Books for Travel-Loving Friends
Cookbooks and researched lists – either way, you can’t go wrong.
Gifts for foodie families
There are a lot of cookbooks out there that would make great gifts if you know what kind of cooking your friends like to do. But these books are especially for friends with kids.
American Girl Around the World Cookbook
by American Girl (Author), Williams Sonoma (Author)
We have this one. The recipes are kid-friendly and global. I like that the book was created with cooperation from both American Girl and Williams Sonoma. That means that the recipes are delicious (Williams Sonoma) and child-friendly (American Girl).
The World Sauces Cookbook
by Mark C. Stevens (Author), Susan Puckett (Foreword)
This is a newer cookbook that focuses on sauces. I think sauces are an easy way to introduce kids to new flavors. It’s non-threatening and can be combined with foods and flavors they’re already used to.
Places to See Before You Die
Everyone I know who has a book in this series of books loves it, so they make a wonderful gift.
1,000 Places to See Before You Die
I bought an early edition of this book before my kids were born. I don’t use this to plan my travels, but I go through it once or twice a year to see if we’ve visited any of the spots mentioned. If so, I put our initials next to the entry. So it’s not only a cool and fun book but a great way to track some travels, too.
1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die
by Patricia Schultz (Author)
This U.S. and Canada’s version of places to see before you die is perfect for people who want to see a lot of cool things – but don’t necessarily want to fly overseas.
That’s the list – any you would like to add, let me know in the comments!
More travel-themed gift guides?
- Baby and Toddler travel gifts
- Frida Kahlo Gifts
- Geography Games
- Gorgeous Travel Books for the Whole Family
- Subscription Box Gifts
- Travel Books for the Whole Family
- U.S. National Park board games
- U.S. National Park-theme gift guides
Do you want to join other like-minded families who are interested in learning about other cultures via books and travel? Join our Facebook Group. I approve new members daily. It’s still small but growing.