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The 10 Best Travel Fiction Books You’ve Never Heard Of

The 10 Best Travel Fiction Books You’ve Never Heard Of


“A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without every leaving your chair.” -Katrina Mayer

Now is the perfect time to escape through literature, and treat yourself yourself to a good book. Most of us have heard of popular travel novels like Eat, Pray, Love, Wild, or The Alchemist – all of which will inspire wanderlust! However, there is so much amazing travel fiction out there to enjoy; here are my top 10 lesser-known travel books…

#1 Lunch in Paris
Perfect for: Foodies and Francophiles
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Summary – “Lunch In Paris is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs–one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home.” -Goodreads

#2 Wanderlust
Perfect for: Female globetrotters (or aspiring ones!)
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Summary – “Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’s insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself—literally—to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not.” -Goodreads

#3 A Portrait of Emily Price
Perfect for: Anyone dreaming of love and Italy
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Summary – “Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love. But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well by inviting her into his world and into his heart. Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home.” -Goodreads


#4 My Map of You
Perfect for: Those craving adventure, love, and the Greek islands
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Summary – “Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother’s death, she’s become expert at keeping people at a distance – including her boyfriend, Rupert. But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart. But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?” -Goodreads


#5 The Book of Summer
Perfect for: A whimsical summer read
*Buy Online*

Summary – “Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate in Nantucket. For the first time in 4 years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.” -Goodreads

#6 The Austen Escape
Perfect for: Modern fans of Jane Austen
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Summary – “Mary Davies lives in Texas, with an orderly life, and a job and colleagues that she enjoys. But something is missing. When her estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer, offers Mary a 2-week stay in a manor house in Bath, Mary reluctantly agrees to come along, in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways. But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes that she lives in Regency England. But life gets even more complicated when Mary makes the discovery that her life and Isabel’s have intersected in more ways that she knew, and she finds herself caught between who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who stands between them.” -Goodreads

#7 The High Tide Club
Perfect for: Readers who enjoy tales of past relationships
*Buy Online*

Summary – “When 99-year-old heiress, Josephine Bettendorf Warrick, summons Brooke Trappnell to her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm. Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends.” -Goodreads

#8 The Lost Girls
Perfect for: Those suffering from wanderlust
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Summary – “With their 30th birthdays looming, Jen, Holly, and Amanda are feeling the pressure to hit certain milestones. Instead, they make a pact to quit their jobs, leave behind everything familiar, and embark on a yearlong round-the-world search for inspiration and direction. Traveling 60,000 miles across four continents, Jen, Holly, and Amanda push themselves far outside their comfort zones to embrace every adventure. Ultimately, theirs is a story of true friendship—a bond forged by sharing beds and backpacks, enduring exotic illnesses, trekking across mountains, and standing by one another through heartaches, whirlwind romances, and everything in the world in between.” -Amazon

#9 Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Perfect for: Road trip fanatics
*Buy Online*

Summary – “Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mom has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. But since her father died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the 19-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute, and dealing with some baggage of his own. Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.” -Goodreads

#10 Someday in Paris
Perfect for: Readers in search of the next best travel novel
*Buy Online*

Summary – “Finding the one is only the beginning. 1954: Zara is fifteen the first time she meets Leon. During a power cut in a small French museum, the two spend one short hour in the dark talking about their love for art, Monet and Paris. Neither knows what the other looks like. Both know their lives will never be the same. 1963: In Paris, Leon no longer believes he will ever find the girl he lost that night. After dreaming about him for years, Zara thinks she has already found him. When they meet at an exhibition, they don’t recognize each other – yet the way they feel is so familiar. Over the course of twenty years, Zara and Leon are destined to fall in love again and again. But will they ever find a way to be together?” -Goodreads

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Francois
    May 17, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Lunch in Paris, I also recommend 🙂 Not sure I am very objective haha. Good list anyway, I will have a look at other references !

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 18, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      It’s such a fun book, I think you’ll enjoy some of the others too!

  2. Mark Robinson
    May 20, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    The perfect list to stave off everyone’s travel bug for a bit longer! Excellent recommendations.
    Mark Robinson recently posted…A Perfect Maui DayMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 10, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Glad you think so, Mark!

  3. Swat
    June 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Very useful information. Thank you for sharing.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 10, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      Glad you found it useful!

  4. Mercedes Beneitez
    September 11, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Dear Carmen
    Thanks for your list! It is truly useful.
    I am looking for a novel I read long time ago but I cannot remember the title, maybe you can help me. It was set in a luxurious resort in Maldives. It was a diary about the Director and he describes every day’s activities and how crazy it could me at times…
    Does it sound familiar to you? Thanks for your help and congratulations about your blog

    • Carmen Edelson
      September 11, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Mercedes – glad you like this list! I haven’t heard of a book like that but maybe check this Goodreads list about different novels set in the Maldives:

      Good luck 🙂

  5. Megan
    October 27, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I was read high tide clubs

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      I hope you liked it!

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