Reading means different things for different people. For some, it’s relaxing. For others, it’s energizing–they’ll stay up late just to finish. For some, it’s a way to travel from home or a way to pass the time during the boring part of travel, the flying! Whether you want something to read by the pool, on the plane, or from the comfort of your own bed at home, here are my top picks for travel-inspired books in 2022!
The People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry
This one had me laughing out loud and planning trips around the world! It’s about two best friends who travel together every year, but eventually, there’s a situation and they stop speaking (and traveling). She’s a blogger-turned-travel journalist in New York, he’s a teacher living in Ohio, it would never work. But fate brings them together again for one less-than-ideal travel situation, and hilarity ensues. Some scenes are explicit, so be forewarned. It’s a perfect pool, beach, or airplane read!
Read next: How to Plan a Trip
Destination Unknown, Agatha Christie
I hadn’t read an Agatha Christie book for a while (Hercule Poirot was getting on my nerves), but I decided to give this one-off thriller set in 1950s North Africa a chance. It’s about a woman who feels she has nothing to live for, but instead of killing herself, she falls into an opportunity to die in a much more dramatic way–and to potentially save some missing nuclear scientists in the process. She gets on a plane in Casablanca to a “destination unknown,” and the intrigue only continues.
Keep reading: The Top 10 Life-changing Trips to Take in Your Lifetime
The Layover, Lacie Waldon
Another hilarious read, this book about a flight crew on an extra-long layover in Belize was written by an actual flight attendant. (Incidentally, the author is based in D.C. Have I flown with her?!) Belize had never been on my radar, but it quickly took a place on my “must go” list while reading this book. Feuding flight attendants, one of whom is engaged to someone else, each find that the other is not so bad. Or do they? Read it to find out! Fair warning: This book has some explicit scenes.
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Come Fly the World, Julia Cooke
Pan Am was once the most luxurious airline in the world. The airline offered women the opportunity to travel and enjoy independence for a few years, some for the first and only time in their lives. This book delved deep into the real lives of a few flight attendants in the late 60s and early 70s, exploring their adventures, responsibilities, the Vietnam War and more. I thought it was a fascinating read, though it’s not a novel. It read like an engaging biography, which is just as good as a novel to me.
Keep reading: How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on
Up in the Air, Betty Reigel
I was going to read both Up in the Air and Come Fly the World and then choose one, since both books are about the same airline. After reading them, however, I couldn’t make any decision other than to include them both! This is one Pan Am flight attendant’s story from growing up in London during and after World War II to practically falling into the most prestigous flight attendant job in the world. This memoir about her experiences is well worth a read, whether lounging seaside or sitting up in the air yourself.
More here: The Beginner’s Guide to Flying
One Summer in Santorini, Sandy Barker
Greece has long been on my travel list, but I still haven’t made it there–not yet anyway! This book was a fun way to island-hop there when I couldn’t get there myself. Having sworn off men, the main character, Sarah, books a Greek islands cruise with a bunch of strangers to dive back into her love of solo travel, but strangers don’t stay that way for long when you’re sailing around together. This is the first in a series by an Australian author, so check out the rest of the books as well if you like what you read. There are a few adults-only scenes in this book, but overall, it was a fun, quick, travel-friendly read!
Related: 7 Tips for Summer Travels
The Good Neighbor, Maxwell King
I’m usually not a fan of biographies, but this one about Mr. Rogers is the true exception. The more I learned about his life, the more love and respect I had for him. This book made me happy, gave me faith in the world moving forward, and even made me cry a few times. It’s well-written and encouraging, even if you’re not usually interested in biographies!
Read about Mr. Rogers’s Home Town! Filming Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood in Pittsburgh
Exit Through the Jungle, Alicia Crofton
If Costa Rica is on your “must go” list, this books needs to be on your “must read” list. It’s a great airplane book or beach book, especially if you’ve ever wondered what the Costa Rican jungle is like. The book follows an influencer who’s trying to get her business back on track, and the story involves a rescue monkey–who’s rescuing the people lost in the jungle! This was a fun read, perfect for upcoming travels!
The Lost and Found Series, Whitney O’Halek
My first-ever book series is perfect for your summer travels! They’re novellas, so short enough to finish on a flight, or enjoy in an afternoon on the beach! The series follows a young woman who has never had a vacation, and how her life transforms when she is “forced” to use over 400 vacation days in just a few months. I think you’ll love them, but just start with the first one and see if you agree!
Looking for a Bible study instead? Check out Princess Culture!
Secret Agent Girl, Whitney O’Halek
More interested in a spy novel? My first full-length novel follows a government contractor-turned travel blogger on her journey to becoming a spy. Her name is Minnie, and her perceived weaknesses finally (ironically) become her most sought-after strengths. One problem… Minnie doesn’t want to become a spy!
More details here: Why You Need to Read Secret Agent Girl!
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