Gift Guide 2023 -Books for Travellers in Your Life

This Christmas, give the gift of travel inspiration! Consider gifting books about travel. Here are 16 books for all the travellers in your life!

This Christmas, travellers are reading for travel inspiration, scouring books about travel, or simply revisiting their favourite book about travel. From beautiful coffee-table books and ghost-town hunting advice to Canadian whisky-sipping and solo women’s travel, your gifting list is covered! Happy Holidays and enjoy the read!

Canada Above & Beyond, Aerial Photography by George Fischer (Nimbus Publishing)

What a beautiful coffee table book. Photographer George Fischer captured these stunning pictures of Canada from the air in small planes, helicopters and “Denis the Drone.” I am grateful that he has, as the book offers, a glance at places I may never see otherwise and at such a unique viewpoint—so many beautiful places in our country.

Canadian Spirits, The Essential Cross-Country Guide to Distilleries, Their Spirits and Where to Imbibe Them by Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo (Nimbus Publishing)

Once upon a time, while Canadians were happily sipping their rye whiskies, the Canadian distilling industry was considered a “bit of a joke,” writes Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo in their introduction to this hardcover pocketbook. The pair explains why Canadian whiskey wasn’t highly thought of around the globe and includes the history of distilling in Canada. And then, for spirits lovers, it lists various distilleries throughout Canada in each region. Each listing offers an origin story, information on where you can find it and one of its best spirits, among other details.

Coastal Nova Scotia, a photographic tour by Adam Cornick (Nimbus Publishing)

Take a photographic tour throughout Nova Scotia by Adam Cornick, who moved from the U.K. to the province with his wife in 2008. Cornick captures beautiful images from around this province and lists them by regions – Halifax, the South Shore, Northumberland Shore (a place I want to go now!) and others. Each chapter leads with an introduction to the area and includes establishments not to be missed.

Complete Guide to Winter Camping by Kevin Callan (Firefly Books)

Outdoor enthusiast Kevin Callan, an author of many books about embracing the outdoors, successfully turns his attention to camping outside in winter. In this full-colour book, Callan talks about cold camping shelters, including snow structures, hot tenting (tent with woodstove. This is the first I have heard of it, and it may be a game-changer) as well as baking in the bush, tools of the trade and winter travel. I have winter camped before, and I will note it wasn’t the most enjoyable thing I have ever done. It likely didn’t help we went on the coldest day of the year and brought a too-big summer tent. This book by Callan makes winter camping sound – dare I say it – fun. I love that the author eats well on his trips and suggests you can also offer recipes such as Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Chili and No-Knead Garlic Rosemary Bread. There is lots of information on these pages, including quick tips, checklists, and pictures.

Other books for travellers by Callan: Paddler’s Guide to Algonquin Park

The Digital Nomad Handbook, Practical tips and inspiration for living and working on the road from Lonely Planet (Raincoast Books)

Packing up your computer and moving from place to place while working and making money sounds fantastic.

This Lonely Planet book helps people make that leap by providing the information they need to succeed. It includes things to do before you go, choosing your destination and top locations for the nomad. There are also stories from successful people.  

Each topic has lots of tips and details, and while it likely doesn’t give you all the information you need, it at least gives an idea of where to start. The book includes taxes and visas, including countries that offer work-friendly visas, safety tips and the top things nomads should carry with them.

Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage by Ron Brown (Firefly Books)

Ron Brown, an author of more than 20 books on unique places in Ontario, looks at various ghost towns throughout the province. Five chapters cover many trails to the east, west and north, cottage country and the golden horseshoe, providing maps of where these towns once flourished, with more than 15 towns in each section. Each city has information about what it was like in its glory days and old and new pictures. A wealth of information can be discovered within these full-colour pages. I love exploring my province and look forward to checking out some of these old towns – or what remains of them.

She Explores, Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild by Gale Straub (Raincoast Books)

Author Gale Straub didn’t consider herself an outdoorswoman. It wasn’t until she and her partner spent a year travelling in a Sprinter Van did she “redefine her boundaries” and exchanged fear for confidence. She decides to reach out to other women to share their stories when she returns home. This hardcover book offers inspiring short stories, pictures and art from women who also took a leap and discovered themselves along the way. In addition to the stories, the book offers quick tips on preparing and enjoying a wandering life – from before you go to sleeping spots and more.

The Sustainable Travel Handbook, Practical advice and inspiration for the conscientious traveller by Lonely Planet (Raincoast Books)

This Lonely Planet book for travellers offers excellent information and things to ponder for people who want to travel while remembering the environment and its creatures. Eco tips and tricks are provided in short bits, from reducing your carbon emissions when you travel to avoiding single-use plastics. There are many lists (Top 10 Sustainable Cruises; Top 5 countries for green budget travel), pictures and sidebars, including one that listed the food you should avoid while travelling: heartbreaking. The book also lists various countries, information about it, green stays and how you can give back.

Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia, A Guidebook for Exploring the Back Roads and Rail Trails of Nova Scotia by Adam Barnett (Nimbus Publishing)

This softcover book is full of information but small enough to put in your saddlebag as you bike around Nova Scotia.

This book for travellers starts with information about what you will find in Nova Scotia, from wildlife to cell reception, road safety and preparing for your ride. Then routes are broken down into geographic regions from the South Shore to The Cabot Trail. Each route offers a map (on a different page), a route summary including duration and elevation gain, a description, what you need to consider and side trips and points of interest.

The only thing I don’t like is the black and white book. There are some colour pictures in the book, but the ones on the route pages and the maps remain black and white.

Where the Ghosts Are, A Guide to Nova Scotia’s Spookiest Places by Steve Vernon (Nimbus Publishing)

Not only can you read about the ghosts of the Western Shore, Northern Shore and Cape Breton and Central and Halifax, among other places, but author Steve Vernon also gives you the GPS coordinates to go and check them out well. Vernon provides information about the locations and shares the ghost sightings, often from multiple perspectives.

Enjoying these books for travellers who love Nova Scotia? Consider these additional titles

Other books for travellers to consider

The English Heritage Guide to London’s Blue Plaques (2nd edition) and The Lives and Homes of London’s Most Interesting Residents edited by Howard Spencer (PGC Books).

Blue plaques bearing familiar and intriguing names can be found across London, celebrating an incredible range of the city’s past residents. Whether they be scientists, sports stars, artists, actors, inventors or politicians – this revised and updated English Heritage guide reveals, with wit and insight, the stories of London’s most extraordinary men and women and the homes in which they lived.”

Frommer’s New York City Day by Day by Pauline (PGC Books).

“Fully re-researched and updated post-pandemic lockdown (the guidebook) allows users to map their adventure with a variety of suggested daily itineraries, vibrant photos, and multiple maps…Packed with colourful photos, this bestselling guide offers dozens of itineraries showing you how to see New York’s top attractions quickly.”

The Greek Islands by Lawrence Durrell (PGC Books).

“White-washed houses drenched in pink bougainvillea; dazzling seascapes and rugged coastlines; colourful harbours in quaint fishing villages; shady olive and cypress groves; terraces bathed in the Aegean sun … The Greek islands conjure up a treasure chest of images…”

La Dolce Vita University, An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z by Carla Gambescia La Dolce Vita University, 2nd Edition (PGC Books).

La Dolce Vita University contains “dozens of entertaining, yet authoritative mini-essays on a wide assortment of intriguing topics…Even the most erudite Italophile will discover fun new facts and fascinating insights in the pages of La Dolce Vita U.”

The Magic of Japan’s Secret Places and Life-changing Experiences by Hector Garcia (PGC Books).

“A charming collection of quirky insights into Japanese culture…This book is the culmination of (Garcia’s) experiences and showcases (his) unique ability to delve beneath the surface of Japanese culture to describe its quirky and deep spiritual underpinnings.” The book is a collection of essays and photographs.

Tea Stories: Japan by Ausra Burg (PGC Books).

Tea Stories is “a unique exploration of Japanese tea culture, featuring the personal narratives of individuals whose lives are deeply rooted in tea…Stories include individuals’ experiences and daily lives, mostly based around the Kyoto and Shizuoka prefectures, which are both important regions for tea production.”

Have a look at Lisa’s Books About Travel of Christmas Past:

Happy Holidays!!

Copies of these books for travellers were provided by Firefly Books,
Nimbus Publishing, PGC Books and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

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