7 Great Gifts for Travellers

It’s a dilemma. What to get the traveller in your life for Christmas?

The obvious answer? Books. Especially books that inspire travel and books that offer suggestions on where to go.

Where to Go When

This DK Eyewitness book ($39) is different from the one mentioned last year. The front cover image is glorious with a man silhouetted on a mountain, and the inside is equally as lovely.

Each month has about 10 destinations you should check at that time with some information about the location itself and why the chosen month is the best. It also offers a sentence about a second time the location is good to go, usually a range, and why. There is also planning your trip, information on how to get there, and sometimes there are some facts set out. For example, in Climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, they list five routes you can take and the top tip. And of course, there are stunning photos.

The paper is different in this book so the pictures are a matt finish rather than glossy.

Front cover image of 150 Nature Hot Spots in California with red mountains and interesting trees

Explore the best parks, conservation areas and wild places in California.

150 Nature Hot Spots in California

150 Nature Hot Spots in California The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places by Ann Marie Brown ($29.95, A Firefly Book) is part of a series and is always a beautiful read.

This book breaks down California into parts including the north, the San Francisco Bay Area and Death Valley, among other locations

Within those sections, the author offers hot spot highlights, the best times to travel, information about the spot, with specific parts pulled out, and beautiful pictures of some of the landscape you will see, birds and fauna.

Lassen Volcanic National Park looks glorious: waterfalls, mountains, hot pools, painted dunes and a cinder cone, among other features.

This DK Eyewitness book gives a brief overview of this fascinating culture.

Be More Japan, the art of Japanese living

In this DK Eyewitness book ($26), first-time Japan-goers, or the seasoned veterans, are invited to learn more about this fascinating culture that is a mix between old and new.

I never really wanted to go to Japan before, but after reading this book cover to cover it certainly has crept up my list.

The book offers a look at Japan in each of the seasons and gives a brief overview of its history. The book is divided into sections – A View of Japan; Timeless Japan, including of focus on Ikebena, Bonsia, Origami (the art of paper folding is taught in schools to help children learn geometry, spatial visualization and fine motor skills. Interesting); Innovation (there are 4.2 million vending machines in Japan, or about one for every 30 people); Creative (including Anime); Entertaining; Edible (including noodles and that slurping is the sound you are enjoying them); and Healthy Japan.

The book offered lots of pictures and key points about each section. There was a lot of reading, but it didn’t feel that way. Everything was really interesting.

Front cover image of Lonely Planet's best places to travel in 2020 with a kayak sailing down a river

This book breaks down the Top 10 regions and cities, but also has a section on sustainability and travelling for the environment

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020

This Lonely Planet book ($23.75, Raincoast Books) is a smaller hardcover, not paperback in size but bigger than a trade book. The pages are glossy and full of information about the place the authors are suggesting, unmissable experiences, times to travel and itinerary for a week or so. There is also a map and some beautiful pictures of landscapes, animals, fauna and people.

The book is broken down into various sections – Top 10 Countries, Regions, Cities and Best Value.

What I liked about this book is that it also offered a few sentences of the best new opening (Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt); best new plays to stay; and Best Sustainable Trips for Families. There is also a section titled Travel Well, which includes Should we be flying less (if you want to lower you carbon footprint, take direct flights as the most fuel is the landing and taking off) and travelling on a carbon diet, for example.


Travel through the eyes of people who choose to travel the world for whatever reason.

Front cover image a a man in front of the ocean sitting on a rock

Around the World on 50 Bucks is a memoir by Christopher Schact.

Around the World on 50 Bucks

In Christopher Schact’s Around the World on 50 Bucks ($21.99, HarperCollins Canada), we learn how at 19 he left home with 50 euros in his pocked and travelled around the world “relying only on his friendliness, flexibility, charm, and willingness to work for his shelter and food. Christopher travelled for four years, visiting 45 countries and traversing 100,000 kilometres on foot, hitchhiking, and on sailboats. In his memoir, he his incredible experiences, revealing what he has learned along the way about life, love, and God, describing touching and bizarre encounters and insights that aren’t found in any travel guide.”

Front cover image of a little shack surrounded by mountains

Outpost sees Dan Richards travel to some of the world’s most remote outposts.

Outpost, a journey to the wild ends of the earth

In Outpost ($27.18, PGC Books), Dan Richards explores “far-flung outposts in mountains, tundra, forests, oceans and deserts. These are landscapes that speak of deep time, whose scale can knock us down to size. Their untamed nature is part of their beauty and such places have long drawn the adventurous, the spiritual and the artistic. Following a route from the Cairngorms of Scotland to the fire-watch lookouts of Washington State, from Iceland’s ‘Houses of Joy’ to the Utah desert; frozen ghost towns in Svalbard to shrines in Japan; Roald Dahl’s Metro-land writing hut to a lighthouse in the North Atlantic, Richards explores landscapes that have inspired writers, artists and musicians, and asks: why are we drawn to the wilderness? And how do wild places become a space for inspiration and creativity?”

Front cover image of infused with a pot of tea surrounded by swirls

The Rare Tea Lady, Henrietta Lovell, searches the world looking for the best tea.

Infused, Adventures in Tea

Infused, Adventures in Tea by Henrietta Lovell ($27.05, PCG Books), also known as the ‘rare tea lady’ is on a “mission to revolutionize the way we drink tea by replacing industrially produced teabags with the highest quality tea leaves. Her quest has seen her travel to the Shire Highlands of Malawi, across the foothills of the Himalayas, and to hidden gardens in the Wuyi-Shan to source the world’s most extraordinary teas. Infused invites us to discover these remarkable places, introducing us to the individual growers and household name chefs Lovell has met along the way – and reveals the true pleasures of tea. The result is a delicious infusion of travel writing, memoir, recipes, and glorious photography, all written with Lovell’s unique charm and wit.”

Happy travels and a Merry Christmas!

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  • Paula Schuck

    These are some great books that I haven’t actually read. I literally was just on the DK Canada site today checking out their content and seeing what they had regarding Greece. I haven’t seen the 2020 Lonely Planet book yet. I need that one.

    • Lisa Day

      Lisa DayLisa Day

      Author Reply

      DK Books are amazing. So many amazing places to see, not enough time. Will this be your first time to Greece? Scroll to the bottom and you can see some of the places listed in the book: . Thanks for reading. Happy travels.

      Lisa Day

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