Travel literature is travel writing aspiring to literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or may involve travel to different regions within the same country. Accounts of spaceflight may also be considered travel literature.
Literary travelogues generally exhibit a coherent narrative or aesthetic beyond the logging of dates and events as found in travel journals or a ship's log. Travel literature is closely associated with outdoor literature and the genres often overlap with no definite boundaries. Another sub-genre, invented in the 19th century, is the guide book.
Early examples of travel literature include Pausanias' Description of Greece in the 2nd century CE, and the travelogues of Ibn Jubayr (1145–1214) and Ibn Batutta (1304–1377), both of whom recorded their travels across the known world in detail. The travel genre was a fairly common genre in medieval Arabic literature.
One of the earliest known records of taking pleasure in travel, of travelling for the sake of travel and writing about it, is Petrarch's (1304–1374) ascent of Mount Ventoux in 1336. He states that he went to the mountaintop for the pleasure of seeing the top of the famous height. His companions who stayed at the bottom he called frigida incuriositas ("a cold lack of curiosity"). He then wrote about his climb, making allegorical comparisons between climbing the mountain and his own moral progress in life.
Michault Taillevent, a poet for the Duke of Burgundy, travelled through the Jura Mountains in 1430 and left us with his personal reflections, his horrified reaction to the sheer rock faces, and the terrifying thunderous cascades of mountain streams. Antoine de la Sale (c. 1388–c. 1462), author of Petit Jehan de Saintre, climbed to the crater of a volcano in the Lipari Islands in 1407, leaving us with his impressions. "Councils of mad youth" were his stated reasons for going. In the mid-15th century, Gilles le Bouvier, in his Livre de la description des pays, gave us his reason to travel and write:
- Because many people of diverse nations and countries delight and take pleasure, as I have done in times past, in seeing the world and things therein, and also because many wish to know without going there, and others wish to see, go, and travel, I have begun this little book.
In 1589, Richard Hakluyt (c. 1552–1616) published Voyages, a foundational text of the travel literature genre.
Other later examples of travel literature include accounts of the Grand Tour. Aristocrats, clergy, and others with money and leisure time travelled Europe to learn about the art and architecture of its past. One tourism literature pioneer was Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894).
Travel literature also became popular during the Song Dynasty (960–1279) of medieval China. The genre was called 'travel record literature' (youji wenxue), and was often written in narrative, prose, essay and diary style. Travel literature authors such as Fan Chengda (1126–1193) and Xu Xiake (1587–1641) incorporated a wealth of geographical and topographical information into their writing, while the 'daytrip essay' Record of Stone Bell Mountain by the noted poet and statesman Su Shi (1037–1101) presented a philosophical and moral argument as its central purpose.
In the 18th century, travel literature was commonly known as the book of travels, which mainly consisted of maritime diaries. In 18th century Britain, almost every famous writer worked in the travel literature form. Captain James Cook's diaries (1784) were the equivalent of today's best sellers.
Burton Holmes was an American traveler, photographer and filmmaker, who coined the term "travelogue". Travel stories, slide shows, and motion pictures were all in existence before Holmes began his career, as was the profession of travel lecturer; but Holmes was the first person to put all of these elements together into documentary travel lectures. The Americans, Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson and William Least Heat-Moon, Welsh author Jan Morris and Englishman Eric Newby are or were widely acclaimed as travel writers although Morris is also a historian and Theroux a novelist.
Travel literature often intersects with essay writing, as in V. S. Naipaul's India: A Wounded Civilization, where a trip becomes the occasion for extended observations on a nation and people. This is similarly the case in Rebecca West's work on Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
Sometimes a writer will settle into a locality for an extended period, absorbing a sense of place while continuing to observe with a travel writer's sensibility. Examples of such writings include Lawrence Durrell's Bitter Lemons, Deborah Tall's The Island of the White Cow and Peter Mayle's best-selling A Year in Provence and its sequels.
Travel and nature writing merge in many of the works by Sally Carrighar, Ivan T. Sanderson and Gerald Durrell. These authors are naturalists, who write in support of their fields of study. Charles Darwin wrote his famous account of the journey of HMS Beagle at the intersection of science, natural history and travel.
Literary travel writing also occurs when an author, famous in another field, travels and writes about his or her experiences. Examples of such writers are Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Mary Wollstonecraft, Robert Louis Stevenson, Hilaire Belloc, D. H. Lawrence, Rebecca West and John Steinbeck.
Fictional travelogues make up a large proportion of travel literature. Although it may be desirable in some contexts to distinguish fictional from non-fictional works, such distinctions have proved notoriously difficult to make in practice, as in the famous instance of the travel writings of Marco Polo or John Mandeville. Many "fictional" works of travel literature are based on factual journeys – Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and presumably, Homer's Odyssey (c. 8th century BCE) – while other works, though based on imaginary and even highly fantastic or satirical journeys – Dante's Divine Comedy, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Voltaire's Candide or Samuel Johnson's The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia – nevertheless contain factual elements.
One contemporary example of a real life journey transformed into a work of fiction is travel writer Kira Salak's novel, The White Mary, which takes place in Papua New Guinea and the Congo and is largely based on her own experiences in those countries.
Travel literature in criticism 
The systematic study of travel literature emerged as a legitimate field of scholarly inquiry in the mid-1990s, with its own conferences, organizations, journals, monographs, anthologies, and encyclopedias. Among the most important, pre-1995 monographs are: Abroad (1980) by Paul Fussell, an exploration of British interwar travel writing as escapism; Gone Primitive: Modern Intellects, Savage Minds (1990) by Marianna Torgovnick, an inquiry into the primitivist presentation of foreign cultures; Haunted Journeys: Desire and Transgression in European Travel Writing (1991) by Dennis Porter, a close look at the psychological correlatives of travel; Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing by Sara Mills, an inquiry into the intersection of gender and colonialism during the 19th century; Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (1992), Mary Louise Pratt's influential study of Victorian travel writing’s dissemination of a colonial mind-set; and Belated Travelers (1994), an analysis of colonial anxiety by Ali Behdad.
The study of travel writing developed most extensively in the late 1990s, encouraged by the currency of Foucauldian criticism and Edward Said's postcolonial landmark study Orientalism. This growing interdisciplinary preoccupation with cultural diversity, globalization, and migration is expressed in other fields of literary study, most notably Comparative Literature. The first international travel writing conference, “Snapshots from Abroad”, organized by Donald Ross at the University of Minnesota in 1997, attracted over one hundred scholars and led to the foundation of the International Society for Travel Writing (ISTW). The first issue of Studies in Travel Writing was published the same year, edited by Tim Youngs. Annual scholarly conferences about travel writing, held in the USA, Europe and Asia, saw an unprecedented upswing in the number of published travel literature monographs and essay collections, as well as a proliferation of travel writing anthologies.
Major directions in recent travel writing scholarship include: studies about the role of gender in travel and travel writing (e.g. Women Travelers in Colonial India: The Power of the Female Gaze  by Indira Ghose); explorations of the political functions of travel (e.g. Radicals on the Road: The Politics of English Travel Writing in the 1930s  by Bernard Schweizer); postcolonial perspectives on travel (e.g. English Travel Writing: From Pilgrimages to Postcolonial Explorations (2000) by Barbara Korte); and studies about the function of language in travel and travel writing (e.g. Across the Lines: Travel, Language, and Translation  by Michael Cronin). Tim Youngs is a driving force behind the growth of the field, notably through the journal Studies in Travel Writing, through his two co-edited volumes of essays on travel writing, Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing (2002), co-edited with T. Hulme, and Perspectives in Travel Writing (2004), co-edited with G. Hooper. Youngs also co-organized the 2005 travel writing conference, “Mobilis in Mobile”, in Hong Kong. Kristi Siegel is another prolific editor of travel writing scholarship, having edited Issues in Travel Writing: Empire, Spectacle and Displacement (2002), as well as Gender, Genre, and Identity in Women’s Travel Writing (2004).
Travel writing 
Travel writing is a genre that has, as its focus, accounts of real or imaginary places. The genre encompasses a number of styles that may range from the documentary to the evocative, from literary to journalistic, and from the humorous to the serious. Travel writing is often associated with tourism, and includes works of an ephemeral nature such as guide books and reviews, with the intent being to educate the reader about the destination, provide helpful advice for those visiting the destination, and inspire readers to travel to the destination. Effective travel writing should allow readers a vivid recollection of the area/areas being described in a way that is useful and entertaining. Travel writing of various degrees of quality may be found on web sites, in magazines and in books. Travel writing has also been produced by other types of travelers, such as military officers, missionaries, explorers, scientists, pilgrims, and migrants.
Guide books 
A guide book is a book for tourists or travelers that provides details about a geographic location, tourist destination, or itinerary. It is the written equivalent of a tour guide. Modern travel guides often now take the form of travel websites rather than printed books.
Travel journals 
A travel journal, also called road journal or travelogue, is a record made by a voyager. Generally in diary form, a travel journal contains descriptions of the traveler's experiences, and is normally written during the course of the journey, with the intention of updating friends or family on the journey. Travel journals may be published in printed form, or online as blogs. Some travel blogs today are built with the intent of supporting the traveler financially during their journey,
Travel writing is a long-established literary format; an early example is the writing of Pausanias (2nd century AD) who produced his Description of Greece based on his own observations. Another more recent example is Che Guevara's The Motorcycle Diaries.
Travel journals generally refer to the notes made by travellers en route, before being worked up in detail for publication. James Boswell published his The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides in 1786 and Goethe published his Italian Journey, based on diaries, in 1816.
- Travel blog
Travel blogs are online travel journals, sometimes known as travelogs.
The first online travel blog was posted by Jeff Greenwald on GNN, the Global Network Navigator in 1993-1994, describing his journey around the world. (These dispatches formed the basis for his subsequent book, The Size of the World.)
One of the web's first online diaries - and a prototype of what was to become the 'blog' - was "A Hypertext Journal" (1996) by artists Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope, who followed the route of Boswell & Johnson's "Tour of the Western Isles" whilst responding to ongoing requests and interactions with their remote online audience. Today, websites such as first2board.com, boardingarea.com and upgrd.com serve as aggregators of top national bloggers, offering a wide variety of travel content on one site.
Many websites now offer free or cheap travel blog formats where travelers can upload photos and map their trips as well as meet other travelers. Many sites allow users to display their experiences with little or no technical expertise while keeping an archive of all their past trips. Many travel blog websites also publish articles and guides focusing on travel related issues. There are some who believe that the increase of blogs may threaten traditional postcards.
Notable travel writers and travel literature 
Note: Listed by year of publication of the majority of the writer's notable works.
8th century BC 
- Homer (fl. 8th century BC)
5th century BC 
- Xenophon (431–355 BC)
2nd century AD 
- Lucian of Samosata (c. 125 – after c. 180)
- Pausanias (fl. 2nd century)
4th century 
- Decimus Magnus Ausonius (c. 310 – 395)
- Mosella (The Moselle, c. 370) – describes the poet's trip to the banks of the river Moselle, then in Gaul.
- Faxian (c. 337 – c. 422), Chinese traveler to India and Ceylon
5th century 
- Rutilius Claudius Namatianus (fl. 5th century)
- De reditu suo (Concerning His Return, c. 416) – the poet describes his voyage along the Mediterranean seacoast from Rome to Gaul.
7th century 
- Xuanzang (602 – 664)
- Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (646) – narrative of the Buddhist monk's journey from China to India.
8th century 
- Ennin (c. 793 or 794 – 864), Japanese Buddhist monk who chronicled his travels in Tang China
10th century 
- Ahmad ibn Fadlan (fl. 10th century)
- Kitāb ilā Mulk al-Saqāliba (كتاب إلى ملك الصقالبة) (A letter to the king al-Saqāliba, Ibn Faḍlān's account of the caliphal embassy from Baghdad to the King of the Volga Bulghārs, c. 921)
11th century 
12th century 
- Abu ad-Din al-Husayn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Jubayr (1145 – 1217)
- The Travels of Ibn Jubayr (c. 1185)
- Gerald of Wales (1146 – 1223)
- Itinerarium Cambriae (Journey Through Wales, 1191)
13th century 
- Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229)
- Mu'jam Al-Buldan (Dictionary of Countries)
- William of Rubruck (c. 1220 – c. 1293)
- Itinerarium fratris Willielmi de Rubruquis de ordine fratrum Minorum, Galli, Anno gratia 1253 ad partes Orientales
- Marco Polo (1254 – 1324 or 1325), Venetian traveller to China and the Mongol Empire
- Il Milione (1298)
14th century 
- Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1368 or 1369), Moroccan world traveler
- Rihla (1355) – literally entitled: "A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling".
15th century 
- Ghiyāth al-dīn Naqqāsh who wrote, in Persian, a detailed account of his travel from Herat to Beijing on a diplomatic mission in 1420-1422. It became one of the most detailed accounts of China in the Persian and Turkish literature for the next century or two.
- Ma Huan (ca. 1380 - 1460) and Fei Xin (ca. 1385 - after 1436), each of whom wrote a book about the lands visited with Zheng He's fleet
- Afanasy Nikitin (? – 1474), Russian merchant, traveler and writer
16th century 
- Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur (1483-1531), founder of the Mughal Empire
- Baburnama, memoirs, including his descriptions of the places he lived and/or conquered.
- Duarte Barbosa (?–1521), Portuguese writer and explorer who died in Magellan's circumnavigation
- The book of Duarte Barbosa: an account of the countries bordering the Indian Ocean and their inhabitants (1516, originally known through the testimony of Italian Giovanni Battista Ramusio)
- Gaspar da Cruz (ca. 1520–1570)
- Fernão Mendes Pinto (1509–1583), Portuguese explorer and writer
- Richard Hakluyt (c. 1552–1616)
- The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589) – a foundational text of the travel literature genre.
17th century 
- Evliya Çelebi, (1610–1683)
- Johann Sigmund Wurffbain (1613–1661)
- Reise Nach Den Molukken Und Vorder-Indien, 1632-1646 (Travel to the Moluccas and the Middle East Indies, 1632-1646) (1646)
- François de La Boullaye-Le Gouz (1623–1668)
- Les voyages et observations du sieur de La Boullaye Le gouz (1653 & 1657) – one of the very first true travel books.
- Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694)
- Kashima Kikō (A Visit to Kashima Shrine) (1687)
- Oi no Kobumi, or Utatsu Kikō (Record of a Travel-Worn Satchel) (1688)
- Sarashina Kikō (A Visit to Sarashina Village) (1688)
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (trans. 1967)
18th century 
- Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) – known for the letters she wrote during several trips abroad, which were important for later female travel writers. These letters include:
- Turkish Embassy Letters – letters describing her life as an ambassador's wife in Turkey, important as one of the earliest discussions of the Muslim world by a woman
- Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
- Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735, a satiric parody of the genre)
- Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
- Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)
- Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
- Thomas Jefferson Travels: Selected Writings, 1784-1789 – record of Jefferson's travels in France, Holland, Germany and Italy, included in his Complete Works with selected portions in various collections of his writings.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1743 – 1832)
- Italienische Reise (1816–1817)
- Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797)
- A Short Residence in Sweden (1796)
- Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796)
- Jippensha Ikku (1765–1831)
19th century 
- Johann Gottfried Seume (1763–1810)
- Spaziergang nach Syrakus (1803)
- John Quincy Adams (1767–1848)
- Letters on Silesia: Written During a Tour Through That Country in the Years 1800, 1801 (1804)
- Lady Hester Stanhope (1776–1839) – the first modern "Holy Land" archaeologist, also a memoirist:
- Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope as related by herself in Conversations with her Physician (1846)
- Travels of Lady Hester Stanhope, forming the Completion of her Memoirs narrated by her Physician (1847)
- Sir Henry Holland, 1st Baronet (1788–1873)
- Travels in the Ionian Isles, Albania, Thessaly, Macedonia, &c., during the years 1812 and 1813 (1815)
- Georges Clemenceau Au Pied du Sinaï (1898; new ed. 2000). (Travels in Jewish Europe down to Palestine by the future French Prime Minister and WWI leader).
- James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851)
- Gleanings in Europe: Switzerland (1836)
- Gleanings in Europe: The Rhine (1836)
- Gleanings in Europe: England (1837)
- Marquis de Custine (1790–1857)
- Empire of the Czar: A Journey Through Eternal Russia (1838)
- Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
- Reisebilder (1826–33), Harzreise (1853)
- Frances Trollope (1779–1863)
- Washington Irving (1783-1859)
- Isabella Frances Romer (1798–1852)
- A Pilgrimage to the Temples and Tombs of Egypt, Nubia and Palestine in 1845–6 (1846)
- Flora Tristan (1803–1844)
- Peregrinations of a Pariah (1838)
- Promenades in London (1840)
- Karl Baedeker (1801–1859), German publisher whose company set the standard for authoritative guidebooks for tourists
- Rifa'a el-Tahtawi (1801–1873), Egyptian traveler to France
- Takhlis al-Ibriz fi Talkhis Bariz ("An Imam in Paris: Account of a Stay in France by an Egyptian Cleric (1826-1831)", 1834)
- George Borrow (1803–1881)
- Susanna Moodie (1803–1885)
- Roughing it in the Bush (1852)
- John Lloyd Stephens (1805–1852)
- Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petræa and the Holy Land (1837)
- Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland (1838)
- Incidents of Travel in Central American, Chiapas and Yucatan (1841)
- Incidents of Travel in Yucatan (1843)
- Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859)
- Journey to America (1831–1832)
- Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875)
- The Improvisatore (1835)
- Charles Darwin (1809–1882)
- The Voyage of the Beagle (1839)
- Alexander Kinglake (1809–1891)
- Eothen (1844)
- Charles Dickens (1812–1870)
- Herman Melville (1819–1891)
- Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880) left travel notes and letters, including:
- Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour (publ.1972) letters
- Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913)
- The Malay Archipelago describes eight years exploring Indonesia and other islands
- Henry Walter Bates (1825–1892)
- The Naturalist on the River Amazons (1863) describes 11 years in the Amazon rainforest
- Mary Anne Barker (1831–1911)
- Station Life in New Zealand (1870)
- A Year’s Housekeeping in South Africa (1880)
- Isabella Bird (1831–1904) published more than a dozen books on her global travels, including:
- The Englishwoman in America (1856)
- The Hawaiian Archipelago (1875)
- The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither (1883)
- Korea and her Neighbours (1898)
- The Yangtze Valley and Beyond (1899)
- Fran Levstik (1831–1887)
- William Morris (1834–1896)
- Icelandic Journals (1911)
- Mark Twain (1835–1910)
- John Burroughs (1837–1921)
- Fresh Fields (1884)
- William Dean Howells (1837–1920)
- Certain Delightful English Towns (1906)
- Henry James (1843–1916)
- Joshua Slocum (1844–1909)
- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)
- Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)
- Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail (1888)
- Through the Brazilian Wilderness (1914)
- Pandita Ramabai (1858–1922)
- Pandita Ramabai's American Encounter: The Peoples of the United States (1889)
- Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch (1862–1908)
- Enchanted India (1898)
- Mary Kingsley (1862–1900)
- Travels in West Africa (1897)
- J. Smeaton Chase (1864–1923)
- Yosemite Trails (1911)
- California Coast Trails (1913)
- California Desert Trails (1919)
- Nellie Bly (1864–1922)
20th century 
- Nagai Kafu American Stories (being diaries of his travels through America, first published in Japanase as Amerika monogatari, 1908), modern ed., Columbia University Press, 2000.
- Octave Mirbeau (1848–1917)
- La 628-E8 (1908)
- Jelena Dimitrijević (1862–1945)
- Letters from Niš Regarding Harems (1897)
- Letters from Salonica on Young Turk Revolution (1918)
- Letters from India (1928)
- Letters from Egypt (1929)
- The New World, alias: In America for a Year (1934)
- Daisy Bates (1859-1951)
- Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1867–1951)
- Across Asia from West to East in 1906-1908 (English trans. 1940) – explorations by Czarist spy who would later become President of Finland.
- Norman Douglas (1868–1962)
- Old Calabria (1915)
- Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)
- Persian Pictures (1894)
- Syria: The Desert and the Sown (1907)
- André Gide (1869–1951)
- Voyage au Congo (1927)
- Le retour de Tchad (1928)
- Retour de l'U. R. S. S. (1936)
- Retouches â mon retour de l'U. R. S. S (1937)
- Ernest Peixotto (1869–1940)
- Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953)
- The Path To Rome (1902) – a ramble by foot from central France to Rome in 1901.
- W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965)
- On a Chinese Screen (1922) – vignettes of China in the '30s from the master of the short story.
- Yone Noguchi (1875–1947)
- Isidora Sekulić (1877–1958)
- Pisma iz Norveške / Letters from Norway (1914)
- D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930)
- Sea and Sardinia (1921)
- Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) (1885-1962)
- Out of Africa (1938)
- Henry Vollam Morton (1892–1979)
- The Heart of London (1925)
- In Search of England (1927)
- Rebecca West (1892–1983)
- Freya Stark (1893-1993)
- The Valleys of the Assassins (1934)
- The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut (1936)
- Seen In The Hadhramaut (1938)
- A Winter in Arabia (1940)
- Ionia a Quest (1954)
- The Lycian Shore (1956)
- Alexander's Path (1958)
- Riding to the Tigris (1959).
- Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan (1893–1963)
- Volga Se Ganga ("A Journey From Volga to Ganga", 1944)
- Thomas Raucat (1894–1976)
- L'honorable partie de campagne ("The honorable picnic", 1924)
- De Shang-Haï à Canton ("From Shanghai to Canton", 1927)
- J. Slauerhoff (1898–1936)
- Alleen de havens zijn ons trouw ("Only the Ports Are Loyal to Us", 1992 [1927–1932])
- Peter Aufschnaiter (1899–1973)
- Eight Years in Tibet (1983)
- Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
- A Moveable Feast (1964; published posthumously)
- Emily Kimbrough (1899–1989) – writer of travel humor
- And a Right Good Crew (1958)
- Gordon Sinclair (1900–1984)
- Khyber Caravan: Through Kashmir, Waziristan, Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Northern India (1936) – a somewhat curmudgeonly account of 1934 travels in British India by a later famous Canadian journalist and television personality.
- Richard Halliburton (1900–1939), one of the most famous explorers and adventure writers of his generation
- The Royal Road to Romance (1925)
- The Glorious Adventure (1927)
- New Worlds to Conquer (1929)
- The Flying Carpet (1932)
- Seven League Boots (1935)
- Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1938.
- My Several Worlds (1954)
- A Bridge For Passing (1962)
- The People of Japan (1966)
- China as I See It (1970)
- Vivienne de Watteville (1900–1957)
- Out in the Blue (1927)
- Speak to the Earth: Wanderings and Reflections among Elephants and Mountains (1937).
- John Steinbeck (1902–1968)
- A Russian Journal (1948) – A trip through Russia, Ukraine and Georgia in the Soviet Union shortly after World War II with the friend and renowned war photographer Robert Capa.
- Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962) – an American road book describing Steinbeck's journeys with his poodle, Charley.
- Chiang Yee (1903–1977)
- The Silent Traveller series – 11 books about his travels in Britain, the USA and Japan
- Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966)
- Waugh Abroad: Collected Travel Writing – an account of the English novelist's restless wanderings around the world in the 1930s and later.
- Ninety-Two Days: Travels in Guiana and Brazil (1932)
- J.M. Synge (1871–1909)
- The Aran Islands with illustrations by Jack B. Yeats. (1907)
- Travels in Wicklow, West Kerry and Connemara with illustrations by Jack B. Yeats. (1911)
- Graham Greene (1904–1991)
- Journey Without Maps (1936)
- Gerald Brenan (1894–1987)
- The Spanish Labyrinth (1943)
- The Face of Spain (1950)
- Robert Byron (1905–1941)
- Laurens van der Post (1906–1996)
- The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958) – Auberon Waugh (1939–2001) described van der Post as the person in whose company he'd most like to spend an evening. This book by the South African soldier/explorer/writer suggests why.
- James Michener (1907-1997)
- Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)
- Tramp Royale (1992)
- Ian Fleming (1908–1964)
- Thrilling Cities (1963)
- M. F. K. Fisher (1908 – 1992)
- How to Cook a Wolf (1942)
- Map of Another Town: A Memoir of Provence (1964)
- Dubious Honors (1988)
- Long Ago in France: The Years in Dijon (1991)
- Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998)
- Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir (1978)
- Paul Bowles (1910–1999)
- Yallah (1957)
- Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue (1963)
- Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003)
- Arabian Sands (1959)
- Gavin Young (1928–2001)
- Return to the Marshes (1977)
- Iraq: Land of Two Rivers (1980)
- Slow Boats to China (1981)
- Halfway Around the World: An Improbable Journey (1983)
- Slow Boats Home (1985)
- Lawrence Durrell (1912–1990)
- Prospero's Cell: A Guide to the Landscape and Manners of the Island of Corcyra (1945) – this text describes Durrell's time in Corfu. It should be read in tandem with his brother Gerald's My Family and Other Animals.
- Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953) – experiences in Rhodes.
- Bitter Lemons (1957) – travels in Cyprus.
- Heinrich Harrer (1912–2006)
- Seven Years in Tibet (1952)
- Gavin Maxwell (1914–1969)
- People of the Reeds (1957)
- Patrick Leigh Fermor (born 1915)
- A Time Of Gifts (1977) – a journey by an 18 year old in 1933/4 overland from the Hook of Holland to Hungary, rewritten in old age from long lost notes.
- Roger Pilkington (1915–2003) – author of the "Small Boat" series
- Small Boat on the Thames (1966)
- Small Boat on the Moselle (1968)
- Camilo José Cela (1916–2002)
- Viaje a la Alcarria (1948)
- Mary Lee Settle (1918 – 2005)
- Turkish Reflections: A Biography of Place (1991)
- Eric Newby (1919–2006), popular English travel writer
- Lucjan Wolanowski (1920–2006)
- Jože Javoršek (1920-1990)
- Indija Koromandija (1962), a travelogue through India by one of the most important Slovenian essayists of the 20th century
- Zulfikar "Zuko" Džumhur (1921, Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1989) was a Bosnian writer, painter and caricaturist. He wrote screenplays and hosted TV show Hodoljublje, a travel documentary. He successfully produced this show for over ten years for television TV Sarajevo.
- Hodoljublja (1982, "TV Sarajevo" Bosnia and Herzegovina) (Travelogue - a travel documentary with focus on culture, traditions, art and nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina, (ex) Yugoslavia and countries he sojourned, primarily Islamic and countries of Mediterranean Basin.)
- Nekrolog jednoj čaršiji (1958) (Obituary of a čaršija (the downtown/main street Ottoman-Turkish style bazaar)) (with an introduction by Ivo Andrić)
- Pisma iz Azije (1973) (Letters from Asia)
- Pisma iz Afrike i Evrope (Letters from Africa & Europe)
- Stogodišnje priče (Centennial tales)
- Putovanje bijelom Ladom (1982) (Voyage with white "Lada" ("Lada" is a brand of Russian automobile))
- Zelena čoja Montenegra (Green carpet of Montenegro - co-authored with Serbian novelist Momo Kapor)
- Gerald Durrell (1925–1995)
- My Family and Other Animals (1956) – a description of an idyllic childhood on Corfu in the 1930s by the brother of Lawrence Durrell (1912–1990). This text combines natural observations, humour, storytelling, and travel.
- Fillets of Plaice (1971)
- Jan Morris (born 1926) – author of many works, especially about cities; prior to the 1970s, her work was published under her previous name, "James Morris."
- Coast to Coast (1956)
- Oxford (1965)
- The Matter of Wales (1984)
- Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001)
- Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007)
- "America" (1986)
- Che Guevara (1928–1967)
- Primož Kozak (1929-1981)
- Peter Klepec in America (1971), a travelogue through the United States by one of the most important Slovenian essayists of the 20th century
- Juan Goytisolo (born 1931)
- Campos de Nijar (1959)
- Ted Simon (born 1931)
- Jupiter's Travels (1979)
- Ryszard Kapuściński (1932–2007)
- Cees Nooteboom (born 1933), Dutch travel writer
- Berlijnse Notities (1990)
- Roads to Santiago (1992)
- Nootebooms Hotel (2002)
- Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (1934–2002)
- Italian Days (1989)
- David Lodge (born 1935)
- Paradise News, 1991
- Rubén Caba (born 1935)
- Por la ruta serrana del Arcipreste (1976, 1977, 1995)
- Venedict Yerofeyev (1938–1990)
- Moskva–Pеtushki (1973) – a Russian tale of alcohol, love, and a train ride; translated into English as Moscow to the End of the Line.
- William Least Heat-Moon (born 1939)
- Blue Highways: A Journey into America (1982)
- Peter Mayle (born 1939)
- A Year in Provence (1989)
- Colin Thubron (born 1939)
- Mirror to Damascus (1967)
- Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989)
- Frances Mayes (born 1940)
- Paul Theroux (born 1941)
- The Great Railway Bazaar (1975) – perhaps Theroux's most popular travel work.
- Jonathan Raban (born 1942)
- Michael Crichton (1942–2008)
- Travels (1988)
- Gao Xingjian (born 1940)
- Soul Mountain (1990)
- Mary Morris (born 1947)
- Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone (1987)
- Wall to Wall: from Beijing to Berlin by Rail (1991)
- Angels & Aliens: A Journey West (1999)
- The River Queen (2007)
21st century 
- Rita Golden Gelman (born 1939)
- L. Peat O'Neil, Pyrénées Pilgrimage. Walking across France (2010).
- Michael Palin (born 1943)
- Sahara (2002)
- Tom Miller (born 1947)
- Best Travel Writing 2005, introduction, pp. xvii-xxi, (2005)
- A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, (2004) pp. 325–343.
- Writing on the Edge: A Borderlands Reader, (ed.) (2003)
- Travelers' Tales – Cuba, (ed.) (2001)
- Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink: Offbeat Travels Through America's Southwest (2000)
- Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba (1992)
- The Panama Hat Trail: A Journey From South America (1986)
- Arizona: The Land and the People, (ed.) (1986)
- On the Border: Portraits of America's Southwestern Frontier (1981)
- Mikirō Sasaki (born 1947), Japanese poet and travel essayist
- Ajia kaidō kikō: umi wa toshi de aru (A Travel Journal of the Asian Seaboard, 2002)
- Lawrence Millman (born 1948)
- An Evening Among Headhunters: And Other Reports from Roads Less Taken (1999)
- Last Places: A Journey in the North (2000)
- Northern Latitudes (2000)
- Lost in the Arctic: Explorations on the Edge (2002)
- Chris Stewart (born 1950)
- Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia (1999)
- A Parrot in the Pepper Tree (2002)
- The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (2007)
- Bill Bryson (born 1951)
- The Palace Under the Alps (1985) – an early work that is more of a travel guide than a narrative.
- Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe (1992)
- Notes from a Small Island (1995) – travels in the United Kingdom.
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (1999)
- In a Sunburned Country (2001)
- Douglas Adams (1952–2001)
- Last Chance to See (1990)
- Vikram Seth (born 1952)
- From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983)
- Predrag Miletić (born 1952)
- By bicycle to Hilandar (2004)
- Quim Monzó (born 1952)
- Guadalajara (1997)
- Barcelona und andere Erzählungen (2007)
- Neil Peart (born 1952), drummer for the Canadian rock band Rush
- Kenn Kaufman (born 1954)
- Kingbird Highway: The Story of a Natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand (1997)
- Rory MacLean (born 1954)
- Stalin’s Nose (1992)
- The Oatmeal Ark (1997)
- Under the Dragon (1998)
- Next Exit Magic Kingdom (2000)
- Falling for Icarus (2004)
- Magic Bus (2006)
- Dennison Berwick (born 1956)
- Savages, The Life and Killing of the Yanomami (1992)
- Amazon (1990)
- A walk along the Ganges (1986)
- Pico Iyer (born 1957)
- Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-so-Far East (1988)
- Falling off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World (1993)
- Tropical Classical: Essays from Several Directions (1997)
- Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home (2000) – three excellent collections of essays on the postmodern experience of travel.
- Tony Horwitz (born 1958)
- One for the Road: An Outback Adventure (1987)
- Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia (1991)
- Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (1998)
- Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (2002)
- A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (2008)
- Rebecca Solnit (born 1961)
- Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2000)
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost (2005)
- Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010)
- Jeffrey Tayler (born 1962)
- Siberian Dawn: A Journey Across the New Russia (1999)
- Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness (2000)
- Glory in a Camel's Eye: Trekking Through the Moroccan Sahara (2003)
- Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel (2005)
- River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny (2006)
- Karl Taro Greenfeld (born 1964)
- Speed Tribes: Days and Nights with Japan's Next Generation (1995)
- Standard Deviations: Growing Up and Coming Down in the New Asia – an exploration of the traveler/backpacker subcultures in the Far East during the 1990s by a writer who was there.
- William Dalrymple (born 1965)
- Tahir Shah (born 1966)
- Guy Delisle (born 1966)
- J. Maarten Troost (born 1969)
- Elizabeth Gilbert
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything, Across Italy, India and Indonesia (2006)
- Cleo Paskal
- Navigating Customs: New Travel Stories by 12 Writers [Less Than] 25 (2007)
- Elizabeth Eaves (born 1971)
- Kira Salak (born 1971)
- Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea (2001)
- The Cruelest Journey: 600 Miles to Timbuktu (2004)
- Tom Bissell (born 1974)
- Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia (2003)
- Bishwanath Ghosh (born 1970)
- Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop But Never Get Off (2009)
- Vyacheslav Krasko (born 1974)
See also 
- Gary Arndt
- Beautiful England
- British Guild of Travel Writers
- Dolman Best Travel Book Award (begun 2006)
- Imaginary voyages
- Notes from the Road
- Outdoor literature
- Picador Travel Classics
- Thomas Cook Travel Book Award (ran from 1980–2004)
- El-Shihibi, Fathi A. (2006). Travel Genre in Arabic Literature: A Selective Literary and Historical Study (Originally presented as the author's thesis (Ph.D.--Boston University, 1998)). Boca Raton, Fla: Dissertation.com. ISBN 1-58112-326-4.
- Hargett 1985, p. 67.
- Hargett 1985, pp. 67–93.
- Hargett 1985, pp. 74–76.
- Stolley 1992, p. 26.
- Fussell 1963, p. 54.
- Finkel, Michael (August 2008). "Kira Salek: The White Mary". National Geographic Adventure. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (26 July 2008). "Imaginary Journey". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "The White Mary: A Novel". Amazon.com. ASIN 0805088474.
- "Welcome". International Society for Travel Writing. 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- Siegel, Kristi. "Publications". KristiSiegel.com. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Paul Willis (2008-08-04). "Can Postcards Survive the Digital Age?". CNN. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Works by or about Johann Sigmund Wurffbain in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by or about Emily Kimbrough in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by or about Roger Pilkington in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Batten, Charles Lynn (1978). Pleasurable Instruction: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-Century Travel Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03260-6. OCLC 4419780.
- Chaney, Edward (1998). The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations Since the Renaissance. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 978-0-7146-4577-3. OCLC 38304358.
- Chatzipanagioti-Sangmeister, Julia (2006). Griechenland, Zypern, Balkan und Levante: eine kommentierte Bibliographie der Reiseliteratur des 18. Jahrhunderts (in German). Eutin: Lumpeter and Lasel. ISBN 978-3-9810674-2-2. OCLC 470750661.
- Fussell, Paul (1963). "Patrick Brydone: The Eighteenth-Century Traveler As Representative Man". Literature As a Mode of Travel. New York: New York Public Library. pp. 53–67. OCLC 83683507.
- Hargett, James M. (1985). "Some Preliminary Remarks on the Travel Records of the Song Dynasty (960-1279)". Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 7 (1/2): 67–93. doi:10.2307/495194. JSTOR 495194.
- Speake, Jennifer (2003). Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 1-57958-247-8. OCLC 55631133.
- Stolley, Karen (1992). El lazarillo de ciegos caminantes: un itinerario crítico (in Spanish). Hanover, NH: Ediciones del Norte. ISBN 978-0-910061-49-0. OCLC 29205545.
|Look up itinerary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Travel literature|
- International Society for Travel Writing
- "The Literature of Travel, 1700–1900" and "Essay on travel literature, from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature (1907–1921).
- Historical British travel writers: an extensive open access library on the Vision of Britain site.
- The Significance of the Travelogue.