The best travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts

Why am I passionate about this?

With my debut comedic travel memoir having come out in April, I read every humorous travel book I could get my hands on both as part of my education for inspiration on how to write my book and before I even knew I was going to write a book because I simply love reading these types of stories. From my own experience, travel has made me grow so much as a person, and all of these authors beautifully capture their own journeys and how travel helped them find their way.

I wrote...

Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

By Kristen Van Nest,

Book cover of Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

What is my book about?

It turns the classic tale of Millennial malaise into a riotous travelogue. Post-college, armed with a sexy New York City zip code, a (terrible) boyfriend, and a soul-crushing corporate job—I found myself as fulfilled as a cat in a bath. Naturally, I fled the country.

My adventures, from almost being offed by a lover in Switzerland to stumbling through a Greek banking crisis, serve not just as escapades but as a quest for identity. Through stories about living in Luxembourg on a Fulbright Scholarship and working in China's wine underworld, this book is for anyone who needs a good laugh, travel ideas, and inspiration for ways to add more joy into their lives.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

Kristen Van Nest Why did I love this book?

I love how this book weaves in discovering who she is, a humorous element, and winding hilarious stories where you never know what's going to happen next. It also talks honestly about being frustrated as a woman and trying to date, the expectations put on us as women, and how these discourage us from taking our own path.

Now writing on Only Murders in the Building, Newman has a lovely, comedic voice.

Book cover of The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

Kristen Van Nest Why did I love this book?

When influencers talk about travel, it makes it sound so sexy and effortless. But in between those romanticized moments, travel can be quite frustrating as you try to figure out which way to go on a street or discover that a museum is actually quite boring.

Bryson makes the mundane entertaining, weaving in his humor in a relatable way. Having lived in Britain for much of his adult life, this book on him rediscovering America had me cracking up at every turn.

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Lost Continent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'

And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres.…

Book cover of Eat Pray Love

Kristen Van Nest Why did I love this book?

This book was revolutionary in its time because it was very rare at the time of publication that someone could go abroad to really discover themselves.

Gilbert forcing herself to focus on the absolute most terrifying thing–your own areas for growth–leads her into dark places, but also the bright light at the end of the tunnel that comes with doing this type of self work. It was quite enjoyable joining her on this journey and what each place she visited taught her.

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Eat Pray Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________ OVER 15 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE _________________ 'Eat, Pray, Love has been passed from woman to woman like the secret of life' - Sunday Times 'A defining work of memoir' - Sunday Telegraph 'Engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining' - Time _________________ It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own…

Book cover of Me Talk Pretty One Day

Kristen Van Nest Why did I love this book?

While every one of Sedaris’ books is hilarious, this one is later in his life and reflects in a very deep way on a life well-lived.

While living in France, he talks about the experience of being an expat and has a lot of funny stories interacting with locals as he stowed away in his home there to both write and relax.

By David Sedaris,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Me Talk Pretty One Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new collection from David Sedaris is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Cant Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails. Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, Sedaris has become one of our best-loved authors. Sedaris is…

Book cover of Open Mic Night in Moscow: And Other Stories from My Search for Black Markets, Soviet Architecture, and Emotionally Unavailable Russian Men

Kristen Van Nest Why did I love this book?

Coming from a standup comedy background, Murray captures her quest across Central Asia, inspired by her love of Russian men.

Through some scary moments, nearly getting kidnapped to more hilarious ones performing standup in front of a crowd that speaks a different language than her own, she is fun to travel with and always has a hilarious anecdote to share.

By Audrey Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Open Mic Night in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The raucous and surprisingly poignant story of a young, Russia-obsessed American writer and comedian who embarked on a solo tour of the former Soviet Republics, never imagining that it would involve kidnappers, garbage bags of money, and encounters with the weird and wonderful from Mongolia to Tajikistan.

Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Siberia are not the typical tourist destinations of a twenty-something, nor the places one usually goes to eat, pray, and/or love. But the mix of imperial Russian opulence and Soviet decay, and the allure of emotionally unavailable Russian men proved strangely irresistible to comedian Audrey Murray.

At age twenty-eight, while…

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Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

Book cover of Return to Hope Creek

Alyssa J. Montgomery Author Of A Spanish Seduction

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian USA Today bestselling romance author who writes contemporary romance and uses the pen name Alyssa James to write medieval romance. I think the makeover trope resonates with me because although I’m no beauty queen now, I was definitely an ugly duckling in my teens. For reasons best known to him, my father insisted on close-cropped hair, and financial circumstances dictated out-of-style hand-me-down clothing. After university, I found my own style, but it wasn’t until I was accepted as an international flight attendant that I believed that I couldn’t be all that ugly if Qantas employed me!

Alyssa's book list on makeover romances

What is my book about?

Return to Hope Creek is a second-chance rural romance set in Australia.

Stella Simpson's career and engagement are over. She returns to the rural community of Hope Creek to heal, unaware her high school and college sweetheart, Mitchell Scott, has also moved back to town to do some healing of his own.

Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback, doesn't need the complication of encountering Stella again so long after the messy end to their relationship, but as each tries to build a new life, they are drawn together and find their chemistry is just as strong as ever.

Will their love be stronger the second time around?

Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

What is this book about?

When two old flames come back to their home town, sparks are bound to ignite. A rural romance from USA Today bestselling author Alyssa J. Montgomery.

A horrific car accident ended former world number-one Stella Simpson’s tennis career, and a betrayal ended her relationship with her fiancé/coach. When a family friend offers to sell her half of a property in the rural community where she grew up, it seems like the perfect place to escape, heal and begin the next phase of her life. Until she discovers that the man who broke her heart ten years ago has bought the…

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