As the winter draws in, many of us are thinking of trips to warmer climes and planning our holiday itineraries for next year. To keep you going until your next break, we've amassed 100 of the very best travel writers and picked out some of their finest works for your enjoyment.
The Tripbase team read as much travel literature as we can get our hands on, and every now and then stumble across a professional writer we wish we'd discovered long before. After many hours of discussion, we finally came to a conclusion on which of our collective favorites should make the top 100. Some you’ll have come across before, while others really don’t get enough press - however, note that they aren’t in any order of greatness… it took us long enough to narrow it down to just 100, and with anything this subjective it would have been impossible to rank them against each other.Next 10 >>
Abbie is a professional writer and editor with a long line of publications under her well-weathered belt, including such heavy hitters as National Geographic Traveler, Cosmopolitan and Forbes Traveler. She has been published under the heading of Best Women's Travel Writers in the past, though don't let the demographic fool you - her travel tales are adventurous and hold appeal with anyone fond of a good read, especially those who aren't afraid to break a nail in the pursuit of fun.
Peruse through her website and you'll find a wide range of topics explored in her writing, stemming from the enviable roles she holds at numerous special interest publications. There seems to be a touch of class to everything she does, though we especially enjoy articles which incorporate her knack for evocative food writing.
If you've already come across him, chances are it was via his memoir Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons. If you're none the wiser, his missives on time spent in a South Korean jail after trying to import hashish into the country serve not only as a fantastic (if unconventional) travel diary but also a highly original take on South Korean culture. Not only has it received the prestigious Kiriyama Prize Notable Book for 2008, but the book has 15 out of 16 five star reviews on Amazon (the last one was four stars).
You can read an excerpt of the aforementioned book over Cullen's website, and we can just about guarantee you'll be moved to buy the book. Outside of this, his frequent contributions to a number of high profile publications never fail to disappoint with consistently hard-hitting and often politically charged insight, though never overbearing. He's exactly the kind of guy you'd like to take out for a beer in order to pick his brains.
To say Leslie has travelled would be something of an understatement. Her freelance writing has taken her from Uruguay to Scotland and an enviable number of places between, and the reports which ensue always make for entertaining reading. As well as travel, other subjects which fall into her expert remit include culture, design, fashion and shopping - in other words, a born globetrotting fashionista who is destined for great things if her bibliography so far is anything to go by.
Her articles strike that excellent yet tricky balance of being as informative as a tour guide yet as fascinating as any well-penned travel diary. Her work instantly hooks you and by the time you reach the end of it you'll feel like you know both Leslie and the subject matter very well indeed.
Kristin is a blogger par excellence, and professional writing pretty much consumes her life. Her time gets split pretty evenly between travel and celebrity journalism (check out her site for some quick-witted interviews), and she does both equally well. Kristin has been working or studying in journalism in some form or another for most of her life, and her self-professed travel addiction has seen her travel across North America, Europe and Australia among others. A selfish traveler would keep her raucous experiences to herself, whereas Kristin shares the fun via her regularly (and some would say obsessively!) updated blog Camels & Chocolate with good photography peppered throughout.
There's nothing more accessible than a travel blog packed with airy prose for dipping in and out of, so you've got no excuse not to give her refreshing travel writing a try. It has even won a couple of blog awards to boot which is of no surprise when it features such lines as "...the most peaceful thing you can see underwater. Imagine huge flocks of sparrows immersed in a jar of clear moonshine honey."
Based in Minneapolis, Frank Bures is a family man and travel writer whose work tells us as much about himself as the country he's discussing. With credits in the L.A. Times, Harper's, Esquire and the Washington Post Magazine, Frank is somewhat of an inspiration in the sense that he doesn't just visit a location but truly lives it - not only is he a polyglot but can call several countries his home.
Mainly because he is a humble, likable character who can really get under the skin of a country's culture in his writing, and in doing so holds a mirror up to ourselves. Every article or story we've read so far provokes some real thought, usually sparked by a reflective line or two which nails what it is like to be human.
According to her site, Jenna wouldn't call herself a travel writer per se yet it was via her regular articles in this field that we came across her. A lady of many talents, being a freelance reporter/writer has seen Jenna write on a vast array of subjects and her experience in other disciplines (such as food, media and many more) bring a well-balanced and unique voice to her travel work. Professionally she edits and writes for a couple of major in-flight magazines and has contributed to many more publications and guidebooks.
Possibly Jenna's greatest skill as a writer is her eye for good subject matter. She always finds interesting and fresh takes on otherwise well-trodden ground and covers it with both depth and humor. Her guide writing is solid and informative, but she really comes into her own when covering stories in a journalistic style.
Rob is a Nonfiction Writing graduate from Columbia University and has been studying, working and teaching for over a decade. In this time his credentials as a travel professional (in the fields of both writing and photography) have gone from strength to strength and has had work published in The Boston Globe, The Faster Times and at the World Hum website. As if he didn't have enough arrows in his quiver, he also boasts an equally impressive bibliography as a skilled interviewer and reviewer.
All of the guys and gals you'll find featured here are fantastic writers, and a fair few of them are a dab hand with a long lens camera. Rob Verger raises the bar on this front, as all of his written work is supplemented with top-drawer photography which brings his work to life in with a vigor that is rare to find with such consistency.
The Canadian-based, self-styled 'Wizard of Words' has an extensive writing history and amasses stories from around the world to entertain and inspire. Alongside her public speaking and mentoring roles, Doreen not only has a long line of feature articles but also a few books in her bibliography. Her breezy travel writing has graced the pages of numerous magazines as she accounts her frequent tours of North America, Europe and beyond to great effect - and if you need any further convincing, she has not one but three awards under her belt.
A born writer if ever there was one. Humor and a travel for passion are never far from Doreen's well-crafted articles, and it's very easy to put yourself in her shoes with her down-to-earth style (a highlight with any travel read). We could go on endlessly, but you probably want to jump straight to the sample page of her website (don't miss her odyssey through the United Arab Emirates in "Kissed by a Camel").
Jeremy has had a tremendously successful travel career across both print media and television. Based in the UK, he has more irons in the fire than most freelancers and juggles responsibilities at numerous companies, as well as sating his ever-present wanderlust.
Unpretentious and straight to the point, if you're the kind of person who yearns for something more than a package holiday then Jeremy's tales of authentic travel experiences will suit you perfectly.
Nancy is a Montreal resident and has been writing, studying and teaching in the literary fields for quite some time. Her growth over the last twenty years has seen her reach great heights as both a travel writer and photographer, with links to some prestigious travel associations and ongoing print accreditation in widespread Canadian publications (such as the Toronto Star and The National Post). In terms of travelling itself, her adventures so far are equally as enviable as she has spent a lot of time in Europe and the Far East - all this while balancing family life with two children!
... because you don't get this good by resting on your laurels. Nancy's seemingly effortless quality is the result of near-nomadic levels of travel and a dedication to her craft, and this translates very well to the reader. We're yet to read a piece which doesn't completely engage (though it goes without saying that her Jewish works pertain more to that demographic).