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What Literature to Take With You on a Trip: Best Books for Students

One of the most exciting prospects of going on a trip is reading or browsing books. 


But which books should we take with us? What type of books should we pack for our journey?


The best books for students are those that will help them explore their own minds and journeys and help them learn more about the world they live in.


We’ll start with fiction. We can pack a few novels from some of our favorite authors- Charles Dickens, J.K Rowling, and George Orwell- and get lost in these worlds for hours at a time.


Best Books for Students: 12 Favorites 

Freya Stark’s Valley of the Assassins

Throughout her long and successful career, British explorer and author Freya Stark (1893-1993) fought against the stereotype that exploration and travel writing were just men’s purviews.


Written by Stark, who was the first Westerner to visit the remote area of the Luristan desert between Iraq and Iran and interact with its inhabitants, Valley of the Assassins was published in 1934 and became an immediate classic.


Lord of the Flies

William Golding, a British author who won the Nobel Prize, published his novel Lord of the Flies in 1954.


The meaningful “Lord of the Flies” essay examples follow a gang of British boys as they try and fail to govern themselves on an uninhabited island.


Find motivation in these themes inspired by different struggles between conforming to the group and standing out as an individual, acting logically and responding emotionally, and doing the right thing and doing the wrong something and getting good grades.


Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

When best-selling author John Steinbeck set out to learn more about real America in 1960, he took to the road with only his dog Charley for company.


Even if Steinbeck didn’t stumble onto some hidden truth about the USA, his travelogue demonstrates that animals may be just as good of a travel companion as humans.


The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

 Theroux’s epic narrative of his train voyage from England to Japan (and back!) in 1973 is a wonderful joy for railway lovers and amateurs alike.


Including trips on the Trans-Siberian Railway during the Soviet era, a visit to Vietnam during the tense standoff before the end of the Vietnam War, and a host of extraordinarily unusual and tremendously amusing people.


Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly

Saroo Brierly, born in India but raised in Australia by adoptive parents, had desired to meet his biological family ever since he was separated from them on a frantic train ride to Burhanpur when he was five years old.


The film Lion, which was nominated for an Oscar, follows Brierly on his arduous journey to find his lost home and the miraculous, heartwarming reuniting with his mother and sister after 25 years.


Motorcycle Diaries: Notes from a Journey Through Latin America by Che Guevara

Ernesto “Che” Guevara took a year off from medical school to travel around South America on motorcycles with a companion, many years before he became a famous and controversial communist guerilla.


Traveling from northern Colombia to southern Chile, the guys were exposed to the hardship of common people across Latin America.


They were prompted to ask profound questions about the nature of society and the potential of a more just world during their 8,000-mile journey.


The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

In what the author calls a “philosophical hilarious trip memoir,” former NPR correspondent Eric Weiner sets out to discover “the components of a wonderful existence.”


From Iceland to Bhutan, Weiner visits both the world’s happiest and unhappiest spots, realizing there is no single formula for achieving contentment.


Mask Rider

The world over, he is revered as the phenomenally gifted drummer for Rush. People may not know this, but Neil Peart was also a dedicated cyclist in addition to being a legendary drummer.


Although his cancer-related death was tragic, Peart’s musical and autobiographical works ensure that his genius will never be forgotten.


This book, Masked Rider, is an open and frank recounting of his time spent cycling through West Africa. Anyone looking for an epic journey should read this book.


It’s thanks to Neil Peart that we get a glimpse of the genuine person behind the famous face in the music industry.


Crazy Rich Asians

One of the rare travel books that work well as a film, this film was a worldwide smash hit. Explore the private lives of the ultra-wealthy yet mysterious families who are hiding more than Vladimir Putin’s fortune.


The story follows Rachel as she travels with her boyfriend to Singapore for a summer vacation, only to discover that her modest boyfriend is Asia’s most eligible bachelor and that everyone, including his mother, is determined to pull them apart.


The Price of Salt

Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is a lesbian modern classic, and it was adapted from a novel by Highsmith that was initially released under a pseudonym in 1952.


The narrative is quietly revolutionary in its sumptuousness, but to call it merely a book adapted into a film would be an injustice.


A must-read, Highsmith’s wintery novel follows two ladies in mid-century America as they hit the road and strive to evade societal norms.


Finding Gobi

One of the most enjoyable travel books you’ll read, especially if you have a soft spot in your heart for dogs.


When ultramarathoner Dion Leonard set out for China, he had one goal: placing highly in a 155-mile race through the Gobi desert.


Read about how a stray dog’s determination to stay with its owner through 70 miles of heat and tiredness won over Leonard’s heart.


Watch as Leonard, a previously focused veteran, decides to share his few rations with a stray dog he has called the Gobi.


American Shaolin

Matthew Polly, an ordinary American dude, tells about his experience in China, where he lived, studied, and performed with the Shaolin monks.


One of the most outlandish and entertaining trip memoirs ever written, all about going for your goals.


To see Matthew’s journey from a skinny college dropout to a chi-force master, you’ll have to follow him as he leaves Princeton.


He describes his exploits in penetrating the hidden realm of Shaolin Kung Fu, where bizarre disciplines such as “The Iron Crotch” and other methods of achieving invincibility are taught.



These books are perfect for anyone who loves reading and is looking for something interesting to read on a trip.


For students, having a nice book to read on a trip can offer an escape from the stresses of day to day. Running between classes, rushing to get homework in, and navigating their newfound adulthood can be stressful. 


Taking trips is an ideal way for students to relieve some of that stress. However, to make the journey easier, books are definitely recommended. With these 12 books, students have a full list of reads to take with them!


Check out our guide on traveling on a budget– for a student, this might be very helpful!


Whether you want to read about the lives of people from abroad, think about different cultures, or look for a good story, this list has it all. So, pack your bags with these best books for students that will bring you fun and excitement!

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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