Best Books for Travel Lovers: A Gift Guide

There are few pleasures in life greater than curling up with a good book, so I am excited to share my picks for the best books for travel lovers. To compile a manageable list, I selected only books that I have read or re-read in the last year and that I loved.

In these works of fiction and nonfiction, the sense of place is so palpable that the location itself becomes a character in the story. Whether you are an intrepid adventurer or more of an armchair traveler, there is something here for you. So, add these titles to your Goodreads list, check them out at your local library, gift them to a friend, or treat yourself and let the journey begin!

“Place matters when its story is told.” -@weareEDEN, #7WordStories 

The pages of this book are curled together to form the shape of a heart, symbolizing the books we love for this list of the best books for travel lovers
Image by Linus Schütz from Pixabay
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Seoul Airport Free Transit Tours

Did you know that many airports around the world (from Istanbul to Singapore) offer free city tours for travelers in transit on long layovers? On a recent trip from Singapore to Washington, D.C., we added a free award segment to Seoul, South Korea to take advantage of the Seoul Airport free transit tours. Was it worth it? Here’s how it went:

Kathy Forest of the Trip Takes Us poses in front of a pavilion in Gyeongbokung Palace in Seoul with her two teenage sons during a Seoul Airport Free Transit Tour.
Gyeongbokgung Palace complex, Seoul, South Korea.
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Layover Tours and Airport Transit Tours

A Tale of Two Cities (San Francisco), Part 1

Did you know that many airports around the world offer free layover tours for travelers in transit? And even in cities that do not, you can easily design your own layover tour. We recently had the opportunity to maximize our travels (and layovers) through a self-guided visit to San Francisco and a free transit tour from Incheon Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea. Here’s how it went:

The Trip Takes Us crew among the hustle and bustle of Fisherman's Wharf on our self-guided layover tour in San Francisco
Enjoying our do-it-yourself layover tour in San Francisco.
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My Hilton Honors points were stolen. What now?

Over Labor Day weekend, 240,000+ points were stolen from my Hilton Honors Account. Here’s what happened, how it turned out, and how you can (and should) protect your airline frequent flyer miles and hotel points.

Hilton  sent me a message confirm that my points had been redeemed for a purchase at Amazon. That's how I knew my Hilton Honors points were stolen.
This email message alerted me to the fraud on my account. I had made no such purchase
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How Painful Is It to Fly in Economy to Australia?

The thought of flying from North America to Australia can be overwhelming–and for good reason. Spending 21 hours in the air and adjusting to a 14-hour time difference is not easy! On the blog I shared tips for surviving a long-haul flight. And now our family has just put them to the test on our longest ever trip. Did we follow our own advice? See how we fared, as we answer the question, “How painful is it to fly in Economy to Australia?”

Close-up photo of the face of a soft, fuzzy koala bear in Australia.
Start with the destination in mind: Is it worth a bit of discomfort to see Australia’s amazing wildlife?
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Compression socks giveaway: And the winner is…

This site uses affiliate links.

We had an overwhelming response to our first-ever giveaway! So, we couldn’t bring ourselves to have just one winner. We have randomly selected THREE new subscribers to receive a pair of Coolover compression socks!

If you missed our article about wellness on long-haul flights (and why you might want to own these compression socks), you can check it out here.

The winners of our Coolover compression sock giveaway can choose between black, light blue, lime green, orange, or white
Our winners will have to choose between practical neutral and bright fun colors!

The winners are…

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In addition to our current giveaway offer, The Trip Takes Us has an exciting new contest. As announced on the We Travel There podcast, you can now enter to win a free Miles Makeover that will teach you the tips and tricks you need to fly for FREE.

Kathy and Jim from The Trip Takes Us dance on the beach in Kauai. The Miles Makeover can help you get to YOUR dream destination.
The question we receive most often from readers is, “How do you travel so much?” We’ll teach you!

Kathy Forest, from, will meet with you for a one-hour Miles Makeover session to customize a plan for you to be able fly for FREE to your dream destination. She will give you all the tips and tricks you need to make this happen (and don’t worry, you don’t even need to step foot on a plane to earn free travel). 

Whether you are looking to go to Orlando or Oman, Montreal or Mumbai, Kathy can help you make it happen. 

With your Miles Makeover, will you choose to take in this panoramic view of tranquil Hanalei Bay on Kauai.
Start dreaming!

To enter, send an email by Wednesday, July 17, 2019 to and tell us where you dream about traveling for free.

Consultations will be done via FaceTime/Skype. The miles and points landscape varies significantly from country to country, so these sessions are designed for a U.S.-based audience. 

Our wonderful Canadian peeps can learn more about miles and points in the True North at Ricky Zhang’s site UK-based? They have you covered over at the TPG UK site

We can’t wait to hear where YOU will go with your Miles Makeover.

Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

In just over a month, we are off to Sydney, Australia (from Washington, D.C.). The question has crossed my mind more than once, “How are we going to survive the trip?” Long-haul flights can take a real toll on your body and mind. Here’s my plan for surviving our 20+ hours in the air:

Map showing travel across the globe, with plane, suitcases, passport, and ticket
Want to staying well while traveling halfway around the globe (or even across the country)?
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