Sometimes we travel. Sometimes we research travel. Sometimes we just need a laugh. Although humor is such a personal thing, I went in search of five funny travel books that made loads of different people laugh.
If you have some funny travel stories to share or know of some other good humorous travel books, share them in the comments!
5 funny travel books to read
1. The lost continent. Travels in small-town America – Bill Bryson
After having spent 20 years in the UK, Bill Bryson decides to refamiliarize himself with his home country by hiking the US Appalachian Trail all the way from Georgia to Maine together with a friend. On his trek along the longest continuous trail in the world, he makes oftentimes funny observations of the flora and fauna he comes across but most of all, of his fellow travelers.
This is more than a memoir of a hike, though. It's a memoir of a hike written by an excellent writer that also provides a ton of (historical) information on the areas he walks through – always presented in an entertaining way. This book will do more than just make you chuckle. It'll make you lough out loud.
2. The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific – J. Maarten Troost
Aged 26, Maarten Troost's life really isn't going anywhere and when his girlfriend is offered a job on Tarawa, a remote island in the South Pacific, he decides to join her there and the base for this book was born. It tells in a humorous way of the many misadventures Troost goes through as he learns that the island isn't the paradise he'd hoped it to be and battles sunburn, heat, lice, bad electricity, and inefficient government officials – among many other things.
But as time goes on and Troost gains insight into the local culture, his feelings about the island and life there change for the positive. This is an easy read and with the different chapters mostly dedicated to different themes, perfect to read on the road.
3. Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales Of A Botswana Safari Guide – Peter Allison
Whatever you do, don't run is a collection of essays written by the former safari guide Peter Allison who shares the most unbelievable and funny stories of situations he's had to deal with in the bush. More often than not, these evolve around the whimsies and stupidity of wealthy tourists whom Allison considers a species far more dangerous and tiring than any other he has come across.
He might not be the best writer, but Allison's storytelling skills and the safari fun facts he shares certainly make up for that.
4. Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before – Tony Horwitz
Blue Latitudes is the story of Pulitzer prize winner Tony Horwitz's experience on board a replica of the famous Captain Cook‘s ship. It's packed with easily digested historical information about the voyages and the life of one of the greatest marine explorers that has ever lived. At the same time, Horwitz tells of his own experience visiting the places Cook has visiting and his interactions both with the locals there and his fellow travelers. It's in the narration of these encounters that Horwitz wit truly stands out.
Funny, well-written and well-researched, this book will please travel and history lovers alike.
5. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
Allan Karlson ends up in a nursing home even though he's still in good health. There will soon be a party to celebrate his 100th birthday but Allan doesn't care for a party – and would like a bit more freedom – so he decides to climb out the window and goes on what will become a hilarious adventure which includes Allan accidentally stealing drug money and being chased by the police.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a good-feel book that hangs on unlikely events and interesting characters.
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