Slow down Sundays

5 indie travel books that will give you major wanderlust

Before the travelling stage, there’s the dreaming phase. Inspiration and ideas gathered from friends’ stories from the road, your favourite Instagram accounts and, best of all, travel books you can lose yourself in for hours.

But instead of turning to the latest Lonely Planet, these indie travel tomes have us hooked with their beautiful photography, real stories, and local recommendations. Whether you’re in need of a dose of wanderlust yourself or are looking for the perfect gift for a travel-obsessed friend, here are five travel books we think you’ll love.

My Tiny Atlas: Our World Through Your Eyes

My Tiny Atlas | Indie travel books

When you move away from mindless screen scrolling and devour beautiful travel photography with your eyes in hard copy, something incredible happens.

You see each image in richer detail; so much so that you can almost feel the emotion in the scene through your fingertips as you turn each page. You hold and pause on your favourites, drinking in their beauty.

Tiny Atlas Quarterly, helmed by Emily Nathan and photo director Deb Hearey, is known for its photographic stories and this new travel book is an extension of their online magazine and social community.

Beautiful travel snaps from a collection of 130 photographers, takes you to far-flung corners of the globe – from Paris, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong to the Arctic Circle, Tahiti and Mongolia.

The book is organised thematically – sunrises and sunsets, city streets and urban life, dramatic architectural facades, and more – with a smattering of stories and tips from locals throughout.

My Tiny Atlas | Indie Travel Books

Travel Anywhere (and avoid being a tourist)

“Tourist” has almost become a dirty word. For most of us, we don’t want the connotations of breezing in and out of destinations, stealing experiences and memories with no real connection to place.

Which is why the team at travel website Fathom, wrote this book with a focus on being a better traveller. Inside its beautifully curated pages you’ll find tips on how to go off-grid, where to go for a once-in-a-lifetime meal, and cool ways to give back.

Designed more as a travellers’ toolkit than inspirational snack, chapters are designed to help you discover new foodie and wellness escapes, the world’s best coworking spaces (if you’re more of the digital nomad kind), amazing places to stay and packing checklists.

Travel Anywhere | Indie Travel Books
Travel Anywhere | Indie Travel Books

Tin Can Homestead: The Art of Airstream Living

Tin Can Homestead | Indie Travel Books

This gorgeous book might have you wanting to set off on a van-life adventure… or it might have the opposite affect and see you wanting to put down roots, renovate your own Airstream caravan and live out your tiny home dreams.

Either way, Tin Can Homestead provides a step-by-step guide to the process behind Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw’s boho-inspired trailer makeover. They’ve documented every step of transforming an abandoned Airstream and making it their first home, complete with cute illustrations. You could say they caught the bug for tiny living after travelling the States and Canada for six months in their VW van.

As a potter, illustrator and former designer for Anthropologie, you know Natasha’s eye for detail will deliver plenty of inspiration – not only for a renovation of your own, but for the ultimate Life Unhurried lifestyle.

This is the Place I Was Telling You About

R’el Dade + Marcus Lloyd are two Texans living in New York and the couple behind the popular @theplaceiwastellingyouabout Instagram account, bringing carefully curated city guides to life through a shared love of photography. (And a serious eye for divine decors.)

New York is their first printed guide (with more in the pipeline) and with 25 recommendations across Manhattan and Brooklyn – from boutique hotels to coffee shops, independent boutiques to exceptional restaurants – it’s the perfect gift for anyone headed to the Big Apple this year.

This is the place I was telling you about | Indie Travel Books
This is the Place I Was Telling You About | Indie Travel Books

The World’s Sexiest Bedrooms

World's Sexiest Bedrooms | Indie Travel Books

Mr & Mrs Smith know good hotels so it makes sense then that they could easily fill a book with the World’s Sexiest Bedrooms, which is exactly what they’ve done.

Released late last year in celebration of their 15th anniversary, the coffee table book features 35 seductive suites shot by photographer, Polly Brown. A flick through is sure to get your wanderlust rising, whether you fancy a romantic rendezvous in the Cotswolds or the Caribbean, Paris or Phuket.

As a bonus, each copy of the book comes with a $53 AUD Mr & Mrs Smith voucher to redeem against any stay in its hotel and villa collection.

World's Sexiest Bedrooms | Indie Travel Books

Read more book reviews in Life Unhurried Book Club.

Celeste Mitchell

Celeste Mitchell

As a professional travel journalist, Celeste’s words have been published in Qantas, Escape, AFAR, Australian Traveller, and Tourism and Events Queensland’s travel blog, of which she has been editor since 2013, and more. Her consultancy, The Devil Wears Flip Flops, pairs talented writers, photographers and videographers with travel companies to produce custom publications, videos and blog posts.