With pandemic-related restrictions subsiding, travelers have their pick of destinations, says Allyson Johnson, senior editor at National Geographic Books. “People are really ready to get back out there internationally and are thinking about bucket lists again.” Nat Geo and other publishers are meeting the moment with photo-heavy compilations, many of them coffee-table hardcovers, that urge readers to expand their horizons.

20,000 Steps Around the World

Stuart Butler and Mary Caperton Morton. Universe, Oct.

Butler, author of more than 30 Lonely Planet guides, and Morton, whose books include The World’s Best National Parks in 500 Walks (Thunder Bay), present 200 walking routes ranging from gentle countryside ambles to strenuous, multi-week hikes across alpine peaks. Maps and itineraries detail terrain, difficulty level, and points of interest along the way.

Best of the World: 1,000 Destinations of a Lifetime

National Geographic, Oct.

Drawing on Nat Geo’s long-running “Best of the World” lists, this book groups activities into five categories—adventure, cities, culture, family, and nature—with an emphasis on activities that support conservation efforts. Recommendations include spotting elephants and hippos in northern Namibia, scoping out the more than 400 species of birds in the Belize Maya Forest Reserve, and eco-tour excursions in Ecuador’s Amazon that benefit the Indigenous peoples who live there.

Bucket List Europe

Fodor’s, Oct.

The venerable guidebook publisher brings the successful formula of Bucket List USA, one of the company’s top sellers in 2021 and 2022, across the Atlantic. Its 500 experiences across 40 countries have an idiosyncratic flair—one contributor, for instance, takes readers to a favorite glove shop in Florence—and at more than 900 pages, the chunky paperback rivals in heft the 1,200-page doorstopper that made Eugene Fodor’s name, 1936... on the Continent.

Epic Bike Rides of Australia and New Zealand

Lonely Planet, Aug.

After cycling around the Americas and throughout Europe, the Epic biking series spins over to Oceania, traversing 150 routes, from day rides to long-distance trails. The route descriptions, buttressed by first-person accounts, include arrival information, difficulty ratings,
and lodging suggestions.

The Family Bucket List

Nana Luckham and Kath Stathers. Universe, Sept.

Luckham, a contributor to The Bucket List: Eco Experiences, and Stathers, who edited series flagship The Bucket List (187,000 print copies sold, per BookScan), suggest 1,000 ideas for all ages to enjoy together. Organized by continent, activities include fossil hunting in western Canada, spotting a unique species of dolphins in Suriname, and finding knee-high homes for elves dotting the Icelandic countryside.

The Rough Guide to the A–Z of Travel

Rough Guides, Oct.

This three-for-one guide suggests one budget, one mid-range, and one luxury trip for each letter of the alphabet, from a shoestring tour of Northern Vietnam’s Hill Country to a splurgy stay at Dublin’s five-star Westbury Hotel. 

Return to the main feature.