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Great travel books for each continent

Pick up one of these books to inspire your future travels.
Pick up one of these books to inspire your future travels.

Although 2014 just began, that doesn't mean that it's too early to start using your vacation days for the year. If you're looking to escape the cold, or just pretend to, reading up on travel is always great research. Here are seven travel book suggestions catered for each continent to help inspire future trips. You can read on the plane to your intended destination, or help you mentally escape your current winter situation.

North America: On the Road by Jack Kerouac

If you are nostalgic for road trips and for the 1950s, then this 1957 travel book will not disappoint. Follow Jack Kerouac and his friend Neal Cassady as they drive across North America together, both of them channeling the "Beat" movement through their journey.

South America: Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

When news breaks that Hiram Bingham III might have stolen credit for the discovery of Machu Piccu, journalist Mark Adams decides to travel to Peru to investigate this claim. Adams, however, decides to follow the original path that Bingham took in order to find the truth with the help of an Australian survivalist and some Peruvian mule tenders.

Europe: Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach

The self-proclaimed "independent" woman, Alice Steinbach, decides to travel to Europe by herself away to see how independent she really is away from everyone that she knows. She visits Milan, Paris and Oxford to find a new definition for herself while still maintaining her independence.

Africa: Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux uses a variety of forms of transportation, such as rattletrap bus and canoe, to travel the entire length of Africa. Along the way he speaks with Africans, aid workers and missionaries alike to help paint a full picture of the continent.

Asia: Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah Macdonald

After her first visit to India, Sarah Macdonald vowed to never return. When her husband is relocated to New Delhi years later, however, Macdonald is forced to leave her job and follow her heart back to India. In this novel, Macdonald discovers the ins and outs and the good and bad of New Delhi while she also explores the meaning of life and death.

Australia: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

The seasoned travel writer Bill Bryson travels to the continent down under in this novel in order to uncover the little know sides of Australia. He writes of the blazing heat, the unique cuisine and the lives of locals to depict what the "under-discovered" continent is like on a day-to-day basis.

Antarctica: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Although you might not be planning a trip to Antarctica any time soon, this novel might make you feel better about the winter weather you are experiencing at the moment. In this novel, Alfred Lansing details the 1914 expedition of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance, the ship that intended to land on the continent but ended up getting stuck for 10 months in the arctic seas surrounding the land. This tale of survival is one of the most famous books that shows just how hard it is to survive in Antarctica.

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