This selection of the top 8 backpacking books will make you want to travel the world, whether you’re just planning your next backpacking trip or an ambitious round-the-world adventure. These are the finest novels to read when traveling if you want to be inspired to go on amazing adventures and explore more. This collection is the best reading list of books for backpackers, with everything from romance to wanderlust novels.

The One Woman By Laura May

The One Woman - Backpacking ebook on Amazon

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The One Woman, one of Laura May’s books, is a great book to read while backpacking, because it tells the story across multiple countries like Israel, Spain, Ukraine, and the USA. Julie, a graphic artist, is the main heroine of Laura May’s first LGBTQ romance book. Regrettably, we know little about Julie’s life or her partnership with Mark. That is, until she meets Ann. Web developer Ann is a kind and outgoing person. It is obvious that Julie has affections for Ann. The spark is genuine as their history and present converge in Barcelona. Julie will have to choose between her love for Ann and her allegiance to Mark when catastrophe strikes. Will true love last the distance? Read this book by writer Laura May to find out.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the wild - one of the best backpacking ebooks

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A book about pushing one’s boundaries, cutting ties with society, and looking to nature and solitude for enlightenment. These are all the ingredients necessary to make a great book to read while backpacking.

The inquiry into the true tale of Chris McCandless, missing Alaskan wilderness hiker, whose SOS letter and skeletal remains were discovered months later, served as the inspiration for the book’s plot. One of the top books to read while backpacking.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

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An unsuccessful novelist approaching his 50th birthday is Arthur Less. A nine-year ex-boyfriend who is engaged to another person sends him a wedding invitation in the mail. Both saying yes and saying no are out of the question for Arthur because doing so would be embarrassing and defeatist. So he starts to accept the invites to shoddy literary events that arrive on his desk from all over the world.

Arthur almost falls in love, almost dies, and travels from France to India, Germany to Japan, all the while putting distance between himself and the situation he doesn’t want to face. The book Less is about misunderstandings, accidents, and the depths of the human heart.

Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Meet me in Paradise - a great travel ebook

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Since her mother, a journalist, passed away while on the job, Marin has stayed within Tennessee, playing it safe. Sadie, her rambunctious younger sister, has traveled the world as a photographer while subsisting on art and adrenaline.

Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba after Sadie returns from a challenging job abroad and appears a little worse for wear. But when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and a turbulence episode sends her crashing into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the attractive stranger who took her sister’s seat. As she and Lucas explore the island, Marin is forced to leave her comfort zone for the first time in a long time and discover what she’s been missing. Marin discovers more about herself, the man she’s falling for, and the agonizing reason she’s there with each breath-taking new encounter.

The Cloud Garden by Paul Winder and Tom Hart Dyke

The Cloud Garden ebook on Amazon

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The Darien Gap is a legendary location. It’s the lone rest stop along the Pan-American Highway, which connects Alaska with the southernmost point of South America. The gap is frequently portrayed as a nearly impenetrable area of marsh, rainforest, and cloud forest home to FARC guerillas. It is a well known no-go zone for world backpackers everywhere.

This interesting book relates the tale of two unusual travelers who band together and attempt an on-foot crossing from Panama to Colombia. They had endured a difficult journey and are just hours away from victory when they are taken hostage by FARC insurgents and held captive for nine months in the bush.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People we meet on vacation - a great backpacking book

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Alex and Poppy don’t have much in common. He’s dressed in khakis, she’s a free spirit. He loves to stay home with a book, whereas she has an insatiable need to travel. They have been the best of friends ever since a tragic car share from college many years ago. While she lives in New York City and he in the little town for the majority of the year, they have spent one wonderful week of vacation every summer for the past ten years.

Up until they wrecked everything two years ago. Since then, they haven’t spoken.

Poppy is in a rut despite having everything she should want. She is certain that the heartbreaking, last trip she took with Alex was the last time she felt completely content. In order to make everything right, she resolves to persuade her best buddy that they should go on one more vacation together. Amazingly, he consents.

One River By Wade Davis

One River by Wade Davis a great backpacking book

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This is the epic tale of two generations of South African scientists who have traveled the world. Wade Davis, the protégé of Professor Richard Evan Schultes, and he set out on a trip to study natural history. Schultes left Harvard and spent twelve years living among the locals in the Amazon while charting unexplored rivers. You’ll definitely be on the edge of your seat as you read this tale of devastation, treachery, discovery, and adventure. One of the best non-fiction adventure novels available, you must read this book before backpacking anyplace in the Amazon (Peru, Colombia, or Brazil).

Wild By Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed - one of the best books for backpackers

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A novel that became well-known as a result of the movie. But the book—trust me—is better. For those who are unaware of the storyline, Cheryl believed she had lost everything when she turned 22. Her family was dispersed, her mother had passed away, and her marriage had failed. She made the rash decision to trek alone on a quest over a thousand miles long because she thought she had nothing left to lose. While maintaining its style and suspense, this backpacking-themed book glistens with love and humor. Everything revolves around a journey that strengthened and healed a broken woman.


What books would you recommend reading while backpacking?

 

Pin The Best eBooks to Read While Backpacking

Pin The Best eBooks to Read While Backpacking

Have you always dreamed of moving abroad but are not sure how to do it? With plenty to discover in the British Isles, plus its proximity to European destinations, moving to the UK could be the way to live out your dreams of living abroad.

While immigration laws can be difficult to untangle, among the various routes available for individuals moving to the UK, the Innovator Visa is suitable for those with business experience. This route is designed for those looking to establish an innovative UK-based business, who have at least £50,000 to invest, and have obtained endorsement from an approved body. An application for an Innovator Visa must also satisfy various eligibility and suitability requirements.  

Here, Jessica Lee from Latitude Law discusses a guide to the UK innovator visa, including the various stages and main requirements of an application.

Obtaining endorsement for an Investor Visa

Before moving to the UK, an applicant for an Innovator Visa must obtain endorsement for their business idea from a Home Office-approved endorsing body. There are a number of these bodies, and many only offer endorsement subject to various restrictions, such as the location of the business, the sector in which it will operate, or application during a certain period. Some endorsing bodies also make participation on one of their own programmes or mentoring services a prerequisite, although participation on such a programme will not guarantee endorsement. A complete list of all the approved endorsing bodies can be found here

To successfully obtain endorsement, an applicant must demonstrate, amongst other things, that their business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. An innovative business will be unique and original, differing from businesses already operating in this sector. Viability will require showing that the applicant has the knowledge and skills to successfully run the business, while to be scalable, the business idea must have potential for future growth.    

The business must also be new, or where it does already exist, have not yet started trading.  

Making an application for an Investor Visa

Fulfil your dream of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

Fulfil your dreams of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

If an applicant does successfully obtain endorsement, the second stage of submitting an application for the UK Innovator Visa must be made within three months of the date given on the letter of endorsement.  

As mentioned above, along with obtaining endorsement, there are other requirements of a UK Innovator Visa application. One of these is evidence that the applicant holds funds of at least £50,000 to invest in the business. These funds must be accessible to the applicant and, if in a UK bank, have been held by them for at least three months. Whether an applicant has access to these funds will also be relevant to the business idea’s viability, as discussed above. In addition to this sum, an applicant must show they have held at least £1,270 in their account for a minimum of 28 days prior to application, as evidence they can support themselves after moving to the UK.  

An applicant must also satisfy an English Language requirement, namely an ability to read, write, speak and understand English to Level B2 CEFR. This requirement can be met if the applicant has completed a degree taught in English (although if this was completed abroad, confirmation of the degree’s UK equivalent from Ecctis must be obtained), or if an applicant has completed GCSEs, Highers or A Levels in the UK. In the absence of such qualifications, an applicant will need to sit an approved Home Office English Language test.  

A suitability requirement also applies to UK Innovator Visa applications, relating to the applicant’s character and conduct; examples of what might affect suitability include criminal convictions or previous non-compliance with UK immigration law. 

Partners and children under 18 can also move to the UK with those with an Innovator Visa. As evidence that these family members will be financially supported whilst here, evidence of the following amount of savings, held again for at least 28 days before the date of application: 

  • £285 for a partner 
  • £315 for one child 
  • £200 for each additional child 

A successful application will result in a grant of leave for three years.  

Moving to the UK permanently under an Innovator Visa 

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

After completing three years’ continuous residence in the UK with leave as an Innovator, it is possible to apply to settle. This application again requires an endorsement letter, although the criteria differs to those for initial endorsement. In order to obtain the endorsement required for settlement, an innovator’s business must be registered with Companies House, be actively trading, and demonstrate an ability to continue trading for at least the next 12 months.  

In addition, the business must show it has achieved two of the following: 

  • £1 million revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts 
  • £500,000 revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts, of which £100,000 comes from overseas export 
  • Have received £50,000 investment, spent on business development  
  • Created 10 full-time jobs (or the equivalent) that have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Created five full-time jobs (or the equivalent) with an average salary of £25,000 a year, which have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Made an application for intellectual property protection in the UK 
  • Have doubled the number of its customers in the last three years to a figure that is above the average for the type of business 

If the innovator relies on either of the “job creation” options listed above, the jobs must be for “settled” workers; that is, a British or Irish citizen; an EEA citizen who commenced employment in the business prior to 31st December 2020; a holder of indefinite leave to remain/settled status; or the holder of a UK Ancestry Visa who is also a Commonwealth citizen. 

Again, an application for settlement must be submitted within three months of the date given on the endorsement letter. Applicants for settlement must also pass the Life in the UK test and meet an absence requirement of no more than 180 days spent outside the UK in any 12 months.  

Frustratingly, dependent family members must complete five continuous years living in the UK (this can include time spent as a dependent on a different route, such as Skilled Worker or partner of a settled person). In practice, this will mean that family members will often need to extend their leave for a further two years before they are eligible for settlement. 

Dependants over the age of 18 will also need to pass the Life in the UK test, and meet an English Language requirement at Level B1 CEFR.  

Due to the strict requirements involved in moving to the UK with an Innovator Visa, it is advised that applicants seek legal advice and representation to ensure they provide all the relevant documents, meet the criteria, and make the strongest possible application for an Innovator Visa. 

The idea of traveling well beyond your home and into a completely new and exciting culture is a tantalizing one. Travel has the power to show people things they never imagined and open up new ideas. Likewise, it has the power to alter how they see the world; new thoughts and perspectives can change how people look at even the simplest of things.

Though many people are eager to travel and gain these experiences, only a small portion are actually able to. In many countries, whole populations barely have the means to get by, let alone leave the country on some sort of adventure. Even within developed countries where more people are likely to be financially capable of traveling, numerous factors such as age or physical disabilities might limit the ability to realize travel goals.

Our world is also changing profoundly; climate change and human development have taken us down an uncertain path. Today, many travelers are well aware of the significant climate impact of traveling. Many strive to take advantage of sustainable travel options, but often these alternatives come at a higher price, further limiting accessibility.

Addressing Sustainability

Today, sustainable travel is an option for most people that are willing to consider it. In many of the most popular travel destinations, eco-friendly lodges are popping up. Typically, these lodges are operated by locals who share a belief in providing good jobs that also help conserve and promote native landscapes. However, in many areas, these remain a niche market and tend to be more expensive than many travelers can afford.

Undoubtedly, the largest carbon footprint associated with travel is linked to flights taken to go to and from travel destinations. Only a small percentage of the global population flies at all; however, the portion that does has a significant carbon footprint. This has led many sustainability-minded travelers to opt for other travel options such as taking a train or choosing a more locally accessible vacation destination.

Even if you are flying to a destination and not staying in an eco-friendly lodge, there are ways to make your trip more sustainable. Simple things like preparing your home for travel by lowering the thermostat, unplugging electronics, and packing minimalistically can make a big difference. Likewise, while traveling, doing your best to support local businesses that focus on sustainable initiatives can go a long way towards promoting a more sustainable travel experience.

Addressing Accessibility

Of course, issues of travel sustainability are not a concern for many people because their ability to travel at all is limited in the first place. For instance, only about 11% of the global population flew in 2018 and the majority of the annual air travel emissions stemmed from only 1% of the population. Making travel more accessible for the majority of the global population would require a massive redistribution of wealth and significant strides in global sustainability efforts.

For many, even the financial ability to travel isn’t enough to lower the barrier to doing so. Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities struggle to travel regularly. Things that many take for granted such as getting on and off airplanes, booking a hotel room to our specifications, or traveling around a town can be a significant challenge.

Beyond even the difficulty of traveling in general, finding quality information on travel accessibility can be a major deterrent for those who would want to travel to a certain destination. Many disabled persons find it difficult to find travel agents or other knowledgeable people in the system that can help with planning a trip. Even in rich countries such as the United States, there are significant barriers to accessibility, traveling to a developing country where accessibility status is unknown can be extremely disheartening.

Getting Involved

Fortunately, there are things that interested people can do to help both with travel sustainability and accessibility. For example, sharing information on different forums related to both causes can help spread the word. Documenting how a travel attraction addresses accessibility and sustainability concerns can help those considering travel make more informed decisions about what is going to be right for them.

Another option might be to share ways to make a trip more sustainable using your own experiences. Are you striving to reduce your carbon footprint while still seeing the world? How? Sharing your story can help inspire others to make similar changes to the way they travel. All and all, small changes can add up to make real substantial differences.

Finally, you might consider starting a non-profit or a company that is dedicated to helping people reach their travel goals. The goals of the company can be to serve people looking to travel in areas where accessibility might be a concern. It could also have a focus on doing so in a sustainable manner.


Travel is a profound experience that everyone deserves to have. Unfortunately, traveling can be a challenge for many people and can take a significant toll on our fragile environment. Creating awareness and helping people is perhaps the best way to begin addressing both of these issues.

If you are someone who loves to travel as much as I do, you’ll be familiar with the traditional advice on how to travel inexpensively. Hostels, couch surfing, camping… and eating nothing but buttered pasta for weeks on end. What if I told you that there is an easier way to travel the world, save money, and have a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience? Imagine summiting Machu Picchu, getting a tan on the beaches of Lima, or dancing in Rio. Worldpackers makes finding volunteer work while backpacking South America more accessible than ever!

Volunteer in South America via a Reputable Agency

If volunteer work in South America sounds like something you want to do, it’s best to do it via a reputable agency. An agency will help screen volunteer programs and hosts in South America to make sure you have support every step of the way.

Finding a Host on Worldpackers

Worldpackers is a service that connects travellers with volunteer work in South America and around the world. Travellers and hosts use the service to find each other, and each provides an integral part of the exchange.

The hosts will offer a place to stay. Perhaps a hostel, camp, family home, farm, or NGO to a traveller in exchange for hours worked or volunteered on the property. A traveller works on the property a set number of hours per week in exchange for free accommodation, and sometimes other perks such as free food, free bike rentals, free tours… the list is endless!

How to build your Worldpackers profile

To begin on Worldpackers as a traveller, all you need to do is sign up, pay a yearly membership, USD $49.99 and begin searching for your dream volunteer program in South America. You can apply to as many experiences you like. If a host thinks that you’ll be a good fit, you’ll be pre-approved. All that’s left to do is book your flight and pack!

The Worldpackers interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use. You can search experiences by destination, purpose of the trip, availability, skills you offer, style of travel, hours of collaboration, trip length, additional benefits and more. That makes searching through their thousands of experiences easy and manageable. You can also read all reviews from other Worldpackers who have lived that experience, so you have the peace of mind that you’re making the right choice in applying. 

The site also offers hundreds of articles, videos and courses about how to stand out as a volunteer. You can earn badges and certificates for your profile which will make you a more desirable candidate and can increase your chances of being selected by the hosts you want! 

Long Term Volunteer Work in South America

Most Worldpackers volunteer trips in South America require the volunteers to stay between 2-4 weeks. However, you will find a huge variety of minimum time commitments on the site. 

The benefits of long-term travel are plenty. Connecting to a location, immersing yourself in a different culture, contributing to a local community and making lifelong connections are just a few of the highlights past Worldpackers shared in their reviews. 

There is also value in establishing a home base with a volunteer program when you are backpacking South America. When travelling and living out of a backpack for long periods of time, it can be a great reset to feel at home for a while. 

Your hosts and fellow travellers can become a family away from home and they can be a great resource for planning for your next destinations. 

Volunteer Trips In South America

Let’s look at some current volunteer opportunities for those backpacking South America. 

There are over 1500 volunteer positions available in South America at the time of writing this article. Some require as short of a time commitment of only one week! I’m happy to highlight just a few opportunities available this spring & summer.

Volunteer at the reception of a hostel in Bogotá, Colombia

This position is looking for a warm and friendly individual to work behind the counter greeting guests at their hostel. As a volunteer, you’d work 32 hours a week. You would also be asked to give a hand in the kitchen. 

Aside from a free bed, this experience also offers you free breakfast each morning, use of their kitchen, bikes at your disposal and discounts on drinks. This hostel has achieved top host status, meaning that they have consistently received great reviews from travellers who have lived this experience. 

Past Worldpackers have said this experience excels in helping them immerse themselves in the culture, meet locals, develop social awareness, and meet other international travellers. 

Explore more volunteer work in Colombia

Share your knowledge in Catuama, Brazil

Share your knowledge and experience on skills that you have developed or learned.

Do you have a special skill or talent? Why not bring yourself to Brazil to teach in a hostel! Whether it be teaching a sport, organizing events, or running a craft workshop – this experience may be for you!

This host is asking Worldpackers to stay at least 15 days. In exchange you get 3 days off per week, pickup, and transport to the hostel when you arrive, access to the kitchen and discounts on accommodation for your stay in other hostels as you continue with your travels.   

Other Worldpackers recommend this experience for getting in touch with nature, learning about sustainability and developing greater environmental awareness. 

Explore more volunteer work in Brazil

Volunteer at our Zoo in the Peruvian Andes Valley, Lima Peru

Join us as a Zoo volunteer! Work alongside skilled veterinarians and staff, at our local Zoo in the Peruvian Andes. As a volunteer, you will learn about each species and support by feeding animals, spending time/sharing loving energy with animals, helping veterinarians administer medications, cleaning, gardening, and maintaining the atmosphere for the animals.

If cost isn’t a limiting factor during your travel, there are even more opportunities available to you. This experience, and a select few others, may charge an additional fee. For instance, are you an animal lover? While backpacking South America, you could volunteer at a local zoo, helping to care for animals. 

This position only requires 3 hours of work each weekday, which frees up the rest of your time to explore this beautiful country! This position also provides breakfast and lunch each day. 

They accept couples as well as single volunteers, so if you are travelling with a partner or friend, they are welcome too. 

Those who have volunteered here say this experience was great for meeting locals, immersing in the local culture, and getting in touch with nature. 

Explore more volunteer work in Peru

Community Manager & Web Programmer in Cordoba, Argentina

If you’re looking for volunteer work in South America that would also look great on your resume, why not consider helping out as a community manager and web programmer during your backpacking trip?

 We are looking for a creative person who has knowledge in digital marketing, social networks and can also help us advertise the hostel organically and using digital ads.”

For anyone with tech skills to spare, this position could be not only fun, but also a great career opportunity to bolster your resume. 

This stunning hostel in Argentina is seeking a talented person to run their social media accounts, and the minimum time requirement is only one week.

You would work 32 hours a week which leaves plenty of time for exploring and spending time with your new friends from around the world.

Explore more volunteer work in Argentina

Multiply and cultivate ornamental plants in Chile

“We reproduce and research ornamental plants, especially the native ones… We’re 5 km away from the touristic city of Valdivia, close to national parks and other attractions. Come help us with different activities in our vivero.”

If you’ve got a green thumb and would love to be surrounded by nature while backpacking South America, why not volunteer in beautiful Chile on a working farm? You’d work farming, gardening, and helping with general labour around the property. 

This experience includes all meals, free laundry, and 2 days off a week. You can also use the on-site bicycles to get into town on your days off.

Explore more volunteer work in Chile


In conclusion, you don’t have to pay a ton of money to travel around the world or have unique experiences. Worldpackers is an incredible resource for backpackers, budget travellers, or those searching for enriching volunteer programs in South America. 

Their site’s search functions make it so easy to find the best volunteer work when backpacking South America. Regardless of your unique travel itinerary, I cannot recommend Worldpackers enough.

As an entrepreneur and outdoor enthusiast, you’re probably wondering if working remotely is possible when you’re backpacking, camping, or otherwise engaged in outdoor activities. The answer: yes. However, it takes a bit of preparation. Here’s some advice:

Choose your adventures wisely when you have to work remotely

Let’s get this out of the way: it is not always possible to work remotely when you’re out camping. If you’re rock climbing, for example, you can’t stop and pick up the phone. The same goes for if you’re hiking a treacherous path. Make sure that you are fully acquainted with the area in which you plan to travel if you’re going to be outdoors and away from a regular office (or the business center of a hotel).

If you’re going to be working remotely while you’re traveling, choose activities that allow you to take a break of at least an hour at a time. This way, you have time to focus on both your work and the time you’ll spend with your family.

Know what equipment you need to work remotely while camping

You already know that you will need to invest in equipment that will keep you safe if you’re hiking or camping. This might include a camping backpack – which is especially important on multi-day trips – and a standalone GPS unit.

For working remotely while camping, you also need some basic office equipment. This might include a small tablet or laptop computer, a mobile hotspot, and a small folding table for writing. A special note here: make sure that you will have access to power while you are away. The Trekers blog notes that you may need a generator or portable battery.

Set yourself up for success if you run your own business

Believe it or not, it’s possible to run your own business while experiencing the great outdoors. Preparation goes beyond simply knowing your outdoor location and having the right equipment. You will also want to make sure that your work can continue without you should you be unavailable. Start by registering your business as an LLC. This makes it a standalone entity and gives you some financial protection. LLC regulations vary from state to state, so do your research first so that you know what you need before you get started.

You should also appoint an individual to act on your behalf when you can’t be reached. Even though your goal is running a business from the outdoors, you must be realistic: you won’t always be available. Create a company organizational chart so that your employees know who to get in touch with when you’re off the proverbial grid.

Software that enables working remotely while camping

You should also have digital tools and software that allow you to work remotely, whether you are camping or on the road. A few examples here are workflow/project management system and document sharing service.

There are several workflow management programs to choose from, including Asana and HubSpot. Most will integrate with Google Docs, which marketing agency PaperStreet asserts is a secure way to collaborate with your employees and team in real-time.

While there are many hobbies that won’t interfere with working remotely, those of us that spend more time outdoors than in understand that the things we love pose challenges if we want to run our business without being there. But, if you take the time to prepare ahead, you can circumvent many of the greatest hurdles and keep things moving no matter where you are in the world.