Best books for travel inspiration 

Where better to find inspiration for your next travel experience than in the pages of a good book (other than the Two’s a Crowd website, of course)? We polled our staff, those who work in the office as well as our tour hosts to find out what books most inspired them to travel. After all, this is a group that unashamedly dreams about travel all day, every day. So whether you’re seeking travel inspiration for next year’s trips or looking for Christmas gift ideas for fellow wanderers, here are our staff picks of the best travel books:

Ken Phaic Than by the old D-generation crew. It’s a very funny book, though as you’d expect from these guys, it’s not really very politically correct. It’s a send up of guidebooks, like those we follow from Lonely Planet.

Gillian My very first travel book was Asia on a Shoestring – $10 a day! This was the late 70s. It was the bible for all one’s basic travel needs, accommodation, food and transport. I still love to hold a travel book but generally after I’ve visited a destination, as whilst travelling you can’t beat the Internet for convenience. Some fun reads include Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which inspired my own mid life Gap Year, and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s book The Motorcycle Diaries, which I read this year just before travelling to Cuba with Two’s a Crowd.

Bernie The Travel Book by Lonely Planet, which is a big coffee table book that covers all 195 countries in the world. It’s very inspirational to flick through. I also love Secret Marvels of the World, also by Lonely Planet, which visits the more offbeat places and attractions. It is filled with random facts about places you never knew existed and is very humorous.

Adrian. I love a good travel guide, we’ve used Lonely Planet’s Europe guide and the Let’s Go guide for India, though sadly they are no longer available. But one of my absolute favourites is the coffee table book The Traveller’s Atlas by John Man and Chris Schuler. The book was so inspiring, with such amazing photos that we just had to travel to Chamonix in France and take the cable car across the top off the French, Swiss and Italian Alps into La Palud in Italy. Definitely a highlight of my travelling life. All inspired by one coffee table book.

Leonie I enjoy the odd tid bit from Lonely Planet’s travel guides. I find them great for restaurant recommendations and off the beaten track of things to see and do, as well as pointing out the mainstream, must see, travel experiences in any town.

Frances I loved Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Marching Powder by Rusty Young – hmm, there seems to be a common theme here, I’m not as dodgy as these guys, I promise. I also love anything by David Attenborough (a definite hero of mine). Also Earth Condensed: The World Atlas by Charles F. Gritzner. Anything by Bill Bryson, for a giggle and any of the incredible coffee table books from Lonely Planet. The Travel Book and One People, Many Journeys spring to mind– if you’re seeking inspiration or a reason to get out in to the world, you’ll find it in these pages.

Elise I was given The Bucket List – 1000 Adventures Big and Small by Kath Stahers as a gift; it’s such an inspiring book. As the name suggests it’s contains 1000 activities and ideas from all over the world. It covers everything from visiting Petra at sunrise to swimming with dolphins in New Zealand and lots in between. My bucket list keeps getting longer and longer!

Thao Ha I love the writings of Pico Iyer – The Global Soul stands out – and anything by Bill Bryson. It’s difficult to choose just one of this books as a favourite, but maybe Notes from a Small Island.

Diane I love anything that whisks you away to another place. I always try to read a novel set in the country I’m travelling through, it always gives me such a thrill to read about a street I’ve walked along, or a café I’ve sat in. Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, is simply beautiful. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin took me to Pakistan and Afghanistan. As well as taking readers through a foreign landscape it shows what one person can do if they really set their mind on something. And I’ve just picked up Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton, which gives an insight into Indigenous Australia.  

What Our Clients Say

20 out of 10!

The trip was just great - I can't really think of any negatives. Diane will back me up when I say I usually give 10/10s - I gave her 20/10. Trish, Canada/Alaska

Excellent trip

I found the overall trip excellent. I believe Diane's professionalism, inclusive personality and ability to relate to all contributed to this. She worked to ensure the group was cohesive without individuals impinging on the personal space of others etc. a good skill to have and one she applied effectively. Kate, Canada/Alaska

Fantastic value for money

Fantastic value for money paid. Russell our guide is an asset to your company... he was fantastic! Overall the trip was magical from start to finish. Well done Two's a Crowd ... the best trip ever. Barbara, Canada/Alaska

Fantastic first solo trip

I had a fantastic trip. Absolutely loved Canada and Alaska. It's the first time I have travelled solo and was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of people that all got on so well. Diane our host was great. She did a good job of getting us altogether for meals, excursions, shopping trips etc. I liked that she quietly got things done without being loud or "in-your-face". She was good at being one of us as well as our leader. Wendy, Canada/Alaska

Good balance of activities and spare time

Had a great time. Good mixture of organised activities and spare time. Diane was an excellent tour host. Russell the tour guide was great, very knowledgeable and personable with his insights into growing up and living in Canada. Sharon, Canada/Alaska

Well organised trip with an excellent host

The trip was well organised, with a good mix of activity and free time. The scenery was spectacular and fellow travellers were a great bunch. Diane is a excellent host - helpful, courteous and above all a pleasure to know. I found her bubbly personality a bonus and can only speak highly of her. Gary, Canada/Alaska

I had a fabulous time

I had a fabulous time. Lake Louise and the hotel were magnificent. The cruise was excellent. Diane made sure that she was available for group meals and sightseeing, and was alway in good humour and great fun. I would recommend your company to everyone and am very interested in the Scandinavia  tour at the end of 2017.

Cathy, Adelaide - Canada/Alaska May 2016

Great holiday

What a great trip! I experienced so much and participated in all that was offered. I had read and reviewed as much as time allowed me but was not prepared for what the trip gave me and that is a better understanding of the beautiful people of both countries. - Lesley on Vietnam/Cambodia

In good company

I thought the suggestions for optional things to do, in the "free" time were very good. So good, we really ended up with very little free time. So much to do! - Mary on Vietnam

Great time together

I found the trip interesting and eye opening with a great overview of both Vietnam and Cambodia. The other travellers on the trip were fabulous and we had a great time together. - Anonymous on Vietnam/Cambodia

Fantastic first experience!

Extremely well organised with fabulous guides throughout - especially in Vietnam! First holiday with your company and certainly not the last. - Glenys on Vietnam

Great group to travel with

Having a small group meant that the days were more relaxed and flexible and I really felt spoilt and looked after. Melinda on Borneo

Thoroughly enjoyed Uganda

Thoroughly enjoyed my trip especially Uganda. There was so much variety of things to do on this trip. Jaros & Julius were great. Thought in Kenya the Maasai Mara were beautiful people, so easy to get along with. Judy

Can’t stop talking about my experience

I just feel so privileged to have shared with the Maasai the most awe-inspiring majestic sights and sounds of Africa. The fantastic memories will be with me forever. Maureen

Absolutely enjoyable

Gillian was a fantastic host. She was there for us from the moment we reached Hotel Troy. Heather on Africa

Best holiday I’ve been on!

One of the best holidays that I have been on - really well organised. I would never have travelled to Vietnam or Cambodia on my own. Bronwyn

Well organised

Fun, well organised and a really great group. Barbara on Vietnam/Cambodia

Great time together

I found the trip interesting and eye opening with a great overview of both Vietnam and Cambodia. The other travellers on the trip were fabulous and we had a great time together.

Great value

Well done. No complaints. Very pleased with this trip. Great value for my hard earned dollars! Really enjoyed the [Vietnam/Cambodia] tour. 

Fabulous rapport filled with much humour!

A great bunch of people & I can't believe how we all had such a fabulous rapport filled with much humour!!!

I couldn’t fault anything.

The (Uniworld River) cruise was great, I met up with some wonderful people who treated me like part of the family !
The ship & crew were fantastic & the excursions were very good, I couldn't fault anything. I'd recommend this cruise to anyone.  Peter

Informative and educational

The entire trip was one of the most enjoyable and exciting. Also so informative and educational. I was so pleased to make the trip. Wish I was over there in that magical place.  Marjorie


I’ve just returned from the wonderful Kimberley trip.  It was my first experience with Two’s a Crowd and I was delighted.  Kay

Opportunity to experience

I have had the opportunity to experience things I would never had done by myself.  Solo travellers is a fantastic concept and use of social media has been a great way to share and keep in touch with friends and family. Judi

I need not have worried

Being my first tour and a senior member, I admit I was apprehensive but I need not have worried. It was great and I was very well looked after.  Can’t wait to go to Kenya with Two’s a Crowd.  Maureen

Smooth and seamless

A memorable trip of a lifetime, a wish fulfilled.  A fascinating cultural country steeped in history which I found totally enthralling.  Two’s a Crowd service was smooth and seamless.  Pam

A wonderful experience

It was a wonderful experience visiting Cambodia and Vietnam and gave me a better understanding of these countries. I had a great time with new friends, we had a good bunch and Leonie was the perfect host. Eric

Value for money

Value for money and outstanding co-operation from your staff and tour operators. Joan

Safe and secure and totally looked after

An awesome adventure for my first time overseas alone.  Leonie was excellent and both guides were also fantastic.  At all times I felt safe and secure and totally looked after.  Melinda

Well done Two’s a Crowd.

Leonie was an excellent host, the ideal person. I never felt any pressure to  be involved in every activity so I could explore alone during free time. Having 2 or 3 nights in most places was great – you could rest up or party. Well done Two’s a Crowd. Jenny

A completely different experience

It was a nice surprise holiday, a completely different experience from all my other holidays. Thanks. Piroska

I’ve had at least 10 travel agents.

In my travelling life, I’ve had at least 10 travel agents.  Two’s a Crowd is the first one where I haven’t had to correct anything in my travel documents.   Piroska

I’m so excited to have found you Two’s a Crowd.

“Finally. A travel company is recognising the needs of people like me”

This is perfect for me.

“I’ve been to Burma but can you please send me some information about other destinations. This is perfect for me.”

I really wanted to meet the people behind it

“I saw your ad in the local paper and could have phoned but I wanted to come in and congratulate you on starting this great business. I really wanted to meet the people behind it.”

Two’s a Crowd on the internet was definitely meant to be!

I’m really enthusiastic about the niche you are determined to cover in the market, and have the feeling stumbling on Two’s a Crowd on the internet was definitely meant to be.

I find them inspirational

Thanks for sending these emails as I find them inspirational and will sit dreaming for the next hour or so.

Thank you for providing a service for people like me

“I am very excited to read about your area of speciality, and look forward to devouring all information that might come my way. Thank you for providing a service for people like me.”

Excellent throughout.

The entire 14 days ran so smoothly from Two's a Crowd booking my flights to  airport transfers and then the 12 days camping in the Kimberley. Excellent throughout. Congratulations. Marjorie

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