Travel Literature: What is Its Purpose?


Travel literature is literally what it says on the tin – a book that recounts someone’s travels. Regardless of other genres or categories, when people are travelling they love reading travel books to learn more about their destination, soak in a bit of history, and generally find out more.


Travel literature intends to depict the experiences of foreign travel or the thoughts of their authors about foreign lands. This type of literature came into being in the modern period as a response to increased world travel and trade. It also came about as a result of dissatisfaction with vagueness, lack of realism and authenticity in previous travel writing.

Travel literature can take many forms: non-fiction and fiction, essay or poetry, biographical accounts and first-person narratives. All of them have one thing in common, they come from the heart and soul of a specific place. Travel writers may boast a worldly accent or born of local stock. But before they captured todays headlines as well as offered up new frontiers to explore, these men and women were footloose and fancy free, footloose and fancy writing about the world about them.

Why Do People Prefer Reading Travel Literature?

One of the reasons travel literature is so popular is that it’s a good read. Travelers often write about their firsthand experiences in vivid detail and with an interesting, engaging style.

Travel literature is about more than just writing. It’s also about reading. Travel literature, by its very nature, creates a dialogue between the reader and the author. It evokes memories and stirs up emotions, which in turn inspires more travel to other destinations. In order to be considered “good,” travel literature must be well-written and a pleasure to read.

What’s your take on this? Share your thoughts with us via email.