Being a sustainable traveller might seem quite overwhelming to begin with: Taking conscious actions, creating less waste and being culturally aware. However, the outcome of these efforts is ten-fold more rewarding.

The steps and effort are worth it, making you feel good about your conscious travel decisions. In practice, you may wonder if your decisions are essentially creating a difference or not.

With these questions in mind, here is a list of 8 must-read sustainable travel guides written by experts that will help you navigate your journey as a sustainable traveller. These guides reflect years of experience in sustainable travelling by different experts with real-life examples to back every claim.

If you are wondering how to be more conscious with your next trip or want to get insights on the experiences of expert authors, these guides/books are a perfect place to start! Loaded with practical tips and mind-blowing experiences, these books will help you with your next conscious getaway!

These books are top-rated and highly recommended by sustainable travellers, enthusiasts and readers, so you should easily be able to find a couple of picks to add to your reading list.

#1 The Green Edit: Travel - Easy tips for the eco-friendly traveller by Juliet Kinsman

Debunking sustainable travel myths!

Explore the world of wanderlust with sustainable travel practices. There are a lot of myths surrounding what sustainable travel is. This is where The Green Edit: Travel comes in. It demystifies a lot of concepts around sustainability.

This book doesn't talk about extreme measures like vowing to never take flight or spending every holiday camping in your backyard. Instead, this guide shows how to balance individual desires - like travelling somewhere luxurious - with responsibility.

This expert guide is written by eco travel journalist Juliet Kinsman, who talks briefly about every aspect of travelling from booking to sustainable travel tips.

From listing the criteria to select the flights to avoid unnecessary mini trips, this book shows how you can save the planet by travelling responsibly.


  • Pages: 160 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Ebury Press
  • Publication Date: 1 September 2020

Buy Here: Amazon

#2 Go Lightly by Nina Karnikowski

An essential handbook for conscious travellers!

This conscious travel handbook has inspired readers to travel without harming the planet. The ten chapters in the book will help you to go sustainable with your travel - including how to choose travel modes with the smallest carbon footprint, how to pack with consciousness and mindful practices for travel days.

The best part is that it explains the sometimes confusing jargon around ‘sustainable awareness’, giving tips to travel as sustainably as possible. Go Lightly gives the reader a toolkit of ideas to travel more consciously.

Go Lightly by Nina Karnikowski covers eco-friendly leisure activities like biking, camping and boating. It also includes some of the most inspiring eco-adventure pioneers like Caitlin Garcia-Ahrem and Rob Greenfield, adventurer and activist to name a few.

The book is covered with vibrant illustrations with earthy aesthetics and woodblock-style for a fresh and hopeful tone.


  • Pages: 144 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
  • Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Buy Here: Amazon

#3 Green Transport: Exploring Eco-Friendly Travel for Better Tomorrow by Rani Iyer

Exploring eco-friendly travel for the future

The book discusses how technological advancement has impacted the way people travel, connecting the world and exploring different countries.

However, these transport advancements come at a cost - combustion of fossil fuels has accelerated climate change. This has also paved way for the energy crisis due to huge demand and short supplies. The book is packed with case studies that show how the needs and priorities of youth are changing.

Rani Iyer has expressed her real-life experience of growing up near rivers and backing them with scientific facts to show how the environment can be saved. She has used the magic of words with visuals to engage and develop the imagination of young readers.


  • Reading Age: 12-18 years
  • Pages: 120 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Publication date: February 9, 2016

Buy Here: Amazon

#4 Sustainable Travel HandBook

Practical advice for the conscientious traveller

This is a practical and innovative guide that motivates travel enthusiasts to have a sustainable approach. The guide has got you covered with a wide range of topics from reducing carbon emissions to wildlife watching experiences.

This book by Lonely Planet has the best advice compiled from sustainable travel experts and eco-conscious travellers. You can find a variety of destinations that offer cultural, adventure and wellness experiences.

The guide also contains tips to reduce plastic waste during travel and the best way to explore indigenous cultures respectfully. You can learn a lot about ethical tourism in this 168-page guide.


  • Pages: 160 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet
  • Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Buy Here: Amazon

#5 Third Culture Kids of the World: Exploring Sustainable Travel Mindsets by Priyanka Surio

Get inspired by a cultural outlook for sustainable travel

This book reflects the perspective of a third culture kid, Priyanka Surio, on an intercontinental odyssey for attaining global citizenship.

Packed with stories by activists and global scholars, travel experts and influencers, this book explores how to have a positive and ethical travel experience - a complete outlook on sustainable travel and cultural travel.

It is recommended for those who are essentially trying to build a better world for all cultures. It is an inspirational and instructional road map towards sustainable and ethical travel.


Pages: 228 Pages

Language: English

Publication Date: December 17, 2020

Buy Here: Amazon

#6 The Ethical Travel Guide

A useful guide for ethical travel

If you are tired of unpurposeful guilt trips and tourist traps or just want to create a positive impact on the environment while you travel, this book is a must-have. The Ethical Travel Guide contains hundreds of ideas for your next holiday and a list of communities that are not found in other guides.

This extensive guide lists approximately 60 different countries and other useful resources around tourism concerns for anyone interested in ethical and sustainable travelling.


  • Pages: 240 Pages
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2006
  • Publisher: Routledge

Buy Here: Amazon  

#7 Volunteer: A Traveller's Guide to Making a Difference Around

Advice from experts and previous volunteers are cited in this book

"Volunteer", written by eco-conscious travel experts at Lonely Travel, is packed with invaluable information to get you planning the perfect ethical trip around the world. It has around 170 organisations listed where dozens of volunteers have shared in-depth experiences.

The book lists tough questions that one should ask themselves before signing up for any program. Some call for lengthy commitment while some charge a fee and call it “fund-raising”. This book is for skilled and unskilled workers with a sense of humour, loads of patience and an open mind.


Pages: 272 Pages

Language: English

Publisher: Lonely Planet

Publication Date: August 1, 2010

Buy Here: Amazon

#8 Overbooked: The exploding business of travel and tourism by Elizabeth Becker

A mandatory read for anyone interested in sustainable travel and responsible tourism.

This book is not for a casual read that you can go through for some days while commuting. It commands attention and time. It is an example of high-level journalism, so the language may be a little more challenging.

However, don’t hesitate to reach for “Overbooked”. It is a resourceful and value-packed book that offers eye-opening instances for many readers. It will make you aware of many aspects of tourism that you might have ignored or paid less attention to. In many situations, the facts can be rather gloomy.

Every chapter gives insights into a different country, region or place. Thanks to the multi-faceted approach, Elizabeth Becker rightly creates a collection of knowledge stating the influence tourism has on the planet and local communities.


Pages: 464 Pages

Language: English

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: April 16, 2013

Buy Here: Amazon

#9 Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet

A great read to understand sustainable travel better

This book is a great read for anyone who wants to know and explore tools, investments and skills involved while travelling internationally while also protecting irreplaceable resources that are continuously deteriorating every day from the impact of the growing tourism industry. It has documented the need for a sustainable travel revolution, managing tourism destinations.

Besides travel, the book also illustrates how budgets to protect local regions are underestimated. It also proposes innovative and sustainable solutions to make a transition to green infrastructure and protect landscapes across the world.


Pages: 336 Pages

Language: English

Publisher: Routledge

Publication Date: Jan 23

Buy Here: Amazon

#10 Destination Unknown - Sustainable Travel and Ethical Tourism by Carolin Lusby

Exposes the good, the bad and the ugly of tourism industry

This book gives an incredible space for the people to turn tourism into a more equitable and ethical industry post-pandemic. This book has compiled the works of travel experts from around the world, with contributions highlighting the ways in which the industry can be developed for both people and the planet.

This book deep dives into the ways in which tourism can offer meaningful encounters rather than contributing to over-tourism. A great read for anyone who wants to travel mindfully and create a difference on the go! This book celebrates how tourism can bring us all together and add to our conscious decisions. All it takes is learning to identify mindful travel opportunities and then choosing to take action.

Pages: 166 Pages

Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks

Publication Date: May 6, 2021

Language: English

Buy Here: Amazon

Sustainability is increasingly important in a world of dwindling resources and it is critical to understand how tourism can create an impact on every landscape! No matter which books you prefer to read, the advice mentioned is fact-checked and verified.

It can be overwhelming when you find out that there is so much to do in order to be a sustainable traveller. But don’t let that stop you! Keep exploring and learning how to be a more sustainable traveller. It is important that as the world begins to function again, the travel industry will most likely boom.  

Also remember, these books will not only help you with your travel decisions but also create the right mindset. Remember, the journey towards achieving sustainable travel goals is all about learning and improvement, not perfectionism.

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