Best World Atlas for Travel Inspiration


Do you know what my favourite Christmas present was growing up? Probably not, that’s a stupid question. Well it would have been a ‘BOP IT’ but my parents couldn’t find me one for love nor money. So my favourite Christmas present that I actually received was a huge Times World Atlas. Doesn’t sound like a kid’s dream present but even as an 10 year I truly loved this thing. Thanks to parents with a passion for travel I naturally grew up dreaming of where I would travel when I was old enough to go solo. I spent my early years watching teletext holidays and reading Thomas Cook brochures.


When I was old enough to realise this probably wasn’t the type of travel I wanted to do I started reading Lonely Planet guides and Bill Bryson books and, of course, I spent hours flicking through my Atlas ‘discovering’ whole countries for the first time. By time I reached University I was deep into planning my first big trip. I had a giant laminated map that I would draw flight routes on and received Lonely Planet guides every birthday and Christmas until my ‘round the world’ trip in 2009. 

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This year I turned 32 and my love of travel hasn’t faded. I usually try my hardest to travel on or around my birthday whether that’s somewhere abroad or within Portugal. The aim is usually to wake up somewhere new. This year due to COVID-19 I spent my birthday (safe) at home . It turned out to be a great day, I took myself off to Mexico – virtually of course. There was tacos, frozen margaritas, mezcal and mariachi music and it was so much fun.  I also allowed myself a mini guilt free online shopping spree and, without a doubt, the gift I was enjoyed opening and using the most was the Lonely Planet Travel Atlas



I didn’t actually know Lonely planet had an Atlas. I’ve always bought their guides and although I’ve lusted over some of their coffee books I never actually purchased one until now. When it arrived it turned out to be the best birthday present in a long time and I have had my head in it ever since.



There are so many reasons your home library should include a good Atlas. Here are just a few…

TRIP PLANNING – An atlas is the ultimate way to plan a trip. Essentially you have the whole world in your lap and using detailed and accurate maps can help you plan anything from weekend get aways to holidays to long-term travel.

EDUCATION – Naturally Atlas’ works great as an education tool especially for kids. Whether it is for you or your kids you’ll be able to learn so much more about the world by diving into an Atlas now and again. It is obviously a wonderful tool for anyone interested in Geography. 


GREAT COFFEE TABLE BOOK– Yep its true. I always love the idea of coffee table books but for some reason never buy them. This Travel Atlas has made the most perfect coffee table book for our home. We both love to travel so when we are dreaming up our next trip or I want to work out an itinerary I can pick up this book from the coffee table and get inspired.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION – This is exactly why I bought the Lonely Planet Travel Atlas. I had been sucked into instagram and Pinterest for travel inspo for too long. Of course you can (and I do) find some great content on social media but I tend to find the same places keep popping up time and time again. I love getting ideas from these sources but I also love finding my own travel experiences, remote islands and hidden gems. Being able to flick through the whole world with no bias feels like the best way to get inspired for future travels. This is why I love having a travel atlas to turn too.



I have been a Lonely Planet reader for a loooooong time and even though I don’t solely use their guides for my personal trip planning they are always where I start. In short….I trust them! There are a couple of other reasons why I chose this particular Atlas from Lonely Planet.

SUPER EASY TO USE – The Lonely Planet Travel Atlas is extremely easy to use. The layout is satisfying on the eyes and the maps are clear and concise without being over the top. 

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION – Everything you need to plan a trip is included in this Atlas including climate charts, main transport hubs (this makes it super easy to plan multiple-country trips), top sights and activities and itinerary suggestions.


BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY – Lonely Planet is revered for its travel photography and I love getting a new guide and flicking straight to the top 20 experiences pages to see what beauty they have captured this time.  The LP Travel Atlas is no exception.

GREAT VALUE – I would be lying if I said when I chose this Atlas it had nothing to do with price. Some detailed atlas’s reach the £100’s or more which I simply can’t justify at the moment. This may not be considered a ‘comprehensive’ atlas but in my eyes it is the best planning tool and inspirational travel atlas out there. Especially for this price. 



If you don’t already own an atlas or yours is ancient hopefully this has encouraged you to dive back into one soon! I pick up my atlas at least once a day and it has turned out to be the best book for travel inspiration!

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