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Armchair Travel Books to Help You Travel from Home

From traveling the world (literally) to traveling the world… literary! Covid-19 has completely disrupted the world as we know it across all industries – travel being one of the most impacted. So many of us travelers have had to face difficult, heart wrenching choices to cancel flights and awaited adventures due to closed borders, risk of exposing vulnerable populations and overwhelming local health organizations. It’s a time unlike any other for our planet. But, there’s one thing that we’re turning to in these difficult times… travel books.

We’re the first to admit, we’re major book nerds over here at team Dame Traveler! On any given night you can find us curled up, sifting through photo books, literary novels and destination guides for travel inspiration. There really is something about having a library of stunning travel books to turn to in times when we’re not able to get out there and explore. Armchair exploration will be our guiding light during this time. Clear some space on your bookshelves… here is a roundup of our favorite travel books we’re curling up to while social distancing!

Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure

It’s been the ultimate goal of ours since the creation of Dame Traveler to have a book filled with the brave, courageous women in our community on bookshelves. And here it is! From backpackers in Peru to artists in Berlin to storytellers in Morocco, Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure celebrates the diversity and bravery of women from around the world who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box. We can’t wait to see it on your bookshelves soon!

The Travel Book

This is kind of like the keystone travel book in our eyes! Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book is a whirlwind trip around the world through every single country in the world. Yep! Every single one. It’s the ultimate introduction to the world of travel and one that we always end up referring to when we need any information on a given destination. Whether you need a book to learn about a specific culture or history, or you’re on the hunt for some photo inspiration for your next trip – this book has got it covered! It’s a tome that any and all travelers will love.

Wonders of the World

A deep dive into the world’s most dazzling sights, both natural and human-made. Of course you’ll find an inside look at the iconic sights like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat and the Great Wall of China… but Lonely Planet’s Wonders of the World goes so much further. You’ll find less famous sights that are totally spectacular and less-explored (think tree bridges of Meghalaya, the Rijksmuseum, the Naqsh-e Jahan in Iran, untouched Buddhist temples in Java and so much more). Natural beauties, undeniably striking museums, itineraries and the resources and tools on how to discover them yourself. This book is one we’re always happy to re-read over and over again.

My Lisbon

More than just a cookbook, My Lisbon has the most stunning photography of this gorgeous city in Portugal. The book really takes you into the lives of those who live in Lisbon and also makes for a gorgeous decorative coffee table book.

World Food: Mexico City

Mexico City is truly one of the culinary leaders of the world and the World Food: Mexico City combines 75 recipes, storytelling, and beautiful photographs all in one place.

Cuba!: Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen

Cuba is one of our favorite places in the world so it’s no wonder why we loved this cookbook. The recipes are fabulous, and the vibrant imagery draws you in.

London In Bloom

Escape to the charming streets of London-town amidst the spring blossoms in “London In Bloom.” The iconic charm of London’s architecture juxtaposed next to the blooming flowers of spring are the perfect escape we’re all craving right now. Inside each page you’ll find unique views of the city, lush, floral beauty, some of London’s best parks, gardens, florists and flower markets too. It’s like a spring-time walk through London through the lens of one of our favorite botanical photographers!




What travel books are you turning to while social distancing? We’d love to know your favorites!

Featured Insider Tips Journal Solo Travel Stories

Check Out Our Hardcover Book, Dame Traveler: Live the Spirit of Adventure

It’s finally here! Our very first, Dame Traveler photography / coffee table book published with Ten Speed Press of Penguin Random House – “Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure.

This book has been the ultimate goal (and absolute dream) since Dame Traveler’s creation many years ago. Seeing it come to life in print is a feeling BEYOND words can say. We simply cannot wait to see it in your hands and in your homes. It’s a dream to imagine seeing copies of it out in the world, creased and filled with bookmarks and notes, loved and worn, passed on and gifted to fellow female traveler friends.

The time for armchair travel is now. Without a doubt, the world has greatly shifted in the wake of Covid-19. Travel restrictions and the gravity of potentially putting others at risk or overwhelming local healthcare systems are serious, complicated and heart wrenching considerations for those of us who long (and live) to explore.

Our dream is that the #dametravelerbook transports you to every corner of our beautiful planet. We hope you sift through each page and imagine yourself there, soaking in cultural experiences, scaling mountaintops, learning from locals, discovering new, untouched European towns or road tripping through America.

Even if your travel plans have halted and you’re Social Distancing to help Flatten the Curve, the world is still your oyster. And we hope each and every page keeps that fire to adventure glowing until the right time comes to hop on that plane.

Today, we’re thrilled to give you an inside sneak peak into our premiere hardback book, which you can order here!

At A Glance

Combining breathtaking collection of the unseen images of the women within the Dame Traveler community, empowering messages and planning tips for female travelers and secret recommendations – “Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure” is a coffee table photo book you’ll love to sift through to collect stories, inspiration and more. Each page is filled with some of the most thrilling, awe-inspiring photos made by women boldly traveling the world and sharing their stories. It’s a collection and celebration of the diversity and bravery of women who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box.

Featured inside:

  • All female contributors – With a serious focus on diversity, you’ll find women of all abilities, races, religions, sizes and identities inside each chapter. Each woman included into the book showcase their discoveries, artistry and inside knowledge acquired through their individual experiences.
  • Over 200 breathtaking, full color images – 80% of the photographs included inside are never before seen on Dame Traveler’s Instagram.
  • “DT Insider Tips” – A resource list of recommendations  straight from Dame Travelers’ experiences, including favorite neighborhoods, specific locations of photo vantage points, hotel recommendations and historical tidbits.
  • History of Dame Traveler’s creation – An in-depth backstory of the brand’s creation, as well as the triumphant story of Nastasia Yakoub, founder and author.
  • Safety tips for women – A curated list of our best and often overlooked safety tips specifically for women traveling solo.

Chapter Preview

When planning the structure of the book, we wanted to bring to life the four core themes of  travel experiences- architecture, nature, culture and water. Each category features travel information, plus tips, resources, advice, unique solo-travel experiences, and wisdom from contributing Dame Traveler found on each page. It’s glance into the stunning beauty and discoveries made around the world, organized by the four desires most of us set to find when we depart on our next trip. Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll find in each chapter!


Ranging from the ancient tombs of royalty of the past, to the intricately designed spaces of the French Nouveau, to the minimalist, futuristic buildings in today’s metropolises… our Architecture chapter features some of the world’s most storied and mind-blowing spaces around the world. Explore the world through its ancient and modern spaces alike through the lenses of women who have uncovered some of the coolest spaces with the most legendary pasts.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book


The sparse and open spaces of the driest deserts juxtaposed next to dense, lush jungles… when creating our Nature chapter, we set out to feature the astounding beauty of the natural world. Inside, you’ll find the best inside knowledge outdoor enthusiast Dame Travelers have learned from their many treks around the globe.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book


If it’s connection you are seeking in your travels, our Culture chapter is sure to enthrall you. Expect purpose-driven explorations, hallowed spaces, stories from friendships made with locals and thoughtful itineraries that educate just as much as they excite.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book


There’s nothing more peaceful and rejuvenating than the beauty of water, is there? Inside our Water chapter, we delve into the world’s fascinating forms of water. From refreshing, undiscovered swimming pools, to the pristine beaches of far off islands, to the natural hot springs used for restoration… this chapter is a deep dive into the power and the peace that water brings.

A Special Look Into Our Upcoming Dame Traveler Book

Thank you so much for supporting our biggest and wildest dream! It goes without saying that this would not have come into life without the amazing community of women within Dame Traveler. We thank you so much and hope you love the book as much as we do!



Solo Travel Stories

Traveling While Deaf: My Triumphs & Message To Hearing People

Traveling While Deaf: My Triumphs & Message To Hearing People

Growing up in audio-centric world, Hearing people* were instilling fears in me, even questioning how would it be possible for me to travel due to being Deaf. And I once believed their fears were the sole truth. 

How is it that I could navigate alone at the airports or communicate with local people without a Hearing companion?

Living like a turtle in the shell, I often wondered what the world has to offer. yearned to be out of the shell, because I’ve always love adventures. Even as a child, I’d often seek out adventures independently before I believed their fears. One day, I began to realize that I have so many potentials than what many Hearing people believed about me. I knew that I had to take a leap of faith, a leap that I just have to do. 

Traveling While Deaf: My Triumphs & Message To Hearing People

When I first started my backpacking journey, I couldn’t help to have some fears and expectations about some Hearing people. I was ingrained to become accustomed to discrimination, isolation, rejection, and impatience from several Hearing people. But several local people that I’ve met during my travel really changed my life. One of the most meaningful experiences I had as a Deaf traveler was meeting my very first Couchsurfing host who is Hearing (I’ll call her “Min”). I already anxiously prepared myself for the possibility of getting discrimination from Min. When I finally saw her, to my surprise, she already had a pen and notepad ready with her. I was taken aback because I never once told her that I prefer the written communication method but she already prepared this herself. 

Once I felt comfortable enough with her, I sometimes used my voice despite my Deaf accent. Min never once pressured me to talk or gave me pity looks. Without hesitation, she’d switch to different communication techniques with me: written/typed communication, gestures and verbal communication. This experience may seem very simple but it was relatively huge for me, and one of the most memorable travel experiences I had. 

Traveling While Deaf: My Triumphs & Message To Hearing People

Because of Min and several local people that I’ve met during my travel, I’ve not only gained a better faith in them but trust in myself. I’ve learned a huge lesson from them: fear, itself, is often a product of our imagination. Traveling has taught me to face fears. I then no longer let that hold me back while traveling. I learned to navigate this audio-centric world, such as trying several different communication techniques, including but not limited to written/typed communication, using gestures, and using Google translation. Like my experiences with Min, it is one of the prime examples of inclusivity, and we need more in the travel industry. 

There are over 1 billion people with disabilities around the world, including 466 million of people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Yet, it is still lacking in many areas in the travel industry. Inclusion is especially important. It isn’t just about enabling Deaf people or Disabled people to travel independently or helping different businesses. Inclusion means we are being heard/seen. Inclusion means that we are being treated as human beings, not a person just to be pitied upon. 

*Hearing people refer to those who are not Deaf or Hard of Hearing or affected by any type of hearing loss.

Advice Giving Back Journal North America Stories Trips

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

  When the word “travel” comes to mind – many of us think exploring, relaxing, or even cool content for the ‘Gram. Recently I had an opportunity to give travel a new meaning, helping others, and it changed my life in ways that I never imagined. I joined a three-day weekend with The Greatness Foundation and Baja Bound in Manaedero, Mexico to help build two homes for working poor families, visit local orphanages, and deliver supplies to a Migrant Camp.

  I learned the experience was like Adult Camp paired with helping others and thought, “Where do I sign up?”. The former Girl Scout in me was more excited for this type of travel than any vacation. Today I’m sharing life-changing experiences that may occur when traveling for the purpose of helping others.

1. Perspective

  We arrived to the neighborhood in Manaedero, Mexico and as we met the two families we were building homes for – I tried to process what my eyes were witnessing. Although I work for a non-profit, helping the homeless in the U.S., this was my first time ever witnessing this level of poverty. It was a beautiful sunny day with mountains nearby, but many families were living in a shacks made of tarp, scrap metal, and wood. There were dirt roads, famished dogs, and the home conditions were inconceivable. Most of the homes had no access to clean water, dirt floors, no bathrooms and barely had four walls. We were advised to not drink out of water bottles in front of the families so that they didn’t feel uncomfortable. Until seen firsthand, we can easily forget that majority of humans on earth live in these conditions. It gave me a new perspective of how extremely blessed we are to live in the U.S.

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

2. Unexpected Joy

  Unbeknownst, while building the homes we were able to get to know the neighbors. The absolute highlight of my trip was getting to know five playful and sweet sisters next door. While living a lifestyle we may not be able to imagine – they had constant smiles on their faces. On the first day while on the construction sight the oldest sister walk over to us. I noticed her look at my bracelet that I bought from a woman selling them down the street. I quickly realized that a $2 bracelet that meant nothing to me, was so desirable to them. I put a few on each of their wrists and loved seeing their faces light-up. This moment was an honor for me to bring dignity to the sisters and hopefully a reminder that they’re beautiful princesses.

  Each day we got to know each other more and I had fun teaching them English. They were proud to show me the inside of their home, which had conditions that would be considered extreme poverty in the U.S. It dawned on me that although we were seeing their home, they have never seen how we live and may not know that it’s different.  Lastly, I asked them in Spanish, “What do you think about Americans?” The oldest said, “They care about people”. I’ll never forget the time spent with the joyful five sisters and their simple yet quite rich lifestyle. 

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

3. Sense Of Community

  The morning of the first day fifty strangers gathered in a parking lot as we embarked on this life-changing journey. It was unique to be in a circle of people all with the same purpose that weekend – to help families in need. We assembled in a circle to introduce ourselves and shortly after caravanned from San Diego to Maneadero, Mexico.

  As we traveled in a van over the weekend, we were quick to share deep life experiences – travel, relationships, death, after-life, you name it. It was amazing to me that some volunteers traveled from all over the U.S. to spend their weekend helping the underpriveleged families. Quickly with traveling together, building the homes, sharing jokes, and singing songs, we became close-knit friends. I was shocked that I felt like I knew these humans for a lifetime and they felt the same.

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

4. Heart Expansion

  The light-hearted aspect of the trip is that the children of Manaedero, Mexico were extremely playful. Every day we were able to play, hug, and hang out with children. Unbeknownst to me, we had the chance to visit a local all girls orphanage. This orphanage was mostly girls whose parents aren’t able to care for them right now due to addiction but they’re also not up for adoption. I’ll never forget is when this beautiful little girl realized I was leaving and wouldn’t let me go. She clung to me for awhile and joked for the van to leave without me. My friends noted that I was “beaming” on this trip and I wouldn’t disagree.

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

5. Responsibility

  Reality slapped me in the face when we visited a Migrant Camp, which is basically families living in storage units in exchange for working on a farm. As I was delivering supplies to one of the units, I opened it, and inside was a 12-year-old boy. He seemed pretty jaded whereas the other children were playful. He allowed me into the tiny unit which was had a dirt floor with no bed. His parents work on the farm and he doesn’t attend school. I stood across from this weary boy and I realized there was nothing I could do to help him. I asked in Spanish what he wanted, and was shocked to hear him say “pistola” – a gun.

I felt horrible that night thinking about the boy and his family sleeping in the storage unit. I realized that life is a mere lottery and that they could’ve been born in my shoes, and I could have been born in theirs. Yeah, it was a rude awakening that there are hundreds of thousands of people that live in these conditions. 

   Witnessing the reality of people living in poverty is confirmation that we, the fortunate, are the ones responsible to help those who need it most. Poverty is a direct result of the fortunate not taking full responsibility in helping others. Responsibility is the biggest lesson that I learned over the weekend.

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your LifeHow Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

How Traveling for Philanthropy Will Change Your Life

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Advice Insider Tips Stories Tech Travel Planning

Planning for the Possibility of Problems While Traveling

Taking a trip, especially one overseas, can be very exciting. But you should not let this excitement get in the way of properly planning your trip, as there are lots of things that could cause you problems on the trip and you should be properly prepared for them.

Here are some things you should be prepared for:

1. Running Out of Money Overseas
One of the biggest nightmares you could face is unexpectedly running out of money while you are overseas. But there are many things you can do before you leave to prevent this from becoming a problem.

First, find out how much things cost in the city you are visiting before you go there. Do not assume that the prices of food and transportation are the same as where you live. Once you know the prices of things, you can budget accordingly.

Also, some countries charge entrance and/or exit fees upon entering or leaving the country. Find out if the country you are visiting does this before you go.

In many countries, retailers no longer accept credit cards that do not have a security chip. If your credit and/or debit cards all use magnetic strips and you cannot get a version of them with security chips, then make sure that you have alternative means of paying for things.

Finally, keep in mind that in some foreign countries credit card use is limited. So, always make sure that you have plenty of local currency on hand to pay for things.

2. Unexpected Emergencies
No one ever plans on getting sick, injured, or becoming a victim of some other unfortunate set of circumstances, but it can happen. It’s important to be prepared. Start by securing a backup source of funds to cover an unexpected expense overseas. Those hesitant to tap into savings if necessary should consider researching loan options, particularly those which can be applied for online.

Make sure that all your vaccinations are up-to-date and that all your prescriptions have been filled. Next, check to make sure that your health insurance will cover you while you are on your trip. If it does not, then you should strongly consider purchasing supplemental health insurance.

When traveling overseas, you should also be prepared if your passport becomes lost or stolen. Make copies of them before you leave, taking one set with you in your luggage while leaving another set with a loved one back home. You may even want to consider making digital copies of them so that you can store them on your phone or on another device.

Finally, just to be safe, you should register with your embassy upon arrival. If some emergency occurs in the country, the embassy would then be able to contact you so as to provide you with help.

3. Electronics Issues
It may surprise you to know that not all countries use the same electrical currents and sockets. The time to discover all this is before you leave.

If the country you are visiting uses a different electrical current, some of your travel appliances — such as hairdryers — may be useless. So, plan accordingly.

Most modern computing devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops can adapt to different electrical currents. But check to make sure that yours does before you leave. Even if they do, you may still have to deal with different electrical sockets. Find out before you leave what kind of sockets you will need and see if you cannot purchase an adapter(s) at an electronics store before you go. If you cannot buy adapters before you leave, find out where you can buy them while on your trip.

What problems have you ran into while traveling? Comment below!