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Holiday Gift Guide 2020: 7 Books for the Armchair Traveller

While it may not feel like it today, there will be a time when we will travel again. In the meantime, the travelers in your life may need books to get them into the spirit of travel, if only from their armchair. Here are 7 books that would make a perfect gift for the armchair traveler.

150 hot spots in Canada, the best parks, conversation areas, and wild places

While not encouraged, the armchair traveler may be able to get up from the couch and visit some of the places found in 150 Hot Spots in Canada or 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario, the best of parks, nature reserves, and wild places. There are a number of books in this series, including 110 Manitoba and Saskatchewan Nature Hotspots, Best Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wildlife Areas, and 150 California Nature Hotspots: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wildlife Areas.

Each book has several pages about the place the authors recommend, such as Kakabeka Falls Province Park in Ontario or Gwaii Haanas in British Columbia. Each location has stunning imagery, information about the destination including what makes it a hot spot when it’s open, what to do when you get there, and more.

There are more than 500 locations where chair travelers can potentially be added to their lists.

Hot Spot books are from Firefly Books.

A paddler’s guide to Algonquin Park

One good thing about Algonquin Park is that there are roughly 4,741 square miles to explore, 2,400 lakes to explore, and 1,200 kilometers of creeks and rivers to paddle – if the armchair traveler wants more solitude.

Travelers can also use this book by Kevin Callan to plan canoe routes for next year. It offers interesting stories about the routes it has traveled over the years, beautiful pictures and maps, and information you might need for your own Algonquin adventure – this year or next. Information includes the time it takes to complete a route, portage information, and distance and difficulty.

A paddler’s guide to Algonquin Park is from Firefly Books.

Braver than you think, around the world on the journey of my (mother) life

Braver Than You Think is part of the memoir travelogue, while the armchair journey can explore the world through the book by the author Maggie Downs. Downs, recently married, leaves her job backpacking around 17 countries her mother dreamed of before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in young people.

Downs doesn’t gloss over their experiences and includes the bad parts that made the read an authentic one. Down’s had a lot of experiences such as hiking the Inca Trail and volunteering in a monkey sanctuary that may or may not want to put the chair trip on its own list.

Braver than you think, around the world on the journey of my (mother) life comes from PGC Books.

DK Smithsonian Behind the Scenes at the Museum, your all-access guide to the world’s most amazing museums

In this lovely book by DK, travelers can learn about different types of museums and the people responsible for making collections available to the public, including taxidermists and restorers who clean the collections to keep them for future generations. The book also includes information about the various artifacts found in a museum – how the object was found and what it took to get the object on display. For example, Marie Curie’s notebooks, who discovered radioactive elements, are still contaminated, and employees who want to examine notebooks are required to sign a document to say they understand the risk and wear protective clothing.

On every topic in the book there is a lot of information with pictures to help tell the story. It’s one of those books that armchair travelers can spend as much or as little time as they like reading the information provided. The book also lists a variety of museums around the world.

Smithsonian Behind the Scenes in the museum comes from DK books.

DK Smithsonian Journey, An Illustrated History of Travel

Chair travelers can learn about the history of travel while waiting for their chance to re-explore the world.

In this great book by DK Smithsonian, armchair travelers learn how people first traveled in ancient times and how they travel to the present day. On the way, the armchair traveler gets to know the age of discovery, the age of steam and flight.

In each chapter there is a lot of information with illustrations, photos, maps and much more as well as interesting people from this time. The book also provides information on some of the world’s most famous explorers.

Journey, an illustrated history of travel, is from DK Smithsonian.

DK Smithsonians Natural Wonders of the World

Armchair travelers can add a number of more places to travel as soon as they can thanks to Smithsonian’s natural wonders.

With stunning photos of places, creatures, and plants, everything about this book is beautiful and impressive. This book will confirm to armchair travelers that there is still so much to see.

Natural wonders of the world come from DK.

Strange marine animals

It could be that Strange Sea Creatures by Erich Hoyt is keeping the armchair traveler on the surface instead of diving.

The photos in this book are fascinating and a bit terrifying, although most of the creatures could easily fit in your hand and some are so small that you wouldn’t see them without a microscope, which is even creepier.

A page is dedicated to each creature. The creature sits on a black background with a paragraph with information about it, including its size, where it was photographed (location and water depth) and some interesting information about it. It’s probably a good thing that the average diver can’t travel 2,000 to 2,500 feet below sea level, as the black dragonfish looks really terrifying with its milk eyes, huge teeth, and cheek-patch organs glowing in the pitch-black water. The fact that it wobbles through the darkness like an eel doesn’t help either.

Strange Sea Creatures is from Firefly Books.

A copy of these books has been made available for honest review by DK Books, Firefly Books, PGC Books. The opinions are my own.

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