YA Books That Will Inspire You To Take Your Dream Vacation

by Kerri Jarema

With spring finally here and summer fast approaching, most of us are overcome with wanderlust. There's nothing like sunshine and warmer weather to make you want to pack a bag and go find some adventure. If you're already planning for airplanes and beaches, road trips and touristy jaunts, you're going to need a couple of books to bring with you, right? And if you're someone for whom staycations are the only vacation on the horizon, books are definitely the best way to travel without ever leaving your home. So, we've compiled a few of our favorite young adult travel reads that will definitely inspire you to take your dream vacation.

Books about boarding school in Paris, backpacking through Central America, summer beach houses and expeditions to Antarctica; we've got a little bit of everything from different countries and all different kinds of jaunts. Whether you want to learn more about a specific place, have already fallen in love with a country and want to return to it, or are looking to feel more comfortable before you take a trip or spend a semester abroad, all of these picks are sure to bring the excitement, fun and romance of finding yourself in a new place.


'Love & Gelato' by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for 16 years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father — and even herself.

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'Meant To Be' by Lauren Morrill

This spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts from an unknown number. Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

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'Up To This Pointe' by Jennifer Longo

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to. Harper is also a Scott — aka related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. It's extreme, but somehow fitting — apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

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'Anna And The French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all — including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss or is heartbreak all that's on the horizon?

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'Amy & Roger's Epic Detour' by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother has decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. But there's one problem. Since her father died in a car accident, she hasn't been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, an old family friend who also has to make the cross-country trip... with plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar, especially as their friendship starts venturing into uncharted territory, but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way to a new destination.

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'Wanderlove' by Kristin Hubbard

In a quest for independence, 18-year-old Bria Sandoval signs up for a guided tour of Central America. But middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. Then Bria meets Rowan, a devoted backpacker, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, and she seizes the chance to join them off the beaten path. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages and remote Belizean islands, Bria and Rowan discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward. But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever and if she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

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'The Summer I Turned Pretty' by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good and magical in her life happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, when she can be back at the beach house with her mother's best friend Susannah and, most importantly, Susannah's sons Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer; they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer — one terrible and wonderful summer — everything changes.

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'The Wonder Of Us' by Kim Culbertson (April 25, 2017)

Riya moved to Berlin, Germany with her family for junior year, while her best friend Abby stayed behind in their small California town. They thought it would be easy to keep up their friendship. After all, it's only a year, and they've been best friends since preschool. But instead, they've ended up fighting and not being there for the other. So Riya proposes an epic adventure to fix their friendship. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun. But there are two small catches: They haven't talked in weeks and they've both been keeping secrets. Can Riya and Abby find their way back to each other among lush countrysides and dazzling cities, or does growing up mean growing apart?

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'In A Perfect World' by Trish Doller (May 23, 2017)

Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp. But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. She is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from everything she’s ever known. With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But what she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew.

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