Amy Alipio is an associate editor at National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow her story on Twitter @amytravels and on Instagram @amyalipio.

The dog days stretch out in front of us in all their indolent or pulse-quickening glory, depending on your style. This sunny season is paved with compelling stories to be lazily read by the beach or gobbled up on a long-haul flight to your next adventure. Our summer reading list of new #TripLit ranges from fiction to memoir, but each read evokes a great sense of place—and is sure to inspire future travel.

Aruba may be known for its aquatic assets, but this Caribbean getaway has a lot more to offer. Here are five ways to go beyond the beach.

With its title alone, Wes Anderson’s new film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” conjures up a vision of Old World elegance. Though the movie is set in a fictionalized European city, hotels play starring roles in the Hungarian capital, headlining a blockbuster renovation sweeping from Castle Hill in Buda to newly brightened Kossuth Square in Pest.

Winter may be the perfect time for hibernating with a page-turning read. But the seven new books on this list all convey a deep sense of place that just might inspire you to break out of your warm cocoon and explore somewhere new.

This fall, we’re seeing a heap of new #TripLit stocking the shelves, the kind of books that — no matter if they fall under the fiction, adventure, history, or foodie categories — open up the world and inspire us to make a break for new places and embrace new experiences. So cuddle up with a cup of something warm and start turning the pages of one of these great new travel reads.

As beach season — at least here on the America’s East Coast — comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how planning a beach vacation requires a different way of thinking when you have little kids. It’s less about packing the perfectly curated selection of books (good luck trying to get any reading done!) or the just-right shade of pedicure polish, than it is about keeping your family happy and safe — and making things as easy as possible.

Nothing can ruin a long-haul flight or a lazy August afternoon at the beach as much as lack of good reading material. The best #TripLit can enhance your travels or even inspire you to explore fresh destinations. So, wherever you are, put your Wayfarers on and hit the sand with one of these new books.

Though it might not be quite time to hang up your winter coat for good, a bushel of books have sprouted to inspire a bout of warm-weather wanderlust. Check out our top picks for spring, then let us know what’s on your #TripLit list (or recommend a perennial favorite).

Foodies who disdain smorgasbords and sprawling restaurants that feed hundreds of bused-in tourists, feel free to stop reading right now.

If you’re still with me, let’s talk about chicken pot pie. And shoo-fly pie. And whoopie pies, for that matter.

What do National Geographic Traveler editors do when they retire? Well, if you’re Paul Martin, you write a book about a subject you’ve been gathering information on for years: little-known Americans—from the first black combat pilot to the agronomist who saved millions in Asia from starving—who helped change history. Martin’s labor of love, Secret Heroes: Everyday…

The El Salvadoran town of Suchitoto overlooks a blue volcanic lake in a region long considered a place of great natural beauty. But the country’s 12-year civil war ravaged this cobblestoned town, and lingering unemployment and gang violence have left its citizens–especially its young people—without a lot of hope for their future. Enter stage right…

Vacations are not what they used to be. I spent the July 4th weekend in New York City, my first trip there with kids in tow, and it really hit home for me: I’m a parent. If I weren’t a parent traveling with my kids, I’d be in New York seeing back-to-back Broadway shows, zipping…

Today’s blog is brought to you by the letters B and P. That would be B for Bucks County and P for Philadelphia, where I spent a kid-centric Memorial Day weekend. In less than 48 hours, we got multiple hugs from Elmo and friends, fell into the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland, rode two…

I was only in Qatar for about 60 hours but I surprisingly learned a lot—especially about camel racing. Or, to be precise, dromedary racing. (Dromedaries have one hump and are native to Arabia, while Bactrian camels have two humps and hail from Asia.) We arrived at the camel track just as a large procession of…

My recent Qatar Airways flight from Washington, D.C. direct to Doha, the capital of Qatar, took almost 14 hours, but it was the most civilized in-flight experience I’ve had in a long time. My only anxiety was how to operate my seat. As we began our descent, I looked out my window to see thumbnail…

A couple weeks before leaving for my recent short trip to Qatar, a book came into the office titled How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone. Although I had been told Qatar was remarkably safe, I was still going to a part of the world known for turmoil, so I leafed through the book with interest. I was delighted to learn that the book’s author, British journalist Rosie Garthwaite, is based in Doha, Qatar’s capital, so I tracked her down and emailed her asking if she’d have time to meet up when I was there. Over nonalcoholic lime mint drinks at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, we chatted about her book (out in July) and what living in Doha is like. (Little would I know that just a few days after our talk, her book would seem unfortunately timely with the deaths of photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros during ongoing combat in Libya.) Here are some excerpts from my Q&A with Garthwaite:

Thomas the Tank Engine turned 65 this past weekend, and my four year old was up bright and early, ready for me to take her to the opening of Thomas Town at Six Flags America in Largo, Maryland. Despite the brutal heat that day, which made the Island of Sodor seem more like Mordor, Controller…

Reading Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women was one of Harriet Reisen’s seminal experiences growing up, as it is for many girls the world over (the book has been translated into over 50 languages and has never been out of print). But Reisen, a documentary screenwriter, took her enthusiasm a step (or two) further by…

Last night, Amy Tan helped launch our new “Journeys” series of live conversations with great writers at National Geographic headquarters here in D.C. The bestselling author of such books as The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen’s God’s Wife, and most recently, Saving Fish From Drowning, was gracious, funny, and inspiring. (And a fabulous dresser!) The…

Some of my colleagues (I’m talking about you, Norie) got to safari in Africa and traipse around European capitals with their kids this summer, but I only got my act together enough to accomplish two nights in Atlantic City before school started this week.   The surprise: Despite Atlantic City’s rep as a resort town…

Brigid Pasulka lived in Krakow from 1994-1995 and returns to Poland almost every year. Her debut novel, also set in Krakow, is called A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True. Our book reviewer, Don George, chose it as Book of the Month for August. Here Brigid gives us her insider’s picks of top experiences…

Every five years, Riga hosts a traditional song and dance festival that draws over 30,000 people—mostly Latvians, and many from expat homes all over the globe. This year is one of those years, and throughout this week (July 5-12) Riga’s streets will be alive with the sound of choral music. In the run up to…

I’ve never been as moved at a museum as I was when I viewed the new exhibit “Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul” at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (After D.C., the exhibit will travel to San Francisco, Houston, and New York.) I love to visit museum exhibits, and am…