Can't afford the holiday? Buy the book and stay at home

You could fly to Dublin for the weekend, get fleeced, rained on and experience a real tragedy in the shape of a kebab. Or, you could pick up a copy of Joyce's Dubliners and stay at home and be miserable.

The same goes for Paris. Who needs overpriced croissants and surrender fries when you've got Rimbaud and Baudelaire - recommended to drink Absinthe while reading.

W.G.Sebald's Rings of Saturn will save you the pain of walking the Anglian coast yourself and getting bad feet, while let Dervla Murphy do all the donkey work trekking over The Himalayas or cycling the length of Africa while you pour yourself a brew and chomp on your turkey sandwich.

If the strictly travel section of the bookshop isn't your read then go for the poets and fiction writers - Rushdie on India Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Colombia, Lorca on Spain or Henry Miller on the Erogenous Zones!

Best of all though, and Excite's official Travel Reading Number 1 is Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel.

It will change your passport packing life.

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