The Art of Travel is a 2004 novel by Alain de Botton, distinguished Swiss-born British author notable for his works discussing contemporary philosophical themes. The book was praised for its originality and ingenuity of thought.
The focal themes of The Art of Travel is the intricate philosophy behind travelling. Unlike the travel industry, de Botton does not seek to tell us where we should travel, but how we should do it. Through his compelling prose, he delves into the skill of comprehensive, engrossing travel- travel that provides not just beautiful photographs, but a truly profound, pleasurable experience. de Botton emphasizes mastering the skill of noticing everything about one's environment, from the scenery to the other people.
The Art of Travel was well-received by critics for its intelligent discussion of a relatively unexplored subject. Philip Marsden from The Guardian wrote positively about the book: "[Alain de Botton] recognises the naivety of supposing that distance can separate us from ourselves... And that, surely, is the art of travel, no different from the art of art. We are often more aware of ourselves when travelling - we are cold, hot, ill, exhausted, isolated. Yet without these discomforts we would never be allowed those moments of transcendence that justify our efforts."