21 May 2013

Travel Guides - Reading and exploring Recommendation

One of my favourite things about travelling is the planning. I can happily spend hours pouring over recommendations, reviews and suggestions about a new travel destination.

A small selection of travel guides collected over the years.
We've very luckily been to quite a few countries in the last few years, and during that time, we've whittled down our favourites. Travel guides, we've tried a few. But there is one or two brands that seem to hold their place in our luggage.

The internet can be a wonderful thing, and really helpful whilst planning and sitting in your accommodation, but when you are walking the mean streets of a foreign country you don't want to be fiddling with and iPad or a massive tourist guide, making yourself into a target for shysters.

On the move:

These Eyewitness Pocket Guide babies are the bomb. Teeny-tiny enough to fit into a fairly normal size pocket (16cms x 7cms x 7mm) they hold all of the highlights of your city, a petite phrase section and a pocket map that makes life a whole world of easy. I could almost be tempted to sing a song about the maps; a good general area map pointing out landmarks, a metro map (where applicable), a street index and a detailed map of the most central area. I love planning our days with these - they section the city off into hunks & I spend hours picking out the things I was to see, marking them and organising days so they make the most sense.

They are also pretty cheap and frequently updated.

Pre-planning and during trip planning:

Either the Eyewitness in-depth books or Lonely Planet guides. Full of info, great photos and some natty travel tips. I love that on the hostel/travelling mates circuit there is a lot of sharing love that goes on as well (thank you Zela). These are great for a real in-depth looks at the areas you will be staying in. The beauty of these bohemoths is that the information doesn't really ever go out of date (bar a few opening times) so you can beg, steal or borrow one of an awesome travelling mate who can give you the low-down on where not to go, of if very lucky snaffle one at a hostel book exchange shelf. (I'm trying out a couple of ebook versions on my next holiday - wish me luck!)

The 'money-can't-buy-they-are-so-good' guides:

You are very, very lucky to get one of these. Especially if you are a foodie, and have a particular foodie mate who includes it in a box of goodies. You are a legend Julie.

Ps. I'm not sponsored or any such thing by Eyewitness, I just love the junk in their trunk.

(Please note any links to Amazon are through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little money (less than 5%) from any purchases made after clicking through these links and it adds nothing to the price of your book. This helps support my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click through the top link)


  1. I love the Eyewitness books too. I have started my collection and hope to buy lots more as we explore Europe. I can sit and read the recommendations and reviews for hours too. Hope to meet/see you again so I can hear about all the wonderful places you have visited that I am hoping/planning to get to in the future.

    1. It's quite nice to look back over a collection and reminisce. I've also found that having some travelling mates we swap all the time which keeps the costs down & you can pick up some fabulous tips.
      We definitely need to - either at the LIB talks or out for dinner maybe with Serena & Rebecca too!

  2. I also love the Eyewitness books. I have a whole collection of places I have visit and a lot I still want to see.

    1. Thanks for the visit & comment :) They seem to have the books written by travellers which makes it so much easier.
      Do you find yourself with a travel list that never quite has an end?

  3. I actually like eyewitness too as they tend to be better on the really important sights that LP. Though I think if you're really wanting to know a place time out might be me fun, going to try to Paris one of these days. I find LP good for places like Sri Lanka for example though, if safety is an issue and you're independent you need that sort of advice. So far not a fan of ebooks as hard to flick through pages

    1. That's a really good call with the LP books.
      If you want to borrow my Paris book, you're more than welcome!
      It's definitely harder with ebooks I think. Maybe they also seem less reliable?


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