19 August 2014

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. 

I do have a question for you though, in this day and age of blogs, tripadvisor, websites and e-zines, do you still turn to a book in your hour of need? Or do you simply rely on Wi-Fi and word of mouth at your hotel?
I tend to roll with a combination.

Travel Guides - Reading and exploring Recommendation
Just a small selection of travel guides collected over the years. I can't bear to part with them...
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 are 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.
Travel Guides - Reading and exploring Recommendation
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 The beauty of these bohemoths is that the information doesn't really ever go out of date (bar a few opening times) so you can beg, steal or borrow one of an awesome travelling mate who can give you the low-down on where not to go, of if very lucky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!)
Travel Guides - Reading and exploring Recommendation - Eyewitness
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.
Travel Guides - Reading and exploring Recommendation

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)

21 comments :

  1. I'm still an avid travel book collector, there's something you get from books that you can't get from the internet, although like you I use a combination. Pre planning for me is such a fun part of the trip and makes me look forward to it.

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  2. You must be the best trip planner. If you travel with me, you'd be lucky if I downloaded a map onto my iphone before I switched roaming off... x

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  3. I really enjoy travel guide books but it has been ages since I bought one.

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  4. I don't buy travel guides any more but I will take my travel guide with me if I have one for the area I'm visiting. It helped a lot in Italy!

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  5. i've never really used Eye Witness travel guides I will be honest, rough guides always win me over mine you haven't brought one since planning my visit to Chicago 3 odd years ago. I mainly rely on Tripadvisor or Yelp these days, but I do love my trusty roadtrip USA book for sure.

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  6. I always buy an eyewitness top ten guide if I am going on a city break as they show the main stuff and I figure the rest out through tripadvisor. and when I travelled asia I relied on my lonely planet guide. I tend to use both guide books and tripadvisor, I especially use the latter for eating recommendations. I think planning a trip is one of my favourite things!

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  7. I buy Rough Guides - love em! I have one for every place I have been to/lived in. I do tend to use the internet though once I have used my rough guide to know what I want to do - there's nothing that will replace the internet for the nitty gritty of prices or opening times or menus!

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  8. I actually don't buy travel books, but I love looking at them if I see them around hostels etc. I am actually a really bad travel planner.. I am more a get there and decide on the spot kind of person.. bad form on my behalf!

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  9. It does mean you stumble upon random delights though! I am an uber planner - in fact plann8ng is half my joy of travelling!

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  10. Oooh, I don't think I've ever really looked at the rough guides before.

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  11. I think it's going to become a dying breed, travel books, which makes me a little sad... I love having them stacked on a shelf.

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  12. I love borrowing the Library ones to map out our travels, and sometimes dream up new ridiculous ones.

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  13. I love Wallpaper mag - they have released a couple of great architecture travel books too if memory serves!

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  14. I adore the planning of a trip as much as the actual travelling! I think it's because I can't bear to miss out.

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  15. Me too - I'm never happier than when planning a trip!

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  16. We have several of the DK eyewitness guides, they are so helpful! And the maps are always really great too.

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  17. I don't now think they are as good as Lonely Planet, who seem to cover more ground, but I started with them years ago and I can't go with a different guide now!

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  18. The maps are what keep me going back to them, time after time (plus no roaming charges!)

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  19. I am all about the Rough Guides - my phone battery never lasts through an entire trip so I always need a guide for city maps & transport help. I also find RG's selection a bit more targeted for me than Lonely Planet, there's a good chunk of history in there and some lovely teasing pictures to help me prioritise my visit.

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