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.
Just a small selection of travel guides
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.
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 The beauty of these bohemoths is that the information doesn’t really ever go out of date (bar a few opening times) so you can beg, steal or borrow one of an awesome travelling mate who can give you the low-down on where not to go, of if very lucky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)