Travel guides are can be wonderful resources when visiting a new city, or they can be frustrating wastes of time and money. Learn how to choose the right travel guide for your needs and personality.
Things You Will Need* Internet Access
There are many different travel guide publishers. Frommer's, Fodor's, Lonely Planet, and Let's Go! are just a few of the major players in this ever-expanding market. They each have their own personality, and are geared for different types of travelers. With a little research, you can find the travel guide that best suits you.
Check out the publishers' websites. Some of the websites are easier to navigate than others, but they should all give you a feel for the type of information included in the travel guides, as well as the type of traveler they are written for. Are you a backpacker or a spa queen? Do you like to lounge around the hotel pool, or do you just need a safe, clean place to lay your weary bones for a few hours a night?
While the Internet is a great resource and starting point, there is no substitute for holding the book in your hands. After you have narrowed down your choices, go to the local library or bookstore and thumb through the remaining candidates. Pay attention to the quality of the binding. Will this book stand up to the rigors of travel? Are the maps easy to read? Try before you buy, and look for any extras that may be appealing to you. Lonely Planet, for example, includes additional blank pages in their guides so that you'll be able to make notes. Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to just one lodging section of the guide. Maybe you would like to spend a few days roughing it before rewarding yourself with a booking at a five star hotel.
Do your homework, especially when traveling to a different country. Learning the customs and a few polite phrases in the native lanuage of a different culture will go a long way towards making your stay both meaningful and enjoyable.All Photos (C) Will Atkinson