With the pleura of travel guide books available as you plan a trip, it can be overwhelming to try to pick the right one. Navigating your way through the pages can be a chore, and should you really have to buy several guides to get you through the vacation you’ve worked so hard to perfect? Fear not fellow traveler! The library has you covered! We carry many guide books to locations all across the globe and this guide will help you choose just the right travel guide for you.
Before picking a guide, you might ask yourself what you are looking for in a travel guide. Do you want packing tips, hotel information, popular sights, off the grid locales, culture or health information? Do you just want an overview of a country you’re interested in? Travel guides can help with all of this, but some are better at particular things than others.
DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL: With lots of pictures and illustrations, these books are beautiful, and great for helping plan the perfect trip. These guides provide a robust background of the history and culture of your destination and interesting facts and visual dissections of top spots to visit. The format is friendly and inviting.
LONELY PLANET: Often regarded as the essential travel guide for budget travel or finding off the beaten path spots, LONELY PLANET guides have great information and are easy to take with you as you travel. In my experience, these guides can have almost too much information and too many options to weed through as you travel. However, they can’t be beat for finding a great off the grid spot or unique outdoor adventure in most locations.
RICK STEVES’: A master of travel guide writing, Rick Steves’ books have a leisurely, “travel writing”-esc feel and are enjoyable to peruse even if you’re not planning a trip. He updates his guides regularly and has a good mix of tourist attractions, cultural information, and hot hidden spots. It is worth noting that Steves’ only has guides for European destinations.
FROMMER’S: Geared towards an American, novice or retired traveling audience, Frommer’s guides provide a warm security blanket of information as you travel to the most sought out places. These guides include star ratings of destinations as well as amenities and price ratings from “inexpensive” to “very expensive”, so you’ll know just what you’re walking into.
FODOR’S: In my opinion, Fodor’s are some of the easiest guides to use. They are logically structured and organized and give all the essential information you need for travel. Their no-nonsense approach does not include many pictures or maps, but that’s something I like about them. It’s a very basic and simple to navigate guide.
ROUGH GUIDES: Like Frommer's and Fodor's, these books have all the basic information you need to familiarize yourself with a new place. All three tend to be a little on the hefty side, which makes them a bit cumbersome to use while traveling, but the city grid style maps in the Rough Guides are really helpful. I sometimes make a copy of the map pages to carry with me as I go.
If books aren't your thing, we also have a database called Global Road Warrior, which provides information about over 175 countries, their culture, history, food, traditions and holidays, people, climate, and a lot more. I used it to find information about India for an upcoming trip and learned how not to make a fool of myself when greeting people and what to do to ensure I don’t offend anyone when refusing food that might make my delicate American stomach sick. So, to sum up, use the library to help plan your next amazing trip!