Loren Christie on the best travel books out there
Loren Christie, Canada AM travel expert
Published Friday, September 17, 2010 8:12AM EDT
Despite the increasing amounts of travel information available online, booksellers and publishers say that the guidebook industry is as strong as ever. So why with so much available on the web, for free, do travellers still turn to guidebooks for information? I think there are several reasons:
- Guidebooks are easy to "navigate" for people who may not be as Internet savvy and with so many confusing websites out there, nothing beats chapters and indexes!
- They are easy to pull out in the airport, in a hotel room, in a cafe, in bed or on a plane
- Books are reliable. You never have to worry about finding an Internet café, power outlet or low batteries.
Some of my latest favourites:
Travel: Where to Go When published by Dorling Kindersley
I love the idea of this book. It's organized for when you travel, not where you travel. All you need to do is search for the best places to go at a certain time of year. It's organized into six different holiday themes -- Natural World, Unforgettable Journeys, Family Getaways, Luxury and Romance, Activity Breaks and Festivals and Culture. So it's perfect for teachers who have limited times they can travel or honeymooners who have an idea of the type of trip they would enjoy and want to ensure the perfect post-wedding trip, no matter when they get married.
Lonely Planet's Discover Europe
Lonely Planet guidebooks in general have always been my favourite. The books were traditionally written to appeal to backpackers and bohemians but they now have a different series in their repertoire. The Discover series books offer suggested itineraries for more upscale travellers. The accommodations are less about hostels and B and Bs and the activities suit more varied interests.
Time Out's A Thousand Things to do in New York
I love "best of" lists. For short trips, these type of guidebooks are a great way to give your trip some focus. You just need to make sure you are using a guide book that suits your interests. Time Out books for example are for culture vultures who want to get beyond the most known highlights.
The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide by Beth Haworth
This is an insider's guide to Disney written by a former employee. My cousin and his family have been to Disney World three times and live by this book. Tips to beat the crowds, save money and make the most out of your Disney time are just some of the tips available in this book. You can download and read the guide as an eBook in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. The content is updated every month so you always have the latest information at your fingertips. http://www.dw-secrets.com
The Junior Jetsetters Guides
With titles covering destinations like Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, and Amsterdam, these books give enough information to be useful and are still kid-friendly. They use colourful cartoon characters and small tidbits of fun facts to relay the information. I think it's a great way to get your younger kids interested in what might lie ahead on your family vacation.