Whether you’re an adventurous backpacker or looking to unwind in laid-back luxury, it’s a good idea to take a travel guide on your trip. But with so many to choose from, how do you find the right one to match your style of travel? Here are some tips to help you decide.
Keep it specific
Don’t buy a travel guide to a whole continent if you’re just going to visit one city. Pick the guide that’s specific to your destination and save yourself from carrying the extra weight with you.
Ideas versus reviews
Some travel guide books emphasise reviews over general information. Others give you lots of ideas left open to trial and error. You’re unlikely to want to carry more than one book, so browse around to figure out which travel guide balances your information needs with your taste for the tried and tested.
Books versus apps
This is a question of convenience or culture. There are lots of travel guide apps for smartphones, which are easy to carry and search for information. But they can lack some of the historical or cultural commentaries that printed guides have. Also, books don’t run on batteries, so travel apps may be more suited for urban travelling when you know you’ll be able to recharge your device.
Don’t limit yourself to just the attractions highlighted in your travel guide – you might miss other spots that aren’t mentioned in the books and, as a consequence, aren’t crowded by other travellers. Sometimes the best way to get to know your new surroundings is to put the travel guide away and just explore. Who knows what you might find beyond those pages. For more ideas on how to make the most of your adventure, see our cultural tips guide.