What are the best resources if you have some upcoming travel plans? There is, of course, lots of free information available on the web, but, in my opinion, it’s still worth having a real book in your hands.
I have always found that the research that can be done beforehand is actually one of the best parts of travel. The planning and anticipation can greatly enhance the travel experience. And nothing compares with a well-written travel guide book.
I wouldn’t leave home without a Fodor’s Guide. If you choose to rely on only one travel guide, this would be my number one pick. Fodor’s Guides tend to be complete, concise, accurate and as up-to-date as one could reasonably expect. There is enough detail and information provided so that one can make informed choices about hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, etc. Information is tailored to one’s budgets and interests. Fodor’s Guides are available at Border’s Books in prices ranging from $11 to $21.95
Also, consider Frommer’s. Most Frommer’s Guide Books retail at Borders’s for around $18.99. There is a wide array of travel destinations available, but Frommer’s mostly focuses on European destinations. Frommer’s has, smartly, added titles on traveling with kids. For example, it points out the Harry Potter-related sites if one is visiting London with children.
Michelin Guides have been around for over a century. This trusted old faithful produced 118 titles in a search at Border’s.com. There are guides to destinations ranging from Europe to Mexico, to focused city guides: NYC, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and Charleston. Michelin, of course, specializes in road maps. Pick up one of the “tourist and motoring” editions if you will be driving on your vacation. Prices range from $9.95 to $36.00.
Another travel guide book series that I wouldn’t leave home without reading is Rick Steve’s.There are 87 titles under this series, co-written with Gene Openshaw. This series is interesting, entertaining and less of a “dry” read than some of the more traditional guide books. These authors seem to know what they are doing and their tips can be very useful. There are “snapshot” books in the series, (shorter, more concise, $9.95) and also more detailed guide books priced at $24.95. “Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler” is one book I recommend.
Finally, aficionados of our National Parks should have a copy of “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea: An Illustrated History”. Contributors include Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. This book is a must for visitors who will be going to our National Parks. It retails for $40.00 at Borders.