It is no secret that I love to travel.
Ever since I worked in various European cities in one of my old jobs (the feature of my Just in Case of Trouble blog), I caught the bug. That’s not to say that I hadn’t wanted to travel before that. I was always interested in the wider world but never had the opportunity to experience it. Until then.
I’ve learnt, seen and experienced so many things along the way and have found that guides are a great helping hand especially when you are short on time. Working in a bookshop also exposed me to a great selection of travel guides and literature, further fuelling the wanderlust!
My favourite and highly recommended guides, particularly if you are visiting a designated European destination (rather than visiting several cities in one trip) are the Lonely Planet Encounter Guides. Now, I love the usability and layout of the standard Lonely Planet Guides with their eye-catching cover photography and user-friendly content. However, when I have had to travel fairly light and wanted to explore the city without too much attention being drawn to the fact that I was carrying a travel guide (it makes me feel like a target for unscrupulous characters looking to target tourists) I went for these.
I love the fact that they are set out over neighbourhoods, so depending on where you have decided to make your base during your trip, you can find the relevant neighbourhood section with recommended sights and things to eat, drink and do in your locality.
At the beginning of each of the neighbourhood sections, you are given a list of things you can see, eat and drink as well as where to shop. If you were on a tight schedule, you could easily navigate each summary page and decide what sights you wanted to see while you were in a particular area too!
I like to think of guides as a helping hand rather than an instruction manual and so sometimes will enjoy walking around and getting a little lost (without compromising on safety of course!)
The handy thing with these is that they come with a pull out map attached to the back and that includes a handy metro/ public transport map as well. They are compact enough to fit into the smallest bag or pocket which has always been a plus for me and why I have recommended them to anyone who cares (or will listen!)
I have heard some complaints in that they are not comprehensive enough but if I am only visiting a destination for a few days, a mini guide costing me around £7.99 is a small price to pay compared to a huge comprehensive country guide costing near to £15.
That’s enough. I’ve gushed about these enough and the sight of them is making me want to organise my next trip, which after about a year of no trips, is at the forefront of my mind!
I’ve also written about an abandoned travel guide that I found in Brussels that I decided to keep. You can read my old blog post about the Lost Guide if you are interested!
What’s your view of travel guides? Do you have a favourite?
Just a little reminder to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. Please? You only get one vote per day but every vote counts and I would really appreciate it!
The Public Vote closes on Monday 25th January 2016 at 9pm
Finalists are announced on Friday 29th January 2016
Wish me luck!