There are a million reasons to travel the world. You can learn from other cultures, learn about yourself, have fun, create lasting memories, and so much more. Unfortunately, travel can also be very confusing. When you’re in a new place, things work differently than back at home. It is easy to get confused and frustrated. Whether it’s a language barrier, confusing street signs, or a variety of other frustrations, a lot can go wrong. The best way to ensure the quality of your trip is by buying a guidebook. Don’t think you can survive with just the internet and your intuition. You’re already investing a lot into your trip. Invest a bit more and get an effective guidebook. Below, we list our favourites.
The Big Name: Frommer’s
For a thick, comprehensive guide to your destination, choose Frommer’s. These extensive guidebooks have all the information you could ever need. They even have sections on fun facts and history, so reading through the guide is easy and enjoyable. When preparing for your trip with a Frommer’s guide, be sure to mark the pages you want to come back to. For a thick book like this, you won’t want to be paging through it every time you need to find something.
The Up And Comer: Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet has received significant recognition in recent years due to their strong online presence. They have a massive library of guidebooks for all types of travelers and destinations. Because they have such a great website, you can supplement your guidebook knowledge with further information online.
Just The Basics: Fodor’s
This guidebook brand is focused on telling you just what you need to know and not much more. Fodor’s doesn’t try to make their guides incredibly exciting or heavy on visuals. Instead, they give readers the bare bones information they need to have a great trip. Choose Fodor’s if you want to cut out the fluff.
European Specialist: Rick Steves
Rick Steves is one of the world’s most traveled men. Luckily for us, he chose to put all of his findings into guidebooks. Steves puts a certain personality in his books that many other publishers do not. His writing is inspired, and his recommendations are unique. If you’re headed to Europe and would like a guidebook with a face behind it, choose Rick Steves.
Niche Travelers: Moon
What sets Moon apart is how specific their guidebooks get. While many companies will write books on just the country or city level, Moon goes deep and produces books that match exactly what you want. To prove this point, Moon has 29 guidebooks on California alone. They cover both specific areas like cities or national parks and specific activities like hiking and fishing. Similar detail can be found in their international guides, which range from broad country information, to short highlights books, down to guides solely devoted to public transportation.
Off The Beaten Path: Bradt
While the bigger publishers focus on the most common travel destinations, Bradt has earned their reputation writing about lesser known attractions. They specialize in both smaller tourist traveled countries and in secret activities found in typical travel countries. If you want a one of a kind trip, choose Bradt.
You can make your wanderlust dreams come true, but you must be smart when going about it. A poorly planned trip can quickly turn into a frustrating trip. Make sure you’re prepared by purchasing a guidebook for your destination. Decide which provider matches your personality best, and go for it. Have a great trip!