travel guides – obsolete?

I’m going abroad fairly soon, and I’ve been doing some research into some of the places I’d like to see and experience. I’ve not yet picked up a travel guide.

This might be a generational thing – I remember using travel guides when I was younger, when using the Internet to book or plan a holiday seemed lightyears into the future. But I never actually used them myself. I like the thought of having a bookshelf of travel guides to places I’ve been (idk, it sounds cute) but other than that? I’d probably never use one, really.

But maybe I should! Here’s a little gander into my thoughts about travel guides:

  1. If you have one, you don’t have to use data when abroad. That can be a HUGE money-saver.
  2. A travel guide gives a pretty comprehensive list of pretty much anything you’d want to know – no fiddling about with different tabs, or weird people’s reviews on Yelp.
  3. The Internet can filter stuff. I’d rather have a (fairly) unbiased list of things to do rather than Google assuming what I’d like to do.
  4. HOWEVER. I used to live in a pretty popular tourist destination. Some of the claims in our travel guides were hilariously out-of-date, or simply wrong. I mean, it’s an obvious point that the Internet is more up-to-date, but I don’t think that people realise that even though they might be buying the latest edition of a travel guide, that doesn’t necessarily mean that its current.
  5. Sometimes they cover a ridiculous number of cities and areas. Lonely Planet has various travel guides to…India. Yes, the whole country. There are some guides that focus on cities, but if you’re going to Delhi and then Mumbai? Two separate specific guides.
  6. Books can be heavy. I’ve learned this the hard way.


What are your thoughts? Am I just ridiculously dependent upon the Internet? Maybe I should give one a go on my trip, just as a little experiment…


2 thoughts on “travel guides – obsolete?

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