Today, we talk travel guides. There are three books that I can stamp "tested and approved." So if you have some big trips coming up this summer, these books might help you on your way to adventure this season...
For the Fancy Traveler
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time I probably sound like a broken record- I am not a fancy traveler. When I travel I look to cut corners, save pennies, and get down in the nitty gritty of the city. But I understand that isn't for everyone, and to be honest I wish I could be the chick who struts down a Parisian sidewalk in Manolo Blahniks, a gorgeous Chanel bag perched on her arm, and a cape. Yeah...a cape would really bring that look together. *day dreams*
So if that's you, get your hot self over to amazon and pick up one of these Luxe City Guides. It will point you toward all the best places to be and be seen- the ritzy restaurants and the swanky hotels. If you are looking to indulge in a city- this guide will be your very best friend.
For the Adventure Traveler
So you're in your sophmore year of college and going on a backpacking trip through Europe? This may be the guide for you. Really, these guides are for anyone who's looking for a little adventure, a little push outside their comfort zone, and a decent beer. I think the night life aspect of this guide is what sets it apart from the other guides, and why I feel it's more geared toward your average college student. Lonely Planet Guides have awesome tips for inexpensive hotels and hostels, as well as restaurants. They will also make you aware of the most popular watering holes. They may not be the fanciest, but it will get you in touch with your average Joe who's looking to have some fun (in a completely platonic way of course).
I've used this guide in the past and found it extremely helpful in getting around a city and finding good eats. So I highly recommend it if your in an area that calls for a little more fun and adventure. Also, their website has a travel forum that I have found unbelieveably useful in preparing and planning for our trips.
|John with his Spanish phrasebook.
My favorite Lonely Planet Guide product are actually their phrasebooks. DO NOT leave for a country that speaks another language without one of their phrasebooks. The picture above was taken after a lengthy conversation, in broken Spanish, with an old couple from Malaga. The conversaton would have been impossible without it. You'll find all kinds of tips for useful and funny conversations. These books come complete with a "relationships and intimacy" section, which we found useful as we were on our honeymoon. (wink wink. nudge nudge.)
|Me with Rick in front of the Palacio Real de Madrid.
For the Back Door Traveler
You guys know I have a crush on Rick Steves. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I look at all travel guides equally. That would be a lie. I think Rick Steves' Guidebooks are hands down, the best travel book you can buy...ever! I could fill a book with the times and ways Rick has saved me travel hassles the size of Texas. I could write numerous poems on the ways he has been spot on about things to be careful for and things I must see and do.
If you are looking to have a cultural experience in your travels, to have your worldview turned on its head and your paradigm shifted dramatically, pick up his guide and go get your feet soaked in whatever culture you have the privilege of visiting. Happy travels!
What guidebook can't you travel without?