3 questions you must answer before choosing a travel guide

November 23, 2014

Nothing makes exploring a new place more fun than a good travel guidebook. Are they all alike? No. Here are three questions you must answer before choosing one.

3 questions you must answer before choosing a travel guide

A popular destination may boast hundreds of travel resources, so choose a travel guide to suit your personality and needs—it's like having a companion in a city where you otherwise don't know a soul.

  • Nothing makes exploring a new place more helpful than a guide to refer to as needed, suggesting where to stay and eat, what to see and do and which souvenirs to buy.

Question #1: Where do I want to go?

If you're still trying to decide where you want to travel, get a regional guide that covers several countries or cities.

  • If you've pinpointed a destination, focus your search on excursions specific to that area. The more precise the location, the more detailed information your guide can cover.
  • While regional information may only cover major sights and basic travel prerequisites, city guides will also most likely include hotels, restaurants, shopping venues and costs.

Question #2: What's my travel personality?

  • Do you like to travel first class all the way, staying in hotels that meet the highest Canadian standards?
  • Or would you rather live like the locals?
  • Do you have a high, medium or low budget?
  • Would you like to go with a tour group that arranges everything in advance, or do you want the flexibility of booking as an independent traveller?
  • Check out the introduction to any guide that you're considering to ensure that the information matches the style in which you prefer to globe-trot.

Question #3: How do I like to receive information?

If you'd like to be able to thumb through the pages of text and fold out a large map to find your way, then choose your travel guide in print form.

  • The advantage of a book is that you don't need Internet access to get information.

If you prefer the most up-to-date details on the compact screen of a smartphone, then look for guides that are not only available as apps but that can access the Internet for the most recent information, such as hours of operation, location or perhaps even to check if a recommended restaurant has recently switched chefs.

  • Such high-tech options don't take up any space or weight in your luggage, making them ideal if you like to travel light—but they're a drag if your battery runs out.
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