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Travel Guidebook Or Not

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On recent posts, many comments have been made about the benefits of guidebooks and the lack of common sense for those that do not use them. A popular position being that the $20 cost of a typical guidebook is worthwhile especially if it prevents one from “blundering” while traveling.

Of course this works fine for some but being the frugal, budget minded, cheap traveler that I am, it does not necessarily work for me. I find that all information offered in travel guidebooks can be easily found for free online at such forums like Fodors which advertises it's online trip planning products.

Furthermore, I have found more than a few members at various forums like Fodors more than willing to share their expertise and sage advice for free. All it takes is to mention somewhere in a trip report a perceived “blunder” and the horses are off to the races.

Combined with this just waiting “to let go” resource, free local information and guidebooks at hostels (where I normally stay), $20 seems to be a waste of money even if I end up making a few yen, yuan or baht “blunders”.

After having traveled to hundreds of places over many years, I could have easily spent thousands of dollars on guidebooks. Even a thousand “blunders” would be cheaper.

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