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Fodors travel books---do you recommend them?

Fodors travel books---do you recommend them?

Old Jan 21st, 2004, 05:51 PM
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Fodors travel books---do you recommend them?

I have several books on Ireland that I hope to remember to take with me on my trip, and was wondering if the Fodors 2004 Ireland would be a worthwhile purchase? If not that, do you have any other recommendations? Thanks!!!!
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 07:03 PM
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When I was a novice traveler to Europe I used Fodor's books exclusively. In recent years, thinking I know better, I have never used them. I prefer the Michelin Guides for places Michelin covers and the Eyewitness and Cadogan Guides. I find they are more honest and up to date than Fodors. And I love the pictorials in the Eyewitness Guides.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 07:37 PM
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I like the Eyewitness Guides for touring info. As StCirq says, the pictorals are great and they do a fantastic job of distilling the essentials for touring.

Ultimately we're talking about degrees of subjective distinction here. All the books mentioned so far are worth purchasing. That said, I have long since given up on relying on printed guides for dining/accommodations. This forum is a much better barometer for staying and eating out on holiday.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 07:42 PM
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I've found the Fodor Guide to Provence quite useful, although I no longer rely on any guidebooks for information on restaurants--too many changes. For hotels the Michelin red guides are invaluable.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 08:04 PM
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I like the Eyewitness Guides too. They get you feeling familiar with and excited about places you've not yet seen. They're light on details though.

I also like Lonely Planet guides. It's said that they're for budget travelers, but honestly, we never get our recommendations for accomodations and eateries from the books anyway. The web is much more up to date with that sort of information. What I do find invaluable in Lonely Planet are details on city and rural walks and much lesser known sites off the worn path. Plus, I kind of like the idea of incorporating money saving ideas and tidbits on pubs, etc.

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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 10:02 PM
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I usually start every trip planning by going to the library and checking out various books on my intended place of travel. Then I decide which ones offer the most info(usually Eyewitness,Frommers-still love their suggestions after all these years,possibly Lonely Planet,etc.) and then purchase those particular books. For some of my hotels selections, I cross reference the books and when I start seeing the same hotel mentioned in various books I get a strong suggestion on looking further into it-going back on the Fodors Boards and getting some opinions,etc.I love the Fodor's boards but the books still annoy me the way they are layed out and they seem to have a certain type of traveler in mind which I do not think I am....? Have a wonderful trip to Ireland!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:24 AM
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I think it depends on the sort of traveller you are. I find Fodors guides pretty upscale. If that's what you want, they are probably the best of their type.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:33 AM
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I have yet to find a guide book that covers everything I want to know, and so have ended up carting at least 3 guide books along wherever I go.

Eyewitness to get a general feel (and pretty pictures!), although they're rather lightweight on detail, Lonely Planet for logistics of getting around, opening times etc, Rough Guide for interesting background history and more detailed commentary on each site and finally, if available, a Time Out guide for the bars and restaurants ? I don't trust any of the other guides for this information.

I also wouldn't pick a hotel from any of them ? too out of date.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 02:59 AM
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I agree with what Kate just said about Lonely Planet and Rough Guides and Eyewitness but I'll add that Eyewitness are so heavy I would never carry them around with me. But in fact I no longer carry any of them around with me. I photocopy some pages. I also download a lot. You can get an incredible amount from Frommers and Rough Guide on line - probably not everything that's in their guides, but I was amazed at how much they do "give away". Second hand bookstores are also great for travel guides - especially since as has been pointed out here, no one really uses them for hotels anymore so they don't get outdated. And as for opening times and prices of things like museums, most have websites which have the most up to date info. And last of all, let's not forget Rick Steves. As much as he gets slammed here every so often, he's still my travel god.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 03:11 AM
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I have the Fodor's 2004 guides for both Ireland and Scotland. I agree that everyone's taste and layout preferences for guidebooks varies, and these particular guidebooks are last on my list of favorites after using many different varities over the years.

Neither my husband nor I care for the layout of the Fodors guides, but I'm sure they work well for others. We found the Fodors guides difficult to plan our own itineraries from. That being said, I agree that your best bet is to skim various books and see what catches YOUR attention and seems easiest for YOU to work with.

I also agree with Isabel. As far as book layout and general info about a city, I have found my Rick Steve's guides to be the most helpful to me.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 04:28 AM
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I follow dutyfree's way of discovery...the library....find which suits, and then cross reference, then purchase the ones I want. I usually buy 2 or 3. I try to buy a small portable map too. Judy
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Personally I love the Fodors guides, they are my guide of choice. I think there itineraries are great and their walking tours are really useful. I also like the eyewitness guides for getting me in the mood for a trip, all the pictures are great. But for actual trip planning and use during the trip, Fodors all the way for me!
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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It is interesting to see the variation in opinions. Some love Fodors, others don't. I'm in the latter group. I find the Fodors guides to be difficult--strange organization scheme, small print, no use of price-range breakdown, though they do use icons, uninteresting commentary and cheesy paper stock. I much prefer Frommers. Eyewitness are truly beautiful and informative, but if I'm looking for hotel/restaurant options, I like Frommers.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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I'm not a huge fan of the books, but I love this site!!
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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Could we get back to the Michelin Guides for a moment. I have never used them, but I was wondering what the difference is between the Red book and the Green book. Thanks.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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irlandes,

Fodor's Ireland makes for a worthwhile purchase.

While not as slickly produced as, say, Eyewitness, Fodor's is well written and designed, and provides a good overview of the destination in question. Perhaps best of all is Fodor's itineraries, especially helpful to first-time visitors.

While I can't speak Fosor's Eire '04, I've used numerous previous editions and have found them practical and making for a satisfying read.

Other guides to consider are The Rough Guide (a personal favorite; great on historical/cultural context) and the underappreciated and rather difficult to obtain Footprint. Michelin, too, is good, but its alphabetical, rather than regional, organization is rather trying. Rick Steves offers practical, candid advice on touring Ireland, but recent editions have been limited in scope, leaving out such worthwhile regions as counties Sligo and Donegal.

Best of luck.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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nancyhol,

Regarding your question about Michelin's Red and Green books, I believe the green books concern touring/sightseeing, and the red books have to do with dining.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Agreed Eyewitness is HEAVY, but I love them, so I just cut out the pages I want to take. If I am careful, they can be taped back in when I return. Sounds horrible, but we rarely return to a place and would buy latest if we did. Most books can be used for beginning investigation, then off to the internet to explore. We do a lot of tour travel with Smithsonian, but when we went to France on our own with family group, this board was fantastic. I almost felt like I had already been there. We are entering a phase in life when I will be looking for disabled access tips (husband is somewhat disabled). I have found limited info here. But as you Baby boomers catch up with me, there may be a whole section on that.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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I usually consult multiple guide books and the internet (like this site) while researching a place. I like the internet best. I can put together the information I want/need and print it out - handy and less weight to carry around. However, I still carry around at least one book. My favorite book series is the Lonely Planet. Seem to be more practical and has good organization. I use Fodors when looking for a special place for a splurge. I did not like the Rick Steves book for Ireland.
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