I Can't Haul the Library! Help!

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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:24 PM
  #1
TheTraveler
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I Can't Haul the Library! Help!

Hi Experts! As you may have seen on this site, we are nearing a 19 day adventure in the Berner Oberland, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Venice, Salzburg and Hallstatt and a couple of nights in Bavaria. I have been surfing the net and reading book after book in preparation. I am trying to decide what type of SMALL guidebooks would be good to take along for these areas. Are there any guides you are familiar with and would highly recommend? The Michelin Green Guides, Insight Guides, etc, etc. Please help before it becomes necessary to haul an extra piece of luggage! Thanks. The Traveler.
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:30 PM
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Sue
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A trip to Provence sev. yrs. ago with so many heavy guide books necessitated sending them back in the mail! Since then I've taken to ripping the pertinent pages (I know, I hate to do it) of each guide book that I want to take with me and either throw away as I go, or bring back with me. I try to justify by thinking that by next trip to same country, I'll want a more up to date guide! Works for me!
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:36 PM
  #3
Save
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Sue, there are such things as copy machines.
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:45 PM
  #4
Morning Giggle
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Sue's got a good point, Traveller! I've taken "parts" of books, and left books in hotel rooms (maybe someone else has used them) on my last stop.

Last summer was the first trip I took without a Frommers or Fodors, and I regretted it. Instead I brought those little "citypacks" thinking they would have all the information while being lighter, but that was a mistake. Several times I wanted to change hotels, and wished I'd had a more comprehensive list with me.

I'd recommend either a Frommers or a Fodors for each area, and by all means tear out the parts you don't need, in the intersts of travelling light. (Easier to do if you think of them as magazines rather than books!)

My other top recommendation is the Eyewitness Guides. They are heavier than Frommers or Fodors, but have the advantage of these great bird's-eye illustrations that help orient you in a new and confusing city, and are beautiful and a joy to read. (If you chose them, bring them in place of your F. or F., not in addition.)

Thanks Fodor's for letting me plug a couple of your rivals here!

Very happy travelling -- you'll have a ball!
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:45 PM
  #5
Morning Giggle
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Sue's got a good point, Traveller! I've taken "parts" of books, and left books in hotel rooms (maybe someone else has used them) on my last stop.

Last summer was the first trip I took without a Frommers or Fodors, and I regretted it. Instead I brought those little "citypacks" thinking they would have all the information while being lighter, but that was a mistake. Several times I wanted to change hotels, and wished I'd had a more comprehensive list with me.

I'd recommend either a Frommers or a Fodors for each area, and by all means tear out the parts you don't need, in the intersts of travelling light. (Easier to do if you think of them as magazines rather than books!)

My other top recommendation is the Eyewitness Guides. They are heavier than Frommers or Fodors, but have the advantage of these great bird's-eye illustrations that help orient you in a new and confusing city, and are beautiful and a joy to read. (If you chose them, bring them in place of your F. or F., not in addition. And I could never bring myself to tear up an Eyewitness guide!)

Thanks Fodor's for letting me plug a couple of your rivals here!

Very happy travelling -- you'll have a ball!
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:48 PM
  #6
Sue
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I am the queen of cut and paste. I take my guidebooks to Skipco (copy place) and copy pages, often reduce them. Then I cut them up and paste them in some reasonable order and go back and re-copy. Seems like a lot of work, but it sure comes in handy when I'm there. (Sometimes I tear out, too.)
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 05:59 PM
  #7
cut
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Hey Sue, I do that too! Seriously, the best method I have found is to copy, reduce, cut and glue. I use a piece of posterboard about 6x8 (or whatever fits nicely in your purse or pocket) and completely fill both sides with the info I want to keep with me. You'd be amazed how much you can get in a small area and how small you can get those addresses! I always get such good stuff off the internet and had a hard time keeping it organized. I can't take credit for the idea tho, I read it in a book on travelling in France and making your own guidebook. Now its part of the fun of preparation for me.
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 08:52 PM
  #8
Ronda
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Great idea, cut up, reducing - never thought of that. I also pull pages out of guide books by breaking the spine to cleanly pull out the pages and either stapling or paper cliping them together. I use an accordian type plastic folder you can purchase at an office supply store (similar to a coupon wallet). I label each section and put the pages in it by area or interest (Paris, Paris restaurants, train maps, even receipts, etc.).

I have also recently found a 6 hole address book that will hold Fodor and Rick Steves pages and going to give that a try for our one country trip this year. Just use a regular one hole punch to make the holes.

Last trip I tossed out the pages after I used them and now wish I had them.
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 08:58 PM
  #9
Philip
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Make copies of the pages you need (and highlight the important stuff). Throw away the copies once you leave each town.
 
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Mar 26th, 2002, 09:54 PM
  #10
Jo
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What works for me is using a small diary or address book and for a long trip, dividing it up into cities, regions or countries. I write by hand recommended hotels, restaurants, opening times of museums, etc. Then I paste city maps photocopied from guidebooks, recommended walking tours of places, etc. The book is then a good souvenir of the trip and while putting it together I find I recall the information quite well while on tour.
 
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Mar 27th, 2002, 11:20 AM
  #11
Christina
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I do the same thing as Philip, I Xerox pages I want to take and throw them away when I'm finished with that place. I do take a Michelin Green Guide for sightseeing and luckily those are fairly compact. Also, I never take those kind of trips where I'm visiting so many different places so I don't have that kind of problem.

I could never ever tear pages out of a book and destroy it. Mainly because there isn't hardly any place I go that I think I will never want to go again or never read about or look anything up on. If there were, I would donate the book to the library or something, probably. I think copying makes more sense because I lot of a guidebook you may use for planning but don't need when traveling. Like the sections on hotels, for example. Also, a lot of guidebooks repeat a bunch of generic junk in the front for every guidebook and you don't need that at all (gen. info on electricity, how to get a passport, what airlines fly there, that kind of stuff). For country guidebooks, you may aonly be going to a few of the cities in the whole book. I have also done the reducing a little bit, but mainly I Xerox, two-sided. I'm going to Czech Republic and Poland in May, and I'm only taking two think books, the Insight for Krakow (only city I'll be in) and Frommer's Prague (which includes info on day trips and other parts of country, actually). I may Xerox part of the latter. I have those Eyewitness ones for both (Poland one looks pretty bad, BTW, I was very disappointed) but never take them traveling because they are bulky and not very comprehensive; I'm not even sure I'll Xerox from them, I only like the pictures.
 
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Mar 27th, 2002, 11:49 AM
  #12
lucky
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I just learn the stuff before I go. Jot down a few phone numbers and addresses, but study and learn. learn learn learn
remember how to do that?
 
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Mar 27th, 2002, 12:36 PM
  #13
wes fowler
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In one of our earlier correspondences I think you mentioned your group was a foursome with the other couple never having been to Europe. I recall recommending that since four of you were traveling to four countries, you might consider "assigning" each traveler a country and the responsibilities for what to do, what to see in that country, both to alleviate your planning burden and to encourage the others to actively participate in the planning process. It might be a bit late now, but you might consider "assigning" a guide book for a specific country to each traveler to at least haul about in their luggage, if not to become somewhat knowledgeable of its contents.
 
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Mar 27th, 2002, 07:28 PM
  #14
ttt
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ttt
 
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Jun 28th, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #15
topper
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top
 
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Jun 28th, 2002, 09:46 AM
  #16
Wayne
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For me, making your own notes, either by handwritten or typed means, is the way to avoid taking any books. As I read any kind of guidebook or any entry on the net, I make notations to save the info I think I will need on a future trip. I categorize it by country, and then by categories within each country (hotels, restaurants, sights, etc.).

When you have one specific trip in mind, you can take notes that you know in advance will be pertinent only to that trip. Occasionally I find something already condensed, but usually I can condense several pages of information into only a few words or lines of notes. When taking a specific trip, I find my notes about places to go, see, and do, aren't as copious as my notes on the language. I usually end up with a combination of handwritten and typed notes in about 10 to 15 pages. That's a lot better than several guidebooks, and I can fold the notes and carry them in my pocket wherever I go. I do, however, always take a pocket dictionary covering each language of each country I want to visit unless I feel I know the language well enough ahead of time.
 
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Jun 28th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #17
Boris
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If you don't speak the language I suggest a book that will help you translate menus. I find them to be invaluable.
 
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