Need advice on travel guide books ...

Jun 11th, 2014, 06:08 AM
  #1  
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Need advice on travel guide books ...

... for a young woman (21) who will be traveling in Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands. She likes to do active things like walking, hiking, maybe some river rafting, and she's not so much into museums. She is on a budget and will be in Europe this summer (July) thru late October. DH and I use Rick Steves and Fodors and will be passing our copies on to her but not sure they will be as helpful for her young age and the activities she likes.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:10 AM
  #2  
 
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Lonely Planet or Let's Go! would be my suggestion.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:32 AM
  #3  
kja
 
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The Lonely Planet if possible. The Rough Guide or Let's Go! as a 2nd choice. The Moon Guide and an extra if there is a suitable one. NOT RS!
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:33 AM
  #4  
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Thanks sparkchaser.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:41 AM
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She should head to Barnes & Nobel one evening and grab a country (Spain or France would be my suggestion) travel guide from the various publishers and skim through them to see which one resonates the most with her.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:41 AM
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*Barnes & Nobel or similar
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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Spain guides

Frommer’s and Fodor’s-Good on restaurants and hotels, poor on history and culture, small town recommendations non-existent. Getting better on history and culture but appeal to a mainstream audience.

Rough Guide and Lonely Planet-Opinionated and edgy, good on history and culture, terrible on restaurants and hotels. Often have listings for smaller towns.

Cadogan-specialized for a specific areas. Quietly helpful. A bit dry

Eyewitness and National Geographic-Like stereotypical models nice to look at but little else.

Rick Steve’s-I would rather be lead by a blind man

Michelin Green-probably the best for sites.

Time Out-Very good for large cities
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Jun 11th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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While I like Lonely Planet and Rough Guide, I keep going back to Eyewitness.

That said, I'd consider downloading electronic guides and taking a table or phone. Given the number of places she'll be, that's a lot of books to lug around.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:02 AM
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If your daughter is going to have an internet connection while she is there, she should utilize Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, Wikitravel, and 4chan /trv/.

In particular, if she provides enough info up front about what she wants to do (white water rafting in Spain, 100km hike in France, etc.), then /trv/ might be the best resource as practically all the posters there are within her age range.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:05 AM
  #10  
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Astein, I didn't think of electronic guides but that is a great idea.

kja, I was a little baffled for a second then realized RS is Rick Steves! We have a few of his books and liked them, but don't think she will get much out of his books either.

IMDonehere, wow, I had no idea there were so many other options. We have a few old Eyewitness for Paris and some other major cities, she might enjoy looking at them for the visual lay of the land too.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:07 AM
  #11  
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Thanks again sparkchaser, she is my goddaughter but like a daughter!

I wasn't sure what you meant by /trv/.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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/trv/ is the sub channel of 4chan that is devoted to travel.

boards.4chan.org/trv/
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:15 AM
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We have spent considerable time in Spain and the one of the books I liked the best was Penelope Casas's Discovering Spain. It is immensely entertaining and informative but dated in some respects and she died last year.

Also on these board is Mirabel's Guides. They used to be free, but I am not sure that is the case any more.

I think the best for 21 year old are the Time Outs but they do not have country guides just city and that can get expensive but here is the list-http://www.timeout.com/

Time Out also has extensive on-line listings for what is going that week when they are somewhere. For example here is Barcelona and they usually have a cheap eats section http://www.timeout.com/barcelona
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:18 AM
  #14  
kja
 
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Yes, there are a lot of options and they actually do differ a LOT!

I don't think your daughter will want to take every guide book she looks at with her, but if she looks at several and decides on what suits her best, she can rip out the "irrelevant" pages (I know, for some of us it's like ripping a bandage off a wound -- painful, but necessary) and take what remains with her.

I never use guidebooks for hotels or restaurants, but I do study them for what sites they cover and what information they provide about how to get around. I typically use 6 per trip, and try to keep notes about which ones seem best for which aspects of my planning. And that's why I recommend the Lonely Planet (most geared to young and active folks) and Rough Guide (IME, the best all round). i haven't found them more "opinionated or edgy" than others (as IMDoneHere suggests), but maybe I haven't focused on the same things he has.... In contrast, RS's books (yes, you got the reference correct) cover SO much less than most other books that I find them almost useless.

I do NOT recommend using only electronic guides -- users miss all the stuff they don't know to ask about! That is the greatest and most important advantage of the printed travel guide book. If only everyone who looks to Fodor's boards would check even a single guidebook first!!!

Just my opinion.....
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Jun 11th, 2014, 07:52 AM
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My favourite is the Lonely Planet 'Discover' series. These guides are not as wordy as some of the other Lonely Planet guides but I think they strike a really good balance between text and pictorial information.

I've had to review quite a number of travel guide books from different publishers as a result of my sideline job with Amazon and believe you me less is definitely more - a lot of the weighty guides have a bazillion entries of about 2 sentences each which basically give you bugger all info on whatever attraction, site or hostelry is being described.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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kja,

I wouldn't suggest doing online searches only, but there are full guidebooks that you can download. These are basically the same as books, but much more compact.
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Jun 11th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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kja, Do you think the electronic guides would be best used when she is already in Europe to supplement with the guide books?

<>

We like them only because we generally know the area already (and have previously traveled there). But have too be extremely disappointed that many wonderful off the beaten path places are not mentioned.

Thanks RM - I saw your post in the Lounge. I'm off the check out the Discover and Student Guides Series right now, in addition to the list of other wonderful sounding guide books! Makes me want to go with her!
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Jun 11th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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kja wrote: "I do NOT recommend using only electronic guides -- users miss all the stuff they don't know to ask about! That is the greatest and most important advantage of the printed travel guide book."

Is there a difference in the actual text between the printed Fodor's guide book and the ebook copy? Or the printed and ebook copies of the Lonely Planet Guide books?
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Jun 11th, 2014, 05:52 PM
  #19  
kja
 
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I obviously was not clear! I don't object to e-book versions of guidebooks (although I prefer to have a map in hand) and, in fact, take one or two with me on each trip. I meant to discourage people from simply doing internet searches or relying on travel apps without also using an actual guidebook, whether hard copy or e-version. Sorry for the confusion!
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