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Packing Light - minimum number of maps/guidebooks/phrasebooks to take?

Packing Light - minimum number of maps/guidebooks/phrasebooks to take?

Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:31 PM
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Packing Light - minimum number of maps/guidebooks/phrasebooks to take?

I plan to travel lightly and have a very short clothing and toiletry list. How do you decide which tour books to take?

I want to take a French phrase book and an Italian phrase book, but wondering what compact maps I need. I am going to London, Paris, Bern, and then several places throughout Italy.
Old May 2nd, 2002, 08:40 PM
Uncle Sam
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Here is a tip:

1. Do a search on this site for each area where you will be travelling
2. Print the results
3. Reduce them

Also pick the one, very best guide book for each location and place the information gathered from this site as additional info.

It works, we've been doing it for about three years now.
Old May 2nd, 2002, 09:12 PM
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I seldom take any guide books. Once in a while I do stick in a Michelin Green guide because they are so compact and comprehensive.

But usually I photocopy important pages from fav guide books and printouts of informative web pages.

I also take a fold up waterproof map of each city I am visiting - like the Let's Go or Artwise series'.
Old May 2nd, 2002, 11:58 PM
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I'd take one guidebook that covers all the places you are going, like Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, whatever. Also one phrasebook - you can get one that covers a few European languages.
The photocopying idea is a great one that we do as well. I print things off the internet, photocopy books etc and throw it out as we go, making room for souvenirs!
We particularly like the street maps in the LP books and I photocopy each one I think we'll need so you can go out in each city without lugging a guide book but with a reliable map in your back pocket. Then throw it out when you leave.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 03:58 AM
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I love the pop-up maps -- Borders sells them for European and American cities. They usually have the sights marked on them already, with the metro stops and a metro/subway plan on the back. I find them great because they fold up to just about wallet size (but much thinner), so you're not standing in the middle of the road unfurling the map from the tourist office.

You can, naturally, pick them up in Europe also.

I also take one of the maps from the hotel and mark the locations of whatever I want to see, with the address and hours they're open (if not "normal"). This is good for "re-grouping" at a cafe or in the store/museum/whatever to see where you want to go next -- and instead of looking up the number, what it is, etc., you have ONLY what you want.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 06:44 AM
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Chris: Who publishes these pop-up maps?
Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:29 AM
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I love those little pop up maps too. I have them for Paris, London and Edinburgh. I am looking at the London one right now - the publisher is Compass Maps Ltd. and the printed price is 2.50GBP and $4.95. They are great - not super-detailed maps but plenty to find your way around plus a tube or metro map, main bus routes, main sites and even an index. all in 3 1/2 X 5 inches when it is closed up.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:37 AM
Steve Mueller
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I agree with Janis, the only books I take are the Green Michelin guides. I disagree Kay, however, because any guide book that covers all the places you are going will also cover hundreds of places you are not going. Also, guide books that are too comprehensive in scope tend to minimize details.

I summarize information from various guide books as Word documents that I print and take with me. Usually I'll have one (at most two) page for each destination. It will include a list of the major attractions and the pertinent information (hours, cost, location, etc.).

For the smaller towns, I photocopy the maps from the guide books. It is easy to find a map of Munich or Paris in the US, but try to buy a map of Boppard or Colmar - it can't be done.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 08:29 AM
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Unless you plan to do London via organized tours/guides - that is, if you plan to get out and really explore on your own, you MUST have the London A to Z map book. Even people who have lived in London all their lives carry one. It is compact and complete map to every part or the city. You can buy one at any bookshop once you arrive (you can find them in US at some bigger book stores). Get one of the small ones that will fit in pocket or bag. You will never regret it. I have been to London many times, and have worn out many of the A to Z guides. I would NEVER go to London without mine.
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