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Favourite paper travel guides? Lonely Planet? Fodor's?

Favourite paper travel guides? Lonely Planet? Fodor's?

Mar 8th, 2019, 08:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Favourite paper travel guides? Lonely Planet? Fodor's?

Just looking for input on which paper based travel guides the people here like. I am only familiar with Lonely Planet and Fodor's but have never actually purchased them.

viprit is offline  
Mar 9th, 2019, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
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I don’t use paper guides much—so much of my information comes from the web.

but the ones that I do occasionally get a lot of use out of are niche publications. For example, the local bookstore had a Tokyo guide published by a tourist group in Tokyo, and it had a lot of good, more local recommendations in it. And I buy bike/hike guides fairly often. Just depends on what you need the guidebook for. I don’t think any company does universally good guides—they vary, quality wise, depending on what region you’re looking at. I’m assuming you’re wanting to buy one for a specific trip, otherwise why ask? If that’s the case, you should go to the regional forum and ask there; not much traffic here.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Mar 9th, 2019, 08:23 AM
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I'm a great fan of paper guidebooks! As a rule (it does vary with location), my favorites are the Rough Guide and the Michelin Green Guide. The Rough Guide is very similar to the Lonely Planet; I happen to prefer the maps in the RG. For some locations, the Moon Guide is superb.
kja is offline  
Mar 9th, 2019, 08:25 AM
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Pre-travel, DH and I bought the Eyewitness books. Then we got as many others from the library as we could for comparison. Rick Steves' were very helpful with DIY hints.

It wasn't until internet ticket-buying became widespread that we relied more with online resources. We still bought Eyewitness but used it for backup info. It saves so much time to have your tickets in your hand and to bypass long lines.
TDudette is online now  
Mar 9th, 2019, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 616
DK eyewitness pocket guides. Small enough to just toss into your luggage or even put in a coat pocket. Being pocket guides they aren't exactly in depth but are useful to actually travel with.

For research more the web
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
I don’t use paper guides much—so much of my information comes from the web.
I am with “mouse.”

Printed guidebooks declined dramatically several years ago as the internet came into widespread use, but the decline has now leveled off as travel has been soaring. Part of that may be that the baby boomers who make up a significant part of travel might still be more comfortable with printed guidebooks. All of our four children and their friends travel a lot. One is a librarian. None, including the librarian, use guidebooks. Some say they don’t know what to ask google, but they do. Fodors is even now owned by a company called "Internet Brands". The guidebook companies face the same struggle as newspapers, how to compete with shrinking readership, while coming up with an internet presence that most users want for free. The future will be the interactive online guidebook that will create personalized itineraries.

Travel is getting a lot easier with the web. We used to type an itinerary for an upcoming trip and circulate to family. Now we use an app called Tripit that magically grabs our email trip confirmations and creates an itinerary for us.
whitehall is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 08:46 AM
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Rough Guide - hands down. I like DK Eyewitness for the pictures, but Rough Guides have the background
Aramis is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 09:36 AM
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I use a variety of guides. Our local library has a huge selection. I find Rick Steve's guides work well for us as his accommodations sections have good choices from low to high prices and various types of accommodations. I haven't bought the Eye Witness in years, but I like the visual aspect of their books.
nanabee is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 01:22 PM
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Fodors, DK Eyewitness Guides, Rick Steves( for walking tours), and Cadogan. Cadogan covers places in depth that other guides omit so keep in mind. I do not like Lonely Planet at all.
For city visits, Amsterdam, Berlin, etc, I buy DK Top 10, small,fit in my purse, include good city and transit maps.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 11th, 2019, 01:49 PM
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Depends where you are going. And what is your travel style. One size does not fit all.

I like the small Let's Go guides for a specific city (like Amsterdam).

Moon Publications is very good for Mexico and Central America.

I've never purchased a Fodor's but I own quite a few of them from back when we got them for free for our posts being used in them.

Rick Steves is good for a Europe 101 for newbies.

...and so on.
suze is online now  
Mar 12th, 2019, 10:46 PM
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lonely Planet are popular in Australia -probably because they were Australian. Libraries and book shops always stock the full range. I used to buy them but now I borrow from the library. occasionally buy DK. Fodors and Frommers are seen to be very American and not found much.
I don't know Rick Steves at all although he seems popular in US.
northie is offline  
Mar 13th, 2019, 10:11 AM
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Rick Steves is not my personal style but I think he's a good one for newbies and specific to Europe only (he lives here in the Seattle area so I am familiar with him). I think his TV programs are also good for "beginners" to get ideas about what they might like to see and do.

If I needed guidebooks myself (Hawaii the first trip was a real challenge) I just go online to the library and take out all of them available for my destination. If I wanted one to travel with that's when I might buy a small (in size) city specific one to take along.
suze is online now  
Mar 13th, 2019, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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We usually start with DK Eyewitness guides, the work out the details online.
cdnyul is online now  
Mar 24th, 2019, 08:38 PM
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Back in the '80s and '90s I did a little travel writing on the side, local newspapers, obscure magazines and like that. On two or three occasions, I wrote articles comparing all the paper guidebooks out there. I laugh now to remember just how exotic some of the books appeared back then. As well, our city has a fantastic Reference Library, of which I am a frequent visitor. Its Travel Section has every single guidebook available per country, plus plenty of specialty titles (not to mention an exhaustive maps room). During trip research, it is not unusual to find me there at the Travel Section, huddled over dozens of books. Afterwards, I cross-reference all the info with NET sources like Fodors, RS and Lonely Planet. I do not favor one particular guidebook, as every one of them seems to have its own area of usefulness, its own niche. I once got a HUGE tip about India from of all places, Lets Go!

Lately, I have noticed some errors in books. Insight's 2019 Italy guide shows a picture of Procida, but labels it as Ischia. Moon recently made some claims about where to find train tickets plus info, in Puglia. We suspected that Moon's claims were incorrect and were later proved right. The new Travel Atlas coffee table book by Lonely Planet is a worthy purchase, but it mislabels Paris for Lille on one of its proposed itineraries and later places at least one urban neighbourhood in North America in the wrong place.

We once met the writer for Time Out Paris. He could not have been more stand-offish had he tried. Once in Germany, a tavern owner saw me writing in our journal and was convinced that I was a Lonely Planet writer. No matter how many times that I tried to explain that I was not, he just winked and tried to comp me a beer.

PS Rick Steves deliberately keeps some of his backdoor locations out of his guidebooks, for fear of repeating the effect that his promoting the Cinque Terre has had. One of his employees told me that this past summer. When I repeated that fact on the RS forum, their moderator/webmaster gal came on and tried to make me out as either gullible or a liar. She would not accept the reality.
I am done. The guidebooks.

PSS Back in the '80s when I used to teach young offenders in public libraries, I'd sometimes read guidebooks til the students arrived. Can still remember the enchantment in some, "Santorini is best approached by sea..." (Baedekers)

Last edited by zebec; Mar 24th, 2019 at 08:46 PM.
zebec is online now  
Mar 30th, 2019, 03:34 PM
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It depends on where I am going. For off the beaten track places in, say, Asia, Lonely Planet is good. They give all of the info on border crossings, transport options, etc. They also are pretty good at providing background cultural information.

For a big, European cities, Fodors has excellent guides with good recommendations for hotels and restaurants.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 5th, 2019, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
Rick does Europe...that is his forte.
Lonely Planet, Rough Guides or Moon support backpackers, or young(young at heart) travelers looking for no-nonsense advise at practical price points.
Fodors and Frommers are going to be higher price points and less off the beaten track.
kapia is offline  
Apr 5th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kapia View Post
Lonely Planet, Rough Guides or Moon support backpackers, or young(young at heart) travelers looking for no-nonsense advise at practical price points..
These particular guidebooks also provide more comprehensive coverage of places and sights than most other guidebooks and although they cover options to support young backpackers, they are also perfectly suitable for people of all ages, whether they are backpackers or not.
kja is offline  
Apr 9th, 2019, 11:37 AM
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DK Eyewitness. every trip every time.
tailsock is offline  
Apr 9th, 2019, 10:01 PM
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Every time I go somewhere knew I have a look at the guidebooks on offer in book shops or libraries. I invariably end up with either Rough Guides or Lonely Planet. On balance I prefer the house writing style and format of Rough Guides.

I have tried downloading the ebook versions to my iPad but for various reasons prefer the "comfort blanket " of a paper guide.

I had to smile at the comments re RG and LP being aimed at the backpacker market. Has anyone seen the price of hotels and restaurants recommended in these Guides lately? Backpackers would run a mile from most of those places. I think both publishers have made a concious attempt to move their reader demographic and appeal upmarket in recent years.

Of course I supplement the Guides with online research with forums such as this and TA, although activity levels in both seem to have dropped significantly in recent years.
Rough Guides has a lot of info from their guidebooks replicated on their site but seem to have focused their attention on selling tours in the last year - a worrying trend.
Like, I suspect most Fodors forum users, I have tended not to stray too far from the forums here. However, for our upcoming South Africa trip I venture into the Destination section to have a look and was pleasantly surprised. Loads of useful stuff, especially on accomodation and restaurants.
crellston is offline  
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