Fodor’s Travel Guides are a staple for anyone planning a trip. They excel at prioritising highlights and include great visuals like cutaway illustrations of important castles and churches.
Rough Guides are ideal for the adventurous traveler. Their guides are written by Europeans and offer more insight into the contemporary social scene. They also have helpful support helplines if you get into trouble.
1. DK Eyewitness Travel Guides
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are the most visually appealing guides out there, with hand-drawn pictures and exploded illustrations dominating every page. The books offer everything from fully planned out Itineraries and detailed histories to helpful tips, suggestions and information.
While some travelers might prefer the personal feel of a blog, the advantage to a DK guide is that the authors are a team of full-time experts with a wealth of knowledge to draw from. They know the best hotels, restaurants and attractions to recommend, as well as how to avoid the most common tourist traps. In addition to recommendations, DK also includes sections geared towards different types of travelers such as art lovers, families or foodies. This gives travelers a much more tailored experience than simply following the crowds.
A major plus is the inclusion of detailed maps, as well as the opportunity to use the book’s 3D models of many key landmarks. This allows the reader to get a bird’s-eye view of their destination and find specific locations with ease, as opposed to simply using a traditional map. The book also offers useful tips for the most popular travel experiences including outdoor activities, shopping and entertainment options. Those planning a trip to non-English speaking destinations will appreciate the mini phrase books which feature helpful conversational phrases.
This series of guides has recently undergone a complete re-design, bringing in a new look and making them smaller and lighter than ever before. The first set of revamped travel guides to be released include London, Barcelona, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Washington D.C., with additional cities to follow throughout 2019. The guides feature a fresh and modern design and are packed with completely new photography, as well as a new layout that makes it easier than ever to inspire, plan, discover and share.
Fodor’s continues to lead the travel guide pack with an array of printed and digital guides to all sorts of global destinations. Travelers still rely on these guides to find the best things to see, do and eat during their vacations. Their books are particularly useful for those who plan the Big Trip, the once-in-a-lifetime journey.
These well-known and trusted travel guides feature detailed destination descriptions and enticing images that inspire you to explore. The company also has a comprehensive travel planning website that recommends places to stay and visit based on your specific interests.
Their most popular guides are their city-focused offerings, such as 25 Best Things to Do in Dublin or The Best of Rome. These short but encyclopedic books present you with a variety of cultural insights and nitty-gritty details that help you get to know the city.
Then there are the broader guides, such as Fodor’s Essential Europe or The Best of Australia and New Zealand. These guides feature broad cultural overviews, detailed itineraries and a host of recommendations for restaurants, hotels, activities, and sights to see.
The series also includes the ever-popular Rick Steves’ European Adventures, which is a must-have for history buffs. And for those who are looking for a more off-the-beaten path experience, there’s the Widlsam Field Guide to New England. It’ll take you to where Thoreau found peace at Walden Pond, where Emily Dickinson secreted her poems in Amherst, and where P.T. Barnum proclaimed the view from Mount Washington the second-greatest show on earth. It’s a fascinating look at the area that inspired such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book is filled with photos, maps and historic facts.
3. Moon Travel Guides
While more people rely on online travel blogs and podcasts to research their trips, guidebooks still offer a wealth of up to the minute information. They provide the savvy traveler with valuable tips for travelling on a budget and a good sense of what to see, where to stay and when to go. These guidebooks also allow for a thorough comparison of prices, hotels and activities.
Probably the best known of all guides, Lonely Planet is THE bible in many travellers’ eyes. Despite its age it is the benchmark of all travel guides and for a reason: it offers a very clear and user friendly layout, an adequate amount of background information and a great range of options on places to visit.
It is not the best choice for those who are mainly interested in the culture and history of a country but if you are looking for a guidebook that provides an inspiring and informative visual trip, this is the one to go for. Its main advantage is its quality graphic illustrations and maps that clearly distinguish sites from one another.
This series of guides by American publisher Moon was founded in 1973 to empower independent, active and conscious travel. This is reflected in their focus on small and local businesses, outdoor recreation and traveling strategically and sustainably. Their guides are written by local authors who can’t wait to share their favourite spots with you! Their state by state guides are a particularly good option for US travellers. They also publish guides on train travel and trekking and specialise in the more out of the way destinations like Kamchatka or Uzbekistan. These are a must have for the adventurous.
Founded in 1957, Arthur Frommer’s legendary travel guide book series has evolved from its first publication, Europe on $5 a Day, into a comprehensive collection of destination guides for every budget, experience level and style of travel. Frommer’s books prioritize local recommendations and provide honest opinions to help travelers plan their vacations. With dozens of destinations in the US and internationally, Frommer’s provides comprehensive travel information for visitors of all kinds.
Pauline Frommer, the daughter of Frommer’s founder and travel expert, co-president of Frommers Media LLC, and editor of the Frommers guidebook series, joins Rolf to discuss the changing world of travel guides. They cover a wide range of topics, including the art of curating content in the modern world (3:30); sidestepping travel-marketing content (17:15); and the importance of traveling smartly (38:00).
Frommers’ newest guidebook series is called Frommers’ Activity Guides. These engrossing, first-person city guides take readers on a journey into the heart of a city through its most iconic landmarks and sights. These bestselling books are an excellent choice for any visitor to the cities of London, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam, among others.
The Frommers’ Italy Travel Guide is another must-have for any traveler to the country of Italy. Whether you want to explore the ruins of Pompeii, float along canals in Venice or appreciate Renaissance masterworks in Florence, this comprehensive and opinionated travel guide will take you to the most popular and hidden gems in this beautiful country. It also includes insider tips and candid advice that will have you discovering off-the-beaten path Tuscan vineyards, exploring off-the-beaten path Puglia or living la dolce vita in Rome. You’ll also find a wealth of tips on dining, shopping and entertainment.
5. Lonely Planet
When traveling, you’ll want to be well-prepared for any challenge. A guide book is an invaluable tool that can help you with this. With the right information, you’ll be able to navigate unfamiliar cities and cultures. In addition, a travel guide can offer helpful tips and tricks that can make your trip a success.
The Lonely Planet travel guides have been a staple in many travelers’ backpacks for decades. They’re filled with detailed maps and enticing photos of iconic attractions. They also include personal recommendations that can help travelers find hidden gems. The company has a long history of word-of-mouth marketing and even gives away free travel guides to backpackers. This strategy has helped them create a loyal following and become one of the most respected travel guide books on the market.
Founded by Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 1972, the company’s name comes from a misheard lyrics in a song by Matthew Moore. The couple’s willingness to live abroad gave them a unique understanding of the cultures they wrote about in their guidebooks. Their guides have an easy-to-read format, and the photos in each book are taken by local photographers. The books are filled with a variety of photos, from breathtaking landscapes to snapshots of daily life.
While some of the information in these travel guides may change over time, they’re still a great resource for those who are looking to travel abroad. If you’re ready to begin planning your next adventure, check out this Mashable Shop bundle that includes digital Lonely Planet guides and language courses from top-rated Transparent Language. The Mashable Shop is offering this bundle for a “name your price” deal, so you can pay whatever you want to get the resources you need.