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travel guide books


We spend a lot of money on your holiday, invest our time planning for it, look forward to it and then 'save' £9.99 by not buying a travel guide to help us make the most of and get the best from our time!

Well the good news is, with the help of some great sites, we can still save the £9.99 and still get a bunch of information on our travel destinations. You might still want to buy a travel guides - they're an inexpensive way of getting valuable tips and suggestions about places to visit (or not), where to eat (or not) and how to get around. Many travel guides also include a local map and street maps of central city areas. But if you don't, you'll still be better prepared.

The best free online travel guides
Most of the well-known travel guide publishers have websites that provide very detailed information on holiday destinations. These sites offer information on hotels, restaurants, nightlife, local customs and a few handy phrases in the local language.

Lonely Planet - aimed at younger 'travellers' rather than tourists, this site has plenty of useful features and information that will help you plan your trip.

Rough Guide - provides comprehensive and up to date coverage of around 200 destinations worldwide. The country and regional guides include in-depth information covering a range of budgets. City guides provide comprehensive coverage, including where to stay, eat and places to visit. Overall, we think these are the best guides.

Time Out - not so much a travel guide but more of an in-depth review of entertainment in over 30 major cities around the world, with the main focus on Europe and the USA. Useful as a city guide.

Frommers - an American content-oriented travel site aimed at the cost-conscious traveller, it contains information on and recommendations for a wide range of destinations. The 'Destinations' section is easy to use and contains one of the most comprehensive City Guides we have found.

Fodors - another American site but has a less formal feel than Frommers. It draws on over 60 years experience in traditional travel guides and concentrates more on providing travel information than Frommers. The 'Expert Advice' and 'Resources' sections contain useful general travel information.

Visit London - is a new london travel guide. If you're going to london, it can help you plan your trip to make the most of your time there.

Where to buy your guide?
There are two schools of thought about buying travel guides. The first says that you should buy them before you travel then read as much as possible before you go. This gets you in the 'holiday mood' and, when you arrive, you 'hit the ground running'. The second says that you should wait until you arrive and then buy a local guide and map since they may be more up to date.

We go with the first. If you're about to go on holiday, we suggest that you invest a few pounds to buy a good quality travel guide and a map to get some background information and advice on your destination before you travel.

Each of the web sites listed above will sell you thier own travel guides, in addition to maps, phrase books and even music. However, you can buy the guides much cheaper than on the publisher's own site.

Amazon - the daddy of all online booksellers. They provide a comprehensive listing of books and maps on almost every destination at prices we found to be around 20% cheaper than the publisher's own websites.

WHSmith - the on-line presence of the high street bookshop. The choices are more limited than on Amazon, but its prices are comparable - an average 20% saving against the publishers' websites - and it offers free postage on orders above £40, so if you need to buy some holiday reading too it can be cheaper than Amazon.

Remember that stock and prices change regularly. It only takes a few minutes to do your homework before you buy. Use the publishers websites to get some background before you spend your money then, once you've made your choice of book, check the two sites above.


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