In this week long series, we’ll be looking at debunking some of the travel world’s myths and explaining the truth behind these sentiments. So follow along this week for some of the most well known travel myths and how we prove they aren’t true.
You can always tell if people have traveled before if they rely solely on guidebooks when planning a trip. I started that way too, looking through Frommer’s guides and Lonely Planet books on countries I was going to visit. And while I still buy them as needed and use them for specific research, I have found over my years of traveling that guidebooks really don’t provide the best and most up to date information that you need to know when traveling. There are so many amazing resources out there now that provide better information than the old fashioned guidebooks that are heavy and clunky to travel with, that today we’re debunking the theory that guidebooks are best for travel research.
You’ll find the best, most current recommendations on Instagram and travel blogs.
Travel blogs and social media are truly the best source of information regarding traveling. I like to start following specific accounts and blogs when I know I’m headed to a specific destination. I also screenshot any restaurants, activities or hotels that look cool from people I follow and keep them filed so that when I’m headed to that destination, I can look into them. You’ll find the best, most current recommendations this way; things you’d never find in a standard guidebook.
Use travel guides like LUXE or Wallpaper guides that are small and can travel with you.
My favorite travel guides are the LUXE city guides and Wallpaper guides that are small, have relevant, modern information and that can be easily slipped into my purse when exploring without having to lug a giant book around. Both companies are really modern and offer great advice for young travelers in a fun sophisticated way.
Download travel apps before you leave home so you can access information on your phone.
Most travel guidebook companies now have apps, which means you don’t need that big guidebook anymore. Download the relevant apps before you leave for your trip and then you can access whatever you need to on the go on your smart phone.
This is all so true! Guidebooks are often outdated and only give “tourist” information…nothing really good about the culture! Personally, I keep a list of interesting places mentioned in books about the area, such as Lost on Planet China, etc.
Totally. It’s basically the bullet pointed list but the great thing about traveling is seeing more than that, which is great to find elsewhere!
Talia's Travels says
I only ever use guide books for a few ideas, and I do my research at home then leave them there… I always look to travel blogs before making my way to the guidebook!
Same for me! Use them if needed for research before you leave but I never travel with them!
Jennifer @This Off Script Life says
Very true, Casey. I used to rely on travel guides when I first started traveling too. But that was 15 years ago. Now, I always turn to travel blogs and other travel related sites to plan my next trip. I don’t think I’ve bought a guidebook in years (I prefer to buy travel literature/stories instead). http://www.thisoffscriptlife.com
I agree! I love reading stories about places now instead of guidebooks!
Deepti @ Endless Postcards says
I save posts from travel blogs as well! With the internet being so immense these days, everything’s at the reach of my fingertips — I don’t feel like paying and then looking through the index of a guidebook when I could easily find the information from the comfort of my bedroom! I also find that the information online is usually better — after all, you even have access to reviews from locals!
Exactly! When there is so much information out there (great information) for free, it’s so much easier!
I always travel with a guidebook, but I rarely do any planning with them (sometimes they help in a pinch though). I do like to read the history portions of them and then I use them more as scrapbooks and I highlight what we did, staple in tickets/photos/postcards, and write little thoughts inside them. Then I line them up on my bookshelf and consider that “decor” 🙂
That’s an interesting take on a guidebook… love it actually!
Wow, never thought of using guidebooks as scrapbooks before but I love the idea.
YES! Blogs, IG and travel apps are all we need! I mean guidebooks are great and it can be useful to check out one before the trip but they take up so much space, not to mention the really good ones weight a ton.
I do like Courtney’s idea below though.
Totally! And yes.. .isn’t that an awesome idea for guidebooks?