For a long time I had mixed feelings about travel guidebooks because I didn’t want to visit anywhere that was too popular and crowed but I didn’t want to miss anything either. Now after having travelled considerably more I have grown to appreciate them. The one main drawback from guidebooks is that they can be out of date so quickly. Be that as it may, they are still a great resource.
The question is, where to start? If you have absolutely no idea where you want to travel to start off with a book that covers a vast area such as 50 States, 5000 Ideas. This book is a great place to start planning a great American road trip. A book like this provides information on cities, road trips, landscapes, and tourist information. It is not enough to plan a trip with but it is enough information to let you know that these places exist so that. You can research them more fully. I’m also going to include Atlas Obscura here because I have found stuff in their book that I have added to the must-visit-list.
From there you can get into more specific types of guidebooks. As a gift we were given The Kansas Guidebook 2: for Explores. This book looks at every count and city in the state of Kansas and finds any and everything that is interesting. We use it every time we visit Keltin’s family in Kansas. This book has things to see, places to eat, phone numbers, and open hours. Books like this are great because they provide a ton of information but it is also kind of overwhelming. I suggest using books like this in conjunction with a good road map.
From country level to state level and on the parallel of the state level but get into a more specific niche. In this case Best Tent Camping: Texas. This book not only looks at campgrounds but gets as specific as informing the readers of the best particular sites. Along with rating each campground in six different categories such as beauty, privacy, and cleanliness. It also provides contact information for the campgrounds, maps, and the best local places to grab a bite.
There is a ton of travel information out there. Looking everything up online maybe easy but there is something exciting about finding new places in a book. A place that someone loves and that they took the time to write about to share with others. I’d love to know what you think about guidebooks and your favorites!
4 comments on “Backroads: Guidebooks”
I think it is important to seek out as many places, off the tourist path, so you can have more of a “local” persons experience. I had some visitors from overseas and we tried to show them parts of London that aren’t the usual tourist traps. We went to local markets, saw buildings that the tour buses usually zip past, investigated alleys and lanes between buildings.
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I agree, I love seeing that type of stuff. Sometimes guidebooks are just a good stepping stone.
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