Travel books, books and more books.
I think I can never have enough information. Part of the fun part of travelling is going through all the material to see what you want and where you want to go. I’m particularly fond of the DK Eyewitness books with their Top 10 for various cities. They’re smaller and quite comprehensive. They’re also helpful if you’re only going to spend four or fewer days in a particular city. Fortunately, we have a broad collection of them now and can lend them to friends.
What’s been interesting about COVID is that many of these travel books have not been updated since 2019. Some new ones are coming out, but I don’t want to pay that much for the new additions. A caveat is that depending on what you’re using the travel books for, they may be out of date, and your information may surprise you when you get there. I don’t use these books, particularly for restaurants and hotels, for that reason.
Here are two options we use to collect our travel books before going. One, we go to various hand-me-down stores. The ones offered by charities like Salvation Army are handy. You can pick up travel books for $3 to $4 that are relatively current. The other option to get the latest views is to borrow from the library.
From the picture above, you can see that we have ten of our books that we acquired this way and ten from the library that needs to be returned. That is 20 books to go through!
Travel books often contain detailed maps and high-quality photographs that can be difficult to view on a small digital screen. Hard copy books allow you to appreciate these features in their full size and detail.
Now the next question, of course, is how many will take with you.
Books are heavy, cumbersome and can take up a lot of space. For this reason, we’ll be taking very few with us. We are visiting seven countries with numerous locations, so we must travel light.
One we’re taking is about Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. This book was published in 2016 by Fodor, but it has the basics and a pull-out map that will be useful. This is our first stopover so we will leave the book behind—the same for San Francisco, next on our itinerary.
The other thing we’ve done is take images of some of the critical pages we were interested in, copy them into a document, and convert them into PDFs. Then we load them up into Good Notes so we can access them anytime.
I find GPS a godsend. I don’t know how we survived our relationship before having it. That said, travel books are handy if they have to pull out maps you can look at before venturing out that day.
Ultimately, deciding between a hard copy travel book and a digital book depends on your individual preferences and needs. Consider factors such as your budget, the amount of space in your luggage, whether you prefer a physical or digital experience, and your concern for the environment. Additionally, you may want to consider using a combination of both formats to take advantage of their strengths.
Despite the convenience and accessibility of digital travel guides, many people still prefer the experience of holding and reading a physical book. For me, hard-copy travel books can also provide a nostalgic or sentimental experience. That is probably why I refuse to get rid of them from my library at home.
I will continue to share several other tips and tricks regarding the information on your travels.