What travel guides do people like to use here? My wife and I are traveling to Spain in June for 3 weeks and we'd like to visit off the beaten path places and stay in unique places. Any ideas for good guides for the independent traveler? I have used Lonely Planet and Let's Go guides before. Thanks!
I used Lonely Planet, Footprint and Trotter (Routard) for South America.
Footprint was the best for finding places to sleep. Lonely Planet and Footprint mention the places you can visit, but they don't give an opinion about those places. For that the Trotter is better, they say what is nice/ugly/good/bad about each place.
I'll cast my vote with Lonely Planet.. If you want opinions about places ask people you know or try posting on a forum.. Like this one
I say that, because unless you know the travel writer personally, his outlooks on things could be so different than yours, that his opinions won't really add up to much for you.
Just a thought.
I have used Fodors before too, but probably would not again... not for any real reason, I just prefer Lonely Planet.
I have to reprazent Boston - i only use "Lets Go" guides...written by Bostonians!
I dont recommend Fodors unless you are rich and old. I sed them for Ireland - and all they had were hotels!
Rough Guides are ok as well. Having said that, i honestly don't think there's much of a difference between any of them. They arer all essentially as bad as each other. They all have good and bad points and work out about the same. The only real difference is the aim - i.e American written guides will have things listed which are aimed at/interesting/relevant to Americans which may not get a mention in a Uk written guide and vv.
i'd give thumbs up to lonely planet. i survived on my guide around malawi for 3 months a few years ago, and it was great! it's basically in pieces now due to over use, but that's always a good thing isn't it? other things i depend on are people's opinions, like if you're planning on goin omewhere find out a little bit about the place first from word-of-mouth of people staying in the same place as you, or from forums such as these!
I used Lonely planet for India and I have to say it was a bit outdated regardless of being the most recent, I ended up hating that book I lobbied to tear it up and us it as bogroll but we had annotated it so much and drawn on the maps that my mate wanted to keep it as a momento. (well that was all i was good for in my opinion. )
I think guide books are fine until you get the feel for the place but should only be used as ,well, rough guides!!!
BTW the "on a shoestring" series are supposed to be quite good, not sure if they do one for Spin though.
GAAAAAAAAArgh meant Spain not Spin wherever that is!
Lonely Planet actually does one for all of Europe- Europe on a Shoestring.
I have only used a Lonely Planet (the book mentioned above), and I borrowed it from a friend just to find a hostel in Munich. Besides that I haven't ever used a guidebook and for the exception of knowing where to reserve a place to sleep, I don't think I would use it much. I rely much more on what other travellers say about a place. I always find interesting things to do and see and places to shop and eat. Another good source of info is the people who work at the hostel you are staying at. The reason why I don't rely on guidebooks is to avoid just going the backpacker route. I like to go off the beaten track and really experience the culture of the place I am travelling to. I like to settle in and get a job or take a course before I just move on, as long as I have the time to spend.
Before I went to Western Europe I went to almost every site imaginable to get hostel info and travelling tips. I went to travel agencies to get help booklets as well, but when I got to Europe my travelling Bible was "Let's Go's Western Europe." They have ones for individual countries, cities and entire continents (they have Europe, Western Europe and Eastern Europe just to give you an example on how much variety there is for one place). It was a little pricy, but it was so worth it! Also, its great to ask other travellers on the road where they stayed in whatever city.