Skip Navigation


Travel Forums General Talk Guidebook=Bible??


Last Post

11. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

id be more worried about anyone who doesnt look for info at all and just jets into a country...after all, you may not even like it.

12. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting oslaue

id be more worried about anyone who doesnt look for info at all and just jets into a country...after all, you may not even like it.

Oslaue!!! It never feels good in another body, is it! Good to see this name back!!! I will be king of India

13. Posted by nayhowell (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Hey Vicky,

I feel bad saying it but I'd have to completely agree with you when you say that you kind of look down on people who completely stick to their guidebooks! Firstly, I really hate it when people over-plan, those people who before they've even left home have planned where they're gonna go, what to see, where to stay...this isn't backpacking, its being a tourist! A good travelling experience requires some degree of spontaneity, and those people who stick to their guidebooks way too much just do not have this! You need to adjust to the situation and the experience, and if you use your guidebook as a bible you can't do this.

In response to some of the other posts, I'd have to disagree that getting information from anywhere is just the same as using a guidebook - of course it's not! If you're talking to people and discussing where to go its all part of your own experience. Its about interacting, and this makes the experience real. If you're literally stuck with your head in your guidebook the whole time you aren't experiencing a place in the same way. Yeah you'll be learning what places are, their history and all the facts, but you can do this at home.

Travelling is all about the experience. Yeah its about what places are worth seeing and where the good restaurants are, but when I travel I also want to have the times when I'm a bit scared of where I might end up. A bit of uncertainty and spontaneity makes it your own experience, and makes you more than a tourist. It means you live it. And when you come across a place on your own that you're amazed by, its the best experience in the world! Even if everyone else goes there and has found it from their guidebooks, it will mean more to you somehow.

Also, (Oh no I'm getting on a bit of a roll...!) I think it partly because i look down on those people whose travelling experiences are all about seeing the sights. Again, this is just being a tourist. When I'm travelling, I prefer to wander 'aimlessly' a lot of the time. I like just walking the streets, sitting in cafes, and chatting to whoever I meet along the way. I prefer to go along with the experience. You cant get this kind of experience from a guidebook, and those people who come back form travelling and reel off a list of the sights they've seen really really annoy me! Yeah sure, see some sights. But come home with stories to tell about your experiences, about people you've met and about how you felt and how you've changed and grown.

Finally this is all a bit hypocritical of me!! I too always use a guidebook when I travel, and think its invaluable. You need it to know a bit about the place, to stay safe, and to respect the local culture, and to not completely waste your time when there could be better ways to do things. But those people who use guidebooks as their bibles are boring! They are tourists and through doing all the 'right' stuff, they're missing out on the experience itself.

No offense meant by any of this, I just find it really interesting!


14. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

isnt a backpacker a type of a tourist?

15. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting oslaue

isnt a backpacker a type of a tourist?

I dislike the word "tourist" I rather like the term "traveller". When I think about a tourist I think of a fat American (or fat Chinese) white T-shirt, short trousers, sandals and with socks. And a huge camera on his belly,

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 7, 2007, at 9:03 AM by Wﺭﺍﺪﻤﺎﮐﺭ ]

16. Posted by sssarah (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

This is a good question - some backpackers are definately over reliant on their guidebook. Here i am not referring to everyone who takes a guidebook with them - there are varying degrees:

In my opinion, at the worst end of the scale are those spoilt rich kids who finish boarding or whatever posh ass school they have been to and before heading off to uni decide to "find themselves" on their daddys credit card with nothing but a Lonely planet for guidance. They normally spend most of their trip finding themselves at the bottom of a 'bucket' on Koh phan ngan, might if theyre feeling really adventurous hop on an aircon 'tourist bus' to visit the 'bridge over the river kwai' and after a glorious couple of months spent only with those other rich kids doing exactly the same thing will return home tanned and oh so much wiser! (can you tell im not liking these guys?!)

17. Posted by sssarah (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

Next you have another group who like to call themselves backpackers and truly leave home wanting to be one but on arrival get so caught up in the easy way of travel that the guidebook promotes they never get past it. These guys are better than the first because i suppose that they are still seeing some more of the country but these are the type that i feel most sorry for as they are only seeing what their rough guide tells them to.

18. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

wouterrr! where i come from a traveller is regarded as a knacker! a very poor person, a peasant....a person that everyone looks down under on...thats why i cant use such a word...they normally live in caravans...and cause a lot of crime...

19. Posted by sssarah (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

Then we have the infinately more sensible types who try to find a middle ground. They spend time exploring by themselves, talking to the locals, finding out of the way little treasures that arent quite considered big enough sites to be included in the guidebook but in actual fact becuase they avoid the stampede of the masses are actually far more beautiful and authentic. At the same time they have a guidebook with them for times when a streetmap or advice to shed some light on just how worried they should be about the growing bite on their thigh. The best of both worlds??

20. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 9y

some good points there sssarah to differentiate between the two.

i think there is so much in common in the two that its very difficult to differentiate any REAL / HUGE difference.