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Is Rough Guide kicking Lonely Planet's Ass??

Travel Forums General Talk Is Rough Guide kicking Lonely Planet's Ass??

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1. Posted by Seany (Respected Member 268 posts) 6y

I think so. I've noticed alot of book stores (In the UK) are only stocking Rough Guide travel books. Personally I'm a fan of LP guide books as every time I've gone away on my travels I opt for the LP. This is because of there good reputation and the indepth experience in travel books and that I know the layout and where to find what I need in the books.

However my sister is a RG fan... She takes a RG on her travels . They seem to becoming as, or more popular than LP. Maybe due to the fact that alot of backpackers/travellers have one, therefore the material is a bit boring not underground and not exclusive? Maybe so....

Maybe on my next trip I'll take a RG... just maybe.

:)

2. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

They're both far too overpriced for what little they offer nowadays. Yes they were great a few years ago, but there is much better out there for free.
I gave up using them years ago, at the birth of www.
Now I just read on-line for a couple of days or so, if I'm off somewhere for the 1st time. It's all there gratis.
LP and RG are like Encyclopedia Britannica, they're hanging on - but only just.

3. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 6y

I always thought Rough Guides were better, if only because the LPs were too ubiquitous. I haven't carried a guide book in years....Though I look in them occasionally as they are strewn about in every hostel and hotel on the tourist trail. Like old toys that are left when they are no longer fun, the Guide Packers often just leave them in their last hostel when they head home, their purpose served.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 6y

I have never liked Rough Guides; I don't like the format and layout and I think the practical information in Lonely Planet is much better. In recent travels I have seen far more people with LP than Rough Guides; fotprint guides seem to be getting more popular though.

For me online information will never completely replace a guidebook - even though I do some of my research on the internet I still want something I can take with me and which can be referred to whenever I need it. Of course it's possible to print things out from the internet, but it's a pain carrying loads of dog-eared pieces of paper round - it's much nicer carrying a guidebook and I would much rather read out of a book than stare at a screen. Furthermore, at least with guidebooks (although sometimes some of the info is out of date by the time it's been published and reached the shelves, which can't really be helped) I know the information is legitimate and properly researched; on the internet anyone can write anything so I find guidebooks much more reliable.

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 6y

Quoting flyingbob

They're both far too overpriced for what little they offer nowadays. Yes they were great a few years ago, but there is much better out there for free.
I gave up using them years ago, at the birth of www.
Now I just read on-line for a couple of days or so, if I'm off somewhere for the 1st time. It's all there gratis.
LP and RG are like Encyclopedia Britannica, they're hanging on - but only just.

I couldn't agree more! You can save your money by building your own guide from info on the net.
Wikipedia is getting so good, just print direct from that site.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Mar-2010, at 20:23 by Daawgon ]

6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 6y

yeah...I sort of agree the things are overpriced, from the perspective of the cat standing in Chapters and holding the thing....

....on the other hand, that's a lot of man hours and research. A lot of travelling that went into that book.

....on the third hand....I wonder how much the contributors see out of that price. They probably get paid a flat low ass rate and devil take the hindmost.

7. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 6y

Quoting Piecar

....on the other hand, that's a lot of man hours and research. A lot of travelling that went into that book.

You'd have thought so wouldn't you, but from what I have heard - other travellers we have spoken to have met LP 'authors' and they were told that they actually only travel to places to update the books once every 5 years at the most. Apparently, LP now tends to rely on travellers writing in and telling them amendments to their books which they update with the next edition. On LP's Thorn Tree a while ago on one of the branches (can't remember which one) one of the authors came on to ask people's advice on updating the book as he was travelling to the country and wasn't really sure where to start - this guy was a co-author on the SE Asia on a shoesting book and was meant to have visited the country in question!

We don't use guidebooks any more either, we just use forums, travelblogs and wiki's to plan our travels...we got fed up of the information and maps being out of date. We've been travelling like this for the last 2 years and don't find we miss the guidebooks much!

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 6y

I've always chosen LP guides for no particular reason other than ease of use. We also always bring them home to add to the little library. While in use, I write side notes in them, highlight routes on the maps and places we've stayed, etc. Though they are outdated very quickly - as Bex commented, "...by the time it's been published and reached the shelves..." - I still find them a useful reference during and after a trip.

I don't find the internet to be any more or less reliable than a book I can hold. With the way we change directions at times, internet access isn't always available to do a bit of new research. I'm willing to pay for the contributor's time to go somewhere, research, write about it and put it in a small package. I could spend the same amount in printer paper, ink and my time if I took most of the info off the net. I do print some things and stick it all in my journal binder. But, I want that guide handy too.

While searching through photos showing money for a blog article, I came across this one. What really caught my eye was the guide book the person has with them.

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 6y

Quoting loubylou

Quoting Piecar

....on the other hand, that's a lot of man hours and research. A lot of travelling that went into that book.

You'd have thought so wouldn't you, but from what I have heard - other travellers we have spoken to have met LP 'authors' and they were told that they actually only travel to places to update the books once every 5 years at the most. Apparently, LP now tends to rely on travellers writing in and telling them amendments to their books which they update with the next edition. On LP's Thorn Tree a while ago on one of the branches (can't remember which one) one of the authors came on to ask people's advice on updating the book as he was travelling to the country and wasn't really sure where to start - this guy was a co-author on the SE Asia on a shoesting book and was meant to have visited the country in question!

Back in September, I reviewed a book for TP's Book Club. "Paradise Updated" is the fictional work of ex-LP guide book author, Mic Looby. Though written as fiction, several in the industry definitely agree it is more autobiographical than LP would have liked. (He was no longer a LP contributor.) It definitely echoes the comments loubylou has heard about time spent in country, how often visits are made and the use of "outsiders" submitting material. (It also was a very enjoyable read.)

10. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Quoting Daawgon

I couldn't agree more! You can save your money by building your own guide from info on the net.
Wikipedia is getting so good, just print direct from that site.

Nice 1. The other thing is, if you read the publication from front to back, then the surprises you find are very limited. I love surprises when visiting a country for the 1st time. I don't want to know everything about everything before I go.
Wikipedia is the way fwd, I agree 100%.