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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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11. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 6y

Footprint Roolz!!

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

I used Footprint once.

ONCE.

("Johnny Dangerously"? Anyone? Anyone?)

13. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

Quoting flyingbob

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%.

I don't know how it is possible to build any kind of guide by printing sheets of paper from the internet. That you then have to lug around no differently than from a tidy bound guide book. Unless you were maybe going to Luxembourg or something, you'd have to have pages and pages to have any sort of thing remotely close to a guide book. Guide books serve a purpose as a starting point of your travels, just because they say this is good, this is bad, doesn't mean that's how you do your trip, its a "guide" make your own decisions based on the information you gather. But I couldn't possibly remember where every guest house location was of every city I was going to in a country, plus every thing to see, places to eat, and on and on. With a guide book I can dip into it before I hit a town and it gives me a quick overview of what I can expect.

And isn't reading information on Wikipedia the same as trying to know everything anyway? Reading information on a country doesn't take away the surprises, it only arms you with as much information as you wish, to make you a little more wise to the customs and locations.

14. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 6y

Quoting Dodger

Quoting flyingbob

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%.

I don't know how it is possible to build any kind of guide by printing sheets of paper from the internet. That you then have to lug around no differently than from a tidy bound guide book. Unless you were maybe going to Luxembourg or something, you'd have to have pages and pages to have any sort of thing remotely close to a guide book. Guide books serve a purpose as a starting point of your travels, just because they say this is good, this is bad, doesn't mean that's how you do your trip, its a "guide" make your own decisions based on the information you gather. But I couldn't possibly remember where every guest house location was of every city I was going to in a country, plus every thing to see, places to eat, and on and on. With a guide book I can dip into it before I hit a town and it gives me a quick overview of what I can expect.

Exactly. A guidebook is handy; carrying around reams of loose bits of paper is not, especially if you need to keep referring to them. As Isadora said, the costs of ink and paper can mount up, aswell as wear and tear on your printer so in the end the amount you are saving is negligible. A guidebook may not be totally objective and accurate, but it is far more likely to be than information from the internet which could be totally inaccurate and subjective. As I said earlier, I'm not saying I don't so research on the internet as of course I do, but I just don't see how it will ever completely elimiate the need for a handy guidebook. I also think guidebooks are a nice souvenir to keep after a trip, and something you can refer to if you are trying to remember the place of somewhere you stayed for instance, for purely nostalgic reasons.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2010, at 03:03 by bex76 ]

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

Quoting Dodger

I don't know how it is possible to build any kind of guide by printing sheets of paper from the internet.

All I can say is, if you don't know - then give it a go. It's fun, you can choose the bits you need and no more, then leave the rest to surprises. Oh and it's 100% free. Unlike those vastly overpriced travel books that have the same stuff in them every year, pretty much, just a new picture on the cover.
Long live Wikipedia.

16. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 6y

Quoting flyingbob

Quoting Dodger

I don't know how it is possible to build any kind of guide by printing sheets of paper from the internet.

All I can say is, if you don't know - then give it a go. It's fun, you can choose the bits you need and no more, then leave the rest to surprises. Oh and it's 100% free. Unlike those vastly overpriced travel books that have the same stuff in them every year, pretty much, just a new picture on the cover.
Long live Wikipedia.

It's good having surprises as that's half the fun, but I also don't want to miss out on any of the main things to see and do. If I solely rely on my own research on the internet it's possible I won't cover everything and will therefore miss out on something, which would be a shame.

Frankly I don't see how you can compose a travel guide from Wikipedia. I've just looked at the page for Auckland for instance. It tells me loads of interesting facts about the city but doesn't tell me what there is to see and do, nor does it give me any practical information about, say, where I would get a bus to Rotorua from, good places to eat, visa requirements or any of the other useful information I am likely to need.

17. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

Quoting flyingbob

Quoting Dodger

I don't know how it is possible to build any kind of guide by printing sheets of paper from the internet.

All I can say is, if you don't know - then give it a go. It's fun, you can choose the bits you need and no more, then leave the rest to surprises. Oh and it's 100% free. Unlike those vastly overpriced travel books that have the same stuff in them every year, pretty much, just a new picture on the cover.
Long live Wikipedia.

I don't have to have tried everything in this world to know when something doesn't make sense. Dog poop is also free, but I don't go round picking that up in the hopes it may be useful to me one day. And as has been pointed out your reims of paper are not free. Im not sure what value you put on your time, but to find the basic information you need so you can print it, you have to wade through ALL the information first. Which as I said before negates your point of surprises. You've just read everything on the internet or Wiki about the country so where are your surprises?

I guess the determining point would be how long you are traveling for. Travelers tend to travel for long periods where as someone on holiday is maybe away for a week or two. To build your own guide and print it out, you'd first have to research everything and make the decision of what you need and what you don't. Then you'd have to cut and paste hundreds of paragraphs and put them in some order that you could find the relevant information again. Conservatively you'd need what 10-20 pages to cover even the basic information for a two week trip. I could see someone on holiday for two weeks possibly spending the time to sit at a computer surfing the web, finding the information, copying it, pasting it, printing it, then lugging it around, in the false economizing that they were being cheaper than buying a guide book. But going any time longer than that, then it really doesn't make any sense. And if you want to jump on the green band wagon, not very practical. All that paper of yours is waste at the end of your holiday.

I do some research on the country I'm heading to on the internet, weather, places of interest, maybe recent local scams and things to watch out for and political situation, visas. Then depending where I am I can usually find a used book shop and buy a copy of guide book for a fraction of the new price. Ive even met people that have handed on their book and I handed on my book as we crossed paths crossing borders.

As you say a lot of the information is the same, but its that information that I want. I don't go to the guest houses and restaurants listed in the guide, but I do use it to find the location of them. Usually where there is one good restaurant or guest house, another has sprung up in competition and more often than not is better than the one in the guide because the one in the guide is riding on its guide book recommendation. But finding that little beach, mountain hike, national park, historic neighborhood is something that will never change, so a 2 year old guide book suites me fine, and at the end of my trip I can pass it on to someone else, or even sell it back to another used book shop. No waste, no harm to the environment. There is no way you can convince me that printing out all your bits of paper is a better alternative.

I've heard this argument before on TP and it really sounded like the people that claim they print bits of paper don't go on long trips with multiple border crossings, languages and cultures and don't understand the amount of information that is really valuable. But then they carry on trying to justify why their way is better, but it really doesn't hold any water, unless like I say you were going on maybe a week or two week holiday.

And back to the original point of this thread. I've always gone towards LP. I looked at RG a few times, but I didn't like the layout. I guess its like the discussion between Mac users and PC. One makes sense the other doesn't, neither are better or worse, its just what you are use to.

18. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 6y

Some posters here have Wikipedia and Wikitravel mixed up.

Or they do know the difference and are using the shallowest tactics* to make their 'point'.

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* deliberately misunderstanding what someone else has posted.

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

Listen...The question boils down to "which guide is good?"

It's a decent question. It doesn't have to be "Use the Internet over several weeks and print a bunch of stuff."

That's not what a giant set of people are after, and I completely get it. They just want a book that will work. It's a tough way to do business, really, spending hours winnowing your way to the crux of things.

I think Rough Guides is better because it's less common. I didn't like Footprint at all. The maps were lousy. LPs talked a big game, but more than half the time, I would go to a place and the prices were nowhere near the prices quoted...and this, in my opinion, was because that place knew it was in the LP.

Internet info is hard to disseminate. You can never trust a site that is promoting the area. And it's easy to put together a flashy website these days. And if someone has an axe to grin, because the hostess wouldn't date him, or because his pillow wasn;t fluffed, he can slag a hotel for no reason.

Even this site...And I like it alot, cannot be completely trusted. I recently used the Hotel function, and was sent to the wrong area. The hotel was not booked, and no one reviewed the hotel before I did. Bad experience.

The guide books are vetted, even if they are out of date. They tend to be more trustworthy than the net at this point.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2010, at 20:32 by Piecar ]

20. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 6y

Quoting SamSalmon

Some posters here have Wikipedia and Wikitravel mixed up.

Or they do know the difference and are using the shallowest tactics* to make their 'point'.

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* deliberately misunderstanding what someone else has posted.

I presume you are referring to me, and I discussed Wikepedia simply because that was what another poster had mentioned. I did not misunderstand, as that person did not mention Wiki travel.

Dodger and Piecar have summed it up nicely, in my opinion.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2010, at 21:46 by bex76 ]