Travel guide books help with planning your romantic or family vacation. Recently we were planning a romantic summer vacation to Europe. We knew that we wanted to go to Europe but were unsure as to where we wanted to spend our time.
I went to what seemed like a plethora of travel websites to get some ideas, but I have to tell you it was tough trying to pick which cities in Europe to plan our romantic vacation. I went from website to website. I got a couple of ideas but still felt frustrated. I couldn't' get a "feel" for each destination.
Maybe I am old fashioned, or showing my age, but all I could think of was that I wish I had a great guide book for Europe. We haven't been to Europe, other than on a cruise and a short trip to Amsterdam, since our honeymoon in 1999.
So I put our plans on hold until I took a trip to our local book store. (If I had time to wait then I would have gone to Amazon.com and had them delivered - I like looking at the reviews others have left about them).
I was thinking that maybe the travel section had gotten smaller with new technology, however that wasn't the case. If anything it was just as large as it always have been.
I guess that the travel guide books still have their place for travelers. There were so many different guides to choose from.
Which to choose? All the best travel books were there - Fodors travel books, Frommers, Lonely Planet or Eyewitness Guides. I have used them all for trip planning, and they all have different pluses and minuses.
For the ideas stage, I chose Europe (DK Eyewitness Travel Guides). Partly because it was on sale, but mostly because it is well organized and has LOTS of photos. I was finally inspired to plan this romantic vacation for Warren and myself.
I could feel the book in my hands, flip through the pages, get captivated by the destinations and cities that caught my interest. For us it is the best tool when choosing a destination. You can get a feel for the destination and see if it fits with what you are looking for.
I went straight to a coffee shop, ordered a tea and flipped through the guide. Finally I had all of Europe laid out in front of me. I flipped from country to country, and city to city. Looked at the maps of the areas to see how easy it would be to travel from place to place.
We knew we wanted to stay north in Europe as the summer can be quite hot in Spain, Italy and Greece. I found the section on the Netherlands. I flipped through the pages of this section and knew instantly that I wanted to go back there. Warren and I had spent a few lovely romantic days in Amsterdam in 2005, and felt that we wanted to spend more time there.
Then France caught my eye. We had spent part of our honeymoon, 11 years ago, in Nice in the south of France. We loved it and I felt it was time to go back.
Then I found myself wandering the pages on Paris. How more romantic can Paris be? I hadn't been since I was a teenager, and Warren had never been. So off I went home to share my ideas with Warren.
I went from being stressed out about "where we will go on this romantic holiday" to being inspired by the destinations that I had come up with from this travel guide! Warren loved the ideas, and we took the next step - booking the airfares - that we can go to the internet for...
Even with all the advances in technology in travel, the best travel guide books still have their uses. Not only are they handy to use to plan your next vacation, but they are a low cost way to take the information with you. I think you will always see people with the best travel books wandering the streets of their destination, looking up more information.
When the Kindle or other electronic books can simulate the experience of flipping through a travel book, the travel book still has a place in traveling.
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