travel guides and free online information
You spend a lot of money on your holiday, you invest your time planning for it, you look forward to it; to make the most of it we suggest you buy a guide and do a little background reading before you go away. It can really help you get the best from your time.
But before we send you off to Amazon or WHSmith to buy your guide, check out the free information available on the following websites. Not only will do they provide useful information, it will help you decide which guide to buy.
Web based travel guides
Lonely Planet - aimed at younger 'travellers' rather than tourists, this site has plenty of useful features and information that will help you plan your trip.
Rough Guide - provides comprehensive and up to date coverage of around 200 destinations worldwide. The country and regional guides include in-depth information covering a range of budgets. City guides provide comprehensive coverage, including where to stay, eat and places to visit. Overall, we think these are the best guides.
Time Out - not so much a travel guide but more of an in-depth review of entertainment in over 30 major cities around the world, with the main focus on Europe and the USA. Useful as a city guide.
Frommers - an American content-oriented travel site aimed at the cost-conscious traveller, it contains information on and recommendations for a wide range of destinations. The 'Destinations' section is easy to use and contains one of the most comprehensive City Guides we have found.
Fodors - another American site but has a less formal feel than Frommers. It draws on over 60 years experience in traditional travel guides and concentrates more on providing travel information than Frommers. The 'Expert Advice' and 'Resources' sections contain useful general travel information.
London Guide - this is a 1000 page london guide covering to everything london, from airports to zoo.
Edinburgh Guide - a new edinburgh guide
York Guide - a new york guide
Where to buy your guide?
We go with the first. If you're about to go on holiday, we suggest that you invest a few pounds to buy a good quality travel guide and a map to get some background information and advice on your destination before you travel.
Travel guides are an inexpensive way of getting valuable tips and suggestions about places to visit (or not), where to eat (or not) and how to get around. Many travel guides also include a local map and street maps of central city areas.
Each of the web sites listed above will sell you thier own travel guides, in addition to maps, phrasebooks and even music. However, you can buy the guides much cheaper than on the publisher's own site.
Amazon - the daddy of all online booksellers. They provide a comprehensive listing of books and maps on almost every destination at prices we found to be around 20% cheaper than the publisher's own websites.
WHSmith - the on-line presence of the high street bookshop. The choices are more limited than on Amazon, but its prices are comparable - an average 20% saving against the publishers' websites - and it offers free postage on orders above £40, so if you need to buy some holiday reading too it can be cheaper than Amazon.
Remember that stock and prices change continually. It only takes a few minutes to do your homework before you buy. Use the publishers websites to get some background before you spend your money then, once you've made your choice of book, check the two sites above.
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