How To Buy Guide Books

Even in this mod­ern era of smart­phones and Wi-Fi, noth­ing replaces a well-writ­ten guide­book. Trav­el­ers, climbers, and many oth­er adven­tur­ers can glean wis­dom from the research and advice found in tra­di­tion­al paper. Not every guide­book is cre­at­ed equal and most are writ­ten with a type of audi­ence in mind. Find­ing the right guide­book for you and your trip or out­ing will add enjoy­ment and help avoid pit­falls that can damp­en your spir­its.

When pur­chas­ing a guide­book, be sure to inves­ti­gate the size and style of the print­ing. A heavy hard cov­er book can take up a lot of room in a suit­case. Oth­er con­sid­er­a­tions are water resis­tant cov­ers, maps, and brief, con­cise sec­tions list­ing things like hotels, restau­rants, and attrac­tions with up-to-date prices. Be sure to get the most recent edi­tion pos­si­ble as busi­ness­es can change quick­ly near pop­u­lar attrac­tions.

Trav­el Guides: Trav­el guides are usu­al­ly com­pact and packed with use­ful infor­ma­tion and maps. Some also con­tain col­or­ful pho­tog­ra­phy and brief his­to­ries that can enrich a traveler’s expe­ri­ence.

It’s impor­tant to choose a guide that caters to the style of trav­el you hope to under­take. A trav­el­er who hopes to expe­ri­ence fine din­ing and five-star hotels, a bud­get trav­el guide will prob­a­bly dis­ap­point and vice ver­sa.

For­tu­nate­ly, tech­nol­o­gy makes it real­ly easy to find book reviews. Read a cou­ple about guide­books for the areas you plan to vis­it and pick those with pos­i­tive review­ers who gybe with your trav­el goals and sen­si­bil­i­ties.

The scope of trav­el is an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. For exam­ple, a vis­i­tor to Colum­bia will get more help­ful infor­ma­tion from a coun­try-spe­cif­ic book that anoth­er that cov­ers all of South Amer­i­ca. Many books are avail­able on spe­cif­ic regions and cities that offer great detail but are small­er in scope.


Broad Guide­books: Books that cov­er entire land­mass­es like South and Cen­tral Amer­i­ca can be help­ful for long dis­tance adven­tures.


The­mat­ic Trav­el Guides: For spe­cif­ic types of trav­el, these are avail­able for those with focused goals such as gas­tron­o­my, wine tast­ing, surf­ing, art – the list goes on and on. Look for sec­tions such as what to bring, get­ting to and from, get­ting around, where to stay, what to eat and safe­ty and con­cerns.


Climb­ing Guides: Climb­ing guides are usu­al­ly writ­ten for a spe­cif­ic crag or geo­graph­i­cal region in mind. A few notable excep­tions are gen­er­al­ists that fea­ture brief descrip­tions of many, even hun­dreds of climb­ing areas.  A great exam­ple of a help­ful gen­er­al­ist is Rock And Road by Tim Toula. These are great for road trips and can be used in con­junc­tion with local guides for adven­ture plan­ning.


Canoe and Kayak Guides: Many books exist to help with water-bound adven­ture. Areas like the Bound­ary Water Canoe Area and Queti­co are fea­tured in dozens of plan­ning guides that help new­bies pre­pare for wilder­ness trav­el by unpow­ered ves­sel.

Enjoy your trek into the wilder­ness or voy­age into a for­eign land. Choose the right guide­book and enjoy your adven­ture with prop­er prepa­ra­tion.