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Travel Guide Books | Review

What I look forward to the most every summer is that I finally have some time (and hopefully some money) to do some traveling. I’m one of those people who like planning and organizing, you know one of those people who get by in life by making lists. So yes, I admit that travel planning is a big part of the joy of traveling for me. Travel planning is a lot about being prepared and knowing your destination but it’s also about inspiration. So I thought I would write a post about my favorite travel guide books. I think the purpose of travel guide books has changed during the last twenty years. Back in the days I think the purpose of travel books was to give as much information as possible, what to do, where to stay and where to eat. But today we can easily find that information and so much more online. So t I think the most important purpose of a travel book today is to inspire rather than inform.


I love the New York Times 36 Hours travel books! The books consist of columns that tell you what to do, see and eat if you only have 36 hours in a city or destination. It’s not a full travel guide but I find this concept really fun and inspiring! You quickly get a good feel for the place you’re reading about and most of the sights in the books are different from the obvious ones you read about in other guide books. You can get the book with 150 weekends in United States and Canada or one with 125 weekends in Europe. There are also a few smaller books with weekends in different areas of the United States and Canada. You can also read the 36 Hours columns online.

The Discover series by Lonely Planet are my favorite travel guides! I’ve always liked the regular travel guides by Lonely Planet for finding a lot of information but they’re pretty boring with their few and black and white photographs. Considering that travel guide books are mostly for inspiration for me I’ve never found them that inspiring. But the Discover travel guides on the other hand are everything I want in a travel book. They feel new, fresh, updated and are a good mixture of nice pictures and useful information. There are also a lot of inside tips from locals and people that know the area and that’s always interesting and helpful.

I think a lot of people have the Eyewitness Travel Guides as their favorite travel guides. Because let’s face it; it’s more inspiring to read a travel book with a lot of pictures. I like the Eyewitness Travel Guides because they’re usually cover many aspects of the destination and have a lot of information. But I have to admit that I think that a lot of the photographs in the Eyewitness Travel Guides feel a bit outdated and could need an update but overall they’re really good travel guides.

The Rough Guides also make travel guides that are worth checking out!

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.


  1. Those New York Times books look perfect for a present i've been trying to complete. Thanks :)

    Sophie x

    1. I'm glad to hear that the post was helpful :)

  2. Anonymous10:11 pm

    I have to say that the Eyewitness guides are my favourite - I find the Lonely Planet ones are a bit dull to bring on a holiday, but the Eyewitness guides do need updating!

    Saskia /

    1. Have you looked up the Lonely Planet discover series? They are in full color and are not dull at all (in my opinion), they're also more updated than the Eyewitness guides. But I agree that the regular Lonely Planet guides are a bit boring.

  3. The New York Times one would make a perfect present for a friend who travels a lot. :)

    Travel books are so important if you've never been somewhere before. I used one when I visited Holland and it was invaluable! x


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