On holiday, a good guidebook can become like your personal tour guide. When a travel guide gets it right, it’s like you’ve always got a trusted voice in your ear, giving you inside knowledge on the best restaurants and beauty spots but also helping you avoid any local pitfalls.
But which guidebooks should you trust on your summer holidays? Choosing a guidebook can sometimes be a matter of personal preference, so check through this handy introduction to some of the best travel guides, compiled by Thomas Cook, and see which suits you.
These are obviously in addition to our very own Thomas Cook Travel Guides.
The Big Three
Time Out is best for last-minute holidays and city breaks to the bright lights, from Barcelona to New York or Mumbai.
It’s not without reason that these chunky guides are in the hands of so many travellers. They’re packed full of information, down to earth (like an Aussie import should be) and organised with a sharp eye for prices that suit different budgets. It’s just a pity that Lonely Planet guides are so well loved because they end up sending everyone, when on holidays to Lanzarote, to the same unspoilt beach or quirky bar – and those places soon become that little bit less special.
Like Lonely Planet guides, Rough Guides are for travellers of all sorts – from those seeking a cracking party in the sun to those looking for a rest away from the tourist traps.
Their advantage is that they’re a little less common than Lonely Planet guides, meaning that they can give you a little bit of a fresh take on your trip.
The Best of the Rest
Many of the longest established travel publishers – including Froder’s, Frommer’s and Michelin – cater for the expensive end of the market. That’s OK if you want to splash your cash on exclusive hotels and fine dining, but most of us want a relaxing holiday for great value.
If you want an alternative to the guides used by everyone else – and perhaps some fresh insights into your destination – then you’re better off turning to some lesser known lights from the newer wave of travel publishers. Moon travel guides, for instance, have a similar heritage and focus to Lonely Planet guides. But they’re not quite as likely to be in every backpack you pass in Kefalonia, Greece – meaning that they’re more likely to help you find that truly uncrowded beach you’re searching for.