Travel Resource # 1; Paperback Carrier? Has Tripadvisor killed the Guidebook?
In this age of electronic everything and Books on iPads and smartphones I still prefer a guidebook when such a thing is justified. They are big and heavy and end up out of date but still. I often find myself frustrated by a lot of the travel websites due to their adverts, the dodgy internet connections, the exorbitant prices that internet may cost but mostly due to things like the reliability of information. Tripadvisor seems pre-eminent at the moment yet I don’t find it that helpful. I cannot separate the wheat from the chaff. I look for family relevant reviews and most of them seem to be formed by algorithm and don’t help. The idea is great. The foibles of each writer however can overpower any usefulness.
The recent controversy about TripAdvisor actually taking down a (totally reasonable) report on a Pub/Restaurant in England due too the use of the words “Feminism” and “Misogynism” further discourages me.
Check out this article by Christina Fowler in The Guardian;
Maybe theres a better way for me to use TripAdvisor; do I need a guide to how to use a travel guide? There is surely a “LifeHack” or something for this?
I started out with Lonely Planet guidebooks as a young man. I appreciate their shortcomings. They form a well trodden path full of young western people staring at a map, looking for the one recommended accommodation option, arguing about a price that was correct at the time of publishing….. (Inflation my friends, inflation.)
I grew tired of the Lonely Planet beaten track and used them less and less. They were still useful though as I knew that if I looked at a Lonely Planet I could see where that crowd were going. These days the bewildering range of blogs and micro-blogs and travel related internet businesses has pushed me back to the paper option.
I am taking the family on a big 6 month trip next month and I think I will take advantage of the fact that the places in the guidebooks are a little busier; might be a bonus on my kids first proper BackPacker Travel trip.
I love using guidebooks, and am currently loving the background stuff in the back of the lonely planet guidebooks. But, like you, I wonder if everyone else has read the same stuff about hidden gems, and they are no longer hidden, or even gems? I’m trying to balance the quality of a good guide book with the amazing websites that are popping up with local knowledge of cool and different things to do!
And plus, carrying a guidebook or two makes the bag unnecessarily heavier! Have a great trip with your family!