I have written about guidebooks before. Here is another take on guidebooks. It reinforces the importance of going “old school” versus electronic. And you may not have internet access where you are staying, such as a tent in the Serengeti. If you do some online research before you go, I strongly suggest printing it out, or downloading it to your smart phone or Dropbox.
Robert Reid’s points for why you should use a guidebook (he has a website called Reid on Travel)
…knows more than you do, and tells you how to learn
…can save you money
…helps you plan a personalized trip for you, by you
…gets you to places where no one goes
…gets you to places where everyone goes
…gives orientation to a region better than any other travel source
…is your friend, perhaps your only friend, in a place you’ve never been before”
So, here are some of my reasons for using a guidebook.
Many times, I do not carry a cell phone to foreign countries, mostly due to higher cost of keeping the iphone connected.
It always tells me a decent place to stay.
And more importantly, it tells me what to avoid, as in unsafe parts of town, or where the pickpockets and gypsies hang out.
Allows me to build upon the experience with online research before I leave home.
The problem today is that many bloggers are paid to publish their experiences. Disclosures are either found in the small print, or most likely, not at all. Just so you know, I have not accepted hardly a dime for my blogs. However, given the right circumstance, I might be willing to sell my soul for something like the Orient Express or the Trans Siberian Railway.
I have found honest bloggers, who despite getting paid for their trip, always give a fair and balanced report. They are the minority!
Yelp and TripAdvisor
These are powerful tools in providing feedback to other travelers, as well as the vendor or company itself. Often times, it has been my only recourse when trying to get a refund, or at least warn others about a bad experience. When I ate at Yankee Pier in Lafayette, the experience was disgusting. The chef was using the men’s room with me, and did not WASH his hands upon leaving. Fortunately, we were done with dinner. I can only hope my Yelp review kept some people away!
I have been given refunds in exchange for removing negative feedback. Try it sometime!