Good old travel books – they still have a place!

Since the arrival of the “inter-webs”, we’ve become used to doing all our trip planning using online resources. Blogs, review sites, custom itineraries – there are so many great resources that answer pretty much all imaginable questions that we we might have about a place.

It just so happened that in one of those serendipitous moments, on a recent visit to the local library, I happened to remember that I have an upcoming trip in December, as I was walking past the travel section in the library. It’s a section that I’ve always ignored in the past. Filled with copies of Lonely Planets and such, I’ve never spent time in the travel section of a library, often relying on dear old internet for all my travel planning.

But on this occasion, I wondered – why not take a look at what the travel guide has to say about traveling to Turkey? (I’m traveling to Turkey in Dec).

And I’m glad that I did! I think there is something different that a physical travel guide brings to the table, compared to a reading a whole bunch of articles online. It’s true that you can find more targeted and detailed information online. You can also find more recent information, whereas a physical book can quickly become outdated. However, I think there is something unique about being able “to skim” through a large physical book in one go, spot things that are of interest to you, and sort of jump from one thing to another, forming a mental map of things that you’re interested in doing, that I think is hard to do today on a laptop or mobile device. Perhaps it’s a matter of how much real estate current screen sizes and technologies afford us. But I really found it fun to do this “browsing” using a physical book, compared to tediously going through multiple blog articles.

Now, remember – I’m a fan of physical books and so clearly I’m biased here šŸ™‚ But I’m so glad that I stumbled upon those travel guides in the library that day. It has helped me form a richer itinerary I think, and given me some ideas for the future too. If you’re a fan of books and travel, give a physical travel book a try if you can!

Physical travel guides

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