By Lynn Lopez
To bring a guidebook or not, that is the question. On one hand, theyíre really helpful and you need them to know which places you can visit, the best restaurants for your budget, and how to get around the new place youíre visiting. On the other hand, donít they make you look too much like a tourist? Itís as bad as having your nose in a map and looking lost, you might be thinking.
Well, so what? You are just visiting, and itís only right for you to have a little extra helping hand when it comes to exploring your new surroundings. Guidebooks nowadays come in many forms. Some cater to the more touristy tastes while others offer off-the-beaten-path alternatives and itís up to you to select which one is more appropriate for you and your trip.
A lot of the in-depth guidebooks are pretty bulky, so you might want to make things easier for yourself by selecting ones that are really specific to your destination. Many guidebooks cover particular cities, and if youíre only visiting one city in a country, these are the ones you should be looking at.
Make it a point to study the suggestions in the guidebook before flying to your destination and note the ideas that catch your fancy. Before heading out of your hotel room, review the tips you can use for the day. This will keep you from whipping out the guidebook whenever you need information.
To cut down on expenses, remember that you donít always have to buy a guidebook. They tend to be updated regularly, so a guidebook released this year may not be as relevant as one that will be released next year. You should take a look at the books in your local library and just borrow one for the duration of your trip.
Also see Surviving Jet Lag