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Choosing the Right Guide for Your Trip

Whether you are traveling near or far, the East Central Regional Library is a good place to start when you are planning a trip.  If you are browsing, check out the 914 – 919 and 796 in the nonfiction section to find a variety of books about places to travel.  You can also do a catalog search by destination to pull up even more books. Make sure that your guide is 2010 or newer as travel information can change from year to year.  There are many travel series that you will find—including  Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet,  Rough Guides , Moon, Mobil Guide and Rick Steve’s to just name a few.  Each has their specialty and appeal for different types of travelers.

The Frommer’s and Fodor’s are the original guides.  They were mostly written for middle-aged and middle-class Americans traveling to Europe.   Arthur Frommer wrote the original Europe on $5 a Day.  Eugene Fodor wanted to introduce tourists to the people and culture of Europe in addition to the many historic sites.  These books offer background information on countries and what to expect in terms of language, weather, transportation, currency and phone and Internet connections.   You’ll also find maps and lists of attractions.  A valuable part of these guides is the list of places to sleep and eat.  Usually they are rated by quality and price according to stars or some other symbols.  Rick Steve’s also has a series of guidebooks about Europe that are easy to read.

For the younger and more adventurous traveler, the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides can be of help.  These guides are for backpackers and students that are looking for unique experiences.  Accommodations are very cheap and geared toward hostels and camping.  In The Rough Guide to Central American, several hotels in Honduras are listed as costing $14 to $16 per night.  Of course you may have to share a bath and definitely mingle with the locals.  Getting around is usually by bus.  You’ll find information about National Parks and hiking/ snorkeling and diving tips.  There are also notations about beautiful scenery, markets and night life.

For active travelers in the United States the Moon and Falcon guides are a good choice.  Moon, a publisher out of Chicago, has a series on metro areas.   Take a Hike Minneapolis & St.Paul includes hiking trails, maps and a description of the trail.  You’ll also get information about the difficulty level, how long the trail is and how long it takes to hike it.  Road Biking in Minnesota has similar information for bikers only it covers all of Minnesota.  There are other Falcon guides for paddling and mountain biking.

Traveling can be difficult, especially in foreign countries so it’s beneficial to have some idea of what you are getting into before you set off.  Guides can provide invaluable information as traveler’s budget their time and money.  Travel can also be among the most rewarding of life experiences, and your East Central Regional Library has the right guide to show you how to do it.

Kathy Morrow

Branch Librarian

Mille Lacs Lake Community Library

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