[trip style = multiple]
We've all read the Lonely Planets, Rick Steeves, Frommers and Moon travel guidebooks of the world. Heck, we might even have a wack of old editions, circa 1997, collecting dust on a bookshelf. Not surprisingly, guidebooks are going compact, like Smart Cars. Following the trend of minifying everything from airline meals to gadgets, guidebooks have shrunk too. Maybe the classic 1989 Disney movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, was ahead of its time?
Paperbacks There's still a time and a place for larger format paperback guidebooks, after all, with every new year comes an updated edition. Almost every time I've traipsed onto foreign soil, I've read a guidebook before departing. Why? Because I want to be educated on the destination's customs, history, neighbourhoods, hotels, must-sees and restaurants, to hit the ground running and avoid being a tacky tourist. I just wish some of these guidebooks had pull-out sections that I could bring abroad rather than the whole book!
Mini Guides People seem to want smaller, low-profile guides they can bring with them on holidays that can slipped in and out of their cross-body bag or backpack without drawing too much attention. Something light and functional, versus big and bulky. Something concise and concrete, versus longwinded and wordy. With this in mind, here are two mini travel guides leading the charge:
LUXE City Guides: LUXE isn't for everyone. Its penmanship is sassy and its suggestions are saucy. All in all, it's a fun gen-X and Y-targeted guidebook about the size of 3 credit cards stacked on top of each other, telling the who's who, where to go. I've used LUXE's guides for Sydney and NYC, and have been impressed with the fantastic and frank stay, eat and do suggestions. > Books from $9.99 usd, and 12-book box sets from $110 usd. > There's an app for that: free for 'lite' version, $5.99 for full version.
Louis Vuitton City Guides: Even if Louis' monogrammed brand of luxury isn't your thing, don't dismiss the guides, even if it's just for their well known illustrations alone. With 30 European guides, the Fashion House has also come out with editions for NYC, LA, Miami, Tokyo, Kyoto and Mumbai. > 9-Book, 30-city box set from $150 usd.
And don't forget, if you're really set on traveling light, there's always an app for that with most guidebook publishers joining the app craze.