Bradt Travel Guides emphasize unusual destinations and sustainable travel. Among the titles are wildlife, backpacking and trekking guides and regional guidebooks covering areas of special interest. There is an “Eccentric” series that tells little-known stories and quirky facts about the locations, which include London, Edinburgh and Cambridge.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are illustrated guidebooks with color photographs and illustrations that allow readers to immediately grasp a destination’s layout. The guides also include information about art, culture, food and architecture. The DK Top 10 Guides provide top 10 lists of such things as hotels, museums, monuments, children’s sites, bars and clubs and insider tips for each destination.
Fodor’s guides are by categories, such as cruise travel, hot destinations, national parks, warm weather locations, family travel, specialty travel, quick getaways, U.S. destinations and travel tips.
Frommer’s guides date to 1957, when Arthur Frommer published “Europe on $5 a Day” for U.S. troops serving in Europe. Since then, the collection has expanded to more than 300 guidebooks. Its Day-by-Day guides offer dozens of neighborhood and thematic tours, complete with hundreds of photos and bulleted maps.
Insight Guide guidebooks specialize in providing insight into the people, culture, history and politics of a destination as well as tourist sites. The series includes Pocket Guides, Compact Guides, Shopping Guides, Museums and Galleries Guides and Kids Fleximaps.
Knopf Guides offers a series of illustrated guidebooks with 27 titles for popular cities, regions and countries. The target audience is short-term travelers interested in the most important tourist sites of the featured destinations.
Let’s Go calls itself “the leader in budget travel” and publishes travel guides written entirely by Harvard University undergraduates. The guides attract the young and budget-conscious crowd looking for the low-down on nightlife as well as what to see during the day.
Lonely Planet has such a faithful following, it reportedly has inadvertently created a “Lonely Planet Trail” in the countries covered by its guides. It offers a vast array of guides, including city and regional guides, country guides, “on a shoestring” guides and activity guides.
Michelin, world-famous for maps, publishes 250 titles for maps and atlases, 380 travel guides and 22 hotel and restaurant guides. Its Green Guides are designed for long auto trips, are recognized by their bright green covers and have comprehensive sections on local history, geography, art and architecture and gastronomy as well as the sights. Michelin Must Sees guides are designed for short trips and weekend getaways.
Rick Steves is an industry unto himself, but he also is a trusted source of information for travelers in Europe. His “Europe Through the Back Door” paved the way for more travel guides on the most visited places in Europe: Italy, Paris, London, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Scandinavia. His books include country, city and regional guides, “History & Art for the Traveler” and “Travel as a Political Act.”
Rough Guides began as a student experiment in 1982 and quickly spawned a series that now covers more than 200 titles. They also include First-Time guides, “Travel with Babies and Young Children” and inspirational guides such as “Make the Most of Your Time on Earth (1,000 Ultimate Travel Experiences).” The series aims for a journalistic approach and practical travel tips.
Timeout, based in London, is known for its popular regional Film Guide, 18 London-specific books and information — including nightlife and entertainment — on more than 50 cities ranging from Abu Dhabi to Zagreb.
City breaks or beach-bumming? Go for both!
With the newfound freedom of the summer holidays comes a dilemma as old as the ages: a vacation full of culture and architectural wonders, or lazy days on the shore, sand between the toes? Choose your city break wisely and yes, both can be yours.
Additional travel guides that can be found online or in most bookstores
include AAA, Access Guides, Adventure Guides, Avant-Guide, Baedeker, Berkeley,
Best Places, Blue Guide, Cheap Eats & Sleeps, Culture Shock!, Essential,
Globetrotter, Great Destinations, InsideOut Guides, Insiders, Just Marvelous
Walking Tours, Moon Handbooks, National Geographic Driving Guides, National
Geographic Park Profiles, National Geographic Traveler, Off the Beaten Path,
Open Roads, Passport Travel, Sierra Club, Simple Guide, Time Out City Guides and
Also worth checking out before you go are online video guides. In Your Pocket
guides feature mostly younger people walking through a city and experiencing its
sights, street life, food and cultural. The videos can be seen through YouTube.
Thomas Cook also has travel videos — the production level is better — and a
variety of websites feature videos from readers. Among them are: GeoBeats, Zoom
and Go, Traveler Videos and Travelistic.
This information was compiled by Stars and Stripes Travel Editor Jolene Carpenter.