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Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Whether it's a weekend trip to NYC or a 2 month long European adventure, a guidebook is a good investment when planning a trip.  But its benefit can also be its downfall.  Guidebooks are often cumbersome (taking up valuable space for important items like shoes in your suitcase) and overly informative (leaving you with more options than you know what to do with).  So it's like this:  If you want to plan a great trip, get a guidebook.  If you want a guide to your guidebook, keep reading.

  1. Remove any unnecessary pages from the guide once you've narrowed down your activities.  I know it seems crazy to rip apart a book you've just paid good money for, but if you don't need the information it's just taking up space.  I also recommend removing the pages pertaining to information you've already used.  For instance, if you've already booked your hotel, do you really need 150 pages of hotel recommendations?  No.  Probably just the information for the hotel you'll be staying in.
  2. Try a guidebook app on you smartphone or tablet.  Lonely Planet offers apps including city guides for several major cities around the world, language translators, audio walking tours and audio phrasebooks.  Disney World more your style?  There are several apps with the aim of getting the most from the Mouse.  Check with the App Store or Google Play Store (previously the Android Market) to find a guidebook app that works for you.  Be sure to check with your service provider that they have coverage where you'll be traveling if you plan to use a GPS related feature.
  3. Want a cross between an app and a book?  Why not download a copy of your guidebook to your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader?  E-readers allow you to bookmark and highlight important parts of the guidebook for easy location.  And your e-reader will take up less space than most paperback books.  A word to the wise...if you plan to do this, download the guidebook before your leave to avoid possible trouble downloading at your destination.  Plus it gives you time to highlight and mark what you want to see and do.

Since summer is nearly upon us, we'll take the month of May to discuss ideas for staying organized when it comes to planning, packing for and getting the most from your vacation.