The somewhat different travel guides

You know I’m a big fan of Lonely Planet. In my opinion, their travel guides are almost as comprehensive as travel guides can get, being the perfect companion for whatever trip you’re about to plan. I recently discovered that Lonely Planet not only publishes the regular destination travel guides but books that dig way deeper. Here’s what I found:

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List

It’s a list of the 500 most thrilling, memorable and downright interesting places on this planet. These are the places that the authors think you should experience; sights that will humble, amaze and surprise you. They’ll provoke thoughts, emotions or just an urgent need to tell someone about them.

Tales from Nowhere

Many places can feel like nowhere: a desert, an isolated village, even the middle of a bustling city. And then something happens: an adventure, a revelation, an experience that changes the whole landscape. The richly varied stories in this book all celebrate and illuminate one simple truth: if we embark on each adventure with an open heart and an open mind, travel will take us to places we never planned to go, and enrich and enlighten us in ways we never otherwise would have known.

Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips

Packed with trade secrets, this book will help you have a better, safer, cheaper trip. The aim with this guide is to pass on universal advice that you can take with you wherever in the world you go, and whatever budget you travel at.

Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing

Well this is a hint – if you ever need a gift for me, this is what you should get! Written by a pre-eminent travel writer and bursting with invaluable advice, this inspiring and practical guide is a must for anyone who has ever yearned to turn their travels into tales.

Happy: Secrets to Happiness From Cultures of the World

Happiness. One word, nine letter, roughly seven billion definitions, one for each person on the planet. The book shares the planet’s lessons on youth, old age, love, death, work and family. The title features fascinating insights into how happiness is created in different cultures.

Review: Lonely Planet “The World”.

Word.

Word.

A beat-up old car, a few dollars in the pocket, and a sense of adventure. That’s all Tony and Maureen Wheeler needed for the trip of a lifetime. They met on a park bench in Regent’s Park, London and married a year later. For their honeymoon, they decided to attempt what few people thought possible – crossing Europe and Asia overland, all the way to Australia. It was too amazing an experience to keep to themselves. Urged by their friends, they stayed up nights at their kitchen table writing, typing and stapling together their first travel guide.

Now, years later, I am holding a compilation of their travel guides in my hands: Lonely Planet The World. A guide for the truly travel addicted, the ones with itchy feet and those that just can’t get enough of roaming the world. Tasting the world’s flavours, admiring nature’s wonders and feeling best at peace when they are surrounded by likeminded people from all over the world.

The guide consists of 221 country pages, 228 maps, 700 images and 1595. Whenever wanderlust gets too painful, I pick up the book from my shelfs and rifle through the colourful pages hiding adventures and limitless stories from faraway places. If you don’t know where you’re heading next, the guide has got your back. Just randomly open a page and find yourself admiring the celestial kaleidoscope of the Northern Lights in Iceland or Estonia’s thick forests, rolling hills, picturesque villages, sparkling lakes and meandering rivers.

Where to research for your trip?

Whenever it comes to planning the next trip, there’s the big question of where to go. And once you’ve figured that out, what to do while you’re abroad?

I am a firm believer of the concept of travel guides. I always rely on them for expertise and a vast collection of advice from experienced travelers and writers. As for most of us, my favourite guides are the ones from Lonely Planet. If you are doing a trip through a country instead of only visiting one city or place, I definitely recommend the “Lonely Planet Discover” series. They are more compact and a bit more easy to navigate through than the regular guides.

Since my last trip to Southeast Asia, I definitely tend to consult Instagram and Pinterest for my travels. For Instagram, searching for hashtags or locations is the best way to go! Or simply search through your favourite travel bloggers feed to see where they’ve been. They offer you the best up to date information on the top destinations and insights a travel guide can’t offer you. And first and foremost, they are photo based! How to better fuel your excitement?

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Source: http://bit.ly/1X09Q51

Talk to people! Know anyone who’s been there before? AWESOME! No information will be as detailed and honest as when you talk to people about their trip. It can get confusing talking to a bunch of different people because all of them will have different opinions. But if Nicole hadn’t talked to a complete stranger about going to Vietnam, we would have never ended up at the Pepperhouse Homestay!

For hotels or homestays, I can wholeheartedly say that Booking.com is the best address. We booked all our accommodations in Southeast Asia via the platform and we always ended up making a great choice. The best feature about it is that you really only book your room instead of having to pre-pay for it.

I guess this list will not totally revolutionize the way you educate yourself about the place you’re going to but from time to time it’s great to rely on all of these sources together instead of only one. Who doesn’t want to gather the best possible information for their next trip and relish this perfect state of anticipation?!

Travel Planning…or not?

Here I am sitting at my desk with a pile of uni-stuff to do but my head is somewhere else. As usual, I am dreaming of being far away – my favourite way of procrastinating. This time my thoughts take me to Southeast Asia. I have been dreaming of visiting this mesmerising place for such a long time and now it is finally happening!

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The plan is to get lost – again. Not getting lost on a road and not being able to find my way back to where I was heading. It’s about getting lost in the bliss of travelling. Indulging in every second of being abroad and taking in every experience that comes across. For me, this can only happen if I give myself the freedom to not plan every detail of my journey. I need space to breathe and to align myself to the vibes of a place and get into the groove of that particular culture. I am not a fan of these vacations that are thoroughly planned day in and day out. Some people say that’s a weird coincidence because that’s exactly how I live my everyday life. I like plans and I like them to go well. Maybe that is why I enjoy travelling so much. Suddenly it feels okay to loose control and to just “go with the flow”. Only this way I can discover all the enchanting places that are hiding away in Asia. It is about taking my time to to unravel their secrets and giving myself the space to decide right there and then how much time I want to spend in that place.

Don’t get this wrong, a vacation has to be planned out somehow. Especially when you’re travelling on a budget like I always am. My goal is to acquaint myself as much as possible with the different countries by rifling through all the travel guides I can put my hands on. You need a rough idea of what you think you want to see, right? And then, once there, this will give me a path I could follow. But I don’t have to. My dreams are currently circling around Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Bali. Maybe more of Indonesia? Maybe Malaysia?

Are there any places I simply cannot miss? A jaw-dropping beach, a dazzling street market, a unique and mouth-watering dish in a tiny restaurant?