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Travel Books

Thinking about a vacation sometime soon? A travel guide would certainly help. With these highlights, you can quickly sift through the best travel books and bookstores. After all, you want to spend your time on vacation -- not planning it.

Of the numerous travel publishers, these are some of the biggest.

  • Europe Through the Back Door
    Rick Steves, possibly the best-known authority on European travel, has written more than 20 guide books (plus the Reader's Digest version, the Snapshot Guides) and been leading group tours for more than 20 years. His site also offers a wealth of free information, including travel tips and a monthly newsletters. See when his yearly books come out here.

  • Fodor's
    This popular travel guidebook company sells countless guides to worldwide destinations on its site. Also search hotel, cruise and restaurant reviews and recommendations; research parks of North America and price airfares. The site also has an 80 Degrees Travel Planner feature, which helps you choose where to vacation, as well as a daily travel blog and deals section. You can also download guides in PDF form here. (Interesting observation: No overt ads for their guide books -- and they publish hundreds.)

  • Frommer's
    Research world destinations, then book your airfare and lodging -- all from one site. Also check out the deals section for the best bets, podcasts, blogs, calendar of events, interactive maps and create your own travel itinerary online. Books include Frommer's Complete Guides and the Unofficial Guides if you're looking for reader surveys and critiques.




  • Let's Go Travel Guides
    One of the most popular guide series for the college and twentysomething set, written for and by students for the past 50 years. Each of their 24 books, which cover cities, countries and continents, are revised annually. Guides' destinations include Buenos Aires, Israel, NYC, Thailand and more. Click here to read more info about destinations online, search stories by destination, get the best deals and find a hotel directly on the site.

  • Lonely Planet
    Publisher of more than 200 titles. Series includes Shoestring guides, walking and hiking guides, travel literature, and phrase books. Online, subscribe to the newsletter for insider info, read blogs and learn more about your destination.

  • Rough Guides
    These guys publish guides to 150 destinations, as well as reference guides to random topics like blogging or to music genres and legends like Jimi Hendrix. They also offer phrasebooks, e-books and digital maps and other downloads for mobile devices. Search thousands of destinations and read their online travel spotlights and free monthly e-mail newsletter.

Travel Bookstores

Sure, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com carry a large selection of travel guides. But why not go to a store that specializes in the genre?




   --- R.M.

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