There are tons of great travel guides out there. From amazing photos at Instagram to well written books with great details, so how do you find that perfect travel guide?I think a travel guide can be a great help or completely lead you astray if you are not careful. It’s like letting someone else order food for you, it only works if you like the same things.
5 Things to keep in mind
1. Is it still valid?
How old is the post? A lot can happen in short time, especially if you are travelling to less touristy places. When I went to Myanmar we used a handwritten travel dairy from a friend who visited one year before. The guide was great for advices on where to go, but we constantly felt haggeled because the prices we were getting for taxa, day trip and food were 30% higher then in the guide. We quickly realised that it wasn’t only our bargaining skills that affected the price. When Myanmar first opened up for tourism, it really took of quickly. The first year about 1 million visited, the 2. About 3 million and we went the 3. Year where 5 million people was expected to visit and the prices went up (of course they were still very reasonable compared to many other countries)
2. Who wrote it?
I like reading personal travel guides as well magazine’s but I always try to get an idea about the person who wrote it. Are they travelling with 3 children, do the like to spend all day sunbathing or do the hike for 12 hours a day?
3. Browsing or planning?
Are you planning a trip or just browsing for fun – it makes quite the difference to me. I love browsing luxury hotels but if I’m planning on a budget I stay within my price range to avoid the disappointing feeling of settling.
4. Is it paid for?
Today it’s almost impossible to read something that isn’t a gift/paid/sponsored/affiliated and that just part of the game. If I find an overly positive post or review I usually look for the sponsored mark and read other posts from the blog. With the blogs I usually follow I trust their post when they stay within their own brand, but if the always write about great local places to eat healthy and suddenly start promoting Burger King as great local food, then I quit reading. Of course it’s rarely that easy to spot, but with a little bit of digging and common sense it’s often possible to detect if post only exists because of the money. I do think that sponsored post can be genuine and worth reading most of the time.
5. Do I recognize their description? When going a new place it’s impossible to know if people are describing it the right way. So if I’m not sure if it guide is realistic or if I’m just into the same stuff as the writer (as in point 2) I read a post about a place I’ve visited and if I agree with their review I trust that we will be on the same page when it comes to places I haven’t been yet.What’s your best tip for reading travel guides?I hope you found my little guide useful. All my guides will contain information on when I went, what kind of trip it was and if the post is sponsored. So stay tuned to read guides about safari in Kenya, luxury relaxation in the Seychelles and my upcoming trip to Riga.