I think the usefulness of the books depends greatly on where you’re going. I live in a really rural area of Sumatra, and the Lonely Planet is still the best, really only, source.
After you have done this you can start to build a time frame of how long this trip will take. It also will give you a perspective of how much money each location will cost, for example many people are surprised in Ethiopia how Lalibela costs 50 US dollars! But after reviewing each region there will be no surprises when you arrive in each destination. Each destination chapter features the highlights within that region or city as well, here you can find more and more sights that will make you jump with excitement and call your boss to extend your holidays. Every Traveler has their own preference in guide books; and rightly so.
I mean, they’ve barely changed in decades despite the HUGE changes in how people research and plan travel given all the resources available online. But still, people will purchase books that they believe are worth reading, even if they can find similar information online. It is possible to write a book that goes beyond and offers more than a quick Google search. Travel guidebooks don’t do that – they aren’t well-researched or written in an interesting manner because they can’t be. They can’t be because their authors are barely even making enough money to cover their expenses, let alone to focus on writing a fantastic book.
Your choice holds valuable information that can either make or break your trip, especially if you’re on a time crunch. I love to travel a lot as it rejuvenates my days and also gives me freshness for the days to come with some good memories to cherish. the guide book Lonely Planet has come out to be a great help for me while traveling. As it guides us to the best places and treats around the city. As buying a map to take the guide for the city tour is really a mess now, as handling so many things in hand is https://picasa.downloadsdb.com/ not possible.
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Tripadvisor has some info, but you have to know what you’re looking for, and much of it is in Indonesian, if it’s there at all. The writer visited about a full year before the newest version was published, and of course it’s print – it’s not real time. But SO many of the top results in google are also outdated.
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It’s really an outrage how little money in general the travel industry gets away with paying writers, all because of the “cool” factor of being able to say you’re a travel writer. We have never purchased one of the Lonely Planet books ourselves as new attractions, restaurants, hotels etc are opening or closing every day around the world. However, everywhere on our travels we see people young and old carrying their blue travel guide. In the end it has become an expensive starting point for your travel research with some helpful paper maps if you do not want to put in any added effort.
In fact, one whole province was greatly expanded in the newest version of the LP, where before there was basically zero info, anywhere. There isn’t even a Rough Guide for Indonesia, outside of Lombok and Bali!