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Travel Guide Books - Guide
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Travel Guide Books

  • Travel guide books are a great tool to have whilst travelling because of the detail they include of a particular country.
  • Many are mainly written by people who have actually travelled through the nominated country.
  • Virtually compulsory to have for independent travel.
  • It is like a travel ‘Bible’.

Below is a list of the world’s great travel guide book companies.  The information on some of these websites is simply outstanding and excellent for research.  You’ll also be able to check their current and most up-to-date titles. Bookstores sometimes sell older copies.  Check online first! You can also purchase a variety of maps.

1. Lonely Planet

The original and the best.  This is where it all really started. Virtually every place on the planet is covered.  Australian based and operated.  Excellent, unbiased, legendary and perhaps the most trusted.  Lonely Planet is quite simply, unmatched.

2. Rough Guides

British based, the main competitor with Lonely Planet.  Well written, very informative and also world-renowned.  The detail in a Rough Guide is outstanding.

3. Footprint

On the increase and definitely making a name for themselves.  Based in the UK.  Very comprehensive guides.

4. Frommer’s

Another American based favourite.

5. Fodor’s

Another trusted brand, more geared to the general traveller.

6. Let’s Go

American based, one of the world’s largest and widely used.

7. Berlitz

Famous for their very small pocket travel guides.

8. Insight Guides

This company prides itself on the more visual and pictorial side of travel guides.

9. Eyewitness Travel guides

Pictorial travel guides.

10. AA travel guides

British based, excellent and well organised with a strong focus towards city and driving themes.

11. TimeOut

British based, more city-focused than country.

12. Michelin

A variety of guides, with a strong emphasis on car touring.

13. Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook produces independent guides and general guides as well.

14. Bradt    

Bradt tends to go for the hard-core destinations or countries where few travel to.  Brilliant guides for those who want to reach far-away and isolated countries.

15. Moon Handbooks

A smaller variety of locations.

16. Blue Guides

Blue Guides seem to have a greater emphasis on European locations.

17. Wallpaper Guides

New guys on the market, only city guides with a difference.

18. Baedeker

German publisher with a whole list of accomplished guides.  Founded in 1827!

19. Kuperard (Culture Smart)

A selection of countries around the globe, including lesser frequented destinations. www.kuperard.co.uk

20. Survival books

Along with their Culture Wise series, they have guides on buying homes overseas and living & working abroad.




When shopping for a guide book, read and compare them.   See what style of writing suits you.  Also, the layout of the book is also very important.  Some travellers like different sorts of layouts, planning techniques and maps than others.  Any good book store will have at least half a dozen of the above guide book brands for you to choose from.


Read a different variety of guide books and see which one suits you most.   As you can see from the above list, there are so many guide books on the market these days.   They all come in different forms and different budgets.   Some are typically aimed at the budget-backpacker market, while others are aimed more for the upmarket group.   Some companies have both.  For instance, Lonely Planet’s ‘shoestring’ guides are aimed solely at budget-conscious, independent backpackers that are on a tight budget.  These guides are excellent if you plan to go on long trips, plan to visit multiple countries and you really want to stretch your budget.   They’ll recommend hostels and very cheap 1 and 2-star hotels rather than 4 or 5 properties.   Whereas on the other scale, Lonely Planet also publishes their ‘country’ guides.   They have information ranging from budget, and up to 5-star luxury.  This is to name a few. They have other sorts of guides too.


Remember to check when the book was published.   Try to get the most up-to-date guides. Go on their website to see what book is the most current.  Depending on the location, most guides are updated every 1-3 years. For instance, many popular destinations will be updated every year.

Travel Crusaders!  Have an amazing travel tip to give about this subject?  Please advise below on any comments, photos, videos, reviews, recommendations or suggestions for this travel tip category.

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