travel advice & savings

Mix and match guidebooks

Packing Tip

When you’re backpacking, weight and space are both an issue. Traditional guidebooks can be very useful on the road, but are often a pain to carry around with you, especially when you are visiting multiple countries. They usually contain a lot of information you don’t need.

I really enjoy the lonely planet series as the guidebook to take on the road with me. Through the online store, you can mix and match chapters from any guidebook and they are sent to you in pdf files. You can print them and bind them into your own book, or save them to a device that’s capable of reading pdfs. You could also store them in your email for retrieval on the road. In this way, you can have a guidebook that has only the information you need.

If you go to the local library or bookstore, you can have a look at the different books and make a note of which chapters from which books to take. For example, you can take chapters from a more in depth country guide for a place you will be visiting longer and take chapters from one of the regional guides if you are only going to be there a couple days.

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What I do is photocopy pages and write in little notes before I leave and tape/staplepaste them into my own notebook. That way I can pick and choose the info that I luge around with me.