I’m starting to plan a trip to Oz, possibly NZ and NYC for end of June to September time (2006). Are there any books that people can recommend? I’ve found the new edition of Lonely Planet Australia for quite cheap on ebay - is it worth it? Is it helpful in planning? Any others?
I don’t plan to finalise everything until about May time when I would have found out if I was successful with my application for a PGCE and only then will I go, but I’m trying to be optimistic and start planning, if not book anything until may time onwards.
Am I silly to be doing this? Any tips on books etc?
Theres no harm in forward planning. I was planning my trip for three years through uni before I went off and booked it 3 months before I left. Its also nice to have something to look forward to.
I bought the Lonely Planet guides to every country I was visiting before I left. I would recommend reading a guide book before you go but which one doesnt really matter. All the main ones Lonely Planet, Rough Guide etc cover the same stuff theres just a difference in their style of writing/presentation so pick the one that suits you best. I never took mine with me. They wouldhave weighed too much and you will inevitable be sharing a dorm with someone whos got one you can borrow.
if you’re going to fork out on lonely planet guides, i would say best to wait nearer your departure date just in case a newer edition comes out. in the meantime you could use ones from the library to do planning.
people i met who travelled Oz said they never needed to use their Australia LP, as it’s so easy to find/ organise/do stuff there.
you can also pick up second-hand copies on the cheap at hostels once you get to each country…
Thanks for the tips. I don’t think I will be going to many countries mostly cos I don’t have that much money, but it’s good to know that I’m not completely mad for wanting to plan ahead even when my plans aren’t completely finalised yet.
Hi again. Thanks for the tips Rachel. I was going to get the LP that has just come out this month - do you think it’s likely that they’ll release another one before June? Do they normally do that?
There’s usually a new LP out every few years but the difference in each version is minute. Also if i were you i would only buy a LP for the first place you are going as you can pick up free LP’s and other guides in hostels. Other people leave them and they usually have a system where you take one book and leave another that you,ve finished with. Failing that the guides are in all second hand book shops abroad anyway.
Check out your local library for travel guides, they usually have a good selection of different publications. That way you can use Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Fodors and whatever else you find. Find out which guide book you prefer and then buy the most recent version before you go travelling if you really want one to take with you.
But remember guide books are not the bible, research other stuff, don’t let them dictate what you want to do, if you’ve always wanted to do something and the guide book says it’s crap sometimes it’s worth taking the risk and doing it anyway, different people like different stuff.
Thanks Eby. I was only ignoring the idea of libraries because my local library is rubbish and doesn’t have many new books! Oh well, guess I’ll have to pop in one evening. Thanks.
Most libraries now are linked with others in the area/county and can get you any book on the computer catalogue. Ask a librarian for help if necessary. I found the library invaluable for my planning. You can then buy the books on the road when you near to or in the country. You often find the guidebooks in book exchanges, no need to buy. I found more colourful books like DK nicer to keep for the shelf at home. My local library (and in particular Perth Library, Western Australia) sell off loads of old guidebooks for next to nothing, so check out those shelves on the way out.
It depends what you are using the guidebooks for, if you are trying to find accomodation or transport you are best using the internet as this is the most up to date information. If you are looking for attractions/nice places to visit, then most of the really good ones are the ones that have stood the test of time so will be in even the oldest guidebook in the library.
Thanks for all the tips guys. I guess I don’t know where to look regarding accom and what to do/see there! I definitely don’t know any websites. It was more for recommendations for youth hostels etc.
You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get told by other traveller. I find guidebooks useful for having an idea of what there is to see, where to move onto next (the ‘moving on’ or ‘getting there’ section always suggests the most popular next destinations. It’s also good to find one or two hostels worth looking at if I haven’t been told of any, or at least the area of town where the budget accomodation is located (it tends to all be in one or two streets). Unfortunately many hostels add what I call the ‘Lonely Planet tax’; increased popularity brings the quality down and the prices up. Just next door can be a new hostel with better rooms and cheaper prices, so hunt around. It’s not the guidbooks fault though, so always remember a guidebook is only a guide.
http://www.hostelnet.com featu,res ratings by people who have stayed in the hostels so is generally pretty accurate and good.
Thanks for the link and more advice.