We wrote earlier (How To Enjoy Your Travel – Our Five P’s) about the importance of planning and preparation before you travel. One way of addressing this is to refer to some of the best travel guide books. They vary in format, content, quality and the purpose they serve.
Product: The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
Price: $34.85 (Hard Cover), $20.40 (Paperback), $18.83 (Kindle)
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.4 x 13.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.3 pounds
My Rating: 9.5 of 10
You may be searching for ideas for your next travel destination, or sharing stories with friends and family about places on your bucket list and those that you have ticked-off. Either way, Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book is a perfect coffee table book for you. Go and grab one.
The Travel Book – Product Overview
This product is a super premium packaged book crafted over 448 pages. It showcases 230 United Nations-approved countries in the world and a few more principalities and dependencies. It is a perfect introduction to a world of travel and the essential reference book for every household!
Lonely Planet’s expert authors have profiled each country in a colourful two-page spread. They feature incredible photos of beautiful landscapes, cityscapes, vibrant street scenes, its indigenous people, flora, fauna, and culture.
It also features some details (not everything of course) that can help plan a trip. Examples are: when to visit, top things to see and do, some selected local words, some trivia/random facts, and how to learn more about the country’s culture. It also has a map and statistics about the country.
About the Publisher
The book is published by Lonely Planet, a large travel guide/book publisher. Since its inception in 1973, Lonely Planet has grown into being one of the world’s leading travel guide publisher.
Travel Guide or Coffee Table Book?
Wikipedia defines a travel guide as “a book of information about a place, its sights, accommodation, restaurants, transportation, and things to do and the like”.
In contrast, a coffee table book is “for display on a table intended for use to entertain guests, inspire conversation or pass the time. Subject matter is predominantly non-fiction and pictorial (a photo-book)”.
A lot of readers/buyers of The Travel Book opine that this is more of a coffee table book rather than an actual resource book or travel guide.
The above definitions suggest that while it is more a coffee table book, it is likewise a useful travel guide if you are in the planning stage of your travel.
Lots of Positives with Some Negatives
The book’s most exceptional value is providing an overview of the various destinations that you can target when you are trying to decide which country to visit. As most people are visual, the excellent photographs effectively draw and retain one’s attention. With all the critical information (albeit not all) it provides, the book takes you to a journey to these countries – and you may end up spending hours flipping through the pages.
The extent of coverage, the great pictures featured, the various facts/trivia, and travel considerations outlined for each country contribute to its value as an excellent coffee table book. It is a good conversation piece when you relive the experiences that you may have had during your travels, either individually or as a group.
With all the pictures, maps and information for each of the countries showcased, the book can also be a useful reference textbook when teaching your kids about geography and different cultures.
And more importantly, the book’s price tag is very reasonable. One reader has opined that “this pictorially opulent coffee-table item often costs twice as much,” while another one indicated that “the pictures alone earn the price of the book.”
With all the above positives, this book can also be a great gift to family and friends.
The book is huge and heavy as it weighs almost 8 lbs. It is not easy to carry around or bring with you on your trip. But that is understandable, particularly if you consider and use it more of a coffee table book than a resource/travel guide on-the-go.
Being a coffee table book, one would wonder why the Lonely Planet markets this for Kindle. It is not formatted appropriately for the Kindle or to be read through other mobile devices.
Coffee table book that inspires
Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book is a perfect coffee table book for anyone requiring inspiration in choosing and planning a travel destination. It showcases every country with stunning photographs making it both entertaining and informative.
The book is beneficial either as an overview reference, inspiration source, conversational piece, decorative item and a perfect gift. If these are some of the values that appeal to you, we highly recommend picking up your copy. It is available in major bookstores, but if you are a big online shopper like myself, Amazon has the best deals for this and other travel books.
We hope you find this review useful and share it with friends. If you have any questions or thoughts on this product, please leave a comment below.