Best Travel Guide Books – “The Travel Book” Review

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In our earlier post (How To Enjoy Your Travel – Our Five P’s), we articulated that planning and preparations are critical.  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.


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travel-book

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

Language: English

My Rating: 9.5 of 10


You may be searching for ideas for your next vacation or in the initial stages of choosing your travel destination. Or you are maybe having a conversation with friends and family on countries to visit or have visited. 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 “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.

Conclusion

Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book is a perfect coffee table book for anyone requiring inspiration in choosing and planning a travel destination. The book showcases every country on the planet with stunning photographs, accompanied by informative and entertaining verbiage.  It is a perfect combination of visual and the right amount of information.

We hope you enjoyed the above review.  If you have any questions or want to share your own review and thoughts on this product, please leave a comment below.

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. The book is available in major bookstores.  However, if you are a big online shopper like myself, Amazon has the best deals for this as well as for other travel books.

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(6) Comments

  1. Max

    Hey there,

    Great, concise review. To be honest I had no idea that people still bought travel guide books anymore because of smartphones and the internet. I will say I personally like having a tangible book in my hand. It is also nice that these types of books allow us to have all of the information in one place, instead of us having to go to every single different web page over and over again in order to find the same information.

    I have a second question though. Do you think travel books will ever get phased out because of smartphones and the ease of access to technology these days? I honestly don’t know. I know that there are people like me who like to have the actual book in their hands, but how long do you think these styles of books will be around for? Maybe you can write a post about it?

    Anyways, like I said, I like having books in my hands all the time, so I will most likely be checking this one out thanks to your review.

    Cheers,

    Max

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Max,

      Thank you for your comments and insights. It is true that technology has made a lot of information at our fingertips. I do leverage that as well. However, there are situations where I feel that a book such as this is more appropriate/easier. I do like to sit back in a corner and just browse through the pages. And having a book where most of the overview information is presented together with the pictures makes my prep research easier. So I think hard/paperback books will not go away. But yes that is an interesting thought and would be worth writing a post.

  2. Geri

    I believe that travel is important. There are many who stay in one place all their lives and never experience being away from their home. This book seems like a great gift idea to help inspire people to travel more. Even if it is used as a coffee table book, it will be something that will inspire true conversations about travel.

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Geri,

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, it is indeed a great piece to share as a gift. Great information available and excellent photos. We do hope that this piece would be a good catalyst for people to open their minds towards travelling.

  3. Satish

    Hi,

    Thanks for the review, this travel guide definitely looks worth all it’s money. I had heard about this book from my friend, he said the only flaw in this book is that every country gets two pages irrespective of its size or travelling destinations. So as you rightly said it may not have all the critical information that said my friend did mention there are enough photos to create beauty and showcase the country. I plan on ordering a copy for myself.

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Satish,

      Thank you for your comments. We are glad that the review was helpful in coming to a decision to order a copy. We think you will not regret it.

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