It might seem like a no-brainer, but before you go on vacation, pick up a good travel book about the destination. Travel books can help ensure that you get the most out of your vacation dollars. Take a look at the hotel section before you book your reservation to ensure that you’re not paying top dollar or to ensure that the hotel and price you have decided on is truly worth it.
This goes for Europe travel books as well as specific vacation books, like the guide books for Lanzarote. The Lonely Planet books are fine, but I prefer the DK travel books in the series. The maps are easy to read and the write ups are simple and factual. They are loaded with pictures and suggestions about what to see and where to eat. The DK book at my bedside right now is for the whole of the Canary Islands, not just for Lanzarote holidays. I like that, too because although I’ve hopped to the other islands, I have not spent much time on the others. Knowing about the special handcrafts on the other islands or about this or that great restaurant or bodega is really cool.
No matter the book on your bedside, you know that you need the basics. You need to know the best places to stay, shop, eat and drink. You need to know what the weather will be like and when to go for the best deals and the best weather. You need to know what museums are a must and which ones are a bust. All the best travel books have a solid traveling with kids section. Look for big, clear maps and if they fold out, that is even better.
Depending on the size of the book, new ones will set you back anywhere between $10 and $20 dollars. If you want a bargain, look online. You can buy used travel books online and usually save 50% or more. Most travel books come out in the spring, April is the most popular month, so if you are traveling in the spring, you may have to settle for last year’s travel guide. And in fact, for less popular places — like Lanzarote — you will be lucky to get a new edition of a guide book every 3 or 4 years. Of course some things will change, but the basics of museums and sights will remain steady. The bar that is touted in the book might not be there any more, but what’s a vacation without a little adventure?