6 Things to Look For When Buying a Travel Guide Book

Travel guidebooks have been relevant for many years as far as travel is concerned. Even with digital maps, travel agencies and other online resources, some travellers simply prefer the good old-fashioned travel guides. They are a kind of summary of a city or country suggesting places to go and things to do. But can you just pick a travel guidebook randomly? Here are a few things to always look for when hunting for a good and helpful travel guide.

Date of publication

As much as old is gold, a good travel guide should be as recently published as possible. This is thanks to the fast-shifting state of things and places. For example, a travel guide written ten years ago may not be up to date with the best restaurants to visit or best cabs to take. A lot of things change in ten years. So try to get a guidebook that was published not more than 3 years ago.

Authors and Contributors

A good travel guide has the majority of its writers being local. In as much as a traveller can have a good lay of the land, locals still have the most information on their own country. Therefore, beware of travel guides on an African country for example that has its authors and publishers from a different continent. These individuals focus more on the commercial gain as opposed to helping you, the traveller.


A heavy travel guidebook will automatically repel most people. A good travel book should be light and easy to read. The text should be short and to the point with as much information as possible but in a summarized way.

Pictures over Text

A travel guide should show you the places to go more in the form of photos than in text. For example, when a travel guide describes Mt. Kenya as tall, majestic and ice-capped but does not show a picture to support this caption, you may find it to be an exaggeration. However, once a traveller can match text with photos, their curiosity is tapped.


What good is a travel guidebook that tells you about all the beautiful places you can visit in your new destination but does not give you directions? A good guidebook should always have maps to some of the major attractions contained in its contents.

Traveller Preference

Lastly, your preferences will determine how useful a guidebook will be. For example, if you are a food traveller, then a travel guidebook focusing on restaurants and local food is more suitable as opposed to one that leans towards historical buildings and sites.