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Printed Travel Guidebooks are Alive and Well! (At least in Mexico)

Posted by exacto on 19/4/2022 at 15:59

Based on a recent comment about printed guidebooks on Couchfish, I think Somtam would be pleased with the young French-speaking couple who sat next to me at breakfast this morning. Here is Isla Mujeres, Mexico, by the way, and this couple from Geneva was going over their copy of Routard Mexique and making plans for the next few days. I asked them about it and they said this guidebook brand is very popular in the French-speaking world and known for its straight-forward style.

I remember back in the day, before Travelfish of course, when printed guidebooks offered the best information for destinations like Thailand and Mexico. We'd try to avoid the more mainstream brands (no offense to Joe C, who was interestingly a primary Lonely Planet contributor for both countries) and pick lesser known guidebooks, often because you could still get a room or a table at the guest houses and restaurants they listed. We'd each have a different brand of guidebook and cross reference the recommendations and information between the different versions. Plus, the front and back of the guides, as mentioned by Somtam, made great reading during downtime. Cheers.

#1 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,831

Posted by somtam2000 on 21/4/2022 at 12:30 admin

I still see them, now and then, but more often than not quite new and not all that dog-eared. I dunno perhaps read on the plane on the way here, but after that, in the bottom of the pack (or wheelie bag!). It is a shame really, in part for the reasons you suggest, you also because I think the front and back of the old-style guides, that had all the society, cultural and history sections were (and still are) very informative and all the information is in one place—no batteries required! 

There’s been many a story that they’re on the way out, but they keep rolling on, even if in different formats. If I was heading somewhere I’d never been, I’m pretty sure I’d still pick one up.


#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,089

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