Travel books seem to be a dime a dozen. When travelling, particularly to large cities, you can easily be overwhelmed with the amount of travel books and guides available to you. So where do you even begin?
I would suggest that you first look at the philosophy of the travel books available to you. If you prefer pre-packaged trips and tours, look for literature that is slanted towards that preference. Personally, I prefer travelling as much like a local as possible. For example, I tend to steer clear of chains (restaurants, hotels) and do what I can to get to know locals and how they live in the particular locale. Because of this, I try to find travel books that provide a local flavor to wherever I am travelling.
One such line of travel books is Frommer’s Day-By-Day guides. These guides are written by people who enjoy travelling and who live in the particular place being written about. Because of this, they offer a very unique perspective, not often found in other lines of books.
I first came across Day-By-Day guides before travelling to Boston, Massachusetts a few years back. I was very pleased with the purchase of Boston Day-By-Day book, as it revealed a number of backstreets and rather peculiar sites that I would have never found otherwise, even with other well-written travel books.
I now own five Day-By-Day guides (as seen below). They have helped me discover everything from milkshakes at Shake Shack in Madison Park in New York City to Ferenciek tere, my favorite spot in all of Budapest, to red velvet pancakes with vanilla bean sauce at Bongo Room in Chicago (as seen below).
No one travel guide will help you have a complete travel experience, in and of itself. Any book that book that attempts to do that will fail miserably. Day-By-Day guides do not attempt to be exhaustive in any way of all that could be covered of a city or region. Rather, they offer highlights of how you could spend up one, two, or three days in a place (with routes of how to get to all the sites), special-interest tours and walks in particular neighborhoods, and critical looks at places to eat and stay. From there, you can do any further research you need or simply sit back and follow their leads, as authors give outlines of the nuts and bolts of how the major sites work.
Day-By-Day guides do not come without some drawbacks. For instance, you will be hard-pressed to find negative reviews in this line of books. Whereas travel experts like Rick Steves give both positive and negative criticisms of popular sights, Day-By-Day guides will only steer you in the direction of places that they believe you should go.
As you can with many things, Amazon offers used used copies of these books at very reasonable prices. So be sure to check there when looking at your travel book options. But whatever you do, be sure to check out Frommer’s Day-By-Day guides.