Over the June school holidays I had the pleasure of traveling through the United States.
One of my pre-trip rituals is to buy a Lonely Planet for destinations I am visiting. Despite the advances in technology, there’s nothing more exhilarating than opening a guidebook to your next destination. Attractions are mulled, itineraries are debated and local delicacies are salivated over in advance of the departure.
On a practical level, the maps and phrases can get you out of sticky situations while the maps are invaluable in countries where. People don’t speak English and 3G connections are sparse. Moreover when you ‘re dining alone, the guidebook functions as a way to quietly pass time when waiting for your meal to arrive.
Yet I wonder if my time lugging a guidebook is coming to an end. Certainly in English-speaking countries purchasing a guidebook seems at best misguided, at worst obsolete in an era where more frequent and updated information is available online.
The final straw for this guidebook came when it was the reason for the entire contents of my bag to examined by the TSA but that’s another story…