Free International Travel Guides – The Best For Where You’re Going

Ah, the age of information… nowadays folks are binging on information, yet starving for knowledge. Rather than wade through countless websites in search of solid advice, I’ve done the leg work for you by compiling the best free international travel guides out there today. The format of online guides differ from their tangible counterparts; where a book must include information you need before and during your trip, online travel guides provide the ability to get exactly what you need, when you need it.

Several times I have used an online guide book, and merely printed (or jotted down in my notebook) the most important info for the next few days. Here’s my list of the best free international travel guides:

Travelfish.org. There is no single source for travelers to Southeast Asia better than Travelfish. Loaded with easy to navigate information on the entire region, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Singapore, Travelfish covers all the travelers’ needs. The forum is really well done, and you can expect a high level experience from those who respond to your questions. Most of the information is free, and they do offer e-guides for each country at roughly $5 (a true bargain).

Lonley Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum. Very much like the forum on Travelfish, but with global coverage. I’m a firm believer that guide books are generally outdated by the time they hit the press, and it’s important to get from the road advice from someone who is there. Visa requirements change, roads are closed, violence happens…don’t get caught unprepared. Forums also provides advice you’ll never find in a guidebook, either: the need for bribes, history of violence, etc. These are important considerations in the real world that most publications (and governments) tend to gloss over.

Lonley Planet. Though they haven’t implemented it, LP has come up with the brilliant notion of offering a “pay as you go” program where you can choose portions of a guide book and pay for that part only. Keep an eye out on their website for the release date.

Bootsnall.com There are many international travel guides available on this site, and one could spend a lifetime searching through their network. A really good network for travelers, with independent travel blogs for a more personal approach.

These three are far and away the best online source for free international travel guides, and I suggest you research your destination with these both prior to and during your trip.

Top 5 For Canada

Canada is a great vacation destination and has many things to offer to its visitors like the majestic mountains, beautiful winding roads, lush green forests, wildlife and the multicultural cities. I traveled to Canada last year in December using my air Canada miles, my trip was simply awesome. Here I want to share with you my five best for Canada.

First Tip – Purchase A Good Travel Guide:

When you are traveling to some foreign country, it’s always a god idea to carry a travel guide. Canada is also a no exception, if you don’t want to buy a travel guide there are always many good and guides present online which you can print.

You can find some good travel guides for Canada on top web pages like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet or Rough guides. A good thing about travel guides is that it provides you with an insight about the destination, like where to go, what to eat and drink, things to do and see, where to shop etc. Investing in a travel guide is not bad and it only helps you in knowing the place better.

Second Tip – Always Consider The Climate:

Before you pack your bags for Canada, don’t forget to consider the season you are traveling in. If you are heading for the Maritime Provinces then you must know that they tend to be more humid than the other provinces in the west. In Nova Scotia, Halifax, you can expect to experience weather that is temperate in summers and freezing in winters.

If you are staying in the mountainous areas of Canada, then you can expect to see a lot of diversion in the climate. Keep yourself layered up if you are staying in this region. On the other hand, areas like Victoria and Vancouver are more temperate and don’t usually see too much freezing temperature.

Third Tip – Plan To Cross The Border:

Traveling to Canada is not that easy anymore like it once used to be. The new restrictions have made it difficult to cross the borders, the documents needed for traveling to Canada are always changing from time to time. So it’s best that you check the documents and verify that you don’t need anything extra before you head for Canada.

Fourth Tip – Know The Currency:

Another important tip for traveling to Canada is that you should know the importance of comprehending the currency before you leave. Canada uses Canadian dollars, though you can also use US dollars. It is always wise to carry a traveler’s check in Canadian currency since they can be accepted anywhere.

Fifth Tip – Tips On Tipping:

Also remember when you are giving tip in Canada you need to know how the Canadians take gratitude. Tips are not included in the restaurant bills and a standard tip for good service is $12 to $15.

What to Expect From Professional Travel Guides

Human beings are nomadic by nature. Unexplored parts of nature, natural beauty, wonders of the world have always attracted people. But the urban lifestyle is pretty demanding. Everybody is busy but still people cannot ignore the calls of the unknown and set out for different destinations around the world.

However, the world is not the same as it used to be many years ago. There are several challenges that you have to face, language problem is one of the biggest problems that most travelers face. Apart from this, rules for foreign travelers, currencies, etc. make it more difficult to explore travel destinations in other countries.

Even when you visit travel destinations in your own country, you might have to struggle to find a suitable hotel or resort around the spot. However, professional travel guides can be of immense help.

In the past, many people used to take up this as a profession. Local people who have knowledge about the locality often work as guides and help tourists to explore the place comfortably. This profession is still very popular. Travelers who visit historical places prefer to hire guides who know about the place and can take them to all the local spots and share local stories and history with them. There are places which are century old. The history of local culture, people, lifestyle, festivals etc. are kind of tribal knowledge that is only available with the local people. Travelers who are interested to know about century old civilizations always prefer to interact with travel guides. A knowledgeable guide not only helps travelers to explore the place but helps them to find hotels, book tickets, find good restaurants, etc. There are people who love to explore everything on their own, but that is a different trait altogether. Common people prefer to hire a guide to make their vacation comfortable.

This is the era of digital age. Everything is getting digitized. At present, when someone says travel guides, he means online guides that offer every bit of information for a travel destination. Different forms of online tourist guide are given below:

1] Travel portals: There are many travel portals that feature world wide destinations. If you are planning to visit a place, you can search for a travel portal that has all the information about your destination. From cab booking, transportation to hotel booking, these online tourist guides can provide you all the information that you might need. You can search and find such portals. Some travel portals offer information about specific regions only whereas some cover all the destinations round the globe.

2] e-Brochures: If you are planning your trip through a travel agency, they can offer you online brochures that contain extensive resources and information about the destination you intend to visit. It is not that all travel agencies would give such brochure out, but some will. You can consult these brochures to find restaurants, local attractions, transportation facilities, etc. These books are great to consult when you plan a trip to somewhere.

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