Walking into the coffee-scented bookstore you make a B-line toward the Travel section. After all, you are looking for a guide to take with you on your study abroad journey. Upon arriving at the first, chestnut-colored shelf, however, you stop dead in your tracks, eyes wide with terror. You find yourself helpless, lost within an ocean of multi-colored travel books all screaming for your attention. Look at me! Pick me! Take me with you! They’re relentless. But worry not! We’ve taken on travel book overpopulation face-to-face.
Here’s a breakdown of what different guidebooks bring to the table, and what some of our Enrollment team members had to say about the bunch.
These iconic blue and yellow books are designed to help you experience your travels on a low budget. Flip through one of these penny-saving guides and you’ll find hand-drawn maps, helpful housing tips, places to eat, attractions to see, how to experience local living, etc., all based on the premise: how to get more bang for your buck.
Enrollment weighs in: “Rick’s books are designed for travelers on a budget, which makes them great for student travelers! He usually has help from locals when writing about places to go making his books extremely beneficial for helping to find places off the beaten path,” Eric Schueller, Admissions Supervisor
Written with a student perspective in mind, Lonely Planet books will spread smiles across student faces that seek all things off the beaten path. Think you’ll fancy a quick cappuccino after class one day? These books will tell you where to grab a cup yet also experience the youthful essence of your host city’s character in the process. Easily discover what you can eat, where you can sleep and where to visit in relation to student interest and affordability.
Enrollment weights in: "Lonely Planet guide books are definitely my favorite! I have an entire collection from all of the destinations I’ve traveled to. I prefer Lonely Planet books over other guide books because of how user-friendly they are (great format, detailed maps, etc.). The thing I love most about my Lonely Planet books are the notes I’ve jotted down in each book, the restaurants I’ve circled, the pages I’ve turned… when I open one of my books, it’s almost like opening/reading a journal from my trip." Meagan Nolan, Site Specialist
When it comes to paging through a Frommer’s guidebook, information is definitely the name of the game. Get to know a city’s history, current events, gastronomy, architectural patterns, etc. without even stepping off the plane. While some argue that Frommer’s books target an older-aged demographic of travelers, their guides come in many shapes and sizes and offer a depth of information that extends beyond the average travel guide.
Enrollment weighs in: “I really relied on my Frommer's book while I was in travelling Chile. Outside
of Santiago, I used it get ideas for activities and trips that were both mainstream and nontraditional. I used my guidebook specifically while deciding what sites to see in the San Pedro de Atacama desert, because there were so many activities to choose from! Having a guidebook was definitely a valuable asset while abroad." Erin Scott, Admissions Counselor
Like Frommer’s, Fodor's books also hold a great deal of both helpful and enlightening information for students determined to fully acclimate to their host city and/or country. Specifically helpful and unique to these guides, tons of small tips, did-you-know’s and quick bites of resourceful and intriguing facts scatter across the pages, relaying insider’s information that readers may not have otherwise seen.
Enrollment weighs in: “While I found my Fodor's book to be a bit text heavy, I LOVED the tidbits of information sparingly included throughout the pages. The facts they provided kind of made me feel more a part of the city itself,” Maggie Zawalski, Social Media Coordinator
Painted with glossy photos, Eyewitness books appease the eyes with their visually descriptive approach to the common guidebook. Let your eyes do the work as you decide which points of interest you’d most like to see based on the photos provided. While these books don’t necessarily delve into the latest and greatest local hotspots to hit up, they do supply readers with a solid foundation of facts regarding the country or city they’re reading about.
Enrollment weighs in: “Eyewitness is kind of a touristy book, but if you only have amount of time to spend in a location they have a lot of great stuff to help you out!” Katie Christianer, Admissions Counselor
Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.