Travel Information: Guidebooks vs. the Web

Seth Kugel, the Frugal Traveler blogger for the New York Times, debates the use of a guidebook versus the Internet for trip planning and information in a recent article.

The article was in response to a colleague who said he’d pretty much forgotten that guidebooks exist. Kugel sets out to learn for himself by searching for information about Hungary, a country he said he knew nothing about.

Starting out with a brand new guidebook, he compares it to a myriad of travel- and dining-related websites, starting with, which had published his guidebook. He then wades through at least seven other sites along with Hungarian sites in English.

Kugel’s conclusion:

It may sound like the web was blowing away my guidebook — but not so fast. Literally: It’s not so fast. Marking up the guidebook took a few hours and came to an obvious end (the last page). But I could have sifted through these sites forever. For some people, that’s fine: it’s been shown that planning a trip actually makes us happier than the trip itself. But choice can be paralyzing. For those who want the deciding done for them, a trusted guidebook brand wins, at least in planning an agenda.

He cites three way in which the guidebook beats the web: (1) better maps, (2) information that may not be available online, (3) simple convenience without a steep learning curve.

Indeed, The Intrepid Traveler’s newest guidebook, Universal Orlando 2014: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure, has everything you need for your Universal trip. And, yes, it doesn’t run out of batteries.


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