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Last year, I finally subscribed to the lonely planet magazine and with my subscription received a sign up gift which was the ‘Best in travel’ 2010 guide. I have really enjoyed this guide over the year and occasionally flick through it and have a read and overall I was very pleased with it. So when I heard there was a new one out for 2011, I knew I would have to have it and eventually, I managed to get hold of one at a fairly good price. I have been flicking through this edition now too and can safely give my opinion on it!
What is it? The book is a collection of Lonely Planet’s chosen ‘best in travel’ guides for 2011 whether it be the destination, experiences, trends or journeys to take. These are all broken down into 4 main sections which are top ten countries, cities, regions and travel lists. The book itself is a compact style - not as small as say a guide book but, more a small and chunky coffee table book. However it is not hard back either so it is slightly more light weight and easier to read. It has thick card type cover rather than just the usual paper back style so in actual fact it is fairly strong.
Sections: The beginning of the book includes a map with the areas covered starred so if you want to go straight to that area and see what they have written about you could do without having to wait to reach it by reading from beginning to end. There then follows a foreword from the editor explaining how they came up with some of the list. Same as last year’s book, the guide is broken down into sections of which mostly are of the ‘top 10’ variety. In fact the headers are the same as last year with the top 10 countries, top 10 regions, and top 10 cities and then followed by the top travel lists. Each section has these 10 listed in order of preference and have information on hotel, food, drink and shopping as well as what is hot for this year and what is not so cool for that particular area! The last section is a little more unusual as the top travel lists are more varied and may or may not include places that have already been covered but, for different reasons and go into more detail. For example, San Francisco is mentioned in the top 10 region section under west coast USA but, also receives a mention in the top travel list section under ‘top cities for artistic inspiration’. Reading through this guide does not have to be done in any order. Each does not flow into the next as each section or piece in that section is dedicated to that bit and then is completely new for the next bit so you can really choose where to read from or if you see something you like the sound of in the contents page, you can flick right to it. At the very back of the guide, there is a small calendar with some major events listed for around the world which of course help if you were planning a trip to coincide with these. Of course, majority of these are date specific but, the majority would usually happen every year around the same time.
Price: The RRP of this book is £9.99 which is the same as what last year’s guide was too. However I picked this up from Amazon for £6.19 which I think is a very reasonable price indeed. You can also pick this up on various other online stores for approximately the same price. However I would say that the guide is worth it’s RRP if you cannot find it as cheap as that.
Overall opinion: I have really enjoyed this edition of ‘best in travel’ and as before I find it really interesting to read about different things from around the globe plus I like to read about places I may have not heard of before or discover interesting things to do. I think that is partly what is so great about these guides as well, is that, because there is nothing noted that is date specific, apart from a small calendar for that year in the back, then events that are mentioned are local things that would usually happen every year so even if you read about it and thought about going but, were not able to this year, it would still be something you could probably do the year after or even many years in the future! Basically a lot of things will still be around to do or see whenever you eventually get around to being able to do them. I would definitely recommend this edition and can once again say I will definitely be buying the next edition which I believe may already be out.