Off the Tourist TrailPosted: 2009/08/27
Off the Tourist Trail: 1, 000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives. New York: Dorsling Kindersley, 2009.
What a gorgeous, gorgeous book! The photography alone makes this book amazing. From the moment it arrived on my doorstep I couldn’t wait to start turning pages and ogle all the great pictures. The concept of Off the Tourist Trail is brilliant. A team of experts searched cheaper alternatives to the well-known, sometimes more expensive travel destinations around the world. The chapters are broken up by interest: historical, beaches, sports, and cultural to name a few. Every destination has a paragraph dedicated to practical information such as how to get there, places to stay and budget. The “Need to Know” paragraphs are filled with location, maximum height and average daytime temperatures. Probably the most interesting spin to all the information is the “Forget” section. Each comparison adds a build-up and letdown component for the better known destination. For example, in the “Architectural Marvels” chapter the ever-popular New York City is compared with with the lesser-traveled Chicago. New York’s letdown (architecturally) is the fact that its architecture is spread out over several miles and at times, difficult to view.
An added bonus is the forward by Bill Bryson. I love the way he writes. The only drawback to Off the Tourist Trail is that it isn’t portable. Oversized and heavy, this is a book you can’t take in your carry-on. Do your research at home and save room in your bags for souvenirs.