Design Your Destination: A Guide to Travel Guides

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So you're setting off on an adventure to a new place-but as much you want to rough it on your own, traveling near or far can be stressful, expensive, and eat up your most precious vacation time.

Admitting you need help is half the battle. Travel guides are no longer your parents' five-pound Encyclopedia with a world map insert; they've become sleek, funny, and informative life-savers. So whether you're looking for cheap, easy, trendy, off-beat or luxurious, you're bound to find something that suits your trip and your tastes.

The Artist

Art and design magazine, "Wallpaper", notes that their city guides are for the design-conscious traveler, boasting an "insider's checklist" of the most "intoxicating cities." For gallery-perusers, art lovers, architecture-admirers and decor enthusists, this is the guide for you.

The Big Guy

"Lonely Planet," the largest and most recognizable guidebook brand, and is the most comprehensive on this list, with guides to cities, countries, regions, and trips "On a Shoestring". Its resources-website, blog, and magazine-cover over 200 countries, making it an indispensable travel companion.

The Small Fry

"Broke-ass Stuart's Guide To Living Cheaply in San Francisco" is the most relevant to the poor spring-breaker. The perfect go-to for anyone staying in the Bay Area for break, it comes from a guy who saw it all before he even knew he was going to write a guide book. Stuart's casual, funny and descriptive writing focus on food, drinks, and sights, completed by comical maps of SF neighborhoods (icon of bicycle = hipsters) and lots of F-bombs.

The Urbanite

"Time Out" is for the street-savvy city slicker. Choose from endless travel know-how with their magazine, location-specific "1000 Things To Do In..." guides, or their "Short List" collection, with its up-to-date info on recently open venues and restaurants. As one of the first guides to specifically list resources for gay and lesbian readers, "Time Out" always has one foot forward.

The Socialite

"Luxe City Guides" are as slim and sexy as the travelers who carry them. The posh art and lifestyle guide is based on the best of the best of fashion, food and fun. Their acompanying blog, Luxetasy offers a stylish, informative "deliciously bitchy take on cities." Anyone who's anyone wouldn't visit a city without one.


Contact Kalesa Ferrucci at [email protected]

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