Perhaps the days of carrying a guide book around, the size of a brick, with subjective views from one or two writers, might be finished. Much of a traveller’s information can be accessed via the net on smart phones these days; there are great ‘e-guides’ on line, as well as ‘aps’ for each country, that are inexpensive to download; with live, interactive maps using satalite navigation.
A source from the Australian guides ‘Lonely Planet’ tells us ‘information online is immediate, user orientated with multiple traveller reviews, and not instantly out-of-date, at the mercy of print runs and time delays. We’re worried.’
Certainly it’s true that written guides can be hopelessly out of date; sometimes even written, ironically from internet research – rather than writers actually going there. The Lonely Planets’ India guide for example, is hopelessly inaccurate.
However some guides are written with passion and expertise: take the Rough Guide Peru, whose writer, the late, and wonderful Dilwyn Jenkins, designed our Angel Holiday’s tours to Peru: descriptions, tips and overall knowledge ‘beyond the pale’ when compared to say, an trip-advisor’s account of Machu Picchu make the book invaluable. Perhaps travel guides will become elevated; looked upon with a nostalgia and ease, like a musical connoisseur’s ‘vinyl.’ The sound might not be so good, but the spirit it confers; magical.