Here’s a nice gift idea for a budding traveller you know, or perhaps if you’re looking to travel but just don’t know where to start! (NB this is not a sponsored post – I discovered this book last year and genuinely enjoy using it). I’ve used a number of guides over the years but find them never to be that useful, especially with the internet at our fingertips, so this is great for a brief starting point.
The 36 Hours In…series is a great resource for people who love to travel but don’t have much time to do it in, or just want an overview of the cities they are thinking about visiting. We got it for Christmas and it’s proved so useful. There are a few topics in the series – we went for the Europe Edition, but there’s also USA & Canada, Asia & Oceana, London and Beyond…the list goes on, so there’s something for everyone.
Each book has a nice colour coded map to open with (handy for those with OH’s who aren’t so great at geography!) and a more detailed map specifying featured towns for each region. There is also a table of contents of cities covered, as well as an index by activity type – eg, cities great for clubbing, outdoor sports, etc. The book has a great layout, with these nice indents for each region so it’s just so easy to pick up and flick to whatever you like.
Each city gets about 4 dedicated pages, which includes a few pictures, a brief introduction about the atmosphere and style of the city (so if it’s arty, foodie, fast paced or more chilled), a full 36 hour plan (which of course you don’t have to stick to but it gives you a nice starting point) as well as addresses, phone numbers and websites for each attraction. There’s a nice mix of recommendations, from galleries to restaurants and cafes to shopping to city walks, depending on the location in question. There’s a real aim to immerse you in the culture specific to the city which I like – local traditional dishes and the like. The options given also cover a range of prices.
The best feature of this book is the handy Basics section – for each city, you’ll find a relatively detailed map with the featured recommendations pointed out to you, a quick overview of transport facilities and suggestions for hotels – it’s a really useful starting point if you really don’t know anything about the city.
I’m not going to suggest that this book is your be all and end all of holiday planning, but what it is great for is giving you an insight into a city you’re interested in, or if you just have a flick through it’s quite easy to get some inspiration and perhaps travel somewhere you’d never had thought about previously. We’ve got loads of index markers in ours, so the next time Ryanair have a flash sale, we can see pretty quickly if the destination is somewhere we’d really like to go! It’s a really high quality book too, and I am sure it would make a lovely gift for anyone.