On travel guides: real vs. virtual?

I am fond of collecting travel guides, brochures, handouts and tickets whenever on a trip. While on board a plane, we would request for a free copy of the inflight magazine to take home. These printed items not only give information about the place, they also serve as part of my travel mementos. They serve as great reading material for dreaming about other destinations.

I used to buy travel guides on my previous trips, and while they were bulky (and pricey too!), I didn’t mind at all, they added to my sense of confidence when I’m stuck in an unfamiliar place. I used to flip through the pages enthusiastically for interesting places to visit over the next weekend. I still have my old collection of all sorts of travel guides and brochures until now!

travel guides and brochures

These days, I realize I don’t have to purchase travel guides on my next trip. There are so many travel community websites and smartphone travel apps where one can research about a destination, view maps, browse through guides and reviews, create trip plans and travel itineraries, get tips and learn from other members, blog about their trips, upload travel photos and share their own travel musings and stories, tips and reviews.

Travel forums and social networking sites are great venues as well, where fellow travel enthusiasts can exchange updates on great holiday packages or deals, share ideas on new travel stuff and rave (or otherwise rant) about their latest trip adventures.

Technology is surely a big help for travelers, and the Internet is a huge source of information on anything related to travel and destinations. I haven’t bought a real travel guide lately. Does this mean I am totally giving up on them and turning to virtual information found on the Internet or my mobile app? How about you, where do you get ideas and information for an upcoming vacation – from physical travel books and guides or virtually right from your mobile travel app or the Internet?

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