Someone once told me that the guidebooks you start travelling with are the ones you will always return to and for me, ever since I bought my first South America on a Shoestring guide, it’s always been Lonely Planet.
I’m not a person who religiously follows a guidebook, but I do love a Lonely Planet to get an overview of a country before I arrive. And while I’m generally happy to sort out my own food and accommodation, I also find them really helpful for the information about getting from A to B, especially in places like China where I had absolutely no idea what was going on!
So when I was invited along to the company’s latest book launch I jumped at the chance. Although I was slightly bemused at the fact that it was for a guidebook to The World. I mean, come on, how on earth could you fit every country into a single book?
The launch night was really fun and it was a chance to catch up with other bloggers and put our travel knowledge to the test with a series of trivia tasks. (Turns out I am terrible at guessing the populations of countries!)
As part of our goody bag we were each given a guide to The World, which I dived into as soon as I got on the train.
The book lists each country in alphabetical order – beginning with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe – and there are also a few popular itineraries at the start of the book.
There are generally between four and eight pages dedicated to each country, with a short overview and map followed by its top experiences.
One of the things that I like is that while space is tight, Lonely Planet didn’t skimp on the pictures – in some cases putting them across a double page. This means the book doesn’t seem too cluttered and, most importantly, this is what brings a country alive for me.
There are also small boxes covering topics such as When to Go, Food and Drink and Getting Around.
While this certainly isn’t a book you’d ever travel with (it would double your baggage weight for a start) it’s definitely the perfect place to start if you want to travel and you’re not sure where – or simply just a guide to daydream over!
I received a free copy of The World at the Lonely Planet launch. However all views are my own.