Episode 111: Using Guidebooks For Inspiration and Travel Planning With Moon Travel Guides

Moon Travel Guides: Benefits of using a travel guidebook to plan trips

Are travel guidebooks still worth it? Are guidebooks relevant in 2022 and beyond? I was first introduced to travel guidebooks a few years ago while traveling solo in Lisbon, Portugal. A new friend I met at my hostel and I considered what we’d grab for dinner when she whipped out a guidebook. Gauging our interests, we quickly found a highly-rated but low-key restaurant off the tourist path. Since then, guidebooks have become an invaluable resource for inspiration and travel planning, unlocking local gems, tips, and perspectives. In this episode, discover reasons to use a guidebook when travel planning and how Moon Travel Guides helped me plan my first family road trip.

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A special thank you to Moon Travel Guides for sponsoring this episode and encouraging independent travelers to experience the world.

I was first introduced to guidebooks a few years ago while traveling solo in Lisbon, Portugal. A new friend I met at my hostel and I were considering what we’d grab for dinner when she whipped out a guidebook. Gauging our interests, we quickly found a highly-rated but lowkey restaurant off the tourist path, which did not disappoint. Since then, guidebooks have become an invaluable resource for inspiration and travel planning, unlocking local gems, tips, and perspectives.

In 2019, when Kyle and I went to China, a guidebook helped us learn key phrases in Mandarin and provided rich historical and cultural context we may have missed otherwise. Compact and barely taking up any space in our suitcase, as we drove from city to city, our conversations went something like this, babe — did you know?

While many people, myself included, use Google, Pinterest, read blogs, listen to podcasts (heeeeeey), and watch YouTube videos to discover new destinations and plan their trips, guidebooks are a great resource that financially savvy travelers can add to their toolkit.

Guidebooks are jam-packed with useful information for travelers — from where to go, when to go, sights to see, shopping, accommodations for every budget, how to save money, and everything in between.

Often written by locals or people with first-hand knowledge, guidebooks can help you build out an itinerary without having to weed through mountains of information.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing reasons to use a guidebook and how Moon Travel Guides helped me plan my first road-trip with Baby K.

A special thank you to Moon Travel Guides for sponsoring this episode and encouraging independent travelers to experience the world, both near and far.

While I wasn’t ready to hop on a plane and go too far with Baby K, a road-trip felt like the perfect adventure. We could explore closer to home, take breaks to sightsee, and be spontaneous. Curious about where we could go, we used Moon New England Road Trip written by Lifelong New Englander Miles Howard to get ideas.

Side Note: In 2022, Miles Howard designed and launched Walking City Trail, a 25-mile trail through Boston passing through parks, urban wilds, community gardens, and other green spaces. How cool!

Moon Travel Guides has been around since 1973 and their guidebooks empower independent, active, and conscious travel. They cover road trips, national parks, and city travel worldwide. Each book is written by local expert authors offering plenty of suggestions and advice based on their years of experience. For more inspiration, visit moon.com or follow @moonguides on social media.

Here are some reasons why you may want to use a guidebook to plan your next vacation:

1. Unlike searching online, guidebooks are comprehensive — you have all the information you need to plan a trip in one place.
2. As a new mom, this really resonates with me. I don’t have the capacity to spend a lot of time researching anymore. But with a guidebook, I can learn about a destination, what it has to offer, and make decisions quickly.
3. If you value hearing from someone knowledgeable who has done their homework and visited recently then a guidebook is for you.
4. With a guidebook, you don’t have to worry about draining your phone’s battery while on the go
5. You can put pen to paper, write notes in the margins and cross things off
6. Guidebooks act as a souvenir; remembering all the fun you had at a destination
7. They are easy to read and well organized
8. Lastly, you don’t have to read a guidebook cover to cover to get a lot out of them. Jump around and pick out what’s important to you.

Since we weren’t sure where we wanted to go, Moon New England Road Trip offered lots of suggestions, like Boston, Coastal Maine, Southern Vermont, Cape Cod and the Islands, New York City, and more.

Moon New England Road Trip started by breaking down the Top 10 Experiences to have in New England, from finding Fall Foliage (which I highly recommend) to having your fill of fried clams. Then each destination starts with a few highlights. There are also maps and eye-catching photos that break up the text. Continue reading for sights to see, festivals and events, shopping, food, accommodations, and more.

While reading more about Boston, a city I’ve visited many times to see family and friends but haven’t done as much sightseeing, one the experiences that caught my eye was a visit to Samuel Adams Brewery, where tours walk through the process of brewing beer. I loved reading the tidbit that any beer left over in the pitchers is “yours to keep” at the end of the tour.

I added the Boston Children’s Museum to our itinerary, where there are giant bubbles, colorful art projects, and science exhibits. Baby K would love that.

There’s also practical information like how you can pick up maps and guides, along with discount coupons and brochures to attractions by visiting the Boston Common Visitor Information Center.

As a financially savvy traveler, I especially appreciated the tips for saving money like how the All Inclusive Go Boston Card which bundles a variety of attractions is best for those planning to move fast and see a lot of the sites and not so much for someone who prefers to take their time. Or how it may be cheaper and easier to leave your car at your accommodation and use the “T”, the public transit system.

Short on time, check out “Two Days in Boston” for a quick travel guide. My mouth started to water when reading about the juicy coconut shrimp and sweet plantains at Jamaica Mi Hungry.

Overall, based on the guidebook’s recommendations, I figured out the things I wanted to pursue in Boston and what we’d skip. When short on time, I could simply place a bookmark and continue from where I left off later.

But you may be wondering, are guidebooks still relevant in the pandemic? It’s true, guidebooks have their limitations. Since they are updated every two to three years, be mindful that prices (hello inflation), websites, and hours of operation may change, so do your diligence. During the pandemic many businesses have closed and new ones have popped up. When in doubt, pick up the phone if you have to confirm details.

Also, remember that guidebooks from all the major brands focus on different types of travel. If you are looking for in-depth local perspectives and outdoor activities, choose Moon guides. BTW with the holidays coming up, Moon Guides make great gifts. Moon New England Road Trip is available wherever books are sold. You can also find the link in the show notes.

Now I want to hear from you, what trips are you planning and which guidebooks will you get? Leave a comment under this post on my website at podcast.thoughtcard.com.

If you enjoyed this episode, listen to episode 102 next – it’s all about how to define your travel style – and no I’m not talking about fashion. It’s a really good one that I know you’ll enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. But don't forget there's way more where that came from. When you become a supporter of the show, you'll get bonus episodes, additional tips on affording travel real time updates as well as strategies for building wealth and creating multiple income streams. Head over thoughtcard.com forward slash join to support. Also be sure to follow me on instagram. I'm @thedanielledesir slide in my DMs and share with me your thoughts about this episode. What did you enjoy what stood out to you? Let me know I'd absolutely love to connect with you outside of the podcast. See you in the next one.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How travel guidebooks can help you plan your next trip
  • Ways guidebooks cut down on research time
  • How Moon Travel Guides helped us plan our first family road trip
  • If travel guide books are still relevant during the pandemic

Watch the episode here:

What are travel guidebooks?

While many people use Google, and Pinterest, read blogs, listen to travel podcasts, and watch YouTube videos to discover new destinations and plan their trips, guidebooks are a great resource that financially savvy travelers can add to their toolkit.  

Guidebooks are jam-packed with useful information like where to go, when to go, sights to see, shopping, accommodations for every budget, how to save money, and everything in between.

Often written by locals or people with first-hand knowledge, guidebooks can help you build an itinerary without having to weed through mountains of information.

About Moon Travel Guides

Moon Travel Guides has been around since 1973.

Their guidebooks empower independent, active, and conscious travel. They cover road trips, national parks, and city travel worldwide.

Each Moon guidebook is written by local expert authors offering plenty of suggestions and advice based on their years of experience.

Website: www.moon.com

Instagram: @moonguides

Purchase Moon New England Road Trip on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Other Moon guidebooks you may like include:

Moon New England Road Trip Book Review

Moon New England Road Trip - Places To Visit in New England

Since we weren’t sure where we wanted to go, Moon New England Road Trip offered many suggestions, like Boston, Coastal Maine, Southern Vermont, Cape Cod and the Islands, New York City, and more. 

Moon New England Road Trip started by breaking down the Top 10 Experiences in New England. Then each destination begins with a few highlights. There are also maps and eye-catching photos that break up the text.

While reading more about Boston, one of the experiences that caught my eye was Samuel Adams Brewery, where tours walk through the brewing process. I loved reading the tidbit that any beer left over in the pitchers is “yours to keep” at the end of the tour. 

I added the Boston Children’s Museum to our itinerary, where there are giant bubbles, colorful art projects, and science exhibits.

There’s also practical information like how you can pick up maps and guides, along with discount coupons and brochures at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center

Overall, based on the guidebook’s recommendations, I figured out the things I wanted to pursue in Boston and what we’d skip. When short on time, I could place a bookmark and continue from where I left off later.

Why should you use a guidebook to plan your next vacation?

Moon Travel Guides - The best travel guidebooks for planning road trips.
Making our way to The Adirondacks, in upstate New York!

Unlike searching online, guidebooks are comprehensive. With a guidebook, you have all the information you need to plan a trip in one place. If you do not have a lot of time to plan your trip, with a guidebook, learn about a destination and what it offers and make decisions quickly. Easy to read and well organized, jump around, picking out what’s important to you.

Are guidebooks still relevant in the pandemic?

It’s true; guidebooks have their limitations. Since they are updated every two to three years, be mindful that prices, websites, and hours of operation may change, so do your diligence. During the pandemic, many businesses have closed, and new ones have opened. When in doubt, pick up the phone to confirm details. 

Also, remember that guidebooks from all the major brands focus on different types of travel. If you are looking for in-depth local perspectives and outdoor activities, choose Moon guides, one of the best travel guide books.

Other Episodes To Binge

Financial Tasks To Complete Before Vacations – Episode 108

How To Define Your Travel Style – Episode 102

What To Pack For Road Trips – Episode 101

Why you should use travel guidebooks to plan your trips

What trips are you planning, and which guidebooks will you get?