I love traveling and Fodors.com is my first stop when I am looking up information on tourist destinations.
Schmap is also an excellent & free travel guides resource. Schmap offers guides for different cities in downloadable format as well as a computer friendly format to take it in your laptop.
Offbeat Guides recently caught my attention in this space. They offer personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations.
The travel resources are gathered through a curation process by both professional and amateur travel experts.
Offbeat Guides is different where it allows you to customize your travel guide based on your travel dates, preferences and destination.
Offbeat Guides offers
- Local maps
- Festivals and events in the time of your travel
- Exchange rates
- Key phrases in the city’s language
- Weather forecasts
- Spiders crawl the Internet for up-to-date information on destinations
- Both professional proprietary content as well as Creative Commons content
- Get in electronic format or get it shipped in printed format
- You can specify where you are staying and get local maps in your guide
In essence, you can build your personalized travel guide in 5 steps
Building a Guide in 5 steps
- Enter your destination
- Enter your current location
- Your name to get it personalized
- Enter your travel dates
- Enter where you are staying (optional)
Once you do this, your personal guide will be built and will be readily available as a PDF document. At this point you can further customize it by deleting parts you are not interested in. You can also add additional information such as your itinerary, other recommendations you have had, Family Travel Ideas or pretty much any content.
Offbeat Guides can be obtained in a PDF format for $9.95 and you can print it yourself. or you get a full color printed guide as well as a downloadable PDF for $24.95.
They are also promising a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it. Plus, there is also an affiliate program for travel related websites to promote and earn money off of this.
I tried creating a personalized guide to Seattle and it came out as a nice 75 page personalized guide. I was completely impressed by the amount of valuable information in it. Especially the weather forecast and the events that were happening right in the time when I am going to be there.
Offbeat Guides is a worthy offering and is definitely worth the $10 you’d spend for a PDF. Some of the bookshop travel guides could offer time tested Travel information, but you can’t get up-to-the minute information like with this one.
Next time I need tips for traveling abroad, I know where to go to. I suggest a good mix of both for your upcoming trip.