I wanted to share with you all a discovery I’ve made since moving to the UK.
Drum roll, please…..
My first experience with the Thomas Cook Pocket Guides came when I picked up the Inverness guide at Waterstones toward the end of my stay there. I really enjoyed that it hit the absolute highlights and didn’t throw in a bunch of boring details. It listed off the “Best of Inverness” and referenced the sites on a map as well as their brief descriptions elsewhere in the book. I was glad to see that I had managed to visit a good portion of the places on my own without the book, but it was super helpful in hitting the rest of the highlights before I left town. It was also really great at spelling out where the sights were, their opening hours, if there was an admission charge and how to get there. The extra bonus? It was small enough to fit in my purse.
My second experience came these last couple weeks as I was planning for and visiting Geneva. I can’t even begin to share how useful that little book was. Upon the end of my trip, the book was creased in every way possible, post-it flagged, dog-eared and highlighted. It had a map of the public transportation system, the different neighborhoods of the city and some surrounding cities and ideas for day trips from the area. It also has a “Best of Geneva” section and great suggestions for food at every budget level and night time adventures for pretty much every kind of party person. Again, it was tiny enough to fit in my purse, so I could take it everywhere, which was beyond helpful. I would have been lost somewhere in the Swiss Alps if it hadn’t been for that little book.
I am a firm believer that people should not experience their vacation according to a guide book, but these books have just enough information to get you going but not take over your vacation as well. I will definitely be consulting more of these pocket guides as my travels continue over on this side of the pond.