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Who Is the Brainchild of Travel Guides? Revealing The History

Updated on March 14, 2016
A woman using a travel map app as her guide.
A woman using a travel map app as her guide.

Truly, we are living in a changing world. Nothing stays permanent as everything seems to evolve as years pass. With the rise and advancement of technology, some things seemed forgotten and soon to fade away. Yes, technology greatly influence and affect the custom of everyday life. And this includes the use of travel guide applications rather than the traditional ones.

It All Started with Guide Books

They are now considered to be in danger of extinction, but don’t take it seriously. What I mean is that, the use of guide books is very uncommon today.

A guidebook or a travel guide is a book of information for travelers; it has a lot of information about a certain place. For example, it will provide you the transport details, regional map, places to visit, where to stay, restaurants, and other related activities. Some may also provide the average cost for a given travel adventure.

If you really don’t have the idea of a certain place, a guide book can answer the first questions that you have in your mind. It gives you information starting from the basic things you need in your travel up to the complex ideas you need. But this travel essential is now becoming a second choice with the rise and popularity of convenient travel apps.

The Arrian Periplous.
The Arrian Periplous. | Source
Karl Baedeker's written travel guide.
Karl Baedeker's written travel guide. | Source

The First-Ever Publishers

Truly, there are a lot of things that you can tell about where and how guide books were developed. And here is some information for you.

The periplus is considered to be the harbinger. However, others will say that Hellados Periegesis — which is the now an attention-grabbing guide that includes a lot of descriptions and images of Greece. This was made in the 2nd century A.D., which contains various places, architectural works, sculpture, and the culture of Ancient Greece. Guidebooks were also used by the Arabs in search for treasures and artifacts.

Significantly, the modern guidebooks originated in the West. By 1830s in London, it was John Murray who first published a guidebook — “Murray's Handbooks for Travellers”. This covers a lot of tourist destinations in Europe, Asia and northern Africa. By doing so, it was known to have the concept of “sights” or maybe a description of spectacles and beautiful sceneries.

Aside from that, in Germany, it was Karl Baedeker who was known for his “handbooks” with a much more accurate and detailed facts for attractions and accommodations. These are now called as the Blue Guides, which are still published in the present day.

What Are the Benefits?

Knows more than you do. It is full of information about a place that you really don’t know; thus, it will provide you ideas that you basically need and it will also tell you how to learn that particular place.

Can save you money. It provides the average cost for your trip starting from your transportation to every activities that you can do.

Helps you plan a personalized trip. There are suggested tours and related activity for each place that you are going to anywhere in the world.

Brings you to places where no one goes. According to some researchers, travel guides endow untapped places, so it’s perfect for those in search of solitude.

Brings you to places where everyone goes. Commonly, it has featured and frequent getaway places that a traveler can go

Orient to a region much better than any other travel source. In a certain place, there can be a multiple of descriptions but it provides you the most detailed one. It covers the demographics of an area.

It is your friend. Maybe you are traveling just by yourself and since you are new to that place, perhaps a travel guide is your only friend.

A travel guide and compass.
A travel guide and compass.

The Basics of Usage

The use of travel guide depends upon where you are going and for how long you will be staying in that place. Yes, you heard it! You don’t use your guidebook every time you go out.

Here is more detailed information for you that is sure of great help.

No. If you will be traveling to a familiar place and will stay only for about three days, definitely you don’t need it. You can just read online articles and travel reviews.

Maybe. If you will be traveling to an unfamiliar place given that you really don’t know the language and will be staying for three days.

Yes. If you will be traveling for seven days or even more to a region or country you never visited, of course, you really need a guide. It would be of great help to you.

The use of guides is more of before you go on a trip and not on the trip proper. It’s like going on a war with your guns fully loaded first. A better insight and a greater idea about the area are critical to the success of your entire trip. Take note that a well-planned trip is a successful trip. Utilize the advantage of having a travel guide by organizing your plans ahead of time.

Significantly, it doesn’t mean you have to rely on it every time. Some things are much enjoyed with adlibs and spontaneous activities. It does not require you to follow everything that was written, remember, it is just a GUIDE.

The Emergence of Travel Apps

Obviously, no one knows what will happen to the guide book industry. Due to the advancement of technology, anyone can now grab a travel guide to their desired places for free online. Aside from that, travel sites provide numerous places to take a tour with a much more detailed and updated information every now and then. Moreover, online accessibility is now at hand and very fast services can be obtained.

For example, some sites offer travel maps app for electronic devices and gadgets that are surely of great help to any travelers. Undeniably, the use of apps come very handily and efficient that is why it is hassle free. As an example, anyone can book online for a travel adventure, wherein some travel agencies also provide a complete guide for the entire trip. Irrefutably, we don’t want to hassle along the way and we always wanted the easiest and the most affordable travel guide. And a way to achieve this is through the use of internet or going online.

Others believe that the guide book industry really needs a rest and the digital world is now its new home. Truly, it is hard to resist and be at war with changing world. However, there are still people that use guidebooks. These are the people that seek for exploring untapped places, experience exotic and unusual things and mostly to preserve the standard way of even in small things like this one.

Just imagine this generation and the future generations to come that are dependent on technology; beyond doubt, guidebooks will surely be one of the things that can only be seen in museums.

Which continent have you visited where you were in dire need of travel guide? Feel free to be more specific by commenting below.

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