Caribbean Travel Guides – Are They Worth It?

As well as being a raving shopaholic, Jane Morris is also a dedicated Travel Buff. This is just one article on her many visits to the lush clear waters of the Caribbean

Imagine all the stories and films you have seen on pirates in the Caribbean, Spanish galleons laden with gold, pretty girls all around, beautiful white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, clear blue seas, and reefs that have ripped the bottom out of many a fine sailing ship, now beautiful diving territory.

Well, this is what makes up the beauty, the mystery, and the attraction for many people as a dream holiday. In fact, there is so much to do that unless you plan your holiday carefully there is so much to miss.

That us why it is so important that you know all there is to know about the vacation destination of your dreams – that is exactly what a Caribbean travel guide offers.

But are Caribbean travel guides really godsend? Or are they just patronizing materials designed for commercial purposes?

Well, they’re probably a little of both actually. After all, the people behind Caribbean travel guides do need a source of income in order to continue to publish their guides. But a tremendous amount of research has been placed in these guides so don’t dismiss them as useless sales and promotion material.

What else is more nifty, informative and convenient than a Caribbean travel guide?

Sure, the Internet may prove more updated when it comes to information, but you can’t carry the Internet everywhere. And believe it or not, it’s always much more gratifying to pull out a Caribbean travel guide from your carry case, flip a few pages open, then slip it right back when you’re tired of reading. It sure beats having to wait in the airport, sitting bored silly and wondering whether or not your flight’s going to be delayed.

That said, don’t cling to travel guides religiously. Many travelers make that mistake. They are not the bibles that they are made out to be by some people. You should know that published materials, including travel guides, are out of date the moment they are published, because by then, there would have been new updated material that came up and it would be too late to include them.

So, how are you supposed to use Caribbean travel guides then? How would you know which information to believe and which facts are outdated? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to that. To get the most out of your Caribbean travel guide, use them sparingly for basic orientation.

So once you have the basics right down to a tee, go out there and discover the towns and cities on your own. That is, after all, what traveling is all about – adventure and discovery of new things. At the very least, when all other signs look foreign, the information on museums and places of interest are great.

Remember where such facilities exist, always try and look for the local ‘City’ tour. I did just that on my first holiday in Cuba over 15 years ago. After a 2 hour tour on a coach, I was fully oriented with the sites, and then settled down to a delightful tour on foot – clutching my trusty travel guide of course, so I didn’t miss any of the delights that the beautiful but run-down city has to offer.

However, when it comes to hotels and restaurants, each to his own taste and budget. Remember that bargains rise in price with popularity, so there’s every bit of chance that that hot new deal in your Caribbean travel guide isn’t much of a deal anymore, considering how pricey it has become. And then sometimes, too, the places get easily full with foreigners and travelers like you, so you can’t always expect your Caribbean travel guide to point you in the right place all the time.

Then, if you do wander around on your own, you will surely find quality rooms with reasonable prices. They may be located in out-of-the-way places that Caribbean travel guide writers may not know about. Remember that because you in the destination, you are in a far better place to get what you want out of your vacation.

So to close it off, don’t be a sad type who writes to say that “it wasn’t like what you said in the book”.

Here’s a tip: open your eyes, and if the island you are on is Spanish – make sure you can speak some of the local language, as you will get such a nicer welcome from the locals in the infrequently visited spots – and make sure you take your time to explore for yourself!

Your Budget Travel Guide

Have you always wanted to travel but feared the thought of spending beyond your means? Well, here is a piece of good news: travel need not be costly. Travelling is not the exclusive turf of those who can afford to pay their way through anything. Whether you are an ordinary office employee, a student or a retiree, you have every right to enjoy the wonders of this world commensurate to your financial capacity. Be your own travel guide!

Deciding to be your own travel guide will help you find resourceful solutions to the endless expenses involved in travelling. Travelling is even more enjoyable when it is not heavy on your pocket. Cheap travelling is a practice that many people are yet to master. Many travellers have been duped by expensive travel guides and travel agents, not knowing that there are actually several ways to lessen the financial challenges.

Here are ways through which you can travel with minimal costs:

1. Find the Most Affordable Hostel

Hostels are relatively cheaper than hotels. Though structurally smaller and more cramped, they offer the same amenities and, at times, the same basic travel comforts as many hotels. If you are looking for free Wi-Fi connection, free breakfast and free airport transfers, most hostels offer these services, too. Others offer free laundry, staff-sponsored parties and a common room where guests can mingle and get to know each other.

The only things you have to put up with are space and, in certain hostels, hygiene. The trick is to do your research beforehand. Read reviews to know what previous guests think. You will have a clear idea of which hostels to consider and which ones to avoid. Lastly, be on the lookout for promos. Hostels occasionally offer discounts and other perks. A dormitory-type may be a lot cheaper, but if you want a cleaner and less topsy-turvy situation (particularly if you are female), then go for an all-girls dormitory. These rooms are usually less crowded and are more comfortable.

2. Walk More

Travelling on a budget means preparing to give up taxis or private cars. What most comfort travellers do not understand, however, is that they are actually spending more for transportation expenses than they are for food, lodging or souvenirs. Some taxi drivers take advantage of tourists, driving them in circles so that they will be forced to pay more than what is necessary. On one hand, if you use your feet more, not only will you be able to test and improve your sense of direction, you can also see and experience interesting spots inaccessible through regular transportation. If you are not sure where to go, then read through blogs, brochures or local magazines. They can serve as your portable travel guide.

3. Adopt a Flexible Itinerary

The worst that you can do to yourself while travelling is to be a stickler for rules. It is important to have an itinerary to keep things in order, but it is much more important to enjoy your trip and have a blast. Give a little room for unexpected adventures. Do not set your return date if you think you need more time to explore a place. Your itinerary may look great, but first-hand suggestions from locals and backpackers are the stuff that make travelling more exciting. Travel guide books and magazines may not have an inkling about these suggested spots, which are usually underrated, less crowded and far more beautiful than many tourist spots made famous by media mileage.

Spontaneity, experiencing culture, discovering uncharted territories and meeting new people – these are just a few reasons why we must travel. Stick to your budget and money will be the least of your consideration.

Madrid Travel Guides to Get the Most Out of Madrid!

When planning a trip to Madrid, one of the best ways to enjoy it and keep it all organized, is through the use of Madrid travel guides. These guides have a purpose both when planning, and when you are already in the city.

Before traveling, they can give you an overview of the city facilities, roads, available accommodations and such. And once you are in the city, they can be life and time savers allowing to quickly find what you are looking for thanks to the in-depth guides and maps.

Printed Madrid Travel Guides

These guides have the convenience of being easily portable. I recommend to anyone traveling to Madrid to get a printed pocket guide that comes with a map. It is essential that you carry it anywhere, and I like to see it as a user guide to Madrid.

Want something to eat? Open your little book. Need to find directions for that fancy club? Again your little Madrid travel guide is there for you. Hard to find a decent hotel? Well… you get my point.

Online Madrid Travel Guides

Online guides are of best use prior to traveling to Madrid. These guides give you an overview of the city, the restaurants, hotels, activities and attractions. I found these guides of best help when it comes to plan your trip, that’s because they are always actualized and even offer some pretty good travel deals!

There are lots of online guides and it would be good to read around a little first to get a “feel” of the city.

With Madrid travel guides you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your vacations like you’re supposed to. What are you waiting for? Madrid is waiting for you!