That travel guide that was so much fun to leaf through at home may easily become your biggest burden once you are on the road. Tearing out the pages you do not need anymore is one solution. Choosing a travel guide in an electronic format maybe a less heartbreaking one. But which format is best for travel guides?
If you are familiar with our book reviews, you know that we do read eBooks. They are lightweight and, using an adequate reader, gentle to the eye. For reading plain text, like novels, they are second only to actual books.
Travel guides however are not ordinary books. First of all, they usually contain quite a number of pictures and those pictures are normally not black-and-white like everything else on your eBook reader.
Worse even than pictures are maps. When traveling without mobile internet, those maps in your guide-book might actually be useful. Using them on an eBook reader is however almost impossible because scrolling and zooming are limited on these devices.
In a travel guide, you will often want to go back to find some information. Didn’t it say something about a cute cafe with chocolate cake somewhere? Or was it apple cake? And that company offering those awesome rafting trips ..? Searching for this type of things in a normal book is easy because you might often remember the general layout of the page with that information. On an eBook reader however, the page layout is not fixed. Moreover, there is that little delay when you open a new page. It is barely noticeable when you read a novel. But it can get really annoying when you click through one page after the other at high speed.
PDFs can add anywhere between a lot (if you carry a computer only to read them) and no weight at all (if you read on a device you were taking with you anyway) to your luggage. The readability scales inversely with the weight. But there are still quite a number of advantages with respect to eBooks: a fixed page layout, easy scrolling and zooming and a fast navigation. Maps and pictures can be displayed in color and the delay in opening the next page is considerably smaller. On our trip to China and Nepal, we were much more comfortable with the PDF guide for China on our iPod (!!!) than with the eBook we used for Nepal.
Our top choice for lightweight travel: a travel guide in PDF format on a mobile phone or iPod. In addition, we carry printouts of a few most important or most often used pages and throw them away as soon as we don’t need them anymore.
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This article was published on perelincolors.com