Whatever happened to the good old travel days? The ones where you did more wondering and less traveling? The ones where your inter-city mingling, or trips to the Eiffel Tower were weighed down (both figuratively and literally) with the confusion of asking locals how to get where you wanted or worse, trying to sift through that clunky guidebook you picked-up at the airport?
Ok…those days were kind of fun.
However, despite the fond memories of constant travel surprises, wouldn’t it just be easier to have everything you need, say, right from the screen of your device?
Much like almost everything else in the digital age, travel guides are undergoing a massive overhaul, as more and more guides are evolving and adapting to the confines of today’s plugged in society. Just look at Lonely Planet’s recent shuffling from top physical guidebook to new digital resource, as an example of how users’ demands are catalyzing giant shifts in not only how guides and other published content are presented, but what they exactly encompass.
Users just want a couple of things: items that work and items that provide them with exactly what they need, when they need it (preferably in the same package). Now of course reaching this ideal takes a little bit of work, it is precisely the reason why brands have begun integrating services that were once stand alone entities, into comprehensive all-in-one resources.
For example, why have just a travel guide when you could pair it with an awesome map, and turn it into a spiffy top-notch travel resource that features everything from updated routing to information of the best coffee shops (hence the thought process behind ForeverMap 2)
In the end while the world is constantly changing, it doesn’t mean that guides have ceased to exist as we know them, completely (Frommer’s, for example, is still sticking with print with newly adapted “EasyGuides” that are more lightweight and travel friendly). However, given digital’s malleability and inherent ability for providing more current information, old-school guides may be finding their way more and more frequently to the back seat of travel.