While purchasing holiday package deals can take the hassle off your shoulders, there are times that you’d rather do your planned trip yourself. Perhaps you want to go to a certain destination that is not covered in the package. Maybe you’d like to save money (yes, some packages could overpriced). Perhaps you feel that the areas and activities included in the package are simply to touristy, denying you of the opportunity to experience the “real” destination.

In that case, you would definitely need to accomplish your vacation through a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. DIY travel is what most backpackers because it gives them the ultimate freedom in a trip. Yes, you may have to contend with plenty of inconveniences such as riding cheap but crowded public transportation, asking complete strangers for directions, getting lost, staying in communal hospitality establishments, and even eating in not-so-clean places. But hey, that’s part of the fun.

To make DIY travel considerably easier for you, you might want to purchase a handy travel guide with you. A travel guide is typically a book filled with useful information about a certain destination. That information may include sights to see; street maps; schedules of public transportation; lists of hospitality establishments, shopping centres, business establishments; contact information of government offices, police stations, and fire stations; and other important elements. If this is your first time exploring the destination in a DIY fashion, then a travel guide can definitely be a lifesaver.

So how do you choose the right travel guide for you?

* What kind of traveller are you? Just like any other book, writers write travel guides with specific targets in mind. For instance, are you planning to tour around the countries of Southeast Asia on a budget? Then a Southeast Asia travel guide for backpackers will be perfect for your needs.

* What exactly is your destination? If you’re visiting a single destination, you might want to purchase a travel guide specifically for that destination. For instance, if you’re planning to spend a weekend in Paris, then a city guide would be your best option. But if you want to backpack around the country, then purchase a guide about France.

* If you are hopping between different destinations, you would want to have purchase a travel guide for each destination. Unfortunately, this is not always practical due to space and weight limitations. The best way is to buy a regional travel guide. For instance, if you are planning backpack in Spain, France, and Germany, then purchase a European Union travel guide rather than one travel guide for each country.

* Whenever possible, purchase a travel guide that has a section that is written in the language of the destination you are visiting. For example, if you are planning to visit Shanghai, then it would help if your Shanghai travel guide will have a few pages that are written in Chinese. This will definitely be a boon in communication.

Be one of those smart holiday shoppers and get that travel guide today.