Travel Planning Books in a Digital Age

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I mentioned having my nose buried in travel planning books in my review of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook. I wanted to share those books with you today and give a few reasons why books are a part of my planning strategy in a digital age.

Travel Planning Books in a Digital Age

My dad is the kind of guy who goes to AAA and picks up travel books and maps when he catches wind of my adventures. His love for the outdoors and travel was passed down from my grandparents, who loaded their three young kids into the station wagon every year and spent time in the Sequoias, Yosemite, Tahoe, and (my personal favorite place) Mammoth Lakes. I bet my grandpa went to AAA for trip planning, just like my dad does now.

He passed the stop-at-AAA-before-a-trip gene down to me, because I was paying my car registration a few weeks ago and when I asked for maps of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the woman helping me joked that younger members don’t usually ask for maps because we all have smartphones. She took a closer look at my membership card and smiled when she saw that I have been a loyal member for 51 years (I’m only 30!) so obviously my parents were the ones who taught me to always get maps.

The maps will be joining me on my #YourLead Van Adventure, but the books that really helped me get a better idea of the parks I’ll be visiting and their surrounding communities are the National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States (eighth edition) and a collection of park-specific books from Lonely Planet.

Travel Planning Books - National Geographic Guide to the National Parks Eighth Edition - Campfire Chic

National Geographic recently released the 8th Edition to the Guide to the National Parks of the United States, which includes updated information for travel planning including itineraries and directions and activities for the whole family. This is my third edition of the book, and so I know it’s a great resource to have on your bookshelf when considering a new-to-me park for a vacation.

Bonus: It’s a great coffee table book because your friends will want to thumb through the book to see what adventures you can go on together!

This guide is available in both Kindle and Paperback formats from Amazon.com.

Lonely Planet National Park Guidebooks are fantastic travel planning books - Campfire Chic

In April, Lonely Planet released a new full-color guide exploring the 59 American National Parks and other areas managed and protected within the national park system. The book includes photos, planning tools, maps, driving tours, itineraries and highlights of the best things to do within each national park. It’s a nice way to get an idea of the U.S. National Parks without going into too much detail on any one park.

Lonely Planet’s USA’s National Parks book is available on Kindle and in Paperback from Amazon.com.

Lonely Planet Guidebooks for Travel Planning - Campfire Chic

Lonely Planet also chose to highlight 11 of the most popular national parks in updated full-color guidebooks. These books include photos, maps, recommended clothing and equipment for different adventures, and more. I used the Banff, Jasper & Glacier (4th edition) and the Yellowstone & Grand Teton (4th edition) books for this trip. There are plenty more books, including ones for the Grand Canyon (4th edition), Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon (4th edition), and Zion & Bryce Canyon (3rd edition).

Why use books instead of relying on blog posts and review sites like Yelp? Because sometimes I don’t even know where to start, and these books help give me an idea of the typical things visitors do in each park. Unlike some bloggers, these books also include things to do in the surrounding area, ideas for places to stay (that may not show up on deal websites), and I know these maps will be available to me even if my phone loses connection or my battery dies.

I challenge you to pick up one of these books, or borrow them from your local library, the next time you plan a trip! Bloggers may not include the information you’re looking for and these resources give a wide variety of activities for visitors.

Thank you to Lonely Planet and National Geographic for sending review copies of these fantastic resources. Although I received these books for free, I am sharing them here because I know Campfire Chic readers may benefit from learning about these resources and because I use them for my own travel planning. The links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links and purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me. If you’re not into affiliate links, simply plug the titles of the books into your favorite search engine. Thank you for your continued support of Campfire Chic.

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Adventure Books

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  • Megan June 6, 2016, 9:30 am

    I am also a book in hand type of gal, and I love picking up my maps from AAA. I’ll be the first to admit that I am hopeless when it comes to figuring out driving directions without Google, but for planning purposes, there is something about paper maps that can’t be beat.

    I love the Nat Geo guide books – we have one for all the US Scenic Byways, and it’s a great resource.

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