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To guidebook or not?

When I started planning for my first solo trip, I turned my nose up at guidebooks. Why bother paying for information that I can easily get online?

Southeast Asia on a Shoestring
Three generations of Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring guide

Though I refused to shell out Php 1,000 for a Lonely Planet Thailand, I ended up buying an AAA Spiral Thailand and a Traveler’s Companion Thailand that ended up costing me as much (maybe even more) than the LP guidebook. In the course of preparing for the trip, I came to the conclusion that toting a guidebook means you have information within reach — no need to go online to find out where to eat. It was Lonely Planet’s size (and the tag price) that turned me off from buying it. I wouldn’t want to be toting a heavy book around. That’s how I ended up shelling with the spiral guide; it’s small and light enough that it doesn’t add any significant weight to my bag.
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