Beyond the Guidebooks: Using Your Library for Travel Planning
Updated: Jan 24
What’s the first thing you think of when you think of the word “vacation”? Is it beaches? Maybe cruises? The library?
Wait, the library? Well, the library is useful so many things, including for travel planning. It offers so many more things besides guidebooks! Yes, guidebooks are helpful for finding hotels, restaurants and museums, but it's not the only travel-related info you can find at the library! Enjoy!
Get a novel about the country! Reading about a country, whether nonfiction or fiction gives you insight into the people and culture, in an interesting and entertaining way that’s not “guide-booky”.
Get a cookbook from the country you’ll be visiting to learn about the cuisine that you’ll likely be sampling. And, while you have that cook book, create a food list of “stuff you’ll eat” and “stuff you definitely won’t eat” (really). Before a trip to Peru, I borrowed a Peruvian cookbook from the library and kept a list of all the foods I'd probably come across. I carried it with me and it proved unbelievably useful.
Got the Music in You!
Take out a CD or download music from the country you’ll be visiting. Music is very important in many cultures so listening to the country’s music is a way to get to know the culture before you get there!
Many libraries rent movies (if you can't find what you're looking for online)! You might be able to find one that's set in the country you're headed to!
Not the “Fake News”
Read the news. While not every library will have actual newspapers from the country you'll be visiting, you can search for newspapers and/or news articles on the computer in the library!
But I Can’t Read the Language …..
Lots of libraries computer language programs you can download that will help you learn basic phrases. My library offers a program called Mango.
Similarly, while not everyone can read or speak another language, the good news is that you can usually find articles in English about almost any place you might visit.
If you don’t have a computer at home, the library is the place to go! Like I mentioned earlier, you can use the library’s computers to search the web for newspapers or to learn a language! You can also use them to search for destinations you're interested in, as well as for deals and travel information on those destinations! Remember – think about your library for destinations near and far! A trip around the block can be as much fun as a journey around the world!
How do you use your local library when planning a trip? Tell me about it on Facebook or in the comment section below!