Travel Books & Resources

Life is short. Get there the easy way & don’t reinvent the wheel. Here are some things that will help you plan, play & save.

Note: When you scroll down you’ll notice that this is a small list of travel books & guides. Why is it so tiny?

I haven’t read every book out there and these are just my personal favorites that are worth mentioning. I didn’t want to create a virtual library of every travel book out there. Amazon.com does a pretty good job of that already.

In a nutshell, these are books & guides I have read, used, and have found exceedingly helpful.

Click an item to read a short snippet of my personal review, or scroll down to peruse at your leisure:

Posts with travel product reviews:

     

    Learn To Travel Hack & Fly For Next-To-Nothing

    frequentflyermaster

    Learning to manipulate and easily earn frequent flyer miles is the key to frequent & cheap travel, especially when you have kids. I have not paid full price for a flight in years using the tips in this instantly downloadable PDF guide. The author, Chris Guillebeau, is a bestseller writer who happens to be achieving a goal of visiting every single country in the world (he’s been to 151 last time I checked). These are his personal insider nuggets of gold, and you can’t find better tips on how to “work” the frequent flyer system anywhere.

    _____________________________________

    Travel Ideas & Plans That Will Inspire You

    Volunteer Vacations Across America: Immersion Travel USA (Immersion Travel USA) is a travel guide like no other and you’ll want it on your shelf as a reference, though you might find a copy in the library. Sheryl Kayne does a thorough job listing every possible opportunity across the country, from bicycling for cancer to stomping grapes or working on an organic farm. You might think “ack, volunteer for a vacation?” but when you read this book, you’ll see how fun, exciting and – most of all – cheap it can be.

    _____________________________________

    Do you see a book title like Six Months Off: How to Plan, Negotiate, and Take the Break You Need Without Burning Bridges or Going Broke and think to yourself, “I could never do that!”?

    If you’re doubtful that you can take six months off of “life” (even with kids), you owe it to the rest of your life to read this book. It will show you how you can take a sabbatical without going broke or losing your job. (Of course, you might find out in the end that you don’t want or need to go back to work anyway!)

    _____________________________________

    Did you know that one of the cheapest and most exciting places to travel is just south of us?  Bring Your Own Children: South America! A Family Sabbatical Handbook really opened up the possibility of exploring Latin America with our kids.

    “South America can be an exciting, family-friendly vacation destination and an increasingly attractive, affordable alternative to the sharply rising costs of a trip to Europe or even the United States! Perhaps most importantly, eight-year-old Christopher offers his unique perspective on the pros and cons of each region for children.”

    _____________________________________

    I was utterly inspired by this well-written, witty and wild story about a typical American family who does something that is extraordinary. WorldTrek: A Family Odyssey details one family’s journey around the world (with two kids in tow!) and will inspire you to think about what your own “Odyssey” might look like.

    If you’re someone who wants to do something unconventional with your life, it’s so important to look to others who have been there and done that. This is just such a place.

    _____________________________________

    The Logistical Must-Haves for RVing & Road Trips 

    There are four items we keep close by when we make road trips around the U.S. Before we took off, we polled everyone we knew and these were the items that kept coming up. Turns out, they were right!

    If you’re taking a road trip, The Next Exit 2011: USA Interstate Exit Directory: the Most Complete Interstate Exit Directory is a gem; if you’re RVing, this is essential! The Next Exit gives you an updated list of what you will find at every interstate exit in the United States. That means you can know precisely when the next truck stop is coming up (with diesel!), the next Super Wal-Mart, rest stops and every thing else you can think of. I can tell you if there is a Chili’s, RV park, Waffle House or Home Depot coming up in the next 10 miles or not. Everyone will be less stressed knowing exactly when they can get gas, eat and sleep.

    That knowledge is power, I tell you!

    _____________________________________

    There are many ways to find an RV park. You can always go online, but if you only rely on the internet you’re going to get a hit-or-miss experience. Trailer Life RV Parks, Campgrounds, and Services Directory 2011 is very comprehensive, impressively updated and the ratings are accurate. (I pay attention to the bathroom ratings more than anything.) Though I do look online, this directory is the backbone of my RV park research.

    (Note: We bought ours at Camping World & paid way more than the price I’m seeing at Amazon right now. If you’ve been RVing for any length of time, you’ll realize that Camping World tends to be pricey.)

    _____________________________________

    Rand McNally 2011 Road Atlas: United States, Canada, and Mexico (Rand Mcnally Road Atlas: United States, Canada, Mexico) is an accurate but basic road atlas by the best in the biz, Rand McNally. It’s on the smaller side and doesn’t have every single little road you might want to see unless it’s a major city. (There are great city maps included.)

    This is all we need because we also use a GPS device. Even though I have a GPS, I wouldn’t travel without a physical map, and this does the job.

    _____________________________________

    We started driving the U.S. using just a map. I shunned GPS devices because we tend to be minimalistic and critical of new technology (until it’s been out so long the bugs have been worked out and the price has fallen). Well, after we got lost in Amish cornfields looking for an RV park, we decided it was time. Time to get a GPS. I know, people are shocked that we waited so long. Now that I have one, I am too. So, if you’re like us and living in the Stone Ages, or if you haven’t upgraded in a while, I recommend a large-screen Garmin (not a Tom-Tom). We ended up with a Garmin nüvi 1370/1370T 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Maps of North America & Europe and Lifetime Traffic and love it. The prices are good at Amazon.com but I would check out Wal-Mart.com, too, since they sell refurbished models (only online). You will wonder, how did I live without one?

    _____________________________________

    Confession & Recommendation: We do use affiliate links for some products which means we make a small percentage if you buy via these particular links. But as much as the greedy part of me would love for you to buy every single item I recommend, the frugal part of me would rather you check your library or Craigslist first and just get them for free or for very little. The next best place is Amazon.com  (cheapest prices and fastest shipping!), and that’s why I link there most of the time.