It's safe to say that the vast majority of us book a holiday to a place where we 'like the sound of'. Destinations tend to be spread by word of mouth, when other people enjoy their vacation and tell their friends - or the entire internet. Yet oddly, when we've booked this people-recommended holiday, many of us then go and by a travel guide from a book retailer.
This might not seem that odd, but in reality it is. We take a tip given by a genuine, fellow traveler and then reduce it down to buying a travel guide. A guide which was probably written by a freelance writer who has never even set foot in the country they have visited. The small travel guides you can buy in shops and convenience stores provide little insight and no personal touch of what it is like to visit a place, and what you should do while you're there. That means you may miss out, and not get the most out of your holiday.
The solution, thankfully, is simple. The genuine, person-to-person or on the grapevine advice is the thing to stick to: you want to know what people like yourself thought of the destination, and where they think you should visit. You don't want some rehashed advertising literature that makes everything sound wonderful - and that's mainly what travel guides are.
Thankfully, there are sites on the internet that will provide a genuine experience report and recommendation guide for fellow travelers Run a search engine query for your destination and browse through the pages, and some personal testimonials will inevitably come up. The personal touch is always preferable to some generic content, so give travel guides a miss and get your tips and advice from those who have actually been there and done it.