Here in the NG Library, we have an entire room dedicated just to guidebooks. Almost every square inch of wall space is covered in the colorful, enticing spines of Lonely Planets, Fodors, National Geographic Travelers, and Bradt guides. It’s a fantastic place if you’re looking to put together an itinerary for an upcoming trip to Paris, Namibia, Thailand (or, in my case, Santiago).
But what if you haven’t decided on a destination yet? As wonderful as it may be to know that the possibilities are endless, it can also be overwhelming — and the lists of pros versus cons can quickly spin out of control and leave you agonizing: Indonesia or the Maldives? Ireland or Scotland? Germany or the Czech Republic? Uruguay or Bolivia?
Last week, we got a new book into the Library that aims to help solve this problem. National Geographic’s 100 Countries, 5,000 Ideas offers a brief snapshot of highlights from 100 countries around the world, a few pictures to inspire you, and charts to help you pick the best trip for your budget, time frame, and traveling companions. Each section has a table listing cities, monuments, and recommended activities, so you can see at a glance what each location has to offer. It’s a great place to start when you don’t know where to start … and then you’ll be prepared to hit the travel section at your bookstore or local library. The book is available on February 15th.