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The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel Hardcover – May 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1st edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741044502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741044508
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those aching for a relief from packaged tours or Club Med vacations would do well to pick up this out-of-the-ordinary guide. It's a manual for "experimental travel," a "playful" and "pleasingly vague" style of vacation, "where the journey's methodology is clear but the destination may be unknown." For example, Aesthetic Travel (which gets the lowest score for degree of difficulty) has readers creating an artistic record of their trip in a systematic but uncommon way, whether by photographing the fire station in every new town they visit or writing a poem in every main square. Trip Poker is riskier: four people roll the dice, and the winner gets to choose the destination; the loser pays for the weekend. It's a gimmick, but at least it's an entertaining one: for each experiment (and there are more than 40) comes a report written by a contributor or one of the authors, as well as b&w photos and illustrations with a quirky, Victorian bent. Antony and Henry are well-traveled journalists with plenty of experience, and they certainly get points for originality. If nothing else, their unusual book reminds us of the joy of discovery. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

...for the adventurous traveler who wants to live like a native.' --Real Simple Magazine, June 2005

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Customer Reviews

We can't know the destinations we will pass through, but we can control the way in which we travel.
Steven Unwin
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes unique ways to discover a town instead of just a list of museums and tourist traps that are "must see."
Adam Skogen
He has about forty ideas for you to consider, but I have to admit many of the ideas seem way too random for me to consider.
Ed Uyeshima

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With travel packages so commonplace as to be its own worst enemy when it comes to the throngs of tourists who concentrate on high-profile destinations, it's a treat to read about the quirky, somewhat off-kilter ideas that author Joel Henry (along with Lonely Planet staff writers Rachael Antony and Andrew Dean Nystrom) provides in this nifty little tome. A middle-aged television writer from Strasbourg, France and now the Director of Latourex, the Laboratory of Experimental Tourism, Henry elaborates on an alternative way of travel that he has been developing for over fifteen years, experimental travel. The idea is to choose destinations not for their logistical convenience, historic importance, climate appeal or overall popularity. Rather, a trip is built around a sense of chance, perhaps humor and hopefully serendipity in order to discover the unexpected and find a personal meaning in such travel.

Henry breaks down his ideas into categories that can come across as creative, flip and sometimes both. For example, in a situation similar to the set-up of Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal", the author discusses "aerotourism", which means spending a day wholly within an airport, using the various facilities meant for on-the-go travelers. This sounds almost reasonable if the airport is as elaborately designed as the ones in Amsterdam's Schiphol and Singapore's Changi, but I assume it could be most challenging in more remote locales.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on August 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are so many places I want to explore that I never thought of arranging my travel around quirky games. Maybe this book is for those who travel constantly and want a fresh way to explore a destination.

The book gives ideas like exploring a city by song lyrics or chess moves. Then it reports on actual travelers who have tried it. Maybe this book would suit my friend who wears Groucho glasses/nose to meet visitors at the airport.

I give the book four stars since Lonely Planet breaks ground with its travel books. Deducted one star, because I think the audience is pretty limited for travel this specialized.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Skogen on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who says this book is just about "silly games" has completely missed the point. It is completely different from any other travel book. It doesn't provide a destination, how to get there, and what to do once you're there. It gives unique ways to explore any destination, no matter how banal the destination is. It's a great way to discover a town and the people in it. You can even use these techniques to explore your own town and find things about it you never knew before.
Some of the suggested explorations include:
-Spend 24 hours in an airport. Don't use an airport as a way to get to your destination; use it AS your destination.
-Make an online post suggesting that travelers in a town should all wear an easily identifiable token, such as a red carnation. Wander the town, find the red carnation, and meet the people who read your post.
-Start out at any bar. Ask the bartender to suggest a bar and a drink. Go to that bar, order that drink, and repeat the process until it's time to call it a night.
-Find a dog, and let the dog take YOU on a walk. Let the canine be your guide.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes unique ways to discover a town instead of just a list of museums and tourist traps that are "must see."
If it's adventure you want, read Robert Young Pelton's "The World's Most Dangerous Places."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so some of the ideas are rather silly, but it does really expand the notion of "what is travel." That does sound pretentious, but the book is genuinely better than that. Here's my suggestion, there are inexpensive used copies. Buy one, write a positive, or scathing, review and then resell it if you're not happy with it. Then read up on the town that you'll be sending the book to...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Unwin on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that might help you see the world in new ways.
If you're not sure what Experimental Travel is, the book begins with a short description and a history. In brief Experimental Travel is described as a playful way of travelling, where the journey's methodology is clear, but the destination is unknown.

This may be an unfamiliar description of travel,however I think that the definition best describes the nature of our lives. We can't know the destinations we will pass through, but we can control the way in which we travel.

Thus the book is at first glance an interesting distraction from mundane travel by habit, and also provides insights that may be valuable at a much deeper level.

The body of the book comprises 40 such playful ways of taking a journey. Each is described by a hypothesis, apparatus required and the method supported by short introductory notes. These are sufficient for you to set off on a journey and have a go. In addition each of the 40 ways has what are described as Laboratory Results. In a nutshell these are reports of the experience of travellers who have followed the instructions.

The suggestions for experiments range from quite simple exercises, to those which would require a fair degree of preparation, Each invites you to see your world through new eyes by in some way switching your perspective. For example suggestion 18 `Expedition to K2' invites you not to climb the Himalayan peak, but to see a new aspect of your home town by visiting and exploring map grid square K2. Suggestion 39 '12 Travel' invites you to travel noting the number 12.
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