From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you're going there, chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travelers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globetrotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has the experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveler, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.
This tried-and-true book written by a longtime Kathmandu resident and trekker offers everything you need to know to take a walk that will forever change your life--a trek through the Nepal Himalaya. It includes excellent planning details, comprehensive health and safety information, 38 maps, advice on culturally and environmentally sensitive trekking, how to get to the trailheads, a detailed equipment checklist, and a useful Nepali language section. The guide focuses on both the best treks as well as lesser-known alternatives. --Kathryn True