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Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives Hardcover – August 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: DK Travel; 1 edition (August 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756653991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756653996
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 10.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

After perusing this book, I'm ready to pack my bags and head off to almost anywhere in the book!
Deborah Verlen
This coffee table sized book is printed on glossy stock and filled with lots of sharp, clear photos.
Luanne Ollivier
To be clear, the book is less an actual travel guide and more a guide for expanding one's worldview.
emmejay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By emmejay VINE VOICE on September 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The premise of OFF THE TOURIST TRAIL is ambitious: narrow the planet's must-see attractions to the hundred crème-de-la-crème; delineate what makes them so fabulous and acknowledge their drawbacks (usually crowds and commercialization); and then offer worthy alternatives. Oh -- and accompany it with mind-blowingly stunning photography.

The result? A coffee-table book presented with Dorling Kindersley's trademark lush sensuality -- smooth, silky pages; vibrant colors; pleasing layout -- that is beyond successful. To be clear, the book is less an actual travel guide and more a guide for expanding one's worldview. Yes, uber-travelers might happily substitute one continent's beach or festival for another's, half a world away. But historical sites and natural wonders seem much less interchangeable, and the takeaway from this book is an awareness that even unique sites actually do have similars (Lascaux isn't the planet's only example of prehistoric rock art; Pompeii isn't the only preserved ruins; Route 66 isn't even the best driving trip).

My only caution is to Bill Bryson fans who are drawn by the prominent attachment of his name to this book. Be forewarned -- his only contribution is an unbelievably short, repetitive, and vacuous Foreword, and it frankly disrespects both the book and the reader.

Otherwise, highly recommended!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By loyal customer Bill on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are lots of books around that give summaries of the world's "best." This is the best of these books I have ever seen. It has the usual DK excellence of design, but what makes it so useful is that it lists so many options in so many categories. Then, it gives plenty of information necessary for further study. The big categories are Ancient & Historical Sights; Festivals & Parties; Great Journeys; Natural Wonders; Beaches; Sports & Activities; Art & Culture; and Cities. For each, there are pages that list the most well known item, then its major competitor. What I like especially is that there are usually 4-44 additional destinations--small presentations, but sufficient, and usually with a small photo. Great. The whole world.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By ELP FAN on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As soon as i saw this book I was impressed with it. Basically it gives alternatives to common tourist attractions around the world, Its categorized by areas such as cities, mountains, festivals, etc. What I like is that it gives easy access to many travel ideas I might have never found out about or which wouldve taken hours to research, It a concise volume on lesser know places of interest around the world. Maybe lesser know but also maybe equally or more beautiful. While some of the many listed alternatives are only briefly described the book is just a jumping point for future reference and research via the internet. So if you like to travel and want to get off the beaten path this book is definitely for you. Happy Travels
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Verlen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After perusing this book, I'm ready to pack my bags and head off to almost anywhere in the book! The book takes one hundred cliched destinations and gives you over a thousand alternatives. The book itself is presented in a large coffee table format and is full of wonderfully colorful pictures that make you feel like you are there in the middle of the scene as well as suggestions and advice on what to do when you get there.

You can flip through the book looking for interesting places to visit or read about or you can approach the process more scientifically and search by theme. They include ancient and historical sights, festivals/parties, journeys, architectural marvels, natural wonders, beaches, sports, art and culture and cities.

For instance, I love the city of New York and when I go there I tend to revisit the same attractions which are generally right smack dab in the middle of the tourist path. The book contains a couple of pages on "Less Explored New York City." I can't wait until my next visit to go exploring. There are also some great suggestions for other well known cities.

If you enjoy travel and like the unexpected, this book will give you a lush presentation and lots of ideas for exploration no matter what you like--ancient ruins, modern cities, festivals or just beach combing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Bjorkevik on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely book with wonderful pictures and colours and, for the most part, good tips on alternative tourist tours. But know one thing, you have to memorize what the book says, before you pack your bags and head off to the airport, because it is a half meter times 30 cm huge, massive, mega-heavy piece of art, that won't fit in any light baggage whatsoever. In other words, it's not your average Lonely Planet pocket book, that you can keep in your back pocket.

As for good alternative tours "for the most part", it is not exactly realistic when it might suggest a beach on a far away never heard of island in the Atlantic Ocean, instead of Bondi Beach in central Sydney...

Other than that, the book is a joy for the mind and for the eye!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yolanda McCree on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is meant for the serious traveler or dreamer. Want to see amphitheaters? This guide will direct you away from the Colosseum in Rome to Pula Arena in Croatia with historical details, how to get there and when to go in the typical DK format. However, it explains both what makes the Colosseum the lesser choice and a good choice. Should you still decide to go, tips are given on how best to do that. For many of the topics (like amphitheaters), more than the one main option is presented. Alternative amphitheaters in Lybia, Tunisia, Germany, Spain, Italy (Verona) and France are shown. It is the richness of the choices which are global and inclusive which delights me, but may frustrate the less serious or impoverished traveler.

I bought 5 travel books around the same time. This is the one that I come back to time and again. While the premise of the book is to avoid the more touristed sites, ignore that, after all, that is what the off-season is for. This volume is my candy shop window.
I invite you to share the plentyful delights.
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