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The Rough Guide to Ireland Paperback – January 31, 2011
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1. The books that are full of pictures to help you plan where you want to go and what you want to see before you go. OR, you use them when you get back to refresh your memory of what you saw. They are too heavy to actually carry with you on your trip, if you are trying to pack light. DK Eyewitness guides are a great example.
2. The books that you actually carry with you to help find accommodation, local travelling tips, eating guides, etc. Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Rick Steves, etc.
Rough Guides provide great tips on accommodation and eating recommendations in all price ranges; as well as practical tips for travelling, such as which direction traffic flows most easily around a particular scenic route (The Ring of Kerry).
I have now used the Rough Guide for both Ireland and Guatemala. I have been very pleased with both. The book may seem thick, but really they aren't too heavy to carry everyday. I found several great hints both before I left and while I was travelling. In fact, I compared my guide with a fellow traveller using Rick Steves, and we found that both offered tips, though rarely the same. We felt Rough Guide's were more practical.
Before I purchased the actual book I previewed the digital copies of both Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. I originally wanted to carry only the digital copy, but realized that may prove impractical at times (on the plane, when you want quick access to notes, etc.). I went ahead and purchased the actual book. Before I went I had the DK Ireland and Backroads Ireland guides to help plan my trip, but the Rough Guide was the only book I took with me.
For future trips, I will not hesitate to use the Rough Guide. Of course, keep in mind that guide books may be published by the same company, but not written by the same authors, so one brand may not be "the best" for all countries. I will still preview the top brands before purchasing. But, in a rush, Rough Guides is becoming my go-to.
The guide offers the standard travelers information on Ireland, along with sections on its unique culture, sports, and food and drink. Subsequent chapters explore each of its counties and major cities. A concluding section offers a sampling of Ireland's history, literature, and music. There are suggestions for room and board. The informative text is supplemented by lots of maps, graphics, and photographs. Coupled with a good motoring map, this guide may be all most tourists need to explore Ireland. "The Rough Guide to Ireland" is highly recommended to those travelers planning a visit.