Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Travel Guide LET'S GO PARIS - Review

I just received my new copy of LET'S GO BUDGET PARIS. I was pretty excited since the LET'S GO series had been my best friend in the past. In 1986, LET'S GO EUROPE got me all around Europe with my backpack and Eurail. In 1992, I scored a hotel room for me and my husband for $35/night using the LET'S GO FRANCE. But it's been a while since I bought a current edition.

So I dug into this one last night. I was really shocked at how skimpy it was - actually read most of it in an hour. I suppose, in internet era, there's lots of information to be had in other ways. So this guide didn't need to have every little detail in writing. 

Things I liked: 
  • It made me feel 22 again! And of course, this series is really written for the student crowd.
  • If you're young (or young at heart,) you'll find the latest and hippest places to hang out.
  • The book was skimpy, but this meant it wasn't overwhelming. It made Paris seem like an easy place to hang out and have fun. And I certainly agree with that!
  • Since eating out can really eat into your budget, there are some great suggestions for inexpensive meals. 
  • There were some great bargain places to stay including hostels and hotels. Just be warned, there are age limits on the hostels and the hotels are not luxurious, but fantastic for price and other funky qualities. I was happy to see a really hip hotel I visited in 1987 that's still listed!
  • It didn't get all hung up on the usual tourist attractions, but pointed out some quicker and sometimes more obscure attractions.
Things I didn't like:
  • Let's face it - the humor was snarky. Sometimes I felt it was a bit disrespectful and demeaning. But I'll admit to a snicker here and there.
  • I didn't agree with their assessment of many of the attractions. I feel that they weren't always objective and might steer you away from, what I think are, great things to do.
  • The book does seem like a whirl-wind Paris party. But when I think back to my student days, I was not anywhere too long. So for people travelling around Europe, it's appropriate. If you're planning on a longer stay and are perhaps older or with your family, you should augment this with some other guides.
All in all, no matter what your age, I think this is a useful book to have in your library when researching your trip. Unless you're on an unlimited budget, you will really like the restaurants they list and perhaps find a bargain hotel.

Check out their web site too - they have good information and mobile tools too (just be sure you have a proper European phone to use it on.)

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