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Should I buy a new Europe Through the Back Door?

I've had a copy of Europe through the Back Door since the early 1990s. I generally buy a new one about every 5 years. My current copy is from 2013, have there been enough changes to make buying a new one worthwhile? Or should I just spend the money on a different travel book?

Posted by
5020 posts

While I have a shelf full of RS guidebooks, and added 6 new ones a couple months ago, I haven't bought this one in several years.

I think ETTBD should be a MUST READ for anyone new to European travel, but...Frankly, it's best for its travel skills lessons, and the forums on this website are (at least for me) more useful and up to date.

Posted by
1329 posts

That's kinda what I was thinking. ETTBD still has some sections that are basically unchanged since I first read it around 1992.It is still a book I recommend to anyone who is intimidated by European travel, especially if all they've read is Fodor's or other guidebooks that only suggest expensive hotels and restaurants and make the idea of European travel to be beyond the budget of most people. Reading Rick, Lonely Planet, and Let's Go in the early 1990s planted the travel bug in me that has never subsided.

Posted by
8582 posts

I bought a new one in 2017, as I had given away my old one. I'd say it has a few tweaks but nothing major, so Id wait a couple more years, if at all. It could actually use a complete re-write to update and catch up to technology and money issues.

Posted by
7377 posts

Hi Dale, I usually buy the country-specific location we're traveling vs. the Europe through the Back Door that summarizes the top locations. I purchase a new copy of a RS country-specific, i.e. Italy, if we haven't been there for 3 years, or I might buy a RS city, i.e. Rome, instead.

Posted by
4010 posts

Go to your local copy and compare the newest edition they have with your 2013. Then decide to buy a new, save money and take out the one from the library, or use your own copy.

While I enjoy the book at home, I never travel with it as it's too heavy and I'd rather have a copy of a book specifically about where I'm traveling -- not all of Europe.

Posted by
11362 posts

If you want to get a newer one without the cost of brand new, try they have a pretty good selection of 1-3 year old books at favorable prices