Entire guidebook or portions

I have Rick's 2013 France guidebook which is a hearty almost 1200 pages. As I'll be traveling just in the South of France, I wonder if it would be smart to tear out and just take relevant sections. I'll be traveling in Europe for 3 months and am conscious of weight. Yet I hate to destroy the book like this. Any thoughts or experience on the matter?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8735 posts

Destroy it. If you need a guidebook for a future trip, it will be better to have a current one then, anyway. Alternatively, you could just photocopy sections that you want and leave the book at home. Either way, you can discard the pages you are done with as you go along.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8198 posts

I pack as light as possible, which means packing relevant sections only. I discard them as I use them to offload any unneeded weight and gain space. Some people want to keep the book after the trip. I don't. I'll always buy the most recent version before any trip - so the old sections wouldn't be kept anyway even if the book was intact.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, you can do as you please, but what i did last trip since i was gone for a month was to send my souvenirs back including my books when i was done with that part of the trip. i too was conscience of the weight i was carrying and since i was adding to my souvenirs in every country, i figured spend some $$ and send it back to lighten my load. if you dont want to destroy it, then why not take notes of what you want to do, or as you mentioned remove the sections you want. in my opinion, the whole books doesnt take that much space. happy trails.

Posted by Lee
1017 posts

Another suggestion if you have a smart phone: use it to photograph or scan the pages you want to take along. Also use the Notes function or an app to take notes. For France, I like the Michelin Green Guides which imho are better, smaller and more light weight, so I pack the books.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5694 posts

What Tex said. Use your phone or i-pad to take photos of the pages you want. Alternative is to scan them and email them to yourself as an attachment. Perhaps separate emails for the separate days of your trip, to keep them organized. Each day, open up your email for the appropriate day.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2905 posts

Rip it up, take the sections you need. I used to feel like you, that it was sacrilege to tear up a book and then throw most or some of it away, but I got over that after carrying too many heavy books around with me. If it's because of the cost of the book, that you're being 'wasteful', just look at the book as part of the expense of your trip, then it won't bother you so much.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
5772 posts

I ALWAYS rip up travel guidebooks for the trip. They're just too heavy to be carrying the parts you know you won't need. If it really bothers you, buy two; rip up one for the trip and throw it away when you're finished, and keep the pristine one for later perusal. As said above, it's only about $25 extra we're talking about - not a lot compared with the total cost of a trip. Personally, I'd rather spend that money on a second, non-RS guidebook, to get another perspective.

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
1039 posts

A tidier suggestion than ripping out pages - take to Kinkos or Fedex store, have them slice off the binding (they have machines for this). Have them punch the pages for spiral or comb binding. Then remove the pages you need, replace the front and back cover, and have the shop put in the spiral/comb binding for your new book. I did this for my Eastern Europe book and it worked great.

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
4045 posts

Wow CL, that's a great tip. I photocopy pages I want to take with me and leave them in hotel room when I'm done with them. I like to keep my books. Majority of the info is relevant for many years and I reference them often.

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

Tear out the relevant sections, you will never regret leaving the remainder behind. It's so much lighter to pack and you can just take the few pages you need for the day in your pocket rather than having to keep track of a book. Then, when you are planning your next trip, treat yourself to a new one. The info changes year to year anyway.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1994 posts

I do the Kinkos route, having them cut off the binding and spiral bind what I need. For a long trip, I have them bind separate booklets for geographic areas, and then leave them behind as I move on. It only costs a few dollars and is a small price for saving my shoulder from the weight of carrying the books. It also makes it possible to bring along special-purpose books for topics of particular interest, rather than deciding what to leave home.

Posted by jennifer
brooklyn, ny, usa
118 posts

i would (personally) never tear up a guide book. what i do is figure out what information is useful to me, and retype it out in a word document. i can get one full day on one page and put maps on the back. im carrying a lot less paper, the typing of information works as a memory tool, and i keep my book in perfect shape!

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
307 posts

Maybe I missed this in previous posts but...did you look at the RS Provence book? Yes, you will still being dealing with weight but at least it will be more information on your area of travel. I did like the post about scanning the pages and sending them to your email address and then printing.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

I second the scanning advice. I have a s anning program on my phone called Genius Scan that will scan anything and put it I to .pdf form. I use it for my academic research, but have also used it for guidebooks I did t want to take on a trip. The Kinko's suggestion is good if you need something physical. We usually take one physical guidebook per area and scan or download anything else.

Posted by Marie
San Diego, CA, United States
864 posts

I'm a fan of tearing out the parts of the RS guidebook relevant to where I'm going. I staple the edges top/middle/bottom (or have Kindo's do it for me if it's to thick). Then say I'm doing the RS Heart of Rome walk. Easy to tear out and stuff those pages into my pocket. No worries about theft, light as can be and you can draw circles and arrows willy nilly showing your particular points of interest. I also buy a nice hard bound DK book prior to my trip and maybe copy a page here or there (good scale views of historic districts, pictures of food, detailed artist rendered views of major sites etc.) Sometimes (well often) a picture is worth a thousand words. The DK book stays home and is used as a reference for future trips. Upon my return I tape hotel and bistro cards in relevant spots, the receipt for an especially good museum - happy face(s) drawn on, journal notes (got lost but found this fantastic - fill in blank). Even years later when planning on a return trip it's really helpful. Then I buy an updated version of the RS guidebook and start ripping it apart again:)

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
7384 posts

Got the RS Vienna/Tyrol guidebook yesterday and today relevant pages are packed and the rest of it is in the recycle bin. I don't bother to staple, scan or bind - I throw away pages as I go. The only guidebooks I save intact are the Blue Guides.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
4235 posts

'DK' stands for Dorling Kindersley, a publisher of (among other thngs) travel books of various types. Notorious for being very heavy LOL! They have a lot of useful info on places (such as cross-sections of buildings, proper terms for the various parts of a cathedral) but for me the restaurant/hotel info is typically pricier than I want. They are great books for getting ideas, though!

Posted by Karen
Santa Rosa, CA
829 posts

I download the RS guide on my Kindle. I also have a hard copy that I've scoured, and know exactly how things are organized, so I could easily locate in the Kindle version, but can leave the book home. However, I do print copies of the RS Maps and put them in a 3 ring binder as maps on the kindle are worthless. Alternatively you can download the kindle app on an Iphone, Ipod, etc, and buy the electronic version. Again good for referring to, but not necessarily good for reading. (maybe an ipad is better, but can't speak from experience).

Posted by Claire
Sacramento, CA - Calif, United States
286 posts

Ditto on CL's advice to take the book to Kinko's to split the spine and spiral bind it. It was very inexpensive and the book can be reassembled after the trip if needed or just keep it as 2 books. But we really wore out the Spain sections on our last trip and will buy a new book if we go again. We could take notes in the "new book" if blank pages are added when having it bound.