On my recent trip to Cambodia, I took both physical and electronic travel guides. Here is a short pro/con list I made up for each format.
- It doesn’t take up any additional weight in your luggage. This wasn’t a concern for me on the way to Cambodia, but I could’ve lived without the kg’s on the return trip.
- You can highlight parts/do a search making it easier to locate specific things within the book. This made it quite easy when I was reading up on locations during breakfast.
- In the bright light of day (or a low battery) it becomes an issue to work with an e-book as you have to push your screen brightness to the max (especially somewhere like Cambodia–less a concern in other spots around the globe)
- Not battery dependent, will not disappear the second your phone/tablet dies
- You can mark it up and bend the pages to quickly find what you’re looking for (or my personal favorite–use post-its)
- It’s additional weight not just in your luggage but to carry around during the day. If you’re spending the day hiking, it can be terrible.
In the end, I didn’t have much use for the physical books once I left the hotel, and I only tended to read my e-book at breakfast, during lunch, and sometimes during the drive from one place to another. I think for my next trip I might prefer an e-book, but I’m likely to get a copy of both or two different books, one in each format as I feel like I’m still beta-testing the idea of not using a physical book
What about you guys? Prefer one format over the other? Think I’m really old fashioned for reading guidebooks at all when the internet is there?