Avoiding Outdated Guidebooks

We’ve done a few posts here on Galding about guidebooks because they tend to be the primary source of information which can very easily make or break your trip.

There are many things to take into consideration when looking for a guidebook, but one of the most important to me is to check the date when it was published.  Old guidebooks with out-of-date hotel prices and restaurants long closed are no help to anyone.  The problem, however, is that even current guidebooks are outdated the moment they hit your local bookseller.  It takes a lot of time to research and write a travel book–at least a year minimum–and the information gathered can become quickly outdated during that time period.

So, which guidebooks tend to be the most up-to-date, and therefore most accurate?  The LA Times has published a handy article detailing how often publishers revise and update their various guidebooks.  Lonely Planet, for example, “generally updates about 80% of its books every two years.”  Not too bad. 

The article also discusses some of the guidelines which various publishers ask their writers to follow, such as requiring them to visit every accommodation recommended, but not necessarily having to stay at each one.