I wrote yesterday about Lonely Planet’s experiment selling PDF chapters of its guidebooks rather than entire books. Today I want to write about something I mentioned at the end of the post: not paying retail prices for your professionally-produced travel advice.
Natch, the cheapest way to get your travel info is to check out the guidebooks from the library and copy as needed. Second cheapest is to buy used copies of older versions, locally or online. But if you’d rather have an up-to-date bound copy, the best place to go is neither your local bookstore nor Amazon.com.
This is not to undervalue guidebooks, which are worth every penny, even retail, for the money, time and frustration they save you when planning and enjoying your trip. That said, the cheapest travel guides I’ve found online are at Overstock.com. They are always below the Amazon discounted price. Overstock does not always have as broad a selection as Amazon, but they do carry the most important travel publishers for no-budget travelers: Lonely Planet, Time Out, Rough Guides, Let’s Go. Shipping is a flat $2.95, and if you sign up for their email notifications, you can often get free or $1 shipping, for further savings over Amazon.