Guidebooks & Maps

Book Review: Travels with Baby

At Spot Cool Stuff, we’re novice parents. But we’re expert travelers. So we figured that traveling with our newly-arrived bundle of poop joy would come naturally to us.

We figured wrong.

Going on a trip with a young kiddo takes skill and knowledge well beyond what’s required when traveling solo. New parents need to learn new travel rules (Do car seats count as a carry-on item?), packing requirements (Do I really have to lug that heavy pack-and-play everywhere?) and planning considerations (How do I go on a mid-afternoon city tour and still accommodate a mid-afternoon nap?).

Fortunately, new parents needn’t subject themselves to learning the art of family travel through trial and error. That’s because Shelly Rivoli, family travel blogger extraordinaire, already has. And she’s compiled all her best advice in the book Travels with Baby.

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Crumpled City Maps

Maps look great when they are brand new. Not so much a few days into a trip.

After multiple unfoldings and refoldings (perhaps along the pre-folded map creases but more likely not), after exposure to wind, rain, the curious hands of children, the clumsy hands of adults, the bottom of a jostling bag and/or coffee spills, a nice paper map can become a mangled monstrosity. Crumpled City Maps are different.

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Use Your Smartphone, Guidepal
To Find Cool City Experiences

Travel publishers finally are starting to produce electronic editions of their guidebooks for devices like the Kindle, iPad and Nook. About time! says Spot Cool Stuff. E-book readers are ideal for travel content—they are lighter and thinner than paper guidebooks and can be updated much more quickly (and cheaply).

While the mainstream travel guidebook companies play catch-up, a host of new publishers are out in front producing high-quality travel content for smartphones. One that’s of special note is Guidepal, whose city guides are available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

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Choice Vegas Guidebooks

Amazon has well over 2,000 guidebooks about Las Vegas. We haven’t read them all. But we’ve read portions of many. And of those the one we’d suggest to you would depend on how well you already know Vegas, whether you have a Kindle ebook reading device, and whether or not you are heading to Sin City with a group of your male friends hoping that whatever you do in Vegas does, in fact, stay there.

Our Vegas guidebook selections:

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Where To Go When

We are often surprised how much effort travelers put into deciding where to go and so little into deciding when. The weather at a certain time of year obviously effects the travel experience but so do a lot of other timing factors — when that cool local festival is happening, when an attraction is overrun by other tourists, when that amazing waterfall is at its best or when the whales are jumping. Where To Go When is the Eyewitness Travel guide to the logistics of planning the perfect nexus of vacation time and place. The book is conveniently organized by month and includes some stunning photographs. And while there aren’t enough details in this book to plan your trip once you’ve settled on your destination you’ll find lots of inspiration within these pages.

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