I’m having an excellent time making plans for my trip to Costa Rica in August 2009. I’ll be going with one of my best friends and my most favorite travel mate, Thao. We met while studying abroad in 2004 and have been indulging in our traveling dreams since. One day we’ll hit the lottery, buy ourselves a plane and do a lot more of this. Since we’ve been home, most of our travel has been domestic.. Chicago, Austin, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, the Jersey shore, etc. As an anniversary trip, we decided to go international again, and chose Costa Rica.
Once we decided on a location, I promptly sat myself down on the floor in Barnes & Noble to peruse the travel guides. The winner, by and large, was Fodor’s. Both the hard copy guide and the online website have helped us in leaps and bounds, and we haven’t even left the United States yet!
The following pieces have been most helpful:
- maps. There are maps for each region of the country, and major airports and attractions are highlighted. There are also several itineraries in the beginning that trace a 6 or 8 days route through the country, on separate maps so you can orient yourself with the area.
- honest tips. As a traveler, I really appreciate tips like “the hotel’s intimacy is compromised by its scale and its popularity with day-trippers, although a reservations system for day passes is limiting the intrusion and improving the situation …” These are further assisted by the online website, which allows for customer reviews.
- security tips. Who knew that there were cars masquerading as taxis in Costa Rica? There are several blatantly honest notes about how to watch your step (and your pockets, your luggage and your belongings).
- options. There are many different options in each region – each with it’s own paragraph with tips and facts. Restaurants, activities, shopping, travel logistics – everything is spelled out so that even the most pedestrian traveler can see the highlights.
- logical progression. Everything has a place! A well organized index points to all major topics, and each chapter is organized by region. As a organization geek, this appeals to me greatly.
- feedback. I hope to be able to utilize this function when I come home / while traveling. Fodor’s invites commentary from traveler’s to legitimize their claims to this restaurant or that hotel. If they’re bogus, you can tell them. If they’re right on, they want to hear it.
Is it August yet? I’m ready!