Frommer’s is now offering personalized guidebooks. You give them your itinerary, they give you a guidebook that is tailored to that itinerary, with maps and coupons, along with the travel information you would normally expect of a guidebook.
It’s a nice idea. If you are visiting three cities in three different states, you won’t need three or more guidebooks. And the coupons are a unique touch, although I wasn’t too impressed with the selections. Over time, the coupon selections will probably get better.
The retail price of the guidebooks is $19.99, which I think might be too high, but the introductory price is $9.99, which is quite affordable. I do use some of Frommer’s guidebooks for trip planning, although in recent years, I have found much better information with a combination of Trip Advisor, locally produced tourist publications and websites and Google.
The best thing about the Guidebook is its ability to sync your itinerary with TripIt, my favorite travel utility. TripIt allows you to forward your reservations by email, and it automatically generates an itinerary for your trips, complete with airline, hotel, car rental and dinner reservations, as well as shows and events. Once inputted into your account, you can modify your itinerary with possible activities. What’s really amazing is that the program syncs to your smartphone or tablet, so you no longer have to carry paper. Finally, TripIt integrates with your social networks, which may be a feature that lots of people would enjoy, especially for group trips. I haven’t had reason to use the social networking tools, but I definitely see how I could use it.