Book Your Vacation at the Library

Touring the library’s Travel Neighborhood to choose your next destination – a quiet getaway or an action-packed adventure – is a smart way to plan a trip and save money. It’s also a fun place to browse.

What can you expect to find? Popular guidebooks by Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Moon Handbooks, National Geographic and Let’s Go are scattered throughout this geographically organized collection.

Travel memoirs evoking a strong sense of place, phrase books, travel bags, DVDs, and alternative guides such as the Off the Beaten Path series complement the more traditional guides and help you plan an escape you will never forget.


For an outdoor-focused getaway, choose to visit a National Park detailed in National Geographic’s new Guide to National Parks of the United States.  Woodall’s North American campground directory is a valuable, time-saving resource for RVers. For pet-friendly places to stay, Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook lists AAA-approved lodging.  Road trippers will appreciate Rand McNally’s road atlas for US, Canada and Mexico, shelved at the end of the travel section.

Nontraditional guides present unique perspectives and often detail lesser known attractions not found in the more popular guidebooks.  Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 US Cities, is researched, written and illustrated by artists living in those cities.  Discover Native America is an exceptional historical and cultural overview of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  Marci Penner’s 8 Wonders of Kansas! Guidebook is a must-have for Kansas travelers.

Travel bags for destinations such as Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago and even Alaska can be reserved and checked out for three weeks.  Pick up a brochure of your favorite attraction and add it to the bag to share with others.

Thinking about a European vacation? Lonely Planet’s Europe on a Shoestring: Big Trips on Small Budgets is a good starting point. If Paris is your dream getaway, pick up Blue Guide’s Paris to learn about the famous museums, art and architecture you’re about to explore. Reduce cultural barriers and check out the phrase books for languages such as German, French and Italian. These easy-to-transport books are at the beginning of the travel section.

If you’re considering volunteering during your vacation, prefer eco-friendly lodging or desire to travel to some faraway, exotic locale, spend time flipping through the books on the Places to Go shelves for inspiration.  Armchair travel enthusiasts will want to pick up a copy of Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers, the Best American Travel Writing series, or watch a DVD about a place that intrigues you.  Travel memoirs–often adventurous–are fun beach reads.  Many can be found in the Travel Stories section. Some authors I suggest are Jeffrey Tayler, Bill Bryson, Kira Salak and Tim Cahill.

Take a trip to the library this summer, save money on planning expenses, and share your stories with us!

Kimberly Sain

As a Public Services Specialist, in addition to Reference work I promote the Travel, Pets, and Lawn & Garden Neighborhoods, coordinate nature-themed programs for adults and families, and serve on the Big Read planning committee. My interests include exploring new travel destinations, National Parks, Alaska, hiking trails in Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas, birding, Sandhill crane migration, Monarch waystations, Kansas native plants, citizen science activities, volunteer work as a certified Kansas Master Naturalist, and reading essays about the natural environment. Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country is my all-time favorite novel.