There is a popular conception of the travel writer as a grizzled backpacker who hacks through unknown territory to bring exotic stories to the reader. But in an economic downturn, fewer people are willing to hop onto the next flight to Nepal or Bora Bora to follow romantic dreams. With these uncertain times, many families have decided to keep their travel plans close to home. Daytrips, weekend outings and the short 4-day trip have replaced the two-week vacation for many Americans.
According to Barbara Hudgins, author of “Crafting the Travel Guidebook” local and regional travel guide sales have stayed afloat while destination guide sales have softened. One woman wrote a guide to playgrounds in her New Jersey area and the book simply flew off the shelves. Hiking and biking guides as well as books about winery tours or museums within a particular region also seem to maintain steady interest no matter what the economic climate.
When it comes to budget travel and how-to-do-it books there is also a strong demand. “Crafting the Travel Guidebook” covers a whole slew of categories within the travel arena. There are guides targeted at senior citizens and retirees, special interest as well as special audience. Retirees with defined pension plans have a strong comfort level and can plan vacations far in advance. Obviously, they may opt for trips to Mexico and South America rather than Europe where the dollar no longer has the purchasing power it once did. Students and backpackers have always depended on budget travel books but guides to short-term employment overseas can also be helpful. Travelers with special interests such as the theater or cooking can latch onto reasonable tours that cater to those tastes.
Books on home exchanges, house rentals and the cheapest places to live and learn are among the many guidebooks on the market. How-to-do-it books also hone in on the cheapest travel finds, packing the single suitcase so that you don’t have to pay extra fees, and discovering freebies at airlines, restaurants and hotels. Whatever the economic climate, there are always guidebooks to help the consumer find a trail to travel. Writers will find a helpful compendium to all styles of travel books in “Crafting the Travel Guidebook."