When you write a guidebook, your work has just begun. You have to update it, and you have to promote it. I’m thankful to have a great relationship with a smart and supportive publisher, Avalon Travel Publishing. And Avalon (I like to think) is thankful to have a writer who jumps at any opportunity to tell the public about his books. Every year or so, Avalon offers to hire a special service that lines up an intense morning of radio interviews for me. And every year, I say, “Yes!”
Before dawn, I set up camp at my office. The service calls in, and then, from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m., they connect me with talk show hosts all across the country. I do an eight-minute interview nearly every ten minutes. When I finally hang up the phone, the call duration reads “4 hr 30 min” — and I’ve talked with perky commercial radio hosts for 20 or so drive-time interviews right across the USA. When done, I run to the men’s room and think, “That was a great morning’s work.”
There’s lots to talk about these days. Here are a few of my key points:
Europe is on sale — with the dollar nearly at parity with the euro.
It’s critical that smart American travelers be proactive about planning for the marquee sights, as they’ll be competing with lots of travelers from the emerging economies of China and India. In those countries, there are suddenly 100 million people in the middle class with enough money to fly to Europe, and who have long dreamed of seeing Europe’s top ten sights.
If you’re wondering where your travel dollar stretches the farthest, I make three points: know more about what you’re looking at, and each admission earns you double the experience; your time is a valuable and limited resource that deserves being treated as thoughtfully as your money; and the best values are had in the places where your travel dreams are taking you. If prices are cheaper in Portugal, but your travel dreams are in Scotland, your best travel value is in Scotland — just equip yourself with good information so you can travel smartly there.
That’s when I segue into a reminder that guidebooks are $20 tools for $3,000 experiences — and my Scotland guidebook has all the practical information you’ll need for a great trip there. It’ll earn back its cost on your first day in Edinburgh.
Stoking your own travel dreams? You can find all of my guidebooks in my travel store.