by Julia Spiro

There are so many travel guides out there today that attempt to cover everything from budget hostels to five-star dining and everything in between. The result is often a thinly spread mass of information that omits important details and insider advice, leaving readers feeling overwhelmed and under-informed.

Many of the newest travel guides are targeted at specific types of travelers, so that everyone can find a guide to suit their unique travel needs. If you’re an eco-girl, the Greenopia guidebooks will help you travel green. If you’re a struggling student on a backpacking trip, the Let’s Go series, written entirely by students, will assist you in your search for cheap adventure. And if you’re a serious consumer on the lookout for the best dining and shopping, let the Eat.Shop series be your guide.

There’s no need to lug a glossy, oversized guidebook with you on your next trip- it will only leave you with a few extra maps and some serious back pain. Check out Tango Diva’s recommendations to suit every gal’s travel style and interests.


As the series’ title implies, these sleek and simple guides to 13 cities such as Austin, Montreal, Portland, and Paris include over 90 of the author’s favorite picks for places to simply eat or shop. The author of each guide does all the research, writing, and photography, so that readers get personal advice that they can trust. Eat.Shop guides include a wide range of recommendations, from the eclectic and funky to the classic and luxe, all of which are locally owned businesses in the urban core.

For more information check out the Eat.Shop Web site.



These vibrant, green guides to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (with more cities on the way) are a thorough introduction to living the green life with ease and style. Whether you’re a city visitor or resident, Greenopia has listings for the best local places in the green market, including organic restaurants and grocery stores, dry cleaners, sustainable building suppliers, and even organic pest control services.

For more information visit the Greenopia Web site.


Rough Guides

Rough Guide

Travelers who want to do, see, eat, and explore as much as possible in a short amount of time should pick up a Rough Guide. These guides to over 220 worldwide destinations include comprehensive recommendations to everything from hostels and hotels to adventure tours and extreme sports. With detailed maps, straightforward coverage of each destination’s history, politics and culture, plus unique insider tips, these guides are for the vacationer who wants to maximize their time. And for the high-tech diva on the go, there are downloadable e-books, digital maps, podcasts and podscrolls available on the website.

For more information visit the Rough Guides Web site.


Eat Smart

Eat Smart

These guidebooks are for the foodies who want to discover a country or city through its authentic cuisine. With books on international culinary hot spots like Sicily,
Poland, and Indonesia, readers get insider information on the best local markets, restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall cafes that will satisfy any hungry traveler. These guides also include a list of non-English phrases and a guide to various local foods, spices, cooking utensils, cooking styles, and more, in order for travelers to order, buy, and eat with ease.

For more information, visit the Eat Smart Web site.




If high-style is your style, then a LUXE city guide is all you need to have the most upscale and chic vacation to cosmopolitan destinations around the world, such as Florence, Dubai, Tokyo, and New York. Written by stylish natives and small enough to toss in your purse, these are no-frills guides to only the best and most current restaurants, shops, accommodations, spas, and sights. While there are no maps or pictures, the comprehensive categories such as “Very Useful” (including things like hospital services and dream car rentals) and “Shopping Itineraries” will help any sophisticated traveler live like a first-class local.

For more information, visit the LUXE city guide Web site.


Let’s Go

Let's Go

Written and researched entirely by college students, these guidebooks have been helping travelers find the best budget travel experiences for nearly 50 years. With books on countries all around the world that are updated every year, Let’s Go reveals a fresh perspective from students traveling off the beaten path, looking for adventure, fun, and bargains. The books also include ways to participate in local community service while traveling.

For more information, visit the Let’s Go Web site.


Not For Tourists

Not For Tourists

These extensive books on American cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., are packed with only the most essential information for visitors and new residents alike. With simple listings of information on transportation systems and government resources, as well as restaurants and shops, these books are like a friendlier version of the Yellow Pages. The descriptive maps and helpful insider commentaries will make visitors feel like locals in no time.

For more information, visit the Not For Tourists Web site.

And of course our very own Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places On Earth For a Girl to Travel Alone” available on Amazon.