When traveling, certain things are a given: the person seated in front of you on the plane will recline his seat before the “fasten seat belts” sign is turned on; you’ll find the best hotel room rates on aggregator sites; and to get the best deal on airfare, you should book on a Tuesday.
Actually, though that last one held true for several years, when the Airline Reporting Corp. analyzed 26 million airfare transactions made in 2016, the organization found that Tuesday is no longer the day to get the best airfares. Now, flights booked over the weekend cost, on average, 19% less than flights booked on weekdays.
Similarly, travelers won’t necessarily find the best hotel rates on booking sites. “Hotels want you to book directly with them, so that they don’t have to give up a commission to the Pricelines and Expedias of the world,” says Pauline Frommer, editorial director for the Frommer guidebooks. “If you book through a major chain hotel’s loyalty program, the prices are always lower than what you’ll find advertised on third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity. Our latest guidebooks are updated with this kind of evolving advice.”
Another shift: travel photography isn’t exclusively the province of professionals with bags full of expensive equipment. In November, Rough Guides is releasing You Are Here, featuring more than 600 photos submitted by readers from around the globe. The book, says Rough Guides senior travel editor Neil McQuillian, is a reaction to screen fatigue. “We’re looking at our phones all the time, scrolling, but not really stopping to digest the images,” he says. “We wanted to stop the scrolling, and get a really beautiful selection that captures our readers’ experiences in print.”
Below, publishers tell us more about how they’re catering to the interests and experiences of the modern traveler—though they haven’t yet found a way to keep that pesky seat back in front of you in the upright position.
Dianna Dilworth is a freelance journalist living in Switzerland, and author of the forthcoming Mellodrama: The Mellotron Book (Bazillion Points, 2018).
Below, more on the subject of travel books.
Urban Planning: Travel Books 2017–2018
New guidebooks help travelers, in the words of one series, “see the city like a local.”
In Focus: Travel Books 2017–2018
Amid the vast sea of online opinion, a well-researched guidebook can provide an antidote to information overload.
Map Quest: Travel Books 2017–2018
Google who? Map publishers Herb Lester and VanDam imbue their paper guides with plenty of personality.
Be Here Now: Travel Books 2017–2018
Cookbook author David Lebovitz, comedian John Hodgman, and others invite readers on vicarious journeys.
Follow the Leaders: Travel Books 2017–2017
Stephen Mesquita, who writes the Travel Publishing Year Book using data from NPD BookScan, gave us a sneak peek at the state of the world travel guides market.