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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Review: Moon Travel Guide Iceland

It's tempting to get complacent with travel guides in the days of having internet access nearly everywhere. But there are still places (like Iceland) where internet access can't be taken for granted in remote areas, though good luck getting Google or other internet companies to acknowledge that. So when it came time to acquire a guide book to Iceland, I decided I'd pick up the Moon Iceland instead of my usual stalwart, Lonely Planet Iceland.

What a terrible mistake: first of all, don't do what I did, which is to check out Lonely Planet Iceland and use that to plan a trip, and then buy a different guide book to actually take to that country. You completely lose context as to why you booked lodging where you booked, and are left with having to reverse engineer decisions you made a couple of months ago.

Secondly, the Moon book simply isn't as detailed as the Lonely Planet. For instance, museums don't have opening hours listed. We were once directed to a local attraction that wasn't opened when we went, and in fact, closed 2 weeks earlier. For most activities I care about, (the outdoor stuff), this is a non issue. Even then, there's limited discussion as to which roads are dirt, and which roads are paved, which is kinda important when you're driving your family around in a mini van.

Iceland's a relatively small country. But don't let that fool you: there are many places in Iceland without internet connectivity, and buying a less than acceptable guidebook thinking that you'll fall back onto the internet is a mistake. Don't get this book. Pick up the Lonely Planet instead.

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