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Backpack & Budget

Getting Tips From Free Guidebook Newsletters

September 28, 1997|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer. She can be reached at

If you are considering a budget vacation, one way to pick up new ideas is the free newsletters available from travel guidebook publishers. The newsletters are a forum to promote their books, but they also provide helpful information, including tips from other independent travelers.

RoughNews, the eight-page newsletter of the Rough Guides travel book series, is published three times a year. It includes opinion pieces on tourism and travel.

One of the most helpful sections of the newsletter is where other travelers pass along warnings and recommendations. In the summer 1997 edition, an Australian visitor suggested: "Byron Bay is a small but expanding town that is on most backpackers' itineraries, and a superb new youth hostel, J's Bay Hostel, 7 Carlyle St., has opened there since your last edition."

To receive RoughNews by mail send your name and address to Rough Guides/RoughNews, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014; telephone (212) 366-2348. The newsletter is also posted on the Rough Guides Internet site:

Travel Matters, the 24-page newsletter published by Moon Travel Handbooks, is no longer available through the mail. It is distributed only online. You can read it at the Moon Internet site:

Lonely Planet publishes a 16-page free quarterly newsletter called Planet Talk. To be added to the Planet Talk mailing list, write to Newsletter Booklist, 155 Filbert St., Suite 251, Oakland, CA 94607.

The popular student-researched travel guide series "Let's Go" will introduce a free newsletter in December that will be published three times a year. "Let's Go" can be found on the Internet at:

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