For Cheapos racking their brains over holiday gifts for dedicated European travelers, our regular guest contributors Nicky and Susanne from hidden europe magazine have a few good ideas:
#1: Coffee-table Europe
Did you know that local law demands that all businesses in Monaco must display a portrait of the reigning prince? Or that the average height of Montenegrins is the second highest in the world. (Only the Dutch are taller.) And how could you have survived until adulthood without knowing that one third of the planet’s raspberries come from Serbia?
Our friends at Lonely Planet have come up with a superb Christmas gift. Just released this fall, The Europe Book: A Journey through every Country on the Continent, is not your regular LP publication. True, it will encourage you to bone up on European trivia of the kind mentioned above, but it is much more besides. This is a stunningly beautiful coffee-table book with a wealth of lavish photography that will stimulate a feast of imaginative journeys during the winter months.
#2: Rail timetables for incessant planners!
Winter is a time for travel planning, a season when we ponder over maps and timetables. The Winter 2008/9 edition of the Independent Travellers Edition of Thomas Cook’s European Rail Timetable was just published this week; it is packed full with the new 2009 train schedules which come into effect next Sunday. It teams up nicely with the accompanying Rail Map of Europe.
#3: Maps, and more maps!
If recession bites and plans for European travel for 2009 are faltering, or if your eco-friendly friends are telling you that your flying habit just has to be curbed, then why not splash out on the Comprehensive Edition of The Times Atlas of World, which has much better coverage of Europe than any atlas published in North America, and winter nights will never again be boring.
#4: A magazine from Berlin…
And if your budget does not quite run to that magnificent atlas (a mere $189.21 from Amazon), then the ultimate surrogate travel partner is surely a subscription to hidden europe magazine (a fine piece of shameless self-promotion!), which in every issue brings the very best of European travel, culture, and society – shipped directly to you by airmail from Berlin.
Happy holidays from Nicky and Susanne!
Tell us: Do you have any travel gift ideas?