In a world of mobile apps and countless travel blogs, getting a guide seems anachronistic at best. However, last year I decided to get one of Rick Steves guides to Scandinavia since I figure it would not hurt to have some additional information. While I relied on my other research for hotels and restaurants, etc. the guide did provide some great insights which made prioritizing attractions and figuring out optimal transportation a lot easier. My favorite tip was taking a 17-hour ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo instead of flying, renting a car or taking the train.
A good guide can truly enhance your experience, helping save time, know when attractions are open or the best days/times to go.
Although, we had already been to Paris and had an enormous amount of research, I opted for getting a pocket guide because it doesn’t need batteries, and unlike pulling out a shiny $1,000+ phone who those who love taking advantage of tourists can easily spot, the guide is cheap.
I’m not advocating for getting a guide and following everything to the letter, but rather taking advantage of valuable information which can supplement one’s research or offer useful tips and insights. If cost or quality are a concern, you can always go to the library and get a copy.