“Mobil Travel Guide New York 2010” – or, don’t waste your time.

mobilnyguideOkay, really I try not to tear books apart.

There’s almost always something in a book worth giving it a look-see.

Honestly, the “Mobil Travel Guide: New York” is the worst travel guide I’ve ever encountered.

Hands down.

I’m a person who adores travel guides, even if they’re to places I never plan to visit, so I think I’ve seen enough to make this call.

Now granted, the Mobil Travel Guides were (since the 2010 edition I checked out from the library) bought by Forbes, and maybe they’ve seen some improvements, but this 2010 New York edition is downright bad.  Since the back cover indicates it would retail for $18.99, let me lead you away from buying it and toward any of the other amazing travel guide companies out there.  Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, heck even the Moon Handbooks would be a better (and cheaper) option than this thing.

As my husband said – “You’re paying for the word Forbes. ‘Cause you’re sure not paying for the word Mobil.”

Why is it so awful?

Well, for starters, there is not one photo anywhere inside the book, and the entire thing is in boring black and white.  For $18.99, in a world where I can google any information I might actually find in a travel guide for free, I’m going to expect a little something pretty.

The table of contents is completely useless.  This guide is supposed to cover the entire state of New York.  New York is a fairly large state with several interesting regions, yet the table of contents only gives you the information that “New York” goes from pages “8-288.”


No, I’m not joking. This is the actual table of contents. Without actually telling you what contents are contained.

On what pages does NYC begin? Where would I look for hotels in Albany? What is interesting to see in the Hudson Valley? All you’ll find is that somewhere between pages 8 and 288, this information supposedly lies.

Once you bravely delve into the book, it doesn’t get much better.  My family is heading to NYC this summer, so that city has particular interest for me. Now, in order to find the NYC section, I had to keep flipping through pages of black and white text until page 84, where in the middle of the page the words “New York City” are in just a slightly bigger font size than the rest of the text.  Had I been paying less attention, I’d have flipped right by it.

This book is not intuitive, not easy to navigate, and frankly it’s just boring.  Travel should be exciting, and all about seeing new things.  This book bummed me out. I’m so glad I checked it out of the library instead of purchasing it, because I would have been livid and fighting for a refund.

If you’re looking for far superior NY region guides, try these.

Frommer’s New York State

Moon New York State Guide

New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania: Lonely Planet Guide

Now, I’m off to my beloved TripAdvisor to see what THEY have to say.


About JamieP

Books. Adventures. Chicago. Married. Mommy. Cat.

Posted on January 23, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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