juliamhammond

An initiative from Bradt worth supporting

Necessity is the mother of invention.

A sentiment expressed by Plato, but first recorded in the written word by 17th century author Richard Franck, never has it been more true than at this extraordinary time in the world’s existence.

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Faroe Islands: Saksun

In these strange and challenging times, life – and businesses – are having to adapt to cope and survive. The travel industry is one of those affected, of course, and the impact on guidebook publishers is one way that manifests itself. Lonely Planet announced last week that it was shutting down some of its offices, though guidebook production would continue. Once, a Lonely Planet guide would have been my go-to, but increasingly, they’ve not been the best fit. Instead, I’ve used independent publisher Bradt Guides on many occasions when my wanderlust led me to some of the world’s most off the beaten track destinations. I even took one to Iceland, packing it alongside my wedding dress. Some  of those guides are well thumbed; others purchased in anticipation of future trips.

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Uruguay: Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha

Bradt has been offering seriously tempting discounts on its back catalogue. I’ve stocked up with guides that I hope to use when we get exploring again. As someone who has seen her writing feature in a small way in two Bradt anthologies, and has had the privilege of meeting both founder Hilary Bradt and MD Adrian Philips, I’m invested in this beyond consumer level. But even if I wasn’t, it would seem a very worthy initiative to support, beyond a travel writer’s loyalty to a favourite brand. This is the company that produces guides to the more obscure corners of the planet, sometimes the only mainstream publisher to do so. My Bradt pile includes guides to Tajikistan, Haiti, Uganda and Belarus. Along side them sit Iceland, the Azores, Ghana and Uzbekistan. On the wishlist, awaiting the publication of new editions, are Sao Tome & Principe, Suriname and Iran. Right now there are 227 special offers at the Bradt online shop, not just for guidebooks but for some of the best travel writing out there on the shelves.

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Cape Verde: Santa Maria

But that’s not enough. Yesterday, Bradt announced a different strategy, one which is innovative, brave and – I hope – successful. Using the Patreon platform, Bradt are asking travellers to support them by signing up to their new subscription service. For £5 a month, Bradtpackers receive an e-zine with the latest news and travel inspiration together with exclusive discount offers, competitions and pre-publication deals. Opt for Globetrotter level at a cost of £15 a month and on top of that, you receive a free book each month. Choose First Class Traveller tier and as well as that you will be able to benefit from bespoke travel-planning advice for two trips a year from a Bradt author or other expert at a cost of £35 a month.

We still need our guidebooks. This is still a time to dream.

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Uganda: Kibale Forest

I hope that Bradt survives the economic fallout from this horrible virus. But in the meantime I’ve subscribed and, if you’re a keen traveller also, I hope you will too. If so, this is the link you’ll need:

https://www.patreon.com/bradtguides

2 responses

  1. Lonely Planet have also temporarily suspended their Thorn Tree forum set up too – closed on Monday 14/4/2020.

    It was a useful resource for travellers – I asked a few questions on TT last year regarding Sicily and received some good tips from locals and others who had visited in recent years.

    I aslo received info regarding the Bradt offers and three books took up their places onmy bookshelves last week. There have also been some good offers via Amazon on Marco Polo, Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books – under £3 for Rough Guide Sardinia for instance.

    Where will it all end? No idea, but the booked trip to Malta last month may now take place next year, especially as Expedia, the airport parking operators and the airline concerned have all given me full refunds on monies paid out.

    Those new guidebooks will come in useful though as I have time on my hands thanks to being furloughed from my day job in an outdoor/travel clothing/equipment shop.

    Like

    April 19, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    • I used to find TT really useful, but after it was frozen and reactivated it never felt quite the same. Surprisingly I generally find the Trip Advisor forum very helpful, in complete contrast to the review section. I hope you get to go to Malta eventually Keith, lovely place.

      Like

      April 19, 2020 at 4:32 pm

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