Before you go: great trips are all in the planning
Can't get e-nough of EuropeDK offers a new approach to "old Europe" (and NYC) with its e>> guides, a series of Internet-synched books. It may sound gimmicky, but the books are useful even if you never use the included password to access companion websites. If you do venture online and let's face it, checking the Internet when planning a trip has become de rigueur you'll find direct links to places mentioned in the books, and you can read the comments of other travelers or post your own. Clever design elements underscore the connection (no pun intended) between the books and the website. Thin rules emphasize horizontal elements, text runs along the page bottoms, and the >> symbols throughout imply movement and create a sense of constantly changing information. Even the gorgeous photographs contribute to this feeling of immediacy. London e>> guide focuses heavily on the city's design savvy. Unfortunately this slant means that the book ends up giving some of the city's best museums the London Transport Museum, the Cabinet War Rooms rather short shrift. Still, there are plenty of helpful tips on avoiding crowds, special opening times and little-known gems. This guide is packed with fascinating places to shop, eat, sleep and be seen. The "streetlife" chapter is particularly good at providing suggestions for experiencing the city as locals would, visiting outdoor markets and fairs, for example. Meanwhile, the "havens" chapter highlight places to unwind or relax spas, tea rooms or quiet parks a nice touch for those of us who tend to need a second vacation to recover from the first.