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DAVID'S DEN                               The Big Trip



by David Zuchowski

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  • Book review: The Big Trip
    A comprehensive guide to extended travel.
    Review by Dave Zuchowski

    Most people don't have the luxury of taking a long vacation of several months or more, but those who do (professors on sabbatical, career changers, those on extended leave, students on summer break) can help plan their big getaway with an exhaustive planning guide entitled The Big Trip, a 336-page planning guide released last November by Lonely Planet Publications.

    Those suffering from fallout from the current high unemployment rate might also take comfort in remembering there's yin and yang in everything, including the lack of a job. Provided there's enough discretionary funds on hand, career interludes can pose opportunities for extended travel to places only before dreamed of.

    To help open doors to new experiences, this helpful, detailed and remarkably thorough planning guide starts with the basics of organizing such things as paperwork, visas, passports and provides tips on budgeting, currency conversion, sourcing safe drinking water and even aids those who may need to conquer a fear of flying.

    The subsequent section Tailoring Your Trip discusses the types of trips you can take, either solo or with friends or a significant other, and tips on volunteering or working overseas. Where to Go spells out clear-cut information on everything from around the world junkets to more regional destinations like the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and includes suggested routes and itineraries.

    The book concludes with a Directories List, providing information on everything from where to get your passport and visas to vaccinations, transport options and internships, work placements and temporary employment opportunities overseas.

    In between, the book's authors list favorite spots and activities like swimming with dolphins off the coast of New Zealand and hiking your own pioneer route through Canada. In addition to a slew of Lonely Planet's exemplary color photos, the book embraces stories of ten travelers who have made their own big trips and tips from veterans who share their experiences in themes like Most Overrated Destinations and Best Backpacker Jobs.

    Melbourne-based freelance writer, George Dunford is co-ordinating author with contributions from a trio of additional travel writers.

    Available: Online at
    Suggested retail price: $13.59

    Dave Zuchowski has been writing about travel for twenty years and his articles have made the pages of many newspapers and magazines across the country, including AAA, Pathfinders, West Virginia Magazine, Southsider, and Westsylvania. Currently, he is the travel correspondent for the New Castle News, a daily in the Pittsburgh area. In his spare time, he also puts his horticultural interests to good use on his 15-acre farm located near Centerville, PA.

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