Categorised | Featured, Travel

Forget Travel Guidebooks – Grab your iPod

There is nothing quite like the excitement of travelling, discovering a new place or re-discovering an old favourite! But how do you get the best out of your visit without lugging a guide book or looking silly trying to fold some awkward tourist map so you can read it?

Forget them! The best way in the “noughties” to discover the inside scoop on local sights and tips without becoming an octopus or a weightlifter is to go online, download an audio tour or audio guide for your destination, put it on your iPod or MP3 player and you’re good to go.

In most major destinations around the world, audio tours and guides are now being made available by locals in the know about the best places to see and things to do. In Australia and New Zealand Talk’N Tours, an Australian company, has a growing range of audio tours and guides covering the major cities and regional destinations, some available for free download and others at a reasonable price.

Managing Director of Talk’N Tours, Greg Lawrence, believes that travellers should be able to experience their time away from home, without hassles. “Independent travellers want the freedom to explore their destinations at their own pace. They want to stop at what interests them, skip the boring bits, and don’t want to stand about on street corners looking like a tourist. They want interesting, accurate information.”

When you arrive in a new place it takes time to get yourself orientated and if you are an independent traveller relying on guide books or the free handouts from the local tourist office, you’re most likely to spend your time visiting only the “featured” attractions and missing some of the best bits. Even the organised bus tours will probably only hit the highlights, so this new way of discovering cities and places is fantastic!

I had a friend visiting Melbourne recently and suggested he download the Talk’N Tours Marvellous Melbourne tour to his iPhone. When he had a spare afternoon, off he went. Starting at Flinders St Station, (city audio tours almost always start at or near a major transport hub), he was guided through the city discovering The Block Arcade, great for boutique shopping, Chinatown, the “Old Melbourne Gaol” where Ned Kelly was hung, art galleries, gardens and stories of old Melbourne.

The tour used the free Melbourne City Circle Tram for part of the journey too. Overall he saw more and in a shorter time than if he had been sightseeing without the guided audio tour. With a cost of $14.00, the Talk’N Tours audio guide represents great value and the walking was good for him. He also felt he did his bit for avoiding greenhouse gases with the tour being very “eco friendly”!

So the next time you are travelling anywhere go online before you leave home. Without too much effort you can do an online search for an audio tour, such as Talk’N Tours, to suit your destination and interests.

For more information on audio tours and guides in Australia and New Zealand visit: www.talk-n-tours.com

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