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Traveling is hip thanks to the Internet and new rules at some colleges requiring students to spend time studying abroad. This effort to shape global citizens has more students  signing up to see the world.

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Guides help young travelers see world and find last minutes special deals, use the same tricks to buy African Art around the world

By Sarah Marston found at the Sun October 29, 2006

Author: Kristofor Brown;

The number of U.S. students participating in study abroad programs has almost tripled since the mid-1980s, with nearly 200,000 Americans studying abroad each year, according to the Institute of International Education's 2005 Report.

As more American students go abroad, travel information is becoming increasingly tailored to a younger demographic. Publishers and brands such as MTV are responding to the trend, eager to provide fresh material geared toward young globetrotters.

Whether they are spending a semester teaching in China or backpacking across Europe, young travelers want to hit the major sights, experience the night life and take home stories that they can exaggerate to friends for years to come.

To do that, students are looking for a different kind of travel advice. Forget about those large, clunky travel books that scream tourist. These new guides are offbeat, punchy and hip. They go beyond the typical family-friendly advice, giving the lowdown on hot bars and clubs, celebrity hangouts, cheap dining, reliable hostels, online booking, study abroad tips, freebies and more.

Here's a look at some of the newest guides for younger travelers as well as a couple of resources for students who are going abroad for the first time.

MTV Travel Guides // Perhaps most appropriate for the MTV generation, this guidebook series premieres this fall with its first three editions: MTV Europe, MTV Ireland and MTV Italy. The cable channel joined forces with Frommer's, the popular travel guide company that employed the 2003 cast of MTV's The Real World Paris, to create progressive, student-authored guides.

MTV's college network, mtvU, inspired the decision to delve into the travel guide industry, said Jacob Hoye, publishing director for MTV. "We just felt that we should be in this category. Kids today are growing up with a stronger sense of the global community," Hoye said. "Flights are shorter, travel easier, and we wanted to help connect them and encourage them to visit these amazing destinations."

BEER BELGIUM TRAVEL GUIDEGood Beer Travel Guide to Belgium
Author: Tim Webb;

The guides offer information on such unique experiences as kite surfing in Italy, castle accommodations in Ireland, a 700-beer pub in Belgium and whale-watching in Iceland. The guides also give practical yet unique information, like how to talk to locals, where to get complimentary bar food and where to find the best university towns. The books include detailed city maps and easy-to-scan information. (Frommer's; $21.99)

Choose your guide:

MTV Italy last minute dealsMTV Italy
Author: Sylvie Hogg; Buy New: $16.31
MTV France

Author: Anna E. Brooke; Buy New: $15.63

MTV Europe
Author: Andre Legaspi; Buy New: $16.49
MTV England
Author: Edward; Buy New: $15.63 
MTV Ireland
Author: Christi Daugherty; Buy New: $14.95
MTV Spain

Author: Fernando Gayesky; Buy New: $15.63 
MTV Mexico's Beach Resorts
Author: John Wiley; Buy New: $15.63 

Travelistic wants to be the YouTube of travel video. Founder Nicholas Butterworth, who was the former head of MTVi, said he sees Travelistic as a hybrid of user-generated and licensed material to offer “multiple points of view.” Butterworth also has plans to launch other niche user video sites in the near future.

10Best Travel Guides //, an online travel guide that covers cities both in the United States and abroad, launches its guidebook series this month. The books supplement the Web site with foldout maps, special codes for online exclusives and quick, straightforward travel advice. Although the first five guidebooks only cover American cities, international guides will follow, complete with each city's top 10 restaurants, sights, night life spots and shopping venues. The tech-savvy company also features 10Best Mobile, which provides last-minute travel information, including weather reports and driving directions, via cell phones and PDAs. Go to for more information. (Synergy Books; $9.95)


Wallpaper* City Guides // Arts publisher Phaidon and ultra-hip international magazine Wallpaper* translate stream of consciousness design into an easy on the eyes travel guide focused on cities. While not aimed specifically at younger travelers, the colorful, photo-driven books released last month are sure to appeal. "That's the beauty of these guides: they work for the business traveler or the student studying abroad," says a spokeswoman for Phaidon. The pocket-sized guides feature section tabs for hotels, shopping, sports and more, including a description of urban life and an "architour" of the city's most iconic buildings. The 24-Hour section offers up a timely schedule for seeing the best of the city in just one day. Perfect for the student on the go. (Phaidon; $8.95) 

Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring // Travel guide giant Lonely Planet targets young jet-setters with this budget-friendly book. Besides offering cheap places to sleep and eat, the guide lists popular bars and clubs, suggests itineraries and advises which purchases are worth a splurge. The book also reveals quirky activities like cheese-rolling in Britain, wife-carrying in Finland, tomato fights in Spain and bizarre European festivals. (Lonely Planet; $26.99) 

How to Travel Practically Anywhere, by Susan Stellin // This guide contains information for travel in the United States and abroad, but the book's youthful edge lies in its numerous Internet resources. The guide has a remarkable collection of Web sites in more than 30 categories, including airlines, currency conversion, discounts, international travel, language programs, medical information, tourist offices, travel advisories, tour operators and much more. This book is great for those who love going online for up-to-the-minute information and changes. (Houghton Mifflin; $15.95) 

Bakpak Travelers Guides' Europe Hostels & Travel Guide 2006 // Perfect for backpacking across Europe, this guide gives the lowdown on train travel, Eurail passes, hostels, discount airlines, buses, backpacker hop-on/hop-off tours, and cheap and free activities. The guide also has essential information on popular European countries and cities, including Internet cafe locations, calling codes, basic phrases in the local language, famous sights and, of course, local night life. (Bakpak Travelers Guide; $9.95) 

Time Out Shortlist Guides // Students will love the handy size and the fact that the guides keep the focus on entertainment and night life. The series includes Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London and Prague. Guides to Venice and Tokyo will be available next year. The books feature a calendar of events, as well as maps and photographs. (Time Out; $11.95) 

Study Abroad, Travel & Vacation in College, by Stephanie M. Oxford // Although not officially a travel guide, this book is full of good information for students debating various study abroad programs. The guide offers advice on creating trip goals, budgeting money, finding scholarships and financial aid, making the most of the trip and dealing with reverse culture-shock upon returning to the States. This book is especially helpful for students who don't have a study abroad office at their university. (Where In The World Publishing; $9.95)

Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun


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