eReaders are great travel companions. The ability to carry 50 books in one little device is a weightless alternative to lugging around a backpack full of books, especially when you are on the go. eReaders can also serve as tour guides themselves as you can buy guidebooks and audio tours right on the devices.
Travel expert Rick Steves points out the benefits in a piece in The Seattle Times today: “You can effortlessly carry hundreds of e-books, which is great for long, multi-destination trips. And with built-in wireless, you can buy books from anywhere, convenient for spur-of-the-moment detours.”
Steves also points out the audio tours are becoming more popular: “An audio tour you can run on your iWhatever is the one technology I’m excited about. More and more tourist offices and museums are offering these for free or at low cost.”
Still, eReaders are not perfect for travel yet. Steves reports: “Though they work well for novels, they remain clunky for guidebooks. It can be difficult to find the information you’re looking for; flipping from page to page can be awkward; and maps – often designed to run across two pages – don’t always appear correctly. An ebook reader is expensive, and if you lose it, you’re out hundreds of dollars.” Watch out in New York City.