Summer is THE time to travel (unless you’re a snowboarder like me; then it’s always time to travel).  When heading to a new city, it’s always smart to do your research ahead of time so you don’t waste time when you’re there. Whether you’re traveling across the ocean or across the state, Lonely Planet has an excellent variety of travel guides to help you make the most of any trip.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the London 2012 Summer Olympics, I’d advise you to check out–literally—Lonely Planet’s “London Travel Guide.” This is the latest edition, just published last month, and it includes all the updated information and suggestions for navigating the Games. Taking an extended vacation in the United Kingdom? “Discover Great Britain” covers the entire country, with full color maps and itineraries.

Maybe you’re heading to Melbourne to see our new Australia office? Although you may not find direct reference to OverDrive Australia in “Discover Australia,” this guide provides plenty of alternative activities . Local experts’ suggestions for lodging, restaurants, attractions and shopping will help you decide where to stay and what to do. You’ll also find information on the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach and much more.

Of course, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to find a great destination. Lonely Planet’s “48 Hours” titles highlight the must-dos for some of America’s greatest cities. San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans are just a few of the cities prime for a quick getaway. Focusing on the best food and attractions, these eBooks will help you make every hour count.

Some readers hesitate to purchase travel guides, reasoning that it doesn’t make sense to buy a book they’ll only use once. And a big, thick, hard-copy travel guide can weigh down your luggage. The ability to get a digital guide from the library, for free, should make travelers jump for joy—and their backs won’t hurt from doing so, since digital copies weigh an extra zero pounds! Lonely Planet titles are available as part of our always-available, Maximum Access program through Content Reserve, so your patrons will never be out of luck when they want to download travel guides for spur-of-the-moment trips!

Beau Livengood is a Training Associate at OverDrive.

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