Best Travel Guide Publisher
AA Travel Guides
What are the AA travel guides?
Looking for a guide to campsites in France, food in Spain or tearooms in Britain? Then your first port of call should be the AA. Travel guides might not be the very first thing you associate with the fourth emergency service, but the AA is second to none in the breadth and diversity of its offer. It's the UK's biggest travel publisher, and one of the top 10 worldwide, with about 800 titles in its range, and more constantly being added.
Tell me more about AA travel guides...
The AA produces guides to countries, regions and cities, and there'll often be a choice of several guides for the same destination. For example, it offers five guides to Paris, ranging from a fold-out map with information on sights, shops and transport on the back, to a comprehensive 312-page KeyGuide, which includes floor plans for the big venues and information on the weather, currency, opening times, the post and the media.
In addition, the AA publishes maps, atlases, walking guides, cycling guides, street maps, phrasebooks, books dedicated to wildlife and landscape photography, and guides to just about everything under the sun, from Britain's coastal walks to Britain's golf courses. It even produces a travel journal where travellers can record details of their experiences.
Who are the AA?
The AA was founded in 1905 by a group of motoring enthusiasts who wanted to help drivers avoid police speed traps. It now has more than 15 million members and offers a vast range of services for motorists, including breakdown cover, car insurance and driving lessons. It also acts as a champion for motorists' rights.
The organisation began producing handwritten AA routes in 1910, and by 1929 was issuing 239,000 routes a year. The AA's publishing arm dramatically expanded in the 1990s, as the company branched out into world travel guides and maps, although it had been inspecting hotels and awarding them star ratings since 1912.
Who are the AA travel guides aimed at?
Pretty much everyone - from day trippers to people taking an extended holiday, from families planning a few days' camping in France to couples who love walking in the countryside. The AA publishes phrasebooks for both children and adults, and its books are available to non-English speakers too - they've been translated into 28 languages.