Guide to Experimental Travel

The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel is due to release in June, so you can’t get your hands on it just yet, but I’ve gathered some early buzz about this out-of-the-ordinary travel guide.

(click the book cover to the right for a larger image…Jen is absolutely dying to get this framed and up in her new Vegas pad)

The book is written by Rachel Antony and Joel Henry, founder of Latourex, the laboratory of experimental tourism. This manual for audacious adventure contains over 40 of Henry’s experiments (including diagrams) and a history of experimental travel which is sure to spark interesting hypotheses and research from the road by travellers worldwide.

From the LP release:

Do you yearn for the glories of yesteryear? Pack an octogenarian guidebook and replace the subway with a penny farthing for an Anachronistic Adventure. Do you like to gamble? Taste the real thrill of adventure with Trip Poker or Monopoly Travel. Are you desperate for a holiday but strapped for cash? To undertake Budget Tourism low funds are not an obstacle but a prerequisite.

From Time Asia, May 2005, Have Horse Head, Will Travel:




“Experimental travel” is the clever invention of Joel Henry, a French journalist who, in 1990, began devising amusing ways of liberating himself and his friends from the often unfulfilling experiences of conventional tourism. His methods involve the imposition of arbitrary and often absurd constraints that turn mundane travel into a fascinating series of games.

From The Independent, February 2005, My Awfully Big Adventure:

The experimental traveller would not dream of seeing the “sights” or reading a guidebook, and never goes from A to B. Instead, travel is governed by pre-decided – often pretty silly – parameters, ensuring that the tourist stays off the beaten track.

Henry’s suggestions for seeing the world in a new light include: alphatourism (identifying the first and last streets in a city’s A-Z, drawing a straight line between the two and walking the route); nyctalotourism (arriving at twilight, looking around all night and leaving before dawn); and uxoritourism (going on a trip organised by your wife).

From CNN, September 2003, Experimental Tourism Catches On
(Before the book — this is the article where the cover quote comes from):

Henry said his most unusual invention was erotourism, where a couple heads to the same town but travels there separately. The challenge is to find one another abroad. He and his wife of 30 years have engaged in the erotic pursuit in five cities and have managed to hook up every time.

“Each time we were convinced that this time, we wouldn’t find each other, and each time we did,” he said.

Romance with a travel twist, very interesting…I like it, and suspect it will only be a matter of time before the online dating sites try this out — forget singles cruises, I predict “experimental excursion” matchmaking will become all the rage. Kinda like geocaching meets!

The book is 280 pages, so there’s bound to be at least one experiment that suites the interest of any traveler looking to “turn travel on its head”. Now all we have to do is wait. Here is a PDF order form if you absolutely can’t wait to line up for this book.