Make Sure You Have a Map (and Other Bits of Travel Advice I’m Glad I Ignored)



Make Sure You Have a Map (and Other Bits of Travel Advice I’m Glad I Ignored) is a fun look at bad travel advice, and twenty stories that have come from ignoring this advice during travels in over a dozen countries.

Find it at in paperback and on Kindle ebook. Also available at Amazon stores in Canada, Europe, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and more.

Praise for Make Sure You Have a Map:

“I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to travel and is going to travel soon in order to see that delays and bumps in the road can be a rewarding experience as well”

-Goodreads Reivewer

“An easy read that sets one’s mind spinning with ideas and reflection on one’s role in the world. Also filled with humorous insights and great character vignettes. “

-Amazon Reviewer

“This book leads us through a fun collection of short tales that ask: How has the road you have traveled affect the path you are yet to find?”

-Amazon Reviewer

Find more reviews and ratings at the book’s official page on Amazon, and on Goodreads.

From the back cover:

What’s the worst travel advice you’ve ever been given?

Well-meaning counsel from friends, family, and fellow travelers such as “be careful what you eat,” “don’t accept gifts from people you don’t know,” and “never hitchhike” can be helpful—but what happens when you choose to go your own way?

Through her journeys across six continents, author and park ranger Bryanna Plog has seen first-hand that there are exceptions to every rule, and that some travel advice is, to put it simply, just plain wrong. Covering adventures in Norway, Peru, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Australia, and beyond, Make Sure You Have a Map (and Other Bits of Travel Advice I’m Glad I Ignored) is a collection of witty travel tales from ten years of Plog’s travels, as she learned—sometimes the hard way—what advice to heed and what to disregard.

Is it worthwhile to go somewhere for just a weekend? If you eat steak at a tango show in Buenos Aires, have you fallen into a tourist trap? Is “sticking to the trail” actually the best way to explore the grizzly-filled wilderness of Katmai National Park, Alaska? As you travel with the author to more than a dozen countries, Make Sure You Have a Map shares some practical travel tips as well, including how to act on buses in Tanzania, which type of coffee to drink in Colombia (and which to avoid), what to see if you’re ever in Naples, Italy, and what to expect if you ever take a four-day train trip across the United States.

From remote villages in East Africa to the bustling airports of Europe, from Australian train journeys to boat trips on the Amazon, the twenty stories in Make Sure You Have a Map are a delightful exploration of both good and bad travel advice, the joy of breaking the rules, and the world we all share.



The book also received a gold star award from for its cover design. See a list of other award applicants at


Complete list of chapters (and the bits of bad travel advice):
  1. Be Careful What You Eat (Costa Rica – Tanzania, 2008).
  2. Don’t Get Delayed (Australia – Scotland, 2007)
  3. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is (Germany, 2007)
  4. Make Sure You Have a Map (Antarctica, 2010)
  5. Don’t Accept Gifts from People You Don’t Know (United States – Tanzania, 2008)
  6. Head South for the Winter (Norway, 2007)
  7. Always Have a Travel Buddy (United States – Colombia, 2013)
  8. Know What’s In Your Drink (Tanzania, 2008)
  9. Stick to the Trail (United States, 2014)
  10. Avoid Tourist Traps (Argentina, 2010)
  11. Drink Colombian Coffee (Colombia, 2011/2013)
  12. Never Just Go For the Weekend (Canada, 2009)
  13. Don’t Talk to Strangers (Tanzania, 2008)
  14. Never Catch Wild Animals (Colombia, 2011)
  15. You Have to Go to Venice (Italy, 2015)
  16. Get Out and Explore (United States, 2014)
  17. Know What Country You’re In (Peru – Colombia – Brazil, 2013)
  18. Avoid Public Transportation (United States – Tanzania, 2008/2010)
  19. Take as Many Pictures as You Can (Peru, 2013)
  20. Never Hitchhike (United States, 2009)

Look for Make Sure You Have a Map in paperback and on Kindle at!


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