About Us:  travel writer DAVID STANLEY

David Stanley, Guidebook Writer

David StanleyDavid Stanley is the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific, Moon Fiji, and Moon Tahiti, published by Avalon Travel of Berkeley, California. Over the years he has visited almost every country in the world, crossing six continents overland. His travel guidebooks to the South Pacific, Micronesia, Alaska, Eastern Europe, and Cuba opened those areas to budget travelers for the first time.

During the late 1960s, David became immersed in Mexican culture by spending a year in several small towns near Guanajuato. Later he studied at universities in Barcelona, Spain, and Florence, Italy, before settling down to get an honors degree (with distinction) in Spanish literature from the University of Guelph, Canada.

In 1978 Stanley teamed up with future publisher Bill Dalton, and together they wrote the first edition of Moon Handbooks South Pacific. Since then, Stanley has gone on to write many additional travel guides, including Moon Fiji and Moon Tahiti, plus early editions of Moon Handbooks Alaska-Yukon, Moon Handbooks Tonga-Samoa, and Moon Handbooks Micronesia. He wrote the first three editions of Lonely Planet's Eastern Europe on a Shoestring, as well as the first two editions of their guide to Cuba and the first edition of Canada's Maritime Provinces. His books have informed a generation of budget travelers. (Follow the history of all editions of David Stanley's books.)

How are David Stanley's guidebooks different?

The essential difference between Stanley's guides and the myriad travel brochures free for the taking in airports and tourist offices all across the South Pacific is that Moon Fiji and Moon Tahiti represent you, the traveler, while the brochures represent the travel industry.

Unlike many travel writers, David Stanley doesn't allow himself to be hosted by local tourist offices. While out researching his books he resists the temptation to obtain VIP treatment by announcing who he is. He prefers to arrive unexpected and uninvited, to experience things the way you will. He pays his own way and nothing in his books is designed to compensate the hospitality of hotels, restaurants, tour operators, airlines, or dive shops. Justified criticism is not conveniently left out, as it often is elsewhere.

SouthPacific.org has been developed using extracts from Stanley's books rather than information supplied by advertisers. Sites like this one can help you plan your trip. However, only the printed guidebooks themselves provide the comprehensive and independent hotel, restaurant, and transportation listings you'll need to make the most of your time and money.


  • Author! Author! David Stanley,  speaking with paddler Sandra Phinney
  • Author's Interview,  by Gil Zeimer of VagaBlond.com
  • Conversation with David Stanley,  Q&A on the South Pacific
  • Dave's Travel Corner,  how I got started
  • David Stanley,  interviewed by Stuart Wulff of the Pacific Peoples' Partnership
  • French Polynesia Travel,  thoughts on competition from electronic media
  • Green Travel Talk, low-impact travel and ecotourism
  • Rolf Potts Vagabonding,  David Stanley in the Travel Writers series
  • Talking About Fiji,  with veteran writer Rob Kay of FijiGuide.com
  • Travel to Tahiti,  a podcast interview on AmateurTraveler.com
  • Write to Travel,  fielding questions from Liz Lewis (aka 'kiwiwriter')


  • How to Select a Travel Guidebook, in How To Do Things
  • How To Travel in Fiji, quick tips for successful trips
  • How To Travel in French Polynesia, pointers for exploring a Pacific paradise


  • Flickr,  David Stanley's photostream and sets
  • LinkedIn,  recommendations and connections
  • Google+,  David Stanley's circles, photos, and stream
  • Twitter,  David Stanley's tweets