May 30Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2011 – Available Free for Two Weeks Only
When we first set out on the traditional Australian pilgrimage to The Old World, “Let’s Go Europe” was our friend. We wouldn’t stay at a pensione that han’t been ranked highly by their team of volunteer contributors, all American students.
You can tell when you’re in a restaurant that has been reviewed favorably by Lonely Planet – no matter how isolated the village, everyone else in the place will also have a copy sitting on their table.
Lonely Planet was established by Tony and Maureen Wheeler in 1973. Their first title was based on their own experiences traveling parts of the hippy route from London to Sydney, called “Across Asia on the Cheap”. Titles about other Asian destinations followed, and in the 1990s Europe and the USA were added to the stable. The Lonely Planet empire now includes more than 500 titles (in 8 languages), TV shows and magazines.
In February this year the Wheelers sold their remaining 25% share to the BBC, who now own the lot. This final sale earned them $67 million. They won’t have any more need for “South East Asia on a Shoestring”
The Lonely Planet empire maintains it’s headquarters in Footscray, although It announced this month that much of it’s online business would be shifting to London – doing the hippy trail in reverse.
The sight of Lonely Planet books accompanying diners in restaurants may soon be quite rare. Increasingly, the future for Lonely Planet is digital. Most titles are available for iPhone and iPad, and that is certainly a much more muscle-friendly way of carting the information from country to country. And the interactive travel maps are excellent – a little moving blue dot shows where you are in relation to the quaint local eating spot you seek.
The Lonely Planet blog is a good source of information about the latest travel news, especially as certain travel guides will often be made available free of charge on special occasions. We picked up guides to 7 European cities free during the great volcanic ash shutdown last year.
And this leads us to “What I Learnt Today”.
So there’s no excuse. That’s a headstart of $18 on your next $10000 trip.
What are you waiting for?