High Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Lonely Planet
It has been almost fifty years since Lonely Planet was incepted, following Maureen and Tony Wheeler’s trip across Europe, Asia and eventually Australia and what has started with some stapled booklets, has evolved to becoming the go-to resource for anyone remotely interested in travelling and exploring this earthround and print runs of their travel guides in the millions with a portfolio of hundreds of titles.
While Lonely Planet eventually transitions online and with a digital presence encompassing close to one-hundred and fifty applications, Lonely Planet remains its significance despite the implications and downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
When I first started travelling beyond the confines of European borders in the early 1990s, my first exposure to Lonely Planet was via its Southeast Asia on a Shoestring book, which helped me to navigate my journeys as I was backpacking through Thailand with its focus firmly set on budget travel. The purchase of many more guides followed and it became a trusted initial resource to get one’s bearings, info about transport options and basic activities upon first exposure to uncharted territories, before one then started to venture further.
Despite having undergone a massive digital revamp, Lonely Planet has retained its status as the largest guidebook company, with recent incarnations of their book branching out into welcome new, specialised and niche areas.
Case in point: The triumvirate of release centred around the themes of libations and cuisines, i.e. Global Beer Tour, Global Distillery Tour and Gourmet Trails, exploring the vibrant worlds of craft beers, tap rooms, restaurants, distilleries, breweries and bars in over thirty countries in a dedicated manner, substantiated by expert insights from local luminaries and recommendations as to other local attractions and activities.
The Gourmet Trails book zeroing in on Australia and New Zealand is currently being utlizised as it comes in handy with inspiration as to where weekends away can be spent, while taking in as many quality restaurants, cafes, etc. as possible in picturesque surroundings.
An integral part of travelling is capturing your journeys and while it has never been easier to snap away with your mobile device to capture every insignificant occurrence right away, which you will probably never ever look at again, curation and selection are key.
Lonely Planet to the rescue: Its book The Perfect Shot reveals not only how to get the most out of photo opportunities around picturesque locations, but luminaries from the field of photography share their expertise and give useful insights in how to create the best shot possible in a variety of contexts, from off-the-beaten track locations to the sights that have been captured millions of times from all angles imaginable. A book that should be interesting for the dedicated traveller as much as anyone into photography, as it is not only a visually appealing tour de force but the engaging background stories allow one to immerse oneself deeply in the topic.
In 2021, despite having updated its approach and channels, Lonely Planet proves to be as relevant as ever not only with their core range of guide books, but also their multilingual online content online and new portfolio of lifestyle books.