When it comes to travel guide books, the most popular and best-selling are by far those published by Lonely Planet. The Melbourne, Australia based travel publisher established in 1972. Travellers the World over cling to their guides like bibles. They are in a way the bibles of travel. But what sets them apart from their competitors?
I personally own quite a few Lonely Planet books. Whilst I do also own travel guides from other publishers, Lonely Planet make up the majority of my collection. I also enjoy reading their guides of places I have never been to, nor probably will go to. I just find them that interesting.
Lonely Planet. A Cut Above The Rest
Personally, I think they produce the best guide books by far. Their familiar layout and chapter sections have turned them into an icon. Their layout is so familiar to travellers, they are in a way what Google is to the internet. Familiarity and ease of use. One can open a Lonely Planet guide without seeing the cover and instantly recognise it.
Apart from the actual guidebooks in physical, soft cover form, the company have taken advantage of the digital age by offering their books in digital form for tablets, e-readers and smartphones. If you are only visiting one or two specific regions of a country, it is also possible to only purchase one or two chapters in digital form rather than having to buy the book on the whole country or region. This is a significant cost saving.
It is also possible to purchase one of the growing titles related to specific cities in pocket-sized books. They are adorned with coloured pages and lots of colour photos and are a refreshed approach to the traditional Lonely Planet format of predominantly black and white pages with some colour photos thrown in for good measure. The city guides offered by them include city maps and maps of train/metro systems which have been a life saver for me on more than one occasion! I highly recommend them as they are easy to carry whilst out and about compared to the cumbersome traditional guides.
As you can probably see, I am a huge fan of their guide books. I find the layout extremely familiar and straightforward compared to most of their competitors. Their ease of use and trusted authoritative authors definitely make Lonely Planet a cut above the rest.
Disclaimer: I have not been paid by Lonely Planet for this article nor have I ever received anything from them. This is simply my personal opinion and all the Lonely Planet products I own have been bought with my own funds.