Are Lonely Planet Guides Worth It? + Giveaway

As I begin planning our travelling adventures of Winter 2017 I’m left asking the question… Are Lonely Planet guides worth it? A quick search on the Internet and I find many asking the same question with no answer. Which can only mean one thing… It’s time to investigate…



Lonely Planet Guides were started by Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 1973. The first guidebook ‘Across Asia on the Cheap’ advised travellers on how to do an overland journey from Europe to Australia. Over 40 years later and Lonely Planet is the largest guidebook publisher in the world. With more than 120 million books printed in more than 11 different languages.



When you look at planning an adventure where do you start? Do you know where you want to go? What you want to see? What about everything in between? Whilst for many previous trips I’ve managed to find information from the internet this year I literally have no idea where we’re going to go and what we’re going to do. It’s both an exciting but confusing place to be in… ‘I want to see the world’ but where on earth do I start.


Lonely Planet guides such as Best in Travel 2017 are a great way of finding ‘what’s hot right now’ sometimes giving you destinations you could have otherwise never imagined.

  Are lonely planet guides worth it? Let's find out...  


If you know where you want to go, then you may have some ideas as to the places you want to see.


Who influences you on everything else? The things you do on the other days of your trip?


Travel Bloggers: Travel Blogging has come along way over the past decade. With more coverage than ever before, I often look for personalised recommendations from the travel bloggers I follow online.


However, sometimes they’ve never been somewhere I’m planning on going…


Friends & Family: This can be so hit and miss. Sometimes you can thank your family for a hotel, restaurant or activity that completely made the holiday. Other times, this can be quite the opposite.


Either way make sure the travelling personality of the person(s) you’re taking recommendations from aligns with your own. Lonely Planet: Often the most comprehensive you can often find something that will suit your personality for this trip.



When you’ve decided on where you want to go and what you want to do, you’ll often start extended research. For this I use the reviews of TripAdvisor. I often find these the most independent, but it’s always worth taking them with a pinch of salt.


Overexposure from popular guides such as Lonely Planet can cause the establishments standards to suffer. If the establishment knows they are having someone from Lonely Planet visiting they can pull out all the stops to create the most fantastic atmosphere. Which can be simply impossible to repeat for everyone.  


The Mobile Age

Back in 1973 when Lonely Planet first started there was no such thing as mobile data, no Google Maps, no iPhone and no TripAdvisor. This meant that you were limited as to how you would be able to source information about a particular destination whilst on the road. Over more than forty years our technology has advanced tremendously. However, many countries still have limited mobile data, websites still have downtime and can leave us stranded.


So whilst many of us would turn to our mobile phones for just about anything that may not be the answer. Having a copy of Lonely Planet means you can access the information without the internet.


Conclusion… Are Lonely Planet Guides Worth It?

In my opinion, both yes and no. What I’ve found from my research is that Lonely Planet guides are comprehensive.


They cover the most dynamic range of destinations and include a wealth of information. They are a great source of inspiration for your trip whether you know the destination or do not. However they can easily become bias and outdated which is why I feel that it’s always important to conduct further research rather than simply doing something ‘because Lonely Planet recommended it’ in the planning stage use the internet to find reviews either from travel bloggers or through Trip Advisor.


Finally, on the road… We are often bound by our mobile data and phone batteries that can often become unavailable. So depending on your trip, and level of confidence you simply need to decide are lonely planet guides worth it? 

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  1. Samantha Currie March 31, 2017 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    This was a interesting read we are lucky that we have so much info available that many people didn’t have back then it sucks relying on mobiles phones and data but they are also life savers when you are lost if you have battery and signal ?

  2. Jennifer April 2, 2017 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I love their guides, they have really helped us greatly in the past 🙂 x

    • TMM April 2, 2017 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Awesome Jennifer, what do you do once you’ve been to that location? Do you keep them? Give them away?

  3. Elizabeth Hinds April 2, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    They’re fantastic – so useful and informative! Would love some new travel inspiration 🙂

  4. Jade Pawley April 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    They seem very helpful & useful. I haven’t been travelling before & am looking for some travel inspiration so they are a great help!

  5. Krystel April 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    I love Lonely Planet guides. They’re very beautiful (yes, the design and cover on a guide is very important to me ?) and they always have the best infos!

  6. Kim Neville April 12, 2017 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I find them beneficial

    • TMM April 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Interesting Kim, what guides do you own?

  7. Gemma April 13, 2017 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I download them and use them to find good restaurants and bars. Found lots of cheap yummy restaurants in Mexico that way 🙂

    • TMM April 13, 2017 at 7:49 am - Reply

      Hey Gemma, that’s awesome. We’ve never been to Mexico but it’s certainly somewhere we’re looking at going to so I’ll be sure to check this out 🙂

  8. Rich Tyler April 13, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

    They look super useful!

    • TMM April 13, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

      I personally find some of them useful Rich, what about you have you ever used them?

  9. Sharon David April 14, 2017 at 12:14 am - Reply

    I’ve been using my phone all this years, but they are well known as handy to have! X

  10. Keith Hunt April 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    They are OK with mail areas of the world and always out of date when you hit towns like orlando.

    • TMM April 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      Interesting to know, we’re heading to Orlando in just a couple of days time so not worth buying in that case then.

  11. Peter Watson April 14, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Lonely Planet Guides are essential guides before,during and after,travelling to any destination.They prove to be invaluable for any serious traveller.

  12. Hannah Ingham April 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I love these guides, super useful to have a hard copy rather than using the internet all the time!

  13. Ruth Harwood April 17, 2017 at 10:50 am - Reply

    They’re really useful when you’re planning to go somewhere and want to know where to go and the best places to see x

  14. Harline April 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    I think there great when planning a visit you have some idea of the place

  15. Suzanne Jackson April 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Full of helpful advice and information

  16. Christine Caple April 21, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    I have used them several times, and have found them very useful.

    • TMM April 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoy them. Which ones have you used? 🙂

  17. shannon fowler April 24, 2017 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know about them until now. They look like they would be a great way to organize travel. Im sure we will use them in the future.

  18. Sheri Darby April 25, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Incredibly useful – i love them

  19. Jane April 25, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I never. ever travel without them. Despite the raise of smartphones, you can always trust a lonely planet to be there and the batteries don’t die.

  20. Emma Louise Elliott April 26, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I think they are fantastic with great photos xxx

  21. aj April 26, 2017 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    love them! I love drooling about where I can go in the world.

  22. Gemma Cook April 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Looks brilliant and very informative.
    Great for my travels.
    I’ve been a fan of these books for years.

  23. Spencer Wright April 27, 2017 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    I normally buy both a Lonely Planet & a DK travel guide before I travel. LP guides are more thorough, whereas DK guides are more graphic.

  24. Adrian Bold April 27, 2017 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    They are very informative and great for travelling.

  25. Vanessa F April 28, 2017 at 7:45 am - Reply

    I really like Lonely Planet guides, so I can get to know a destination before a holiday and to have as a handy reference suring a holiday.

  26. Claire Davies April 28, 2017 at 8:20 am - Reply

    These guides are fascinating and invaluable. Essential for all travellers visiting different countries. Very useful information especially on transport and how to navigate around places you have never been before. Great detail and excellent informative books.

  27. lynn neal April 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    I think they are great and I love their children’s books too!

  28. Daniel April 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    They make me dream about all the places we might go when we can afford it!

  29. SUSAN L HALL April 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I Have always used lonely Planet guides and find it frustrating if i cant get one for the area im travelling too as they are great if you are driving between cities to find small towns for interesting places and food on route – we drive a lot on our trips and they always work great

  30. Tammy Neal April 29, 2017 at 9:26 am - Reply

    They make me dream about places I’d love to go if i had the money too x

  31. Theresa Alison April 29, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Ive never read a guide before especially not having the money to go places . Money is still tight and now our children are alot older were thinking it’s time to go places. It’s just we both have a fear of flying and with the way the world is at the moment its safer on home ground .

  32. Lorraine Stone April 29, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

    They are great, even for the armchair traveler! Love to read about different countries.

  33. Karl Borowy April 29, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

    they are the best

  34. HELEN REED April 29, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    My go to guides whenever I go anywhere!!!

  35. carol boffey April 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    best guide books when traveling

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