Today isn’t exactly Fan Friday, today is actually Tuesday. But sometimes, our internal calendars get all messed up and don’t sync right with the real calendars. And sometimes, we write a complete blog post, save it and then totally forget to publish it on Fan Friday. My advice for such forgetful people: Just go ahead and publish whatever you want, whenever you want. Publishing is better than not publishing, regardless of the day. If you disagree with me, just let me know in the comments…
This week I want to recommend something for all you world travelers out there. No, I’m not recommending a specific travel agency or travel guide company. And I’m also not going to recommend any specific countries for you to visit. Although if you want me to recommend any countries, just email me! And if you want me to travel to a new country with you, just call me!
Instead, I’m recommending you head over to the Lonely Planet website, and check out all their comprehensive travel information. If you have been living under a rock somewhere and aren’t familiar with the Lonely Planet guides, let me introduce you to your new best friend. If you are traveling to ANY foreign country and you could only buy one travel book, then hands down I 100% recommend you buy the Lonely Planet guide to that country. No matter which country you are going to, I can automatically recommend the Lonely Planet guidebook. All their travel guides offer a quirky alternative to the more common standard (and boring) travel guides. The Lonely Planet guides are FAR superior to any other travel books I’ve ever used.
Why am I such a fan of the Lonely Planet guides? Because they are the most practical and comprehensive travel guide you can buy that enable you to see any country as an insider instead of a tourist. They offer you the “behind the scenes” guide to any country you might visit.
When I travel, I hate being the typical annoying tourist. You know the one, the one that stands out like a sore thumb. The one that only visits the crowded tourist destinations and follows the crowds everywhere and never deviates from the standard beaten tourist path.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing tourist destinations, and around the world there are tourist destinations you don’t want to miss. But those destinations make up less than 5% of any given country. And there is always the other 95% of the country left to explore. Which is why the Lonely Planet guides are so helpful. They document and share all the other marvelous options you have to see the rest of any country.
I first started buying Lonely Planet travel books when I was a poor Peace Corps volunteer and I was traveling on a shoestring budget. I’m VERY HAPPY to not be traveling on a shoestring budget anymore – I’m happy to sleep on beds instead of barn floors – but I still rely on the Lonely Planet guides for every new country I visit.
I’m probably being old school in that I’m still talking about travel guides as “books.” Heck these days you can probably download a Lonely Planet app for your phone or iPad. If you can do that, you should do that – it would be quite awesome. ** YES, I just found out you can download the app for your iPhone! I love technology.
But aside from the apps, I am familiar with “The Thorn Tree” – which is the online forums on Lonely Planet, where you can connect with other travelers and stay current with any and all travel news. Or you can discuss which minibus you should take to get from Kingston to Negril (for example).
To summarize, I’m a huge fan of the Lonely Planet travel guides because they offer the most practical information for visiting any new country as an insider. Whether you are traveling on a shoestring budget or the-sky-is-the-limit budget, check out the Lonely Planet guides.
In writing this post, I realized that I don’t know why they are called the Lonely Planet guides, so I decided to find out. Here’s where you can find the answer… which is just another great example of the quirkiness that makes up this unique travel book company.
I hope you have some reason this year to buy a Lonely Planet guide. I don’t care which country you visit, just go visit some other country and before you go, be sure to download the Lonely Planet app or buy one of their books. And then be sure to send me a postcard…
*** Photo above was taken by me, on the west coast of Costa Rica.