Finally! The trusted Lonely Planet is making travel a little bit easier by creating 300 day tours and multi-day tours across the globe that bring the guidebooks to life thanks to a partnership with Intrepid Travel. What I love about this partnership is that it makes sense. Lonely Planet Experiences is the logical next step for the brand and is great for the time-poor traveller, solo travellers or those unsure about booking random Airbnb experiences. Lonely Planet and Intrepid are brands you can trust.
I left Australia for my first overseas trip in 1996 with nothing but a backpack and a Lonely Planet Guide. Travel has changed a lot since then, indeed, it’s changed a lot in the past ten years (check out my friend’s podcast here – The Thoughtful Travel Podcast about this very subject).
During my first 15 years of travel, I relied heavily on the Lonely Planet guides for places to stay, places to visit, experiences not to miss out on and places to eat. Very rarely did Lonely Planet ever get it wrong. One of my friends in Perth is a Lonely Planet writer and I’ve since discovered all the hours she puts in researching her recommendations for them.
The new Lonely Planet Experiences will offer 200 day-tours (operated by Intrepid Travel’s day-tour company, Urban Adventures) and over 130 multi-day trips including walking, cycling, food, festivals, family and marine adventures.
Now, while I’m not a big fan of tours (the big coach ones filled with Ma and Pa Kettle from red neck town), I can appreciate the value they can add to a trip. With an experienced guide, you can get so much more from a destination than if you did it on your own. I find it far more interesting to listen to a guide than have my head buried in a guide book or worse still, walk about with headphones on listening to a pre-recorded tour. So for places where I’m short on time, can’t be bothered researching, or in a place of historical significance like the Pompeii, Vatican or Egypt, I’ve found tours to be insightful.
It’s heartening to know that Lonely Planet Experiences have been designed with a low environmental footprint while ensuring a positive impact on local communities.
True to Intrepid Travel’s style, all tour groups will be small, with a maximum of 16 travellers, and led by a local leader. The tours will use local transportation, support locally owned businesses and like all Intrepid Travel trips since 2010, be 100% carbon-neutral – also reflective of Lonely Planet’s commitment to responsible travel as part of this partnership.
All tours will include discounts on Lonely Planet’s guidebooks and free access to Lonely Planet’s flagship Guides app.
The tours will run in 6 continents, across 65 countries, and range in duration from 2 hours to 22 days.
Feature tours include:
Lonely Planet Experiences – Powered by Urban Adventures
– A Tour Through Tokyo’s Kitchen (incl. Tsukiji Fish Market), 2.5 hours, starting at $109 AUD
- Vintage Las Vegas Arts Tour, 2 hours, starting at $65 AUD
Lonely Planet Experiences – Powered by Intrepid Travel
- Galapagos Experience (7 days), starting at $1320 AUD
- Explore Egypt (15 days), starting at $1645 AUD
I say well done on a good partnership Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel. Booking a Lonely Planet Experience is way more attractive to me than an Airbnb experience where those offering the tour are unlikely to be accredited or regulated.
What next? IMHO…
In my humble opinion, what I’d love to see is Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel, two companies that originated in Australia, start promoting travel to the fire-ravaged areas of Australia that are now safe and open for business. The best way we can help the regions and towns affected by bushfires is to visit them and spend money in local businesses.
Most of Australia is safe to travel to including all capital cities – visit www.australia.com for more.