Are Lonely Planet® Guides Worth It? | Review #1

If you’re anything like me you cannot choose when you have too many choices to choose from. That’s exactly what I felt when I was looking for the perfect travel guides before my world tour. Here’s what I thought about Lonely Planet® ones!


For these reviews I’ve chosen 5 criteria (the MAPAR review :D), to which I can add bonus points if there are any:

  • Maps
  • Accuracy
  • Pictures
  • Advice quality
  • Readability

Of course those are completely subjective, and I will of course express my free opinion on each of them. If you disagree with me or think I’ve left something out, please leave me a comment!

Main criteria

Maps *****

20180902_123134.jpg
©Lonely Planet

There are lots of maps, and very good quality ones! Depending on the version of the guide you get, you can also have a detachable folded map, the size of a tourist one (if you get what I mean) with top sights and venues on it!

I’ve given 5 stars for Lonely Planet ones because they were all I could ever wish for in a travel guide: coloured, big enough, some of them very detailed, and most of all, I didn’t have to buy any more!

Advice Quality *****

20180902_123052.jpg
©Lonely Planet

All in all the advice throughout the guide was good, and dependent on any kind of reader. There are pieces of advice for everyone and anyone, from families with small kids, to young adults looking for fun and even for LGBTs in particular!

The downside was that sometimes, those were quite cliche, which discredited the whole thing. But when the advice was good, it was delightful to follow it!

Pictures *****

20180902_123453.jpg
©Lonely Planet

I think this picture speaks for itself: the images in Lonely Planet® guides are amazing.

Very high quality, very beautiful and inspirational, a good size even in small versions of the guides, they are all you could look for in a travel guide to help you figure out how the destination looks like, feels like, and to inspire you even before you’ve arrived to your destinations.

Accuracy *****

Throughout our month of travelling, in 2 different continents and 3 different countries, we sometimes only depended on the Lonely Planet® guides I’d purchased. And while most of the time we didn’t have any problems, we did have some disappointments here and there: hours of restaurants, venues or stores that didn’t match the real ones, places closed down for good or replaced with other ones when we arrived in front of them…

This happened one too many time for me not to mention it, although it is to be expected with printed travel guides, sometimes having been written months or even years before you get them in your hands!

Readability *****

20180902_123612.jpg
©Lonely Planet

Compared to other guides, let me tell you the Lonely Planet® ones are a delight to read! They’ve got colours, bullet points, logos, sections, big titles, boxed texts, highlights, and most of all, their normal paragraphs are a good size to read! You would think it is a given, but apparently not from what I’ve seen…

Therefore this is definitely a good point for Lonely Planet®.

20180902_191427.jpg
Normal double page, with a boxed text for highlight – ©Lonely Planet

Bonus Points

Special Pages

20180902_122757.jpg
©Lonely Planet

Even if the guides I’d chosen weren’t that big, they had a lot of content! Enough to have special pages and sections all throughout the book.

 

On the left: This Top Itineraries double page gives you advice on full-day itineraries you can follow as if you were with a professional travel guide all day long! I’ve tested some of them myself, and they were pretty good to allow you spending good days with plenty of things to see and do!

On the right: This section is by far one of my favorites! It allows you to really get an idea of how your destination and its inhabitants are like. There’s information on the place nowadays, its history, customs, architecture and even language!

Tone

What a delight when the travel guide you’re reading has a funny tone or inspire you to visit everything in the destination you’ve chosen? Well Lonely Planet guides combine those two characteristics!

Not only are they very inspirational, but their writers are sometimes particularly funny! I’ve found myself laughing quite a number of times while reading them, and it made it all the more enjoyable 🙂

Recap: The Best Guides Out There?

Top points:

  • Readability
  • Pictures
  • Maps

Low points:

  • Accuracy
  • Advice Quality

Bonus points:

  • Special pages
  • Tone

Well to say that I would need to review each edition of travel guides out there. But from what I can tell, they really were good travel companions through my whole month of travelling, and I’ve managed to read them cover to cover and still wanting more! I will for sure buy more Lonely Planet® guides for my next travels.

Signing off,

Lilly, aka The French Hat


Lonely Planet guides on which I based this article:

  • Singapore, 11th edition, Ria de Jong, ©Lonely Planet 2018
  • L’Essentiel de New York, 3e édition, Regis St Louis & Michael Grosberg ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Best of New York City, 2nd edition)
  • San Francisco en quelques jours, 4e édition, Mariella Krause, Alison Bing & John A Vlahides, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket San Francisco, 6th edition)
  • Tokyo en quelques jours, 6e édition, Rebecca Milner & Simon Richmond, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket Tokyo, 6th edition)
  • Kyoto et Osaka en quelques jours, 1re édition, Kate Morgan & Rebecca Miller, ©Lonely Planet 2017 (translated from Pocket Tokyo & Osaka, 1st edition)
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The French Hat

Hey there! Nice to meet you, my name is Lilly, I'm 25 and I currently live as a french expat' in Singapore. Here on my blog I talk about everything and anything related to travel and expatriation, and also the things I like and anything in between. Don't forget to subscribe to follow my adventures!

8 thoughts on “Are Lonely Planet® Guides Worth It? | Review #1”

    1. Tu as acheté la version complète du Japon ? Tu me diras si mon évaluation s’y colle alors, car je n’ai pas testé les guides complets sur un pays en particulier justement ! J’en ferai la revue plus tard car j’aimerais justement prendre le guide sur le Japon, le guide sur le Vietnam et le guide Monde : j’aimerais bien savoir comment ils s’en sortent pour condenser AUTANT d’informations !
      Merci de ton commentaire 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oui, la version complète ! Je pars demain et j’y ferai mes études pendant 6 mois, du coup les voyages se feront surtout les week-ends 😊 n’hésite pas à me reposer la question si j’oublie, mais je me ferai un plaisir de t’informer ! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haaan la chance! Tu parles japonais du coup 🙂 je l’apprends depuis 1 an et demi pour ma part ! Ok merci beaucoup ; en fait, une fois que tu seras installée au Japon j’aimerais t’interviewer si tu es d’accord, car je prépare un projet sur l’expatriation 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. D’accord 🙂 pour te mettre le pied à l’étrier, je te conseille de regarder les vidéos (dans l’ordre) de Julien Fontanier, professeur de japonais sur Youtube: la chaîne s’appelle Cours de Japonais, et Julien est mon professeur (via cours sur Skype) et ami. Tu verras, c’est très bien expliqué, et ça ne va pas trop vite ! Moi j’adore cette langue, et comparé au mandarin, c’est beaucoup BEAUCOUP plus simple ^^ xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Je t’en prie c’est un vrai plaisir de faire découvrir sa chaîne ! C’est un super prof ! Et en plus si ça peut t’aider avant que tu partes, j’ai gagné ma journée ❤

        Like

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