101 things about me

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Top class used to be a private room with a shared bathroom...

Now, I know in my last post I said that I wasn't going to plan any more of my trip, and I am not... however, I did want to mention Lonely Planet travel guides (of course I refer to the USA guide because it's the only one I am reading right now)...

My original travel bible, Lonely Planet used to exemplify the adventurer's spirit... I used them to simplify my travel and allow me to get a feel for what to expect of my destination, without taking away the excitement. It gave me a backpackers view, having been written by backpackers for backpackers. It was perfect for the budget traveler.

Twenty years later, I am still a budget traveler (hey, 5 star would be grand if I could afford it!) and so this time LP was my first port of call. And as I have grown older, it seems LP has too.

Like me, Lonely Planet seems to have changed over the years, but (unlike me!) LP has not necessarily changed for the better. It seems to me the Lonely Planet guides have drifted from the backpacker market and are now concentrating on travelers whose wallets are thicker than ever.

I know it's been 20 years since I traveled, but hotels were never the mainstay of Lonely Planet readers 'back in my day'. Since when has the budget travel cheap range been US$80-$120? Surely there are cheaper options, or at least other options to consider...

Top class used to be a private room with a shared bathroom in a cheap pensione in Austria. Dorm rooms shared with snoring room-mates were a median priced option (and great way of meeting fellow trippers). Cheap was sleeping on the roof of a hostel in Israel, or pitching a tent in a Welsh farm where sheep had been wandering the day before. Is nothing sacred?

None of these options are even considered in the latest volume that I have seen. And whilst I know (and expect) NYC to be reasonably expensive, and I don't expect to pitch my tent in Central Park NYC, it would be nice to have options other than hotels listed in other places...

So, what's the deal LP?

*oh yeh - 13 sleeps to go


MW Knitgirl said...

We're not pitching tents in Central Park? Wow, there goes my dream. Haa!


Red Hen (dette) said...

When I travelled to Thailand recently we used "Tripadvisor"
It has a huge range of advice and reviews from actual travellers -budget budget to 5 star options- as well as links to all sorts of things - I found an appartment to rent in paris for my next trip (long service leave in October next year!!!!)
If you haven't used it yet check it out it was really useful.