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Iconic Lonely Planet journey is recreated for the 21st century


To celebrate Lonely Planet’s 40th birthday, the world’s number one travel publisher has sent two writers across the world to recreate the trip that led to the start of the much loved travel guide. To mark the 40th anniversary of the pioneering first trip, writers Oliver Smith and Christa Larwood from Lonely Planet Traveller magazine are following the original 10,000-mile route across Europe, Asia and Australasia and taking on some of the world’s most imaginative travel experiences. The trip has a 21st century twist, with social media playing an important role, enabling the community to directly influence the experiences on the journey.

The journey reflects how travel has changed; showcasing how destinations along the route have evolved, and how technology impacts the way in which people travel. The writers are using mobile phones and video equipment to document the trip, sharing tweets, blog entries, map updates, photos and videos at The site will be updated with professional photography and video taken on the road, making it possible to follow the journey virtually as it happens. The trip will also result in a series of four features for Lonely Planet Traveller magazine.

The trip aims to recreate the spirit of the original 1972 journey when Lonely Planet’s co-founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler set off from London to Sydney in a £60 Minivan with no more than a few pounds in their pocket. The journey resulted in the first ever Lonely Planet guide, Across Asia on the Cheap, published in 1973.

Peter Grunert, Editor of Lonely Planet Traveller magazine said, “This is incredibly exciting for Lonely Planet, we are attempting to recreate the Wheeler’s trail blazing journey using new technologies and social media input to reflect travel in the 21st century. It’s an exciting prospect that our community around the world can influence the trip, as our writers look to find and share some of the most original and imaginative experiences on their journey.”

The trip draws on interaction with one of the largest travel communities in the world. In its 40th anniversary year Lonely Planet reached 1 million likes on Facebook and 1 million followers on Twitter.’s Thorn Tree forum, one of the oldest travel forums on the internet, also has over a million members.

Co-founder Tony Wheeler said, “I’m really excited to see how the trip turns out, travel has changed so much since 1972, with new destinations emerging such as Myanmar and others, like Afghanistan, no longer open to tourists. This is a great way to celebrate the heritage of Lonely Planet by recreating how it all began but with new technologies and ways of travelling for the 21st century. For me, Lonely Planet has always been about the journey, so it’s great to still be out there on the road 40 years later.”

Notes to editors

- The trip departed in May from London and is scheduled to finish in Sydney in July.
- Further details about the journey and where the writers will be travelling is available upon request.
- Christa Larwood and Oliver Smith are available for interview.
- Peter Grunert, Editor of Lonely Planet Traveller and Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet are both available for interview.
- Images and video available.
- The trip can be followed @LP40trip

About Lonely Planet:

Lonely Planet is the world’s leading travel content provider. Started in 1973, we enable open-minded travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place with our award-winning content in guidebooks, online and via a suite of digital travel products. Lonely Planet also has a dedicated traveller community including 1 million followers on Twitter and 1 million likes on Facebook. Visit us at

About Lonely Planet Traveller

Lonely Planet Traveller is the award-winning intelligent, beautiful travel magazine for those who are curious about the world. Available in 12 countries around the world, including the UK, where it is the most actively purchased travel magazine title.


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