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Travel Blogs vs Lonely Planet

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Travel bloggers will hate me for posting this, but I’m known for my honesty, maybe for being rather pedantic at times. Reading too many travel blogs can give you entirely the wrong impression. This post came about after trusting information from smaller travel blogs and finding that their rosy picture was less than factual. Lonely Planet vs Travel Blogs.


I’ve been a full-time, professional travel blogger for well over a decade now, but when I first started in the blogging industry, I’d never seen a travel blog before!

I’ve always been a Lonely Planet girl and I didn’t know travel blogs even existed ’till I started blogging myself.

A whole new world opened up to me, information at my fingertips, first hand experiences, parents’ eye views. Fantastic!

I’ve loved reading them and made some superb new friends in the blogging world.

I’ve actually ditched my Lonely Planet habit recently and started to rely on the travel bloggosphere instead.

But, I’m starting to notice that I’m not always getting suitable information.

Not All The Facts You Need Are on Some Travel Blogs

A couple of times now I’ve looked at blogs to research destinations, 10 things to do in whatever place with kids, sort of posts. There are some great ideas and suggestions, but I’ve realised, I can’t always trust this type of post.

You don’t know the blogger’s budget. They may be loaded, we’re not.

They may think nothing of blowing a few hundred dollars on a day out.

You also don’t know what this blogger considers nearby. Do they mean 5 minutes walk or 3 hours in a taxi?

Different people like different things. I love temples and culture and history, some people like the big purpose-built tourist draws.

Unless that blogger spells out the costs and practicalities of getting to a spot, you don’t know if it’s going to be do-able for your family.

Our ideal budget is $41/day right now, we know that’s very low.

Another blogger may consider $100/day or even $200 to be a tight budget, you just don’t know.

Some people are happy to stay in a hovel, others would consider a 4 star hotel slumming it, I know one blogger who only sleeps and travels for free.

A couple of times now I’ve seen cool things to do on a travel blog, arrived at my destination without doing enough solid research for myself and found that the attraction was just too difficult and expensive to get to or admission costs were through the roof.

My bad, I know.

Do Your Own Research Too!

I’m just saying, before you decide to go to Timbuktu, because a blogger says they had a great time there, do your research.

See if it fits your needs and budgets. Travel blogs are often purely opinion and that opinion can be bought, or can be very different to the opinion the reader may form.

I know I’ve had issues with readers attacking me for painting an overly rosy picture. Read our post on hijabs and Sri Lanka to get a taste of that!

If you don’t do plenty of research you may have a few disappointments along the way.

Travel Blogs Can Be Out of Date

This goes for my site too. Some of the posts on this website are 8 years old and the information does become irrelevant or out of date. We’re in the fortunate position of being able to visit and re-visit destinations to update and improve content.

The so-and-so family who backpacked around the world once 5 years ago will not have up-to-date information. Watch out for that.

This is why certain travel blogs rise to the top of Google, we stay up to date and provide complete information.

Blogs are great, fantastic reads and I love being a travel blogger. My advice is to always check the facts for yourself alongside what you read on the travel blogs. Nobody can create a complete world travel blog that is 100% up to date. Not even Lonely Planet. Read the blogs, get the ideas and if the information is important to you double-check everything. Thanks.

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The Guy

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

You make a very good point. If writers are more open to publishing the realities of things, such as cost and time involved then we'd be able to make an informed decision based on what is written. That is why such as the E-Trampers with their motto of travelling the world on less than $25 a day is so transparent. You know exactly what you are getting and if it is suitable to your needs.


Sunday 9th of March 2014

Blogs are good for getting new travel ideas but I still use Lonely Planet as well.

Gabi @The Nomadic Family

Saturday 10th of August 2013

great point alyson. we are always buckos under the budget other people go on. we also knew that we travel until we run out of money, which is probably why you're able to go to a couple of places i have been to- cheap. wasn't kanchaburi sugar cane great? you are doing such wonderful learning on the road. i love seeing you out there alyson. gabi


Saturday 10th of August 2013

Yes, we loved Sugar Cane, so easy to just do nothing and look at that beautiful river!


Thursday 8th of August 2013

Great post! Budget planing is an important part of any successful trip. Unfortunately, it's true that very few bloggers give detailed information about the price of food, transport, admission fees and other travel expenses. I guest we get carried away with sharing how amazing our trip was and forget this important bit. So reading guide books along with inspiring travel blogs is a wise thing to do! Thanks for the tip!


Tuesday 30th of July 2013


You are spot on. The "double edged sword" of the internet is that you have all the information you could ever want, but anyone can supply it. I read other blogs and have similar frustrations. So as a travel and education blogger, I am either a hypocrite or arrogant!

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