Lonely Planet Co-Founder Tony Wheeler’s Travel Wisdom: A Journey of 50 Years

Tony Wheeler, the co-founder of Lonely Planet, has spent 50 years exploring the globe. Despite the success of his publishing company, he remains an avid backpacker at heart.

The Birth of Lonely Planet:

In 1973, Tony and his wife, Maureen, embarked on a road trip from London to Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan, which ultimately led to the creation of Lonely Planet.

The name was inspired by a misheard lyric in Joe Cocker’s song, and it has become an iconic brand in the travel industry.

Catering to Young Globetrotters:

Lonely Planet’s earliest guidebooks targeted young adventurers with limited funds, eager to explore uncharted territories.

A Passion for Travel:

Despite selling the company in 2011, Tony and Maureen continue to be passionate travelers, dividing their time between London and Melbourne.

Dealing with Travel Setbacks:

Wheeler shares his perspective on handling travel mishaps, emphasizing the importance of adapting to unexpected challenges.

Lost Luggage Prevention:

Tony’s strategy for avoiding lost luggage is to stick with carry-ons that stay close to his person, ensuring that his belongings are not separated from him during the journey.

Traveling in Challenging Locations:

He advises travelers to be aware of the political climate in the countries they plan to visit, as sometimes destinations with warnings can offer incredible experiences and opportunities.

Crime and Safety:

While Tony has been a victim of crime once, he encourages travelers to trust their instincts when assessing safety in a foreign location.

Overcrowding Solutions:

Tony Wheeler suggests venturing “two streets over” from popular tourist spots to discover hidden gems and reduce overcrowding.

Exploring Other Modes of Travel:

The travel enthusiast shares his love for train travel and eco-friendly transportation options, highlighting memorable experiences from his recent journeys.

The Evolution of Lonely Planet:

The article concludes by mentioning the growth of the Lonely Planet brand, now owned by Red Ventures, offering various resources and travel tips for modern explorers.

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