Already known for its popular guidebooks, Lonely Planet runs a website, Lonelyplanet.com, one of the best resources on the internet for travel information both national (United States) and international. It’s also a fabulous place to shop if you’re buying a Christmas gift for someone who likes to travel. Their online shop sells their guidebooks, both in book form and digital file, as well as calendars, DVDs and travel equipment like backpacks, sleeping bags and tents. They have items in a lot of different price ranges, but these are the best items under $25.
Lonely Planet Six Degrees DVD Set (Season 1) – At $23.99, this travel DVD set is an amazing bargain. It has 8 DVDs (for only $23.99!) that take you to Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Singapore, Havana, Buenos Aires, Paris and Sydney. Season 2 is also available on an 8 DVD set for the same price and here you’ll see san Francisco, Auckland, Berlin, Cape Town, Mexico City, London, Hong Kong and Melbourne. For someone who loves watching travel shows, you couldn’t get a better gift than this DVD series. The Lonely Planet team stays away from typical tourist traps and highlights places and people that you won’t see on any other travel program.
2009 Lonely Planet Calendar – At $12.99, this is a cool stocking stuffer. With beautiful photography and interesting travel information, its 24 full color pages will make every day seem brighter and will make your travel bug even stronger. For Mum, Dad or kids, this calendar is an awesome inexpensive Christmas gift.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel, 2009 – Lonely Planet presents the Top 30 countries and cities to visit in 2009. It has 850 travel experiences that are must-sees and must-dos, as well as a travel planner with 50 adventures mapped out month by month. The cool thing about this book though, is it also comes with a free copy of BlueList 2008: The Best in Travel – so for $23.99 you get two fantastic travel books. This would be a wonderful Christmas gift for a son or daughter who is soon to graduate from university and thinking of travelling around the world for a year.
Volunteer – A Traveler’s Guide – A popular way to travel nowadays is to do some volunteer work in a country or countries that you’re interested in visiting. In this excellent book, Lonely Planet reviews almost 200 organizations worldwide and gives information about what each volunteer opportunity would entail. They have also interviewed people who have volunteered at these organizations, who give you their tips about how to have a good volunteer travel experience overseas. At $19.99, it’s worth the money if you’re seriously thinking of doing something unusual with your time abroad. Also a cool gift for parents who have just retired and might want to see something of the world now they have the time to do so.
Digital City Maps – The Lonely Planet online store has an excellent array of digital maps for many of the world’s top cities. For only $2.30 you get 5-7 full color digital maps in PDF format that you can print out for your upcoming trip. Check out Hong Kong, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Las Vegas, and many more cities. If you’ve got a child, friend, parent or spouse who will be visiting one of these cities, make sure they don’t get lost by buying them a digital city map for a Christmas gift.
Lonely Planet Travel Journal – Very cheap at $14.99, this could be the Christmas gift your friend of family member will treasure on any trip they take. It includes measurement charts, international dialing codes, a world time zone map and conversion tables, as well as over 130 blank pages where they can write down their itinerary, make notes of fun things they saw, or even write a travel journal to get published when they get back home. It has a plastic cover that will protect it on their travels and is light enough that it won’t feel like a stone at the bottom of their backpack.
The Lonely Planet website has hundreds of cheap Christmas gift ideas for the traveler, and many of them are under $25. Also check out Lonely Planet’s Walking and Hiking Guides, their Scuba Diving Guides and their National Park Guides. They also run a special where you get free shipping if you make a purchase of more than $40. For the friend or family member who is a travel buff, you can’t go wrong with ordering from the Lonely Planet website shop.