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How to become a Lonely Planet Pathfinder

Blogs and social media play an increasing role in the travel planning process. Real stories from real people – people with a passion for exploring the world – are an endless source of inspiration for travellers. Lonely Planet wants to nurture this travel documenting talent and share the best content with our global audience.

  • Travel bloggers
  • Travel Instagrammers
  • Travel YouTubers/Videographers
  • Travel photographers

Whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned pro, there’s a place for you with Lonely Planet Pathfinders.

The programme has three stages. As you progress, you’ll have new opportunities to work with Lonely Planet, provide compelling content for your followers, and grow your audience. Sound like a journey you’d like to take? Read on for more details.

Stage one:
Become a Lonely Planet community Pathfinder

We value the travel know-how of our community; without your stories, recommendations and experiences, Lonely Planet would not be what it is today. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum is the online source for up-to-the-minute, detailed information from travellers in the know, which is why it forms the foundation of the Lonely Planet Pathfinders programme. We’re looking for bloggers and social content creators who want to make a meaningful contribution to our community, inspiring and enabling others to explore the world.

  • Create a Lonely Planet account at www.lonelyplanet.com
  • Add your primary blog and/or relevant social account URLs to your account profile
  • Register for the Pathfinders programme using this form.
  • Start sharing your travel expertise on Thorn Tree. Don’t know where to start? Pay a visit to the Travel Bloggers branch.
  • Add the hashtag #lppathfinders to your social media posts – the Lonely Planet team reshare the best content.
    You’ll be part of the best online travel community there is, introducing your content to a new, relevant audience and sharing tips and advice with like-minded travellers. Lonely Planet may choose to link to your blog or social accounts from lonelyplanet.com and share your posts on social media.
    Each month we ask Pathfinders to submit their latest posts and Instagrams on Thorn Tree in a specific thread. We feature the best in our blog round-ups, introducing our fans to your content.
    Our online community will grow even stronger with your contributions, benefiting travellers globally. We hope to produce more diverse, useful content from your submissions and hopefully, open a channel of communication between Lonely Planet and travel content creators all over the world.

Stage two:
Become a Lonely Planet assignment Pathfinder

We want to work closely with great content creators – which is why we’ve created Lonely Planet Pathfinders assignments. Selected Pathfinders gain access to a private forum where we post opportunities to create content for Lonely Planet on a freelance basis. Tasks range from writing articles to playing a part in campaigns, doing takeovers and clusters of activity for Lonely Planet on our social channels (or their own), and documenting and sharing their trips.

    As a Lonely Planet community Pathfinder, your content will have been featured in at least three of our monthly round-ups.

    Once the above criteria are fulfilled, you’ll be promoted to the assignments level.

    You’ll have a great opportunity to influence other travellers, have your work published on Lonely Planet’s website, undertake paid tasks and build a partnership with Lonely Planet. You may receive travel opportunities or discounts for certain assignments.
    We will grow our network of contributors, add even more engaging content to our website, and find new ways to speak to, inspire and inform travellers.

Stage three:
Become a Lonely Planet trailblazer

Do you know how to nurture communities? Have you built a loyal audience that trusts your opinions and regularly engages with your content? You could be a Lonely Planet trailblazer. As a trailblazer you will work with Lonely Planet to deliver valuable content and contests to your audiences and represent the brand on a global scale.

    Pathfinders will be invited to become trailblazers by Lonely Planet. We will be looking at the following criteria in order to choose trailblazers:

  • You have worked to become a leader in the travel blogging industry, or a reputable and widely-known source for travel content on your social channel(s), providing inspiration to a growing and significant fanbase.
  • You have demonstrated significant writing or content creation skills and travel expertise through Pathfinders assignments and your own platforms.
  • You have had an established travel blog, or travel-focused social account, for at least one year, and have a thorough understanding of your fanbase.
    A long-term partnership with one of the biggest travel brands in the world!
    Long-term partnerships with the most successful travel content creators in the world!
Please note: Pathfinders who have yet to meet criteria in sections one (community) and two (assignment) may be invited to become Lonely Planet assignment Pathfinders or trailblazers. This is at the discretion of the Lonely Planet community team.

Frequently Asked Questions

    Lonely Planet will only publish bespoke, unique content from bloggers. We may publish very short excerpts of your blog, or social posts, with your permission and will always attribute you appropriately and link back to the source.
    Rewards differ depending on the level of the programme and size of the task and could include payment or products. Exposure on Lonely Planet’s social channels and travel are other benefits. We will always be very clear on remuneration before assignments have been accepted by Pathfinders.
    Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to host foreign language content on lonelyplanet.com at this point in time. If you are proficient in another language though, note this in your application – if and when we do scale up the programme, there may be further opportunities with Lonely Planet’s foreign partners.
    Lonely Planet will consider featuring content from non travel-focused platforms where that content is of interest (and use to) travellers. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
    This isn’t a main focus of Pathfinders but there could be potential for talented bloggers to become guidebook writers. They would have to go through the same recruitment process as all of our writers.
    Lonely Planet understands that many travel companies write their own travel blogs, and that some travel bloggers offer commercial services on their sites. We are looking for individuals to join the Pathfinders programme, rather than businesses – sites that appear to be between the two will be assessed on an individual basis.
    Lonely Planet understands that some content creators accept media support, and that’s OK. However, we will not promote overtly commercial content, or content that promotes travel activities beyond the reach of the average traveller.
    Lonely Planet Pathfinders may be removed from the programme at Lonely Planet’s discretion. Those who are inactive on Thorn Tree for more than three months, and those who publish inappropriate (illegal or offensive) or consistently low quality content may be removed from the programme at Lonely Planet’s discretion.
    Yes, if minimum commitments and quality requirements are not met.
    No, the aim of Pathfinders is to broaden our travel content. LP writers and photographers with travel blogs or consistently active social accounts are welcome to join Lonely Planet Pathfinders.
    If we commission content from Lonely Planet Pathfinders (assignments level and above) for publication on lonelyplanet.com, the content must be written exclusively for Lonely Planet and not reproduced elsewhere. We will liaise with trailblazer Pathfinders on an individual basis regarding partnership agreements but we will not be asking them to work with us on an exclusive basis.
    You are welcome to register more than one travel blog or social account in the Pathfinders programme but in later stages may be required to focus on one channel in particular in regards to work for Lonely Planet.
    You can unsubscribe from the Lonely Planet Pathfinders quarterly dispatch at any time by clicking on the ‘unsubscribe’ link in the footer of the emails. If you do not wish to be contacted regarding freelance opportunities, please email pathfinders@lonelyplanet.com.
    If you no longer wish to be a Lonely Planet Pathfinder, please let us know by emailing pathfinders@lonelyplanet.com, providing your name and blog/primary channel URL.
Still have questions? E-mail us at pathfinders@lonelyplanet.com