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Working At Lonely Planet

Zippia Score 4.0

Lonely Planet overview

Lonely Planet is a large travel guide book publisher. As of 2011, the company had sold 120 million books since inception and by early 2014, it had sold around 11 million units of its travel apps.
Lonely Planet has been around for a long time. It was founded back in 1973. This established company loves to hire graduates from San Francisco State University, with 9.1% of its employees having attended San Francisco State University. Lonely Planet is a great place to work and is featured as number 19 on Zippia's list of Best Companies to Work for in Franklin, TN. The average employee at Lonely Planet makes $53,395 per year. Pay at Lonely Planet is significantly lower than some of its highest paying competitors, like Etsy, Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems, and The San Diego Union-Tribune, which pay $108,883, $83,220, and $67,730, respectively.
Based in Tennessee, Lonely Planet is a medium-sized media company with 830 employees and a revenue of $75.0M.







Founded in



Franklin, TN



Organization Type


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The team at Lonely Planet

Key People
  • Maureen Wheeler (founders)
  • Tony Wheeler (founders)
  • Todd Sotkiewicz (Owner)

What do people say about Lonely Planet

Zippia Official LogoReddit UserAugust 2014

What is the writing process like? How much of your trip is planned, and how much is "just go and see what's there"? How long do you have to spend in a city to write a chapter for it? And, do you still travel for your own vacation?

Vacations are the ones where you don't have to get on a plane and write down the opening hours of internet cafes, yes? I think I've heard of those...
Zippia Official LogoReddit UserAugust 2014

Ever read "Do travel writers go to hell" ? Certainly opened my eyes (along with various forums) to the fact that travel writing isn't necessarily all that. Anyway, my question - do you feel like you're ever had to bend LPs rules to make ends meet on one of your research trips ?

The writer of that particular book might very well go to hell! Let's just say he had a creative attitude to writing that memoir as well as whatever he might have done in guidebooks. What pissed me off about it though was that I know how hard I work, and all my colleagues work, even if he thought he was on an extended holiday. 12, 14 hours days that's the gig. But the one thing I've never understood is why would you want to sit at your desk making things up? Seriously, this job can be hard, but I often feel so lucky because I get to do some very cool stuff, eat weird food and meet interesting people. That's why we all travel, right? So the idea of not wanting to do it and just phone it in that genuinely baffles me.
Zippia Official LogoReddit UserAugust 2014

I just used Lonely Planets on my trip to Russia, China and Japan. A common complaint about them was that all the restaurant recommendations were very poor. How do I know if the restaurant just slipped since the publishing, or if the LP writer just has no taste? What steps do LP writers take to become an authority on restaurant reviews? Unfortunately, there is no Yelp outside of the USA...

Interesting observation. I hope you managed to still get a good meal somewhere! I can't speak to those particular books, but for the places I write about it's about learning the culture, and the food is a key part of that. Restaurant reviews are a learned skill, just like hotel reviews. We take all the recommendations we can get before a trip, but it can sometimes be hard if the place is having an off day. I once stormed into a hotel kitchen and insisted the guy watch me as I made scrambled eggs and toast.
Zippia Official LogoReddit UserAugust 2014

How much does it pay?

I've been doing two (occasionally three) books a year for the past few years. I'm not rich like Rockefeller, but it works as a career.
Zippia Official LogoReddit UserAugust 2014

You have the best job in the world! As someone who spent a few years post-high school traveling, and also has a natural knack for writing and would keep journals about said travels, it's something I've always wanted to do. How did you get started, and do you have any tips for someone for whom this is considered a dream job? Thanks, and have fun out there! EDIT: I'm seeing now that many people are asking questions very similar to mine, so I'll ask another. What was the most fun you've had writing a particular piece? (Apologies if this has been asked as well.. I use an app on my phone that doesn't load all the comments. It's rather annoying sometimes!)

Writing fun? It's odd, quite a lot of quidebook stuff is actually updating I'm working on the new Jordan book, and it's the 9th edition, so a lot more work goes into the research finding the new places etc than rewriting. But I've been lucky in that I've done quite a few jobs where I've been able to write from complete scratch. I'm very proud of the LP Afghanistan book, even if it did come out in 2007 just when the country really started going downhill.
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Lonely Planet Rankings

Lonely Planet is ranked #7 on the Best Media Companies to Work For in Tennessee list. Zippia's Best Places to Work lists provide unbiased, data-based evaluations of companies. Rankings are based on government and proprietary data on salaries, company financial health, and employee diversity.

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Lonely Planet Salaries

How much does Lonely Planet pay?
The national average salary for a Lonely Planet employee in the United States is $53,395 per year. Employees in the top 10 percent can make over $111,000 per year, while employees at the bottom 10 percent earn less than $25,000 per year.
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Average Employee Earnings

Lonely Planet Salaries By Job Title

The average employee at Lonely Planet earns a yearly salary of $53,395 per year, but different jobs can earn drastically different salaries. The higher paying positions at Lonely Planet include Project Manager, Paper Carrier, Software Engineer, and Newspaper Carrier. A typical Project Manager salary at Lonely Planet is $106,770 per year. Other roles at Lonely Planet include Warehouse Worker and Customer Service Representative. A Warehouse Worker at Lonely Planet earns an average yearly salary of $25,295.
Project Manager
Paper Carrier
Software Engineer
Newspaper Carrier
Promotions Assistant

Lonely Planet careers

On average, employees at Lonely Planet stay with the company for 2.5 years.

Average Length of Employment

Lonely Planet

2.5 years
Let's Go2.2 years

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Lonely Planet Employment Videos

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Lonely Planet Financial Performance

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$10M - $100M

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Lonely Planet Competitors

Based on our research, similar companies to Lonely Planet are Etsy, Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems Inc., and The San Diego Union-Tribune. Employees at Etsy earn more than most of the competition, with an average yearly salary of $108,883. The salaries at Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems Inc. average $83,220 per year, and the salaries at The San Diego Union-Tribune come in at $67,730 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lonely Planet

When was Lonely Planet founded?

Lonely Planet was founded in 1973.

How many Employees does Lonely Planet have?

Lonely Planet has 830 employees.

How much money does Lonely Planet make?

Lonely Planet generates $75.0M in revenue.

What industry is Lonely Planet in?

Lonely Planet is in the media industry.

What type of company is Lonely Planet?

Lonely Planet is a private company.

Who are Lonely Planet's competitors?

Lonely Planet competitors include National Geographic, Let's Go, Enterprise Holdings, Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems Inc., QuikTrip, H-E-B, Circle K, Lowe's, Wawa, Alliance Data, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Cardworks Inc., The San Diego Union-Tribune, Etsy, In-N-Out Burger, Hy-Vee, Synchrony Financial, HSN, Whole Foods Market.

Who works at Lonely Planet?

Maureen Wheeler (founders)

Tony Wheeler (founders)

Todd Sotkiewicz (Owner)

Where is Lonely Planet's headquarters?

Lonely Planet's headquarters is in Franklin, TN.

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You can find out what it is like to work at Lonely Planet, also known as LONELY PLANET PUBLICATIONS INC, Lonely Planet, Lonely Planet Global Inc, Lonely Planet Publications Inc and Lonely Planet Publications, Inc..

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Lonely Planet, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Lonely Planet. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Lonely Planet. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Lonely Planet and its employees or that of Zippia.