NETBENEFIT www.lonelyplanet.com gives myriad options to enjoy travel
The home page of lonelyplanet.com is quite different from the average travel website. Far from being a list of links set against the backdrop of a static scenery picture, the site has a scroll that shows you what you can do as a member: participate in the Lonely Planet video contest, write a post on the travel blog or brainstorm with others in the community (the Thorn Tree Forum).
The forum has neatly categorised advice which you can read without registering. Users can pick a topic and subscribe to feeds relating to that category of information.
In ‘Thread of the Day’, there are a few refreshingly unique posts like the one where a user recommends ‘recording your travel soundtrack for pleasurable playback upon return’ and another that suggests ‘driving songs that allude to the landscape you’re passing through’.
Content on the website includes text, pictures, videos and podcasts. Their search engine lets you pick a destination or explore choices that are available on basis of your travel interests. You get instant reviews and can differentiate between user generated content and that which the editors of the site have uploaded as they are colour coded differently.
Click on ‘Bluelist’ to filter articles and arrive at the highest rated entries. In ‘Bookings and Services’, you can plan and book your travel and accommodation. A noteworthy feature on the site is the ‘Responsible Travel’ section that discourages tourists from damaging the environments of the places they visit. It tells people to boycott the illegal trade of products made from wildlife by refusing to purchase souvenirs made of bone, ivory or skins. The Editor’s Pick that now features Borneo has a tempting introduction: ‘in search of wild orangutans and the world’s largest flower’. If you’re curious, the information is just a click away.SRIYA NARAYANAN