Lonely Planet: hostels, audio phrasebooks, and giveaways

Add another hostel booking site to the list. Except this one isn’t from a start-up, it’s from Lonely Planet, Expedia and Hostelworld. Not a bad combo, eh?

It’s definitely promising, but it only launched a few days ago on the Lonely Planet website, so we’ll have to see how it develops. Travelers can browse by city and date, read the hotel or hostel reviews, check the price per room type, and book their reservation. Seems like a win-win if we get the best of both worlds—the reviews from Lonely Planet and the inventory of Expedia and Hostelworld. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think of it.

And to celebrate their other new partnership, Lonely Planet is giving away free downloads of their Mandarin Audio Phrasebook through Sunday, August 24—convenient for those going to the Beijing Olympics. They’re joining forces with Apple to launch their audio phrasebooks for the new iPhone and iPod touch. I don’t have one of these gadgets myself, but I bet they’d make translating pretty easy—especially since you get both the written and audio translations. The audio phrasebooks are currently available for English speakers translating into ten languages—Mandarin, Cantonese, Czech, Thai, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Vietnamese—but they’re looking to expand into other language combos (i.e. French-Mandarin).

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 23, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

4 Responses to “Lonely Planet: hostels, audio phrasebooks, and giveaways”

  1. Marco van de Kamp Says:

    I search for hostels not hotels on lonelyplanet and the interface works really smooth. pleasant colours and good presentation off the information.

    The Lonely Planet Review is a great + for this site.

    Cool they offer direct contact details. It is hidden but you can find the website and phone numbers from the hostels.

    Searches take pretty long.

  2. Jason Halberstadt Says:

    Haystack is dead, VIVA Haystack! The real story got lost in the press release. LP failed to compete with the major hostel booking networks and GDS networks by terminating their proprietary reservation system formerly known as “Haystack”. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. The bureaucrats in London are good at spinning stories, that’s for sure.

  3. Josh Says:

    It was an odd press release. Like Jason mentioned, Lonely Planet has been offering online bookings for a long time already. It looks like the only new thing is that the engine behind the booking system has changed.

  4. Alison Says:

    @Jason, Josh: Aha. Thanks for clarifying!