There hasn't been much news out of Lonely Planet since being acquired in 2013. Recently, however, the brand has begun to once again come alive.
After switching strategies to make Skyscanner its default flight search partner, the travel information brand has now leveraged that new partnership into a hybrid guidebook/digital app called MakeMyDay.
The concept takes from online trip itinerary planners, as it's basically a book/app that allows travelers to mix-and-match things to do in the morning, afternoon and evening.
The book is cut into three slices, including flip-out maps, so you can flip the pages of each segment individually — thus making a day's itinerary.
It's a touch reminiscent of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books and does seem to be a fun way to explore.
The app has the same functionality, allowing the user to flip through various activities to create the ideal day. Lonely Planet says there are over 2,000 combinations within each city.
The new product is priced according to combination: the guidebook can be had for $6.99 in the shop (normally $9.99) while the standalone app can be downloaded for free with each city purchasable in-app for $3.99.
There are currently six cities supported: New York, Barcelona, London, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
The app is being launched with a sponsored trip by Skyscanner, offering a free trip for users who download the app and share their perfect morning/afternoon/evening combination via the Twitter tag #makemydaylp.
The new product signals an evolution in the way that travel content is being marketed. By focusing on hybrid content, perhaps Lonely Planet can reinvigorate its dwindling market share and battered reputation.
The name is on-point and definitely moves Lonely Planet into the realm of digitally-enhanced trips fueled by smartphone adoption.
While the guidebook appears to be impractical, it does offer a fun way to explore a destination before traveling. The app can then take over where the guidebook left off, and the traveler can follow — and adjust — the itinerary on the go.