NEW YORK >> Lonely Planet has a new free app called Trips that offers inspiration for travel, along with an easy way for users to create visually driven stories about their own trips.
“We’re giving the community the ability to create travel content and to be inspired by it,” said Lonely Planet CEO Daniel Houghton in an interview for the Associated Press travel podcast “Get Outta Here.”
For inspiration, scroll through content curated by Lonely Planet’s editorial team in eight categories: adventure, wildlife and nature, coasts and islands, ruins, road trips, festivals and events, hiking and cities.
Or upload your own photos and video about a place or travel experience to create your own story. Add text, decide which image to use for a cover photo, write a headline and you’ve created a travel story with a sumptuous, professional look and layout. It’s also easy to edit or delete the story — even after you’ve published it.
You can also send a Trips story by email or message as a clickable link for friends and family to see, or you can post it on sites like Twitter or Facebook.
You can keep your trips private and only share with selected friends and family, or you can opt to make your trips public. If you do make them public, they can be seen by anyone who chooses to follow you. But your public trips won’t be shown as part of the app’s curated content unless it’s chosen by Lonely Planet’s editorial team to be featured. (The app notifies you if your post is selected.) The app doesn’t currently have a search function where you can look for content by destination, but that may be added later.
Houghton noted that Trips is Lonely Planet’s second major new mobile product, with the first one being an offline mapping app called Guides.
Houghton became CEO of Lonely Planet about four years ago at the relatively young age of 24. He emphasized the company’s continuing commitment to print products — guidebooks, magazines and coffee-table books — while at the same time putting “significant energy and investment and time and effort into really being prominent as a digital business.”
The Trips app is designed for personal, noncommercial use, and guidelines ban posts that advertise products or services. Users remain the owners of the photos they upload, though they grant Lonely Planet permission to use the content.
The app also has a link to trips contributed by photographers from Unsplash, a site for rights-free images.