Lonely Planet Reviews | Glassdoor

Lonely Planet Reviews

Updated April 5, 2017
63 reviews

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3.4
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Daniel Houghton
24 Ratings

63 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Diverse co-workers, interesting company history, great work-life balance, relaxed atmosphere (in 5 reviews)

  • If you're passionate about travel, this is one of the few guidebook publishers still making waves (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Known abusive tendencies from upper management are pushed aside (in 4 reviews)

  • The owner, oddly, keeps allowing a leadership team to stay who simply can't run a company (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A re-aligned and exciting future"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Product Designer in Franklin, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The negative reviews, while all hitting on very rational issues, are absolutely dated at this point. If you look into the history of the company you can see that there was a shift in management and complete restructure of the company. These reviews were all in the wake of those restructuring pains. Today, LP definitely thrives in the following:

    - A very talented and passionate digital product team
    - New, very senior leadership with a shared vision for the future
    - Opportunity to create and have an actual impact on experiences for thousands of truly loyal users
    - The ability to wear multiple hats and be involved in every facet of the design/development process
    - An extremely generous work/life balance that stays true to the companies core travel values

    Cons

    While so much has changed in the past few years for the better, there are still many political battles our digital team is faced with. All verticals of the company have really began to align on our shared vision for the future of LP and it's very exciting.

    The biggest con is that the talent pool for digital designers and developers in Nashville is exceptionally barren. Our mission to only hire the best definitely has our team feeling under-resourced but doesn't affect how much we ship.

    Advice to Management

    The unique digital product team at Lonely Planet is really under the wraps. It would be wise for management to make the team a bit more discoverable to potential candidates.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Great brand, great product in need of adult management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lonely planet is absolutely brand you should work for if you like to travel. You can't beat Lonely Planet content. On the content side they have awesome machine that keeps generating great content and ideas.

    Cons

    If you look at LinkedIn you will see lonely planet has had revolving door for CTOs. This is a company that can't figure out how to develop technology that surfaces great content they have. Their management doesn't communicate at all, you will be happy if you receive some note from CEO once in 6 month. They take on product development with goals, milestones in mind. There is no reason why certain projects are done, they don't measure anything. Think twice before accepting job offer from lonely planet if you are tech minded person. If you just want to float along and have very low stress job sure go ahead and join this company.

    Advice to Management

    Hire someone who know how to manage, communicate with employees. How can you run a company without single person in charge of HR issues. You have no process in place for 6 month/12 month reviews, this is not how you run company.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Turning around an iconic brand"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Nashville, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    We have some pretty incredible assets: a decades-old brand, a world of content, loyal fans and customers, and inspiring subject matter. Building products in that space is really fun.

    We are developing a culture that leaves no room for egos. We're all here helping each other succeed and grow into one of the strongest tech teams in the industry. It's really fun watching the dramatic shift.

    Cons

    There is still a bit of old guard left in the business, which provides some challenging obstacles and unnecessary politics. Some of the leadership should be replaced and getting some basic processes in place can sometimes prove to be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Trust the people that are doing the hard work of overhauling and fixing the company. Get rid of people that resist the change or don't show up and embody the ethos that is starting to take shape.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Creative and hard working team with values to be proud of"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Franklin, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I've worked for many agencies, both very large and small - I can honestly say that I've never worked for a more pleasant team of creative minds that support each other like no other. It's motivating to work for a company that holds strongly to the ideals of serving the traveler first without selling out to the highest bidder.

    Cons

    Expect a lot of hard work, needing to be flexible, and resourceful. Many people here come from agency backgrounds with the ambition & energy to hit the ground running - it may surprising to some that you have to bring your talents and skills to the table, offering for the good of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to those in the trenches, your best asset are the people that are committing themselves heart & soul to a brand they believe in, and will stand behind with true leadership at the helm.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Freelancer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Freelancer in Oakland, CA
    Current Employee - Freelancer in Oakland, CA

    I have been working at Lonely Planet (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible, great community, exciting company, fun!

    Cons

    book industry seems to be declining with internet. not a lot of opportunities for freelance to full time


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Vision"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Franklin, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lonely Planet is one of the best travel brands in the world. The vision of where we're headed is one that makes me so excited to be a part of it. We want to help the world travel, and get to the heard of our destinations. We're doing that through collaboration with design and development in the most fantastic way possible. Using React, Redux, ES2015, Node, etc, we're building a platform upon which travelers will be inspired, and you'll have a heck of a good time building.

    Cons

    There's always room for improvement. As with any company we have struggles. The struggles of our past however have faded away, and we're on a path to amazing success.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  8. Helpful (15)

    "Clueless leadership with a lack of focus, vision, or experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most jobs paid pretty well. The company had laid-back hours (unfortunately driven by widespread apathy). Franklin, Tennessee is a great place to raise a family.

    Cons

    The CEO and leadership team is inexperienced, overwhelmed, and unqualified to lead. This leads to insecurity and scapegoating that permeates the organization. It's a toxic atmosphere that scars the good people that churn out.

    Advice to Management

    Unfortunately, there's not much that will realistically change until the company is sold and the leadership team is replaced by someone more capable of leading. For those of us who love the brand, that's regrettably unlikely to happen soon.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin, TN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lonely Planet full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of amazing things happening in the digital side of the company. It's exciting to see all of this taking shape. Regular work hours most of the time, if I work on something at night or on the weekend, it's because I want to, not because I was asked to. Company culture is improving slowly but steadily.

    Cons

    It's a 40 year old company, but in many ways Lonely Planet is being reborn. It's under new ownership, and the digital side is being completely overhauled. Most people involved with digital have been hired over the past year or two. Lots of fresh people to the company working on new products together makes for a startup like environment. This can lead to changes in direction, stretches of downtime followed by intense sprints, lack of leadership, lack of culture, and lots of other ups and downs. People will either love or hate this environment – it isn't for everyone, which could explain some of the negative reviews on here. Personally, I've grown more than I have at any other job in my career so far.

    Advice to Management

    Try to be more present and visible. Show everyone how much you care.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "A Dying Brand"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to talk about travel on most days

    Cons

    Leadership is a revolving door; office culture is pretty sad; rather than fill positions, the company is more concerned with saving money and squeezing out energy from existing employees until they quit. I wouldn't be surprised if they go under in the next year or two.

    Advice to Management

    Employ an appropriate amount of people; focus on talent retention; accept that you need to spend money to make money and communicate a brand direction to the people doing the actual work so that there is something to mentally invest in.


  11. Helpful (15)

    "Absolutely Horrific"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design/Dev in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - Design/Dev in Franklin, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lonely Planet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you're lucky, you'll work with the same group people for a month. They will unfortunately quit or be let go.

    Cons

    Daniel is unreliable and inexperienced
    Senior Leadership is not so senior
    Absolutely nowhere to grow in your career
    No vision
    Turnover is the worst I've ever seen

    Advice to Management

    Don't hire a CEO whose only background is wedding photography.

    Hire a CEO who knows how to empower employees and reach their vision, all while creating a positive, long-lasting culture.



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