Community Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to ensure the Lonely Planet community is an enjoyable, inspiring and safe one for all our users. They boil down to common sense, basic courtesy and respect (for your hosts and the rest of the community).

If you don’t agree with them, we won’t take it personally, and nor should you when we suggest might not be for you.

When we say we, we mean Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. When we say community we mean all of the places on where users hang out and can contribute.

We may update these guidelines and recommend you check back once in a while. We’ll also continue to introduce new community features which will fall under these guidelines.

Important things to remember:

  • Certain areas within may have their own guidelines posted (such as the Thorn Tree forum branches). Please read these carefully and respect them.
  • You are permitted to create multiple accounts on, but they must have separate email addresses associated with them. Lonely Planet reserves the right to discipline and terminate multiple accounts from the same user if the user has infringed our Terms of use or the spirit of these guidelines via any one of their accounts.
  • You are responsible for your interactions with other users. We reserve the right, but have no obligation, to monitor disputes between you and other users.
  • These guidelines apply to all content you contribute as part of the Lonely Planet community, including your profile.
  • Member posted content on reflects the opinions and experience of those users, not Lonely Planet.

Community dos and don’ts


  • Be sincere in your contributions. Post with purpose – to inspire, enable or share with fellow travellers.
  • Respect that other people have different points of view, travel journeys, styles, budgets and confidence levels. Don’t take things personally and get to the ‘must look at pictures of kittens to calm down’ stage.
  • Welcome newcomers. We love it when another person catches the travel bug.
  • Your homework: Some travel questions are very common. Look around on the web, and on to see if they’re already been answered. Check the Frequently Asked Questions and do a search. It can be frustrating for our members if they have to answer the same question repeatedly.
  • Be specific: When posting a recommendation, or a question, the more context and specificity you can give, the better for everyone. We can’t read your mind and we don’t want to misunderstand your motives.
  • Give feedback, to your fellow travellers, and us, in a helpful and constructive manner.
  • Lead by example Use the report abuse function to alert us to problem content or members.
  • Look for the best place to do your thing. If you’re posting on the Thorn Tree Travel Forum, look around to make sure you’re in the right branch to get your question answered.
  • Keep it legal. Don’t get yourself into trouble by defaming others, posting porn, posting false or deceiving information, ticket scalping, plotting illegal activities, or posting other people’s private information.
  • Use Common Sense and balance when seeking advice. Make your own inquiries, especially around subjects like health and safety.
  • Be safe and smart when arranging rides, homestays and travel companions. We’d hate to hear of anything bad happening when people meet up, but we can’t be responsible for the actions of each person in the community.


  • Create content of a discriminatory or derogatory nature. Rich debate is wonderful, and you can do it without being offensive, humiliating or intimidating based on:
    • race, colour, ethnicity, nationality or physical characteristics
    • gender or sexual orientation
    • religion or non-religious viewpoints (i.e. secular humanism, atheism)
    • political opinion
    • socio-economic status
    • age
    • physical, mental or intellectual disability/impairment
    • the ways people express themselves (this is a global travel community, with different written cultures)
  • Create content which would be reasonably classified as exclusively ‘adult’ and restricted accordingly (such as pornography or graphic violence or obscene content involving minors).
  • Defame, harass, flame or hold grudges. You’ll travel lighter without the chip on your shoulder.
  • Post personal details or private information about any other person (or anything contrary to our Privacy policy).
  • Impersonate another person, including Lonely Planet staff or authors.
  • Advertise or spam, or use the forum to promote a business, product or website, commercial or otherwise. We don’t mind if you include links to your travel blogs or websites in your messages, provided it’s relevant and contextual information, but commercial solicitation, straight up advertising, or contributions designed to promote traffic to another site aren’t acceptable. We do not permit business accounts on or any sort of advertising in profiles, avatars and signatures, as community areas are preserved for individual travellers. Adding value to conversations is the best way to build an audience for your expertise.
  • Conduct formal research without telling people. Lonely Planet is open to cooperation with professional researchers, but you need to contact us with details about your needs and interests. Studying our community members without their – and our – permission is not cool.
  • Don’t post external surveys or links to surveys: We are happy for you to use any information that is already available on our forum provided you contact us first. As it is a space designed for individuals though, any research or marketing surveys will be removed.
  • Be – or – feed a Troll. Trolls post messages or content deliberately designed to get the blood boiling. Replying to or arguing with a Troll is feeding. The best pest-control is to ignore, and use report abuse to alert us to them.
  • Use excessively coarse language. Humans swear. But go easy on the sailor speak or we’ll have to tone you down. Remember, even if it’s not offensive to you, it might be to other people.
  • Discuss how to commit illegal activity (like buying drugs, avoiding visa restrictions, ticket scalping). It’s OK to talk about the existence of these things, but don’t advise how and where to do them.
  • Be a know-it-all. Having a full passport doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply to you. Show off your insights, not your attitude.
  • Don’t hide behind handles. We respect the right of travellers to be anonymous, which may lead some people to say things they wouldn’t face to face. Don’t be one of those people. If you’re tempted, remember, we can see who you are, even if other members can’t.
  • Identity theft. Do not fraudulently or dishonestly make use of electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person.
  • Commit cyber terrorism.


You can see our general policy on reviews at the bottom of this page.