Lonely Planet Oakland
Now the largest travel-guide company in the world with more than 100 million of their acclaimed travel guides printed in nine different languages, Lonely Planet started as a humble, two-person enterprise. Their first run of books was limited to just 1,500 copies of Across Asia on the Cheap, written by founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler after their low-budget pan-Asian honeymoon and stapled together in their kitchen.
The attention to detail they pored into that first volume—which made use of personal experiences to lend the guide more credibility—has since become the hallmark of the series, granting readers the confidence needed to navigate foreign locales. The insider knowledge on accommodations, sights, and language set out in each guide is written and re-checked regularly by Lonely Planet’s dedicated team of more than 200 authors, who are constantly crisscrossing the globe in search of new points of interest and the best hotel beds for jumping on. Currently, their work amounts to 500 titles, covering both micro and macro views of 195 different countries, the intricacies of major cities, and primers on local language and cuisine.