UK government and Lonely Planet launch gap year tool

The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and have united to build an online map system for gap year travellers to show safety hotspots and other information.

The Google Map mash-up on, a government-backed information portal for long-term travellers, will include existing Lonely Planet travel tips, links to podcasts, photographs and other content.

FCO travel advice, which indicates when countries have a security or health risk, will also be plotted on the map.

Links to relevant pages on’s popular Thorn Tree chat forum will also be included on the map.

Alice Draper of the FCO, said: “The very nature of a gap year means that it is likely to be a prolonged trip, taking in a number of destinations.

“This can increase travellers’ risk of encountering difficulties on their journey, so it is vital to prepare properly before setting off.”

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