Lonely Planet’s Where to Go When Lonely Planet | 304 pages
I’ve been fortunate to travel far and wide during the seven years I’ve lived here in Singapore, and am often asked for travel suggestions, tips and advice. It’s easy enough to answer most questions, but the one I’m never prepared for is, “When is a good time to visit?”
It’s a tough one, because many countries (Vietnam, for example) have climates that vary widely from north to south, and high and low tourist seasons that I'm unfamiliar with. Next time, though, I’ll mention this encyclopaedic book by the creative bunch at Lonely Planet because, in the words of the authors, “Where to go when?” is the most important question in travel.
Packed with 360 travel suggestions and beautiful photography, it’s laid out in a reader-friendly format explaining the absolute best times to visit each destination, and why. Whether it’s related to a natural phenomenon or a cultural event, or even because it’s less crowded or cheaper, they’ve nailed it.
Chapters are ordered by month and each follows the same format, starting with a flow chart based on travel interests such as adventure, culture, personal growth or food. The layout is fun, informative and clever, and features a handy temperature guide that helps you figure out where it’s hot and where it’s freezing. Next is a four- quadrant matrix, which charts destinations based on their value for money and familyfriendliness.
In addition to in- depth destination information, it offers handy tips. For example, White House tours are free but foreign nationals must submit an application request to their embassy months in advance. Rocking up on the day and hoping for the best is not an option!
And what are the recommendations for May? Lonely Planet suggests Montenegro (for rivers, seas and slopes), Samoa (for drier, cheaper days in a Pacific paradise), Southern Namibia (the best time to tackle the Fish River Canyon), Cornwall (to beat the crowds at Britain’s best beaches) and Cuba (for hip action). What are you waiting for?
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