Lonely Planet’s Where to Go When Lonely Planet | 304 pages

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Arts & Leisure - – Katie Roberts

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?

How far have you got?

Al­most done. Hu­man­ity’s fu­ture and our quest to up­grade

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