Every January I used to go to a few travel agencies and pick up several catalogs and brochures and plan where to take my vacation that year. I’m a huge fan of Europe, so I always aimed my plans in that direction. But, the information in these brochures was somewhat vague and they didn’t really show a lot of images to ignite a spark of interest. I invariably had to do more research online. It wasn’t until I found Lonely Planet travel books that I got inspired to check out and explore the rest of the world. Their books are filled with engaging photos, interesting highlights and even well laid out ‘must see’s’ and itineraries. For 2018, they have three new travel books that will without a doubt influence your journeys to destinations beyond and trigger the discoverer within you.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018
The Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2018 covers what they deem to be the hottest top 10 countries, 10 regions and 10 cities that beckon your attention and await your exploring footprints. The top 10 countries covered are China, Chile, Djibouti, Georgia, South Korea, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal, and South Africa. Also covered are tips on the best value destinations, best culture trips for families, best new openings, and best new places to stay.
Interested in the top travel trends? Ever heard of Destination Races? I confess this was new to me. These races allow runners to experience fresh air, gorgeous scenery, camaraderie, competition, friendship, fun, and the finish line where they’re rewarded with a celebration. I was happy to see they’ve also included Vegetarian & Vegan travel. As a vegan, it’s always a challenge to find veg-friendly eateries, so it’s nice there are several options like The Soul Kitchen in Paris, France, and the Hiltl in Zurich, Switzerland. Also covered are small ship cruises, generational family trips, and the best private islands tantalizingly within budget.
As I strum through the pages, the vivid and breathtaking images capture my attention and I wish I was there. The unpolished old world charm of Portugal and the harmonic blend of the historic and modern in Hamburg, Germany is what I find alluring.
Lonely Planet’s The Place To Be
The Place To Be is filled with 240 destinations from unbridled fun at the spring festival of Songkran in Chiang Mai, Thailand to the tranquil Mossman Gorge in Daintree National Park, Australia. The premise behind this travel book is that each of us travels in search of a feeling, an emotion — be it awe, joy, wonder, excitement, serenity, amusement, anticipation, enlightenment or wanderlust. The book is broken up into destinations that evoke a specific emotion starting with ‘Awe’. Here are a few places matched with emotions.
Awe – the experience we have when we encounter things that are vast and transcend our current understandings of the world – Dacher Keltner. Reverence and fear open a portal to experiences that may require being receptive and allowing to your surroundings. Some places mentioned in this chapter are Iceberg Alley, Canada – Antelope Canyon, USA – or the Bousanou monastery at Meteora in Greece.
Serenity – a state of being peaceful, calm, or tranquil. If you seek serenity then perhaps a trip to Little Corn Islands, Nicaragua or Mallorca, Spain, or seeing the Pinaisara Waterfalls on Iriomote-Jima in Japan will fill your soul with sereneness.
Other emotions/places covered are passion, joy, enlightenment, alone, amusement, inspiration, exhilaration, fulfillment, adventure, and reflection. I found the photos enthralling; they captured the emotions wonderfully. As I traveled to various places, I experienced a miscellany of emotions from profound joy to awe to even anger. You never know what emotions a place or its people will draw out of you. I also found the photos educational. Did you know that La Mancha, Spain had copious windmills?
Lonely Planet’s Atlas of Adventure
Adventure-seeking doesn’t necessarily imply extreme sports, but nor does it rule it out. The pursuit of adventure can include biking, hiking, canoeing, snorkeling, and blobbing to more hardcore sports for those adrenaline junkies. This travel book will introduce you to a plethora of adventures in more than 150 countries. Some adventures you can do right away, others will require tutoring before you attempt them. I’d love to go ziplining in Switzerland and paragliding from the Schmittenhöle in Austria.
The Atlas of Adventure is in alphabetical order country by country. The first page introduces you to their adventure terms and ‘guide to’ symbols. Some countries are limited, while others are filled with nonstop adventure. There are maps and tips sprinkled throughout the book that fill in those details. The photography is spectacular, you feel like you can jump right into the scene.
Highlights of the atlas include Trailing running n Andorra – Cave Tubing in Belize – Climbing & Mountaineering in Bulgaria – Sea Kayaking in Fiji – Arctic Surfing in Iceland – Wild Swimming in Ireland – Diving in Kiribati – Dune Boarding in Namibia – Trek with the Ancients in Peru –Bikepacking in Slovenia – Canyoning in Switzerland – to simply hitting the Walking Trails in Wales and Scotland. Wherever you go, there’s an adventure waiting for you.