Lonely Planet’s The Best Place to be Today is an amazingly fun book. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to know where the perfect place to be on any given day is? And apart from the editors’ obsession with bat colonies, there should be something in here to suit everyone’s taste. I’ve already added at least ten new must-dos to my bucket list based on recommendations from this book and I’ve learned that there is almost always some sort of festival going on in Spain!
A full-colour book, it contains short entries for each of the 365 days in the year with a description of some unique activity, event, place or festival that you can do or attend on that day. Most sections have their own pictures to tempt you (I would have liked a picture for each day), a short description of the activity, and a list of the applicable country and town, the reason for being there on that day, as well as a rough guide to the days around which you can expect the event or activity to take place. Additionally, there is also a website link where you can get more information, which I think is a brilliant and handy inclusion.
This guide could be useful in two ways: 1) if you have a destination in mind, but you’re unsure of the best time to go, or 2) you have a time of year planned, but don’t know where to go.
So, based on my interests, here is what the book suggests I do each month of the year:
- January – waltz in Vienna, visit gorillas in Uganda, see wolves in Yellowstone
- February – cruise the Nile, carnival in Venice, safari in Kgalagadi, climb Kilimanjaro
- March – attend the Holi festival in India, see the aurora in Scandinavia, attend the spring equinox at Chichen Itza, view cherry blossoms in Japan, visit the Galapagos Islands
- April – see pandas in China, see tulips at Keukenhof, hike the Lycian Way
- May – explore Wadi Rum in Jordan, hike the Inca Trail, walk the Camino de Santiago, view the sardine run in South Africa
- June – search for tigers in India, visit Namibia, visit Yosemite National Park, see the migration in the Serengeti
- July – run with the bulls in Pamplona, view the salmon run in Alaska
- August – stay at home and pay for all of this!
- September – attend the Highland games in Scotland, experience autumn in Lapland
- October – visit Vietnam, sail the Dalmation coast, meet polar bears in Manitoba
- November – attend the pirate festival in the Cayman Islands, attend Diwali in India, see the aurora in Iceland, visit Mauritius
- December – hike the Torres del Paine in Chile, visit Antarctica, visit Iguazu Falls in Argentina, see snow monkeys in Japan
I highly recommend Lonely Planet’s The Best Place to be Today for both armchair and regular travelers alike. It’s a wonderful book for expanding your horizons and letting your travel imagination wander. And where exactly should we be today? Wandering with wild bison in Poland, apparently. Who knew?!
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