Should I reveal or should I not? The announcement came as a sweet surprise at the book launch.  I am sure people of Mumbai will love it more than anyone. It was a lovely co-incidence that while I was already exploring Mumbai as a traveler, the city did find its place in the book too. It has been listed as the ‘City to be visited in 2016’. This is the 11th edition of the LP’s ‘Best in Travel’ series and Mumbai has never made it there before this. It is the first time! Yes, lets rejoice people. 

 

Mumbai, Lonely Planet, City to visit in 2016

 

I am just back from Mumbai and the trip was absolutely awesome. 11 days and 11 events- I am so glad that I did it all. From hotel reviews to food festivals to lit fest to store launch to travel events to one of the best blogging conference, I did it all. No less, I went clubbing and shopping too. And not to forget I did gorge on the Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji at Sukh Sagar at 2.45 a.m. in the night and also did not miss seeing the decked up VT station ( Victoria Terminus (VT), also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)- World Heritage Site ) in the night. The city of Mumbai kept me on my toes as they say it did not let me sleep.

 

Lonely Planet, Launch, Book, 2016

 

So while I was in Mumbai, I got a chance to attend the event that was meant to unveil the latest from LP’s bag. Keeping with their promise to give us a lovely travel treat, ‘Best in Travel 2016’ is out. When the above invite landed in my mailbox, I wondered was 2015 over yet? Nooo, then why was this book happening so soon? But then it occurred to me, it is never too early to start planning and I guess there is none who wouldn’t like to travel. And especially when there is no dearth of amazing places to see and do, ‘Best in Travel 2016’ sounded just perfect to the travel blogger and the avid reader in me.  Lonely Planet travel guides and pocket books have always helped me in in the past. I love their series called ‘Short Escapes’ and the pocket guides done by them for the State of Chhattisgarh are fantastic. In no time I acknowledged the mail.  Who wouldn’t want to get inspired and  know the ‘must-see’ in 2016. 

 

Lonely Planet, Travel blogger, Cloth Bag, Best of Travel 2016
Lonely Planet Cloth Bag

 

Time to make a BIGGG ‘Travel Wish List’

 

At sharp 3 in the afternoon, I walked in the Plaza Room of the Marine Plaza, opposite Marine Drive. It took me an hour to reach there from Ghatkopar West. I used Uber cabs and it was a convenient ride because the bad traffic jams of Mumbai spared me that day. It was a pleasure to come to this side of the city because Marine Drive is definitely one of the inherent feature of the city that makes me extremely fond of it. 

 

I was handed over a cloth bag from the LP team and there are no brownie points for guessing what lay inside it. The moment I got my hand on the fresh, new, crisp copy of the book, I instagrammed it. But I must tell you the goodie bag had more. Do check out the picture below. Well, when everyone was seated, the Director, Sesh Seshadri walked in and took to the center stage. He kept it very short and crisp and unveiled the book in the next few minutes. He also revealed it happily that Mumbai had made it to the list if cities to be visited in 2016 and gave the first copy to a senior lady officer who was representing Maharashtra Tourism. Of course, it was a big day for the city and everyone cheered for welcoming more and more travelers.

 

Thr Director almost read our mind. He knew what was going through our mind. Like everyone, I too wanted to know what makes LP do a list-making and give us their favorites. I was really interested to know what makes them conclude to the final list. How easy it is to quote that BOTSWANA gets the accolade of being the number one country in the world to visit next year and Japan and USA follow next. He quickly pointed out, the process is explained in the book. Yes it is there in the first few pages of the book. Authors, travelers, editors, bloggers, Tweeters- everyone is involved in making of the book. A panel of in-house travel experts works on the suggestions and churns out the best based on a score. He did not forget to mention that LP happens to be an independent body and it stays away from endorsements and advertisements in its books.

 

Lonely Planet, Mumbai, Best in Travel 2016, Marine Plaza Hotel
I shared it on Instagram as soon as I got my copy!

 

The book is inspiring. Even if you are not convinced with the list, I bet you get to discover amazing hidden facets around each place that makes in there. I am reading it these days and I know what fun it is to know about the best ‘value destinations’ to ‘best places to seek silence’ or the ‘world’s most extraordinary sleepovers’. There are amazing places to elope to. Wish I had a job like this where I would just be traveling ad exploring new places. Did I tell you that my passport has got a new cover? Thanks LP for giving me that. The picture is right below.

 

Passport Cover, Lonely Planet
So my passport is wearing the Lonely Planet cover and its all set to travel more in 2016.

 

Well, why should you read the book? To know about the places below…

 

Top 10 Countries in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016

  1. Botswana
  2. Japan
  3. USA
  4. Palau
  5. Latvia
  6. Australia
  7. Poland
  8. Uruguay
  9. Greenland
  10. Fiji

 

    Top 10 Regions in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016

  1. Transylvania, Romania
  2. West Iceland
  3. Valle de Viñales, Cuba
  4. Friuli’s wine regions, Italy
  5. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
  6. The Auvergne, France
  7. Hawaii, USA
  8. Bavaria, Germany
  9. Costa Verde, Brazil
  10. St Helena, British Territories

 

    Top 10 Cities in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016

  1. Kotor, Montenegro
  2. Quito, Ecuador
  3. Dublin, Ireland
  4. George Town, Malaysia
  5. Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  6. Mumbai, India
  7. Fremantle, Australia
  8. Manchester, UK
  9. Nashville, USA
  10. Rome, Italy

 

Happy Traveling!!! Are you planning to travel to any of the places above? Do tell me your travel wish-list!

You may send me tweets at @manjulika5

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