After almost 20 months of being limited to exploring our own backyards or, at the height of restrictions, our own lounge rooms, as of this week, Australians can now finally (finally!) head overseas. And while many of us are taking advantage by reuniting with family and friends who live internationally and who we haven’t seen since pre-COVID, others among us are booking trips purely to satisfy our long-unfulfilled wanderlust.
Fortunately for anyone part of the latter group, Lonely Planet has recently released the round-ups in its book Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022, a perfect source of inspiration. The lists, which include the top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in 2022, were compiled independently by a panel of Lonely Planet contributors around the world who judged locations on criteria: topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and sustainability.
So, what spots topped the list? For best countries to travel in 2022, Cook Islands, Norway and Mauritius were found to be the most appealing, while Westfjords in Iceland, West Virginia in the US and Xishuangbanna in China were among the top 10 regions to visit next year. And for the top cities, Auckland, New Zealand, Taipei, Taiwan and Freiburg, Germany were among the best.
Chris Zeiher, Lonely Planet’s Senior Director Trade Sale and Marketing, says Auckland nabbing first place in the top cities category is an amazing recognition of the city and its surrounding attractions.
“Within the city’s boundaries, there are 53 volcanoes, more than 50 islands, three wine regions and numerous beaches that make this a truly exciting and vibrant city,” Zeiher says. “There is so much to discover or rediscover in Auckland and this recognition, especially now as people start contemplating travel again, places Auckland as the number one city on the map.”
The book credits the win to a variety of factors, including talented Kiwis like world-renowned Chef Peter Gordon, who opened his fusion restaurant Homeland in Auckland last year, as well as the city’s Polynesian population, creative art scene, world-class events and Waiheke Island.
The book also outlines Auckland highlights as its West Coast beaches, Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Art Gallery and volcanic cone climbs.
The full list of top travel spots for next year are below.
Top 10 Countries to Travel to In 2022
1. Cook Islands
Top 10 Regions to Travel to In 2022
1. Westfjords, Iceland
2. West Virginia, USA
3. Xishuangbanna, China
4. Kent’s Heritage Coast, UK
5. Puerto Rico
6. Shikoku, Japan
7. Atacama Desert, Chile
8. The Scenic Rim, Australia
9. Vancouver Island, Canada
10. Burgundy, France
Top 10 Cities to Travel to In 2022
1. Auckland, New Zealand
2. Taipei, Taiwan
3. Freiburg, Germany
4. Atlanta, USA
5. Lagos, Nigeria
6. Nicosia/Lefkosia, Cyprus
7. Dublin, Ireland
8. Merida, Mexico
9. Florence, Italy
10. Gyeongju, South Korea