Intelligent Travel

About Intelligent Travel

Cultural, Authentic & Sustainable: This is your brain on travel. We showcase the essence of place, what's unique and original, and what locals cherish most about where they live. And we highlight places, practices, and people that are on the front lines of sustainable travel--travel that preserves places' essential uniqueness for future generations.

Our mission is rooted in what the National Geographic Society stands for: inspiring people to care about the planet. Traveler and Intelligent Travel also want you to experience and enjoy the planet. We want to help you journey with greater sensitivity to the impact your trip has on a place and its inhabitants.

Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we criticize. But we always try to heighten awareness about what's really important about travel: finding great places, experiencing them fully, and leaving them no worse for your visit.

Email: intelligenttravel at ngs dot org

Adventure 101: Rafting the Gauley River

With names like Heaven Help You and Pure Screaming Hell, the rapids on West Virginia’s Gauley River are not for the fainthearted, especially in the fall, when large releases of water from Summersville Dam turn the Upper Gauley into a churning mass of water.

Remembering Keith Bellows

Keith Bellows, who helmed National Geographic Traveler magazine for 17 years until stepping down last October, was a giant in the world of travel journalism. “In an industry marked by larger-than-life editors, Keith was as big as they came,” says Traveler executive editor Norie Quintos. Even as he reveled in the printed word, he was one…

Chicago’s Polish Triangle

Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the world’s second largest Polish population. The Polonia Triangle, center of the city’s original Polish Downtown, is its oldest, most prominent Polish settlement, full of local Polish shops and restaurants. Here’s where to get a taste of old Poland in the Windy City.

Adventure 101: Rafting the Grand Canyon

Flowing 1,450 miles through the American West and northwest Mexico before ending at the Gulf of California, the Colorado River is the Southwest’s principal waterway. Its most scenic stretch cuts through—and helped shape—the Grand Canyon. Here’s what you need to know to plan your own epic rafting trip.

The Design Capital of the Netherlands

After being nearly wiped off the map by the Luftwaffe in World War II, Rotterdam bounced back with a creative confidence few European cities can match, even fellow design darling Copenhagen.

World Calendar: Must-Attend Events in September

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in September.

Why Tampere is Hottest When It’s Cold

Summer draws out Tampere locals for boating, swimming, and hiking, but winter may be the time to experience the Finnish city at its natural best.

The New Europe Decoder

From secluded beaches to hip café culture, enchanting Eastern Europe packs off-the-beaten-track experiences for travelers. Once locked behind the Iron Curtain, these five countries offer fresh takes on the Old World.

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

Fans of 1975’s ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ know Oakley Court as the phoneless castle where the overly lip-glossed Tim Curry thrilled Susan Sarandon in the cult B-movie musical. Forty years later, the Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor, England, is anything but chilling.

Your Shot Photo of the Month: Moon Over Madagascar

Want National Geographic to highlight your photograph? Join our Your Shot community and participate in upcoming hashtag challenges for a chance to appear in ‘Traveler’ magazine and on Intelligent Travel.

@NatGeoTravel Twitter Chat: Europe!

Join National Geographic Traveler’s new editor in chief, Maggie Zackowitz (@Mzack0), for @NatGeoTravel’s next Twitter chat on Friday, August 14, to get the skinny on Europe’s best travel destinations.

Just Back: Yellowstone National Park

National Geographic Expeditions trip leader Erika Skogg recently returned from Yellowstone National Park, a place she has been able to visit every summer since earning a photography degree from Montana State University in 2009. “Simply put, the park never gets old,” Erika says. “No matter how many times I’ve visited, I always find something new to discover.” Here are the highlights of her latest Yellowstone adventure.