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

Travel photography is, on the surface, a very simple endeavor. Go to a faraway place, stand in front of something you can’t see at home, and take a picture. What’s so hard about that? Well, that may well be the recipe for generations of boring family albums. Find out how to up your photography game when you’re exploring the world by joining @NatGeoTravel’s Dan Westergren for a live photo workshop at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 2.

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 October.

Royal Romps on the Thames

Despite its size, London is a very kid-friendly city. Here are three engaging places where families can learn hands-on history with a royal twist in the English capital.

Rapids, whirlpools, and risky currents transform some of America’s national park rivers into raging infernos and white water. Rafts and kayaks are the best ways to experience the big thrills and spills. Here are six parks that double as white-water wonderlands.

Full Steam Ahead: Downtown Denver

At the beginning of the 20th century, Denver’s Union Station hummed with the brisk comings and goings of a capital on the rise. In the summer of 2014, the landmark reclaimed its place as a transit and social hub for the city.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar—the latest and best from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our newest picks.

Tips for Flying With Fido

More and more people are embracing the idea of globetrotting with their dogs. If you’ve never flown with your pooch, but want to, here are some helpful tips to guide you through the process.

American artist and writer Evin O’Keeffe grew up near Washington, D.C., and got bitten by the travel bug early. But after seeing the world, she decided to plant her roots in Cork City, where she has lived for the past six years—now with her husband and son. Here are a few of Evin’s favorite things about the seaside city she calls home.

The anything-goes Dutch capital has a healthy hold on heritage. Take a look at Amsterdam through author Russell Shorto’s eyes.

A flashpoint of both progress and pain during the Civil Rights era, Birmingham has refashioned itself into a place both livable and relevant, part of the national conversation in unexpected ways. Like everywhere in America’s Sun Belt, the Alabama city seems to have a chain restaurant on every corner. But if you know where to look, you can eat wonderfully well and find meals that help tell the tale of the city over the past decades.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar—the latest and best from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our newest picks.

In the 2,000 years since Caesar Augustus laid one of Ljubljana’s first stones, then for a settlement called Emona, this city has often hidden in plain sight. No longer: As Slovenia’s capital cheers its bimillenary throughout 2014, it’s putting its treasures on parade.

Despite its size, London is a very kid-friendly city. Almost 40 percent of the capital is dedicated to parks and public spaces, and major museums are free. The only problem is there’s so much to see. Here are some of the highlights.

The plains? Hardly. A solo drive through the Dakotas proves big on personality.

Itching to cash in on some of that well-deserved vacation time in the near future? Join @NatGeoTravel for our next Twitter chat to get the inside scoop on the best fall trips. In addition to hearing from National Geographic Traveler’s own Amy Alipio, who will be unveiling our brand new Best Fall Trips list, we’ll also be welcoming Laura Begley Bloom, executive editor for Yahoo Travel. Use #BestFallTrips to join us!

There’s a reason that the Wright brothers picked the Outer Banks to take their first flight: reliable breezes, wide open, non-vegetated spaces, and 100-foot dunes—the tallest on the Atlantic coast—where even novices can fly safely before alighting in soft sand. Your first flight in a hang glider “might just change your life,” says Andy Torrington, who has been teaching the sport near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, since 1991.

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.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar—the latest and best from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our newest picks.

Tea reigns in Darjeeling, where life is marked by the four harvest seasons: first flush in spring, the second flush in June, monsoon season (yes, it’s a tea season) July-August, and the autumn flush from October into November. No matter how you take your cuppa, here’s a short and sweet guide to visiting this world-renowned tea mecca.

Virginia may be for lovers, as the commonwealth famously claims on its license plates, but it’s also for travelers eager to experience the simplicity of the country life. Here are three rural paradises worthy of enthusiastic praise.

If there is one aroma that unifies Liguria—the region that arcs along Italy’s northwestern coast, joining France to Italy, Alps to sea—it’s Genovese basil.

Georgians say that when God divided Earth’s land among its peoples, the Georgians showed up late, drunk. They’d been toasting and praising him, they claimed. God so liked this excuse that he gave them his own land: the most fertile of all. Here’s a brief insider’s guide to this cultural crossroads in the Caucasus.  …

When the Birthplace of Country Music opened in August of 2014, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum let the world in on a secret musicians have known for generations: The roots of American music run deep in Bristol, a onetime Appalachian railroad boomtown straddling the Tennessee-Virginia border.

Forget Nordic noir. I’m on the Bohuslän Coast, puttering between smooth gray granite islands topped by red cottages. This 112-mile stretch from Gothenburg to the Norwegian border on Sweden’s west coast—or the “best coast,” as some call this playland of villages and 8,000 islands and islets—has always been a summertime magnet for locals.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

The Radar—the latest and best from the travel blogosphere—is a regular feature on Intelligent Travel every other Wednesday. You can play, too. Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTravel and tag your favorite travel stories #NGTRadar to help us find the crème de la crème on the Web. Here are our newest picks.