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

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 February.

Just Back: Jackson Hole

Nat Geo staffer Erin Block just returned from a winter adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “As a rule, I’m a warm-weather person,” she says. “But one day I decided it was high time I stepped far out of my comfort zone.” That’s how she decided to try her hand at skiing for the first time—on some of the biggest and steepest slopes in the United States. The last word? “There was no better place to bundle up and leave the warm behind.”

Just Back: Paris

Nat Geo Travel Associate Producer Megan Heltzel (on Twitter and Instagram @MeganHeltzel) recently returned from a trip to Paris. Though it was her second visit to the French capital, this trip was especially memorable because she returned home engaged to be married! Here are some of the high points of her trip (besides the ring on her finger), in her own words.

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches 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.

Impassable but not impossible: National Geographic contributing writer Mark Jenkins takes us on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through northwestern China’s Altay Mountains.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches 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.

London’s most lovable bear, Paddington, is hitting big screens across the globe. To celebrate in England’s capital, retrace the teddy’s wellie-wearing footsteps to Portobello Market.

Saving the planet, one scat sample at a time—that’s not the slogan for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, but it could be. Founded by Gregg Treinish as a way to benefit the environment through adventure sports, the organization plays matchmaker between information collectors and thrill-seekers and guides groups through the backcountry. Here the Nat Geo emerging explorer shares some of his latest highlights, from Montana to Mongolia.

“There’s a lot more to the Irish stout than what’s offered in a pint of Guinness,” says “The World Atlas of Beer” co-author Stephen Beaumont. And where you are in Ireland determines what beer you drink.

#StrangePlanet: London Edition

Nat Geo’s new book “London Book of Lists” reveals the quirky customs, culture, and cuisine of England’s capital, from the Tower of London’s resident polar bears fishing in the Thames to Harrods’ early 20th-century embalming service. Here we crown our four favorite London discoveries.

New Year’s Around the World

Celebrating the New Year and the potential it holds is a tradition dating back millennia. From watching “the ball drop” in New York City’s Times Square to popping grapes on the beaches of Barcelona, our rituals may vary, but the prospect of a clean slate is a universal ideal. Here are four ways people usher in the New Year around the globe.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches 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.

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 January.

National Geographic Traveler features editor Amy Alipio (on Twitter @amytravels and on Instagram @amyalipio) recently returned from a family trip to New York City to soak up the holiday glow. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

The keys to happiness in Mexico City are the simple things: the cozy cantina that serves pork ribs in green sauce; a walk in Parque México, on any day of the week but especially on Sundays, in the Condesa neighborhood; or a teeming food market such as Mercado San Juan.

The city where the U.S. got its start is rich in history, for sure. But Philadelphia also can brag about its art collections, science centers, and culinary spots—all destinations within walking distance of City Hall, the centermost point of Center City.

With its mix of national parks and private game reserves, Botswana offers visitors a range of experiences, from the Makgadikgadi salt pans (part of which is protected as Makgadikgadi Pans National Park) to the water-rich Okavango Delta. Here’s an insider’s guide to visiting this biodiverse wonder.

#NGTRadar: Travel Lately

Travel Lately—a roundup of the best new dispatches 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.

Itching to escape the cold—or embrace it? Join the @NatGeoTravel team on Twitter to get the scoop on the best places to visit this winter at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 16.

They are scenes from our daydreams: paddling across an indigo lagoon surrounded by porpoises; coming eye to eye with a breaching whale; drifting to sleep on a beach under a dazzle of stars, well fed and soothed by top-shelf tequila. All are common occurrences for sea kayakers in the Gulf of California, off Mexico’s Baja peninsula.

Barbara A. Noe oversees the creation of National Geographic’s travel books—and every now and again has the opportunity to write them. She recently returned from a trip to Provence and the French Riviera on assignment to update Nat Geo Travel’s guidebook to the region. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

Bicycles have long been the quickest way to navigate the traffic-choked streets of Seoul. But far from a last resort, cycling has become a national pastime throughout South Korea.

Experience the luxury of a bygone era with a wholly modern spin at one of these world-class railway hotels.

The Caryatids, a clique of statuesque ladies that once supported the roof of the Acropolis’s Erechtheion, stand more beautiful than ever after a three-year makeover.

Though far from the city-state center, Changi Village still has a faithful local following. Athletic types come for the windsurfing and kayaking. The hungry head for breakfast at popular Malay food stall International Nasi Lemak. My reason for visiting remains the same as ever: In all my years, I’ve not come across a better spot for a good sit and a hard think. This, to me, is the true Singapore.