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

When you’re celebrating your tenth wedding anniversary, not every destination will do. Nat Geo’s director of digital marketing, Jennifer Wallace, and her husband were looking for “a truly amazing spring skiing destination” and they found it in Zermatt, Switzerland. Here are a few highlights from her trip, in her own words.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Here are five travel factoids to help prove it.

The family vacation, like the concept of family itself, has evolved. Kids are traveling with grandma or a single parent or an indulgent uncle (or all three). However you define your kin, this Yucatán itinerary is all relative.

From fat farms to transformational centers, these three classic North American spas are coming of age. Here’s why. > Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico)  Claim to fame: Located just south of Mexico’s border with the United States and turning 75 in June, it’s North America’s oldest destination spa. Then: “$17.50 a week, bring your own tent.” Burt Lancaster…

Travel photographer and writer Erika Skogg (on Instagram @ErikaSkogg) spends most of the year guiding students on photography trips with National Geographic Expeditions. She recently returned from a journey through Peru, a trip she has been lucky enough to have done many times before, including a lengthy stop in Cusco. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

Taken from National Geographic’s archives, this unpublished 1943 photo of a crowded streetcar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, makes all other commutes look like a joyride.

Simple, yet with a strong sense of place. That’s what stood out about this image of Tibet’s historic Tashilhunpo Monastery that was submitted to Your Shot, National Geographic’s online photo community.

Nat Geo Travel associate producer Rebecca Davis recently returned from a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan. What was intended to be a whirlwind visit with her newly transplanted sister quickly became a colorful culinary tour around one of the most charming college towns in America. Here are some of the high points of Becky’s trip in her own…

#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.

Don’t call it a melting pot. Toronto is a proud mosaic of 240 distinct, culturally diverse neighborhoods. Here we zero in on the city’s buzzing West End.

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 April.

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.

Ireland’s pub culture is often imitated, but rarely duplicated. Here are four taprooms across the United States that come close to being spot-on, where you can enjoy a pint (or more) along with some neighborhood bluster and brogue.

Kerry is the most westerly county in Ireland, with Brooklyn, New York, jokingly referred to as “the neighboring parish.” But its people don’t think of it as remote. For them, the rest of the world is to be pitied for being remote from Kerry. Here’s a brief primer on one of Ireland’s most idyllic counties.

Itching to get out and about after a long winter? Join @NatGeoTravel for our next Twitter chat on Thursday, March 19, from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT to get the scoop on the best places to visit this spring.

Nat Geo Travel just unveiled its list of this season’s best trips, so we asked our Nat Geo Travel Facebook fans to share spring break escapes that go beyond the warm-weather clichés. Here’s what they had to say.

More than anywhere else I have been, Seville resists change. From its passion for bullfights to its fondness for the pageantry of the Catholic religion, the capital of Andalusia always has reveled in its traditional way of life. Here’s a primer on making the most of your time in this stunning city.

The Texas capital’s many music clubs host live performances every night of the year—and multiple times an evening during March’s annual SXSW festival. But Austin’s HOPE Outdoor Gallery showcases a very different creative output: artists legally spray-painting on a three-story abandoned construction site.

While strife-weary Middle Eastern grandes dames Beirut, Cairo, and Tehran have all seen better days, Sharjah—glitzy Dubai’s demure neighbor in the United Arab Emirates—is a cultural doyenne with a vision.

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.

In 1911, skiers first completed the Haute Route: a six-day, 46-mile traverse through the skyscraping peaks between Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. Since then, the Haute Route has become a rite of passage for adventurous skiers.

Some years ago Alexander McCall Smith started to write a serial novel, “44 Scotland Street,” set in Edinburgh. “In this series—now in its ninth volume—I wanted to explain why it was that this city should so beguile those who come to know it, why each morning makes me feel as if I am waking up to a continuing love affair with the place in which I live.”

Planning a roots travel trip can yield rewarding, and surprising, results. “For some people, the thrill of just being there is enough,” says Marion Hager, owner of genealogy travel company Hager’s Journeys. Here’s how she says you can get the most out of a trip.

Nat Geo Travel associate producer Megan Heltzel recently returned from a trip to Music City. Here are some of the high points of her trip to the Tennessee capital, in her own words.

“No matter how successful you are or what you have seen, you can’t be jaded when you walk in your ancestors’ footsteps,” says genealogy expert Megan Smolenyak. “Getting there requires a great deal of patience and detective work, but I can assure you, it’s well worth it.” Here are eight steps to get you started from National Geographic’s new book “Journeys Home.”