A holiday travel gift guide that doesn’t stink

A Try the World food box.

A Try the World food box.

Ed. Note: This time of year we see lots of gift guides, almost always filled entirely with free products that companies sent editors so that they’d be included in their gift guides.

Since all the stuff people offered to send us was rather lousy, we turned to someone who knows how to pick a good gift, my wife. Her gifting has become legendary, and not just because she once kidnapped me for a Tokyo escape on my 30th birthday (but that’s a pretty good example). She finds little things that others ignore, and pulls a package together in ways you can’t always imagine.

So in a move that combines both nepotism and public service, we turned to her for holiday travel gift …

Travel Links We Like for 12/12

We don’t like to think that collecting links to stories we liked this week is lazy blogging, we like to think it helps justify all the online reading we did while we were meant to be working on something else. We also like to think it will help you discover something you’ll like too.

So here’s our soon-to-be weekly roundup of Travel Links We Like.

Notable Travel Books of 2014, by Andrew McCarthy
McCarthy begins his roundup with the admission that travel writing is complicated these days: “in our Google Maps world, even once sleepy places like poor Provence have become hackneyed and played out.” He still manages to find five titles — three titles about exploring the world and two compilations of …

The top destinations of 2015: A new approach to listicles

Robert Reid is one of my favorite travel experts in print or in person, even if he rarely manages to ever stay true to the title of his “76-Second Travel Show.”

Last year he wrote a story for our big sister site Skift about the trends driving different publications’ picks for their respective 2014 top destinations lists. It boiled down to three main angles:

The most popular pick for editors is a place linked to a specific event, anniversary or news-related topic, like the World Cup or the 100th anniversary of WWI (almost half of the total). Next are secondary destinations that appear overdue for a shout-out (over a quarter of the total, including destinations like Nicaragua’s Little Corn Islands, …

Top 10 destinations for expats in 2014

The list of popular expat destinations has long included Northern Europe and Switzerland, known for their happiness, famed healthcare programs, and exceptional quality of life.

These countries still retain some of the top spots, but this year the top expat destination belongs to a country in the opposite hemisphere: Ecuador.

The 2014 InterNations Expat Insider survey states that this South American country is becoming a hub for expats looking to take advantage of the financial benefits they can reap there.

Ecuador came in first on the personal finance and cost of living indexes, and it also ranks the highest of all surveyed countries for ease of making friends. About 82% of expats also said they find it easy to settle …

Sweepstakes: Experience the Future of Travel with an All-Expenses Paid Trip to NYC

Curious about what the future of travel will be like?

Working in the industry already and looking for inspiration? Thinking of launching your own startup? Enter to win an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at some of the companies at the forefront of travel innovation today.

On day one of the tour, learn about the future of the hospitality experience firsthand by staying at the Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, which has the first heated indoor/outdoor pool in NYC, a tri-level rooftop with striking views of the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline, and a ground-floor trattoria, Asellina, offering Italian-inspired fare. Once your settled into your room, network with the Silicon-Alley based founders of HitList, …