With the economy starting to show signs of life, people are starting to plan to travel again soon. In fact, the outlook for 2010 is much more promising for travel companies and tour operators around the globe than it has been for some time. With that in mind, National Geographic Traveler magazine has released its 5th annual Tours of a Lifetime list, offering up suggestions for every kind of traveler looking to escape to a new destination this year.
The list, as usual, contains 50 “tours of a lifetime”, with a focus this year on “innovation and cross-cultural tours”. Those tours span the globe from the wilds of Africa to the remote regions of Asia, to the well worn paths of Europe, and beyond. We’re even invited to rediscover North America, with a host of adventures located relatively close to home. Whether you’re an adventurous traveler or prefer something a bit more relaxed, there is sure to be something on the list for you.
Traveler also has great suggestions for families planning a trip this year as well, offering tips for finding the right outfitter, planning your itinerary, and getting the kids involved in the process as well. Similarly, they also offer up their picks for the best deals in travel for the year ahead, with companies offering a variety of discounts and other special savings.
The latest issue of Traveler hit newsstands last week, and is available now to help plan your travels for 2010. I’m sure it’ll serve as a great resource, both now, and for future journeys, as this issue always has a knack for expanding that “life list” in new, and unusual ways.
Who doesn’t love Peeps? You know, those overly sweet sugary-marshmallow concoctions that have just made their annual return to stores in time for Easter? Well, apparently someone over at National Geographic Traveler sure enjoys them, as they have launched their 2010 Peeps in Places photo contest, inviting us to snap photos of our favorite peeps in our favorite places, and submit them to the Intelligent Travel Blog.
The rules of the contest are quite simple. Take the best photos you can of the your Peeps out and about on some crazy adventures. Try to capture the essence of the place, while having fun with the experience. A sense of humor and a healthy dose of creativit go a long way as well.
Once you have your photos, head over to the Your Shot Page at NationalGeographic.com and either log in with your account info or create a new account. After you’re signed in, select your photos and upload them to the site, making sure to tag them as Peeps so the contest officials can find them. Over the course of the next few weeks, they’ll be sorting through the images to find the very best ones, with the winners receiving some prizes and having their photos shared on the website. Last year, some of the very best photos even made it on national television when they appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.
For a little inspiration, check out this gallery of the top photos from the 2009 Peeps in Places contest. Many of them are as sweet as the candy itself.
When the temperature climbs to 100 degrees Fahrenheit such as it has been in Albuquerque, New Mexico where I’m revisiting old stomping grounds and dear friends, cold items are attention getting. That’s what happened when I read the title One Hundred Years of Craving Snow Cones.
Marilyn Terrell, the chief researcher for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, and one who has an eye for wonderful wordsmithing, put out the word on this luscious piece of writing. I dove right in.
Amy Chozick grew up in Texas where snow cones were the Mexican variety called raspas. From the sound of it, her lips were often ringed with various shades depending upon the flavor. As an adult, Chozick found a similar treat in Japan. That treat brought back her fond, tasty memories of childhood.
Reading this reminded me of the Creamsicles I would grab each summer out of the ice-cream freezer in my grandfather’s small store in southeastern Kentucky. As we would pull into his parking lot for a visit, I could almost envision that Creamsicle waiting for me. My other favorite treat was pork rinds. A close third–canned tamales. Whenever I think of either of these three, I picture that store, those mountains and my grandfather who knew the name of everyone who walked in.
If you’re craving a snow cone, there is an accompanying sidebar with Chozick’s essay that offers suggestions about where to go.
If you love your city–and hopefully you do because there is nothing worse than not liking where you live, here’s a chance to show it off. Intelligent Travel, in conjunction with National Geographic Traveler, is running a series, I Heart My City where readers fill in blanks to answer questions about where they live.
The favorite picks are being highlighted this month in their own Intelligent Travel post. The latest one is Sonia Dubielzig’s tribute to Madison Wisconsin.
From what I’ve read, each entry is an excellent way to gather information about what to do and see in a city that captures its essence. In a way, this is a personal tour without ever meeting the person who gave the recommendations.
As well as offering a chance for readers to toot their cities horns, the series is a fitting companion to National Geographic Traveler’s March issue. The issue is devoted to celebrating the “urban places that captivate us. “
This months issue of National Geographic Traveler has an interview with Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who writes about economic issues and is the author of the book The World is Flat. Keith Bellows, the editor of the magazine asked the questions.
One question dove into the idea of how much does tourism hurt the planet and what should be done about it. In Friedman’s mind, that depends on how tourism is conducted. If people travel without a thought in their heads about the environment, then even the smallest amount of travel can do much damage. But, if people remain cognizant of taking care, then the damage is minimized and travel offers more positives than negatives.
As he points out, and what we’ve learned here at Gadling from our own travels, travel makes places seem relevant so that people are more likely to want to take care of them if they’ve experienced them and the people who live there first hand. Learning about deforestation of the rain forest, for example, has more meaning if you’ve actually been in a rain forest.
Friedman did say that some attractions need more regulations, such as the Pyramids in Egypt. If people can walk all over them willy nilly than they will be destroyed for the rest of us. In my opinion, that’s why organizations like UNESCO’s World Heritage and the National Park Service are so important.
In Friedman’s interview, he also talked about how he and his wife have helped their two daughters grow into global citizens who like to travel. To read the article yourself, click here. Thanks to Intelligent Travel for pointing me to the article.