Additions to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list

You might be familiar with UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, or the organization’s World Heritage in Danger list. Did you know that there’s also a Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?

This week, UNESCO added 47 elements to the existing list of 166, making a new total of 213 inscribed elements in the intangible list. What’s intangible heritage? … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 19, 2010
Category: Destinations, Languages and Culture, Travel News

Credit cards without foreign-exchange fees

They’re the bane of long-term vagabonders: those irritating fees for foreign currencies and doing transactions while abroad. Hitting up an ATM or paying with a credit card can trigger charges you may not have expected. This can smear the memory of a great trip.

The New York Times Bucks blog had a post about 3 Credit Cards without Transaction Fees. For more great tips, check out the reader comments to see what other people … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 19, 2010
Category: Expat Life, Money Management, Travel News

Will companies sponsor vagabonding?

“You’ll be entitled to take a sabbatical abroad at company expense.”  That would be music to the ears of any vagabonder looking for work. One of the big factors holding people back from travel is the worry about finding employment upon their return. However, it would be nice to have the security of returning to your job after a stint abroad.

The Economist reported about how IBM sends employees overseas to do volunteering: Big-Hearted … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 12, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News, Volunteering Abroad

A budget travel pioneer speaks out

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine travel without digital cameras, Facebook, and iPods.  The New York Times was lucky to interview one of the original Frugral Travelers, John Wilcock:

A budget travel pioneer on a time when $5 a day was real (frugal) money

Wilcock has credentials that would make any aspiring writer mad with envy: he wrote some of the first guidebooks for Arthur Frommer, co-founded The Village Voice, and started up Interview magazine … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 29, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News

When students go global

The rising fortunes of the emerging economies and the lowering of barriers have given students a whole world of educational opportunities. Governments are investing in improving facilities at home. Meanwhile, students impatient to get ahead are already applying to overseas schools in droves, as this TechCrunch article explains: The Global Education Race.

Studying abroad is becoming a realistic option for more and more people. To be fair, there are still hurdles to overcome, such … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 15, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News, Youth Travel

Five “trouble spots” that are okay to visit

As usual, the media is full of stories of disasters rocking foreign countries.  For a good status report, check out this CNNMoney article: 5 tourist spots in turmoil.

Savvy travelers are cashing in on the deep discounts being offered by travel providers.  I know an American expat in Thailand who’s been booking Air Asia flights like crazy to take advantage of cheap flights to Chiang Mai and the Thai islands.

South Korea has … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 17, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Bargains, Travel News

2010 UNESCO World Heritage sites announced

This past week, the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee met in Brasília, Brazil to discuss the additions and changes to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

A total of 21 new sites have been inscribed, including 15 cultural and 5 natural properties. Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tajikistan are the newest members of the list of UNESCO countries. Some cultural highlights are;

Australian Convict SitesRead more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 5, 2010
Category: Travel News

Guidebooks go mobile

Looks like the guidebooks are heading for the really small screen: mobile devices. With the soaring popularity of the iPhone and other smartphones, guidebook publishers are moving to take advantage of new platforms, as this AP article describes: Guidebooks adapt to mobile download era.

However, they are running into a common problem in the tech world: compatibility. Mobile networks may not offer the same availability of apps from country to country. The cost of … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | June 25, 2010
Category: Travel Guidebooks, Travel News, Travel Tech

Asia’s Internet goes to warp speed

Blazing-fast Internet has become commonplace in Asia. Japan and South Korea frequently rank as the most wired countries in the world.  Singapore is looking to boost its broadband infrastructure too, according to this NY Times article: Singapore gets wired for speed.

John, an Australian expat friend of mine, just moved into a new apartment near Tokyo. When John got Internet installed, he settled for a 200 megabit per second connection. There was a waiting … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 18, 2010
Category: Asia, Travel News, Travel Tech

Technology helps uncover ancient city

Caracol, BelizeThe next time you’re in a forest, imagine a building hiding in the earth just steps away from where you’re walking.

According to National Geographic, a 2009 survey using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipment revealed images of an ancient Mayan city stretching over 68 square miles in western Belize. Presented at the recent International Symposium on Archaeometry, in just four days, the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | June 4, 2010
Category: Central America, Travel News