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North Korea Is Open to Tourists, but Are Tourists Open to Visiting?

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for forbidden-fruit destinations and travel taboos. I love finding beauty in places that were no-goes for travelers not long ago; my two favorite trips of 2009 were to the charming countries of Colombia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. But one mysterious land that I’m not sure holds much mystery for me is North Korea—and its government is sending out the invitations.

Traveler Confidence Report: Intent to Travel on the Rise

I’ve always been one to save a ton of money (haha) by shopping sales. Most recently, an online buying frenzy, the itch to travel and an unbeatable deal all played a part in booking a trip to South Korea. I got the ticket for $691 roundtrip; a deal just too good to pass up.

It seems that falling fares and hotel rates have inspired many other travelers to hit the buy button, too. In Travelocity’s recent Traveler Confidence Report, we gauged travelers’ plans and attitudes now as compared to six months ago, and we found a dramatic increase in travel intentions, indicating that traveler confidence is going up. In fact, 96 percent of our poll respondents said that the lower cost of travel has positively influenced their summer travel plans.

Gallivanting and Giving Back in Thailand with Susan Skog

Please join us in welcoming writer and humanitarian Susan Skog to The Window Seat. She is the author of six books, including her latest The Give-Back Solution: Create a Better World with Your Time, Talents and Travel, which features Travelocity’s Travel for Good program. Her guest blog tells of her volunteer vacation through Thailand with her son.

My teenaged son, Evan, and I were hanging out the window of the Death Railway Train as it plunged through the emerald Thai countryside, dropping down along the River Kwai. We grinned at each other, our faces pulled tight by the wind, as tamarind trees with outrageous purplish plumes, enchanting temples, and farmers tending sugarcane fields rushed past our rolling car.

Down and Going Under

Apparently, we are losing a country. A warming planet and rising waters are slowly but steadily erasing the footprint of the Maldives, the archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. This may not be news to many, but the Maldivian government has discussed plans to relocate the entire population of around 300,000 people. Since I first saw photos of the white sand, blue waters, and private bungalows, it has been one of my top destinations to visit. It looks like I may need to cross it off my list for another reason, or book a trip soon.