This Week in Travel and Health

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As we head into Memorial Day weekend, people are heading out on weekend jaunts to vacation spots an hour or two away – the beach, the mountains, whatever. So the conversation this week has been heavily focused on domestic car travel. But not here! Here at Healthy Travel Blog, we’re talking about what’s happening halfway around the world, in China.

A new study from the Global Business Travel Association reports that China will soon be the world’s number one destination for business travelers. The trade group says that by 2015, China will pass the United States for this honor. According to the study, business travel spending in China will increase 17 percent this year and another 21 percent next year, putting spending at an estimated $245 billion in 2013. By comparison, business spending in the U.S. was $250 billion last year.

So, the likelihood of you heading to China on business is obviously increasing. If you’re there on a long term assignment, here’s some potential good news health-wise. Expat Health reports that China is on track to provide universal healthcare for 90 percent of its 1.4 billion residents – so that could be an attractive aspect of your long term assignment.

While you’re in China, you can squeeze in a side trip to the Picasso exhibit at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Or, even more fun, head to Shanghai and pretend you’re James Bond. However, if you venture to Tibet and the Himalayas, please be careful.

Staying in Asia, Tokyo’s Skytree Tower opened this week. At more than 2,000 feet tall, it’s the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world. Still about 700 feet shorter than Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but an instant tourist attraction.

Vacation-planning can be a ton of fun – wading in up to your elbows in an online search to find hidden gems can be almost as exciting as the trip. But on the other hand, it can also be a daunting task that seems pointless because it quickly seems impossible to find what you think you’re looking for. Out there on the Great Big Internet, there’s a ton of information to be found – and that’s a blessing and a curse. How do you pick your way through all that information to find what you really want? At the New York Times, Jennifer Conlin has some help – she lists six websites that curate all of that information and can help you get to some decisions more efficiently.

We’ve written about Pinterest as a trip-planning tool in the past. Now, the folks at Helsinki Airport are using Pinterest in a different way – they’re opening a library at the airport and have initiated a book swap on Pinterest.

Whatever you do this holiday weekend, here’s a reminder not to get sucked into the trend that is emerging among American workers – more and more people are not using their vacation time. At USA Today, Charisse Jones and Nancy Trejos report on a new study that says four out of 10 Americans did not take a vacation last year.

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