As 2012 draws to a close it’s naturally a time to look back and reflect, and it seems clear that this has been a pretty remarkable year around the globe. There’s been the Euro-crisis, seemingly ever-present tumult in the Middle East, and obvious signs – including natural disasters – that climate change is impacting weather patterns. In a lot of ways, you could understand if people hunkered down at home and waited for things to get a little more predictable. But that is not what happened. Reuters’ Jim Forsyth reports that a record one billion people have traveled internationally in 2012. One billion! The World Travel & Tourism Council says a huge upsurge in travel to places such as Guatemala and the Ivory Coast have contributed significantly to the record number of people crossing international borders this year. And the top five destinations in the world are Paris, London, New York, the Mediterranean resort Antalya in Turkey, and Singapore.

A lot of those people probably arrived at their destination jetlagged. But the airlines are working to remedy that; even if it seems to be taking forever, the Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney writes that more airlines are embracing the concept of lie-flat beds. It might seem like the airlines are moving slowly to accommodate your sleep needs, but McCartney writes that the lie-flat beds are crazy expensive and it isn’t easy to figure out the best way to shoehorn them into an airplane.

Increasingly, Indonesia is a destination for expatriates and tourists. However, there’s one problem – substandard healthcare. To fix that, Expat Health’s Bryony Ashcroft writes that Indonesia is pushing for universal healthcare by 2014. Currently, Indonesia only has six hospital beds per 10,000 people – less than a third the number of neighboring countries.

A new study shows that the most common Internet search terms for travelers are “cheap” and “discount.” So, to accommodate those folks, Ed Perkins writes about the six cheapest ways to stay in touch with friends and family when you’re overseas.

We’ve written previously about Airbnb – the social travel site that enables travelers to find cheap accommodations with people willing to rent out their couches. It seems like a cool idea, and hip hosts feel like they’re helping people explore the world. However, the New York Times’ Ron Lieber reports that those Airbnb hosts might be breaking the law for being an “illegal transient hotel.”

It’s been a big year for silver screen spy James Bond. Now you can sign up for a James Bond travel tour to see some of the great places 007 has seen.

And, finally, Snakes on a Plane comes true! You couldn’t make this stuff up –oh wait, they did, didn’t they?

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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