I admit it – I am a travel magazine junkie.  Not the online version…the old fashioned print model. I always pick up a new one when I’m at the airport, and probably subscribe to half a dozen.  It’s an exciting day when a new issue arrives in the mailbox. I’m curious…am I alone?  Do others share my obsession?

Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel

Since I received the gift subscription that started my travel magazine obsession, Budget Travel has ranked at the top of my list.  It always includes practical advice for independent travelers.  As the name implies, staying within a budget is important. My favorite columns are the road trip feature (I’m definitely taking those Utah trips someday) and reader tips.  This magazine appeals to my practical side.  Solo travel tips, making the most out of mileage reward programs, traveling with pets, house swapping.  In addition to the practical advice, of course there are features on various destinations.  While reading the recent issue on Iconic America, I was pleased to note that I’ve already visited over half of the epic destinations.  I just need to get that western U.S. national park trip under my belt and I’ll be well on my way to completing the list.

Travel & Leisure

I’ve gone back and forth on this magazine…subscribing and unsubscribing over the years.  It covers travel topics that interest me…good food, unique culture, unknown locales.  But it all seems to be on a budget and luxury level that just aren’t me  If you enjoy staying at luxe hotels that might run $400+ a night, this magazine is for you.  I just need a clean, comfortable bed in a safe, conveniently-located neighborhood. I am not a luxury traveler, so the subscription to Travel & Leisure may not be renewed, but I will surely pick up an issue at the news stand now and again.


Launched in 2010, Afar is all about unique travel experiences “far and wide”.  Afar helps this travel nut discover new destinations.  This says a lot for someone who grew up on National Geographic.  Not the kid’s version, either (although that is quite good as well).  Want to stay in a cave hotel in Italy’s cave city? Truly experience a new culture? Know where to see the great macaw migration?  This is the magazine to read!

National Geographic Traveler

Strange…I am really drawn to the advertisements in National Geographic Traveler.  Lots of adventure travel outfitters get the word out through this magazine.  It’s another one of my subscription mainstays. Similar to Afar in content, but with a bit more focus on the historic aspects of featured destinations.

Outdoor Photographer

Not a travel magazine per se, but I know very few travelers that are not interested in capturing their experiences with photos. Outdoor Photographer is well beyond my current photography skill level, but I intend to add a digital SLR to my camera arsenal someday, so I’m trying to build some knowledge.  Of course, the frequent landscape photos are fun as well.

Garden & Gun

Gotta love the name of this mag. Garden & Gun definitely gets your attention. This one is all about the culture, food, and people of the American south. This is such a great place to discover…full of history such as how Nascar got its start in the moonshine business (ok, that’s out there) and the best BBQ joints to check out on a road trip.


Do you read travel magazines? Share your favorites! I’m always looking for new magazines to explore…


2 Comments on Travel magazines that spark the dream

  1. Mary says:

    I may have to pick up Conde Nast one my next trip. It’s been quite a while since I read one. I enjoy the travel stories, too. Afar recently had a fantastic father-son story about an adventure at a souk in Morocco.

  2. cindy says:

    While I’ve dabbled with all the mags you mention, for years my two must haves were Conde Nast Traveler and Islands. I let the Islands subscription lapse the other year because there no longer seemed to be any content other than the pictures. I have a love-hate relationship with Conde Nast – it is, hands-down, the only place one can find travel writing so well done that you read it for the story, not the travel info. It also has really good, practical info. On the other hand, they seem to find $400 a night hotels to be normal. . . Good writing matters to me, so I’ll put up with the info on ridiculously priced hotels, spas, shopping, and resorts.

    I haven’t actually seen an issue of Afar – sounds like I might have to check it out.

    Thanks for the post.

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