Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What About All Those Travel Magazines?

When you have been bitten by the travel bug, it isn’t just enough to go traveling. You have to study! Guide books, web sites, E-mail travel newsletters, and certainly you need the monthly fix of the travel magazines. All travel magazines are not equal, so the true travel addict has to subscribe to more than one, and in my case it is four. The target audience of travel magazines is not always the same, as you will see from my comments below. Hereafter is my evaluation of each of the travel magazines that I read.

National Geographic Traveler – As you might expect when published by National Geographic, this one is great for travel photos. It is however much more than that and it proclaims that it is “The World’s Most Widely Read Travel Magazine”. Each month there are the feature articles, but also lots of repeating department articles such as the smart traveler, real travel, 48 hours at one destination, National Park essentials, and recommended trips. They also publish their annual photo awards. The Traveler probably covers more United States travel than most other magazines. The subscription price is $14.95 per year. You can subscribe online at or pick up a copy which always contains a lot of subscription cards.

International Travel News (ITN) – Now this is a real contrast to the slick glossy travel magazines you normally see. It is published on newspaper stock and mostly contains amateur writer (like me) articles and is very friendly and funky. It is a fascinating magazine as it is so uneven, due to the eclectic nature of the writers, features, departments and columns. I have never seen it on a newsstand and you usually become exposed to it because of having been mailed a complimentary copy. If you would like a copy just send an email to me as each issue has a page for recommending that a complimentary copy be sent to all your friends. The publisher gives awards for travelers who have been to 24 time zones, 100 nations, seven continents, six continents, and the status of globetrotter and world traveler. The magazine has just about everything. The subscription price is $19 per year and you can subscribe at or call 1-800-486-4968 (or get that free copy from me).

Budget Travel – Those of you who are regular readers of my travel articles know of my frugal (not cheap) travel philosophy. This magazine is thus my favorite and the one I cannot do without. I devour it within minutes of its reaching my mail box. It is edited by the Arthur Frommer travel guide people, but is actually published by Newsweek. It has so many helpful sections I don’t have enough room to tell you about all of them. Needless to say a classic unique section is the 40 Best Bargain Vacations of the next three months. Mary Ann and I have taken advantage of this information on several occasions. In addition to monthly destination bargain features, the repeating monthly sections of 20 Tips ,GO!-what’s news around the world, WHERE-You Can Go Anywhere IF YOU KNOW THE WAY, HOW-Smart Travelers Learn to work the system, How to be Web Smart, True Stories, and much more. The magazine is practically dirt cheap at $12 per year (10 issues). You can review it on your newsstand and subscribe at 1-800-829-9121 or use the subscriber card in the magazine.

Condé Nast Traveler – This is the magazine for all of the travelers who maybe like to travel a category above me. The target audience is tipped off by the quality of advertisers, such as Rolex, Cartier, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Silversea Cruises, etc. You get the point. This is not to say that there are not a lot of interesting features for travel junkies. They claim “Truth in Travel” and represent that they pay their own way. It is very glossy, excellent writing, great pictures, and amazingly inexpensive at only $12 per year for 12 issues ($4.95 on the newsstand). This is probably due to a lot of high quality advertising. I do enjoy some of their regular sections such as Stop Press, Places and Prices, and Word of Mouth. Most of the feature destination stories are pretty to look at, but seemingly beyond the capability of my pocket book. Their printing format also superimposes a lot of print onto photos, which I find hard to read. A comparable high end travel magazine is Travel + Leisure published by American Express. I will pick it up on the newsstand on occasion. You can check out Condé Nast Traveler at

All right now start reading and traveling.

 (Published in the Summer 2005 ABA Judicial Division Record)

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