Five Recommended Travel Magazines

We think travel and adventure magazines have hit peak quality, so it’s frustrating that we’re unable to stock as many as we used to. Why is that?

I haven’t been monitoring more mainstream newsagent outlets because indies are less commonly found there, but I attribute the general decline or decrease in travel titles down to the pandemic years when most of us – including travel writers – didn’t go anywhere. The increasing sophistication of mobile phone technology probably hasn’t helped either, as more and more people are inclined to settle for bite-sized content. We think print and digital channels are complementary and work well together, the travel genre is struggling and has probably taken a bullet for the rest of the industry. 

But, as we say, there are some seriously fine travel magazines around at the moment and here’s a quick top five, in no particular order. 

Lodestars Anthology releases titles annually or biannually, with 18-odd releases so far. Each issue is focused on a specific country, offering a rounded tour of not only the geography but a good poke around the corners of the artistic, architectural, literary, culinary cornerstones of place and culture. The blend is perfect, but what takes it all to another level is the outstanding photography. When customers ask us for photography magazine recommendations we always mention Lodestars because it’s often what they’re looking for. 

Holiday is an imposing, venerable and chic travel magazine that’s similarly focused on one specific country or city at a time. The magazine originated in New York after WW2 when it was packed with some of the best writing of the era (Graham Greene, Joan Didion, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and many others wrote for it). After running out of gas in the late 70s it was relaunched from Paris around a decade ago and today the holiday mood is an excuse for a dreamy, luxury fashion and photography blowout. We love it. 

While Lodestars and Holiday hop from one country to the next, American Trails (as its title suggests) treks all around the USA. Travel magazines focused on American travel aren’t exactly uncommon, but this one is different. It’s from Sweden. What you get is something slightly in love and awe of its subject which is less ‘America’ and more ‘Americana’. So think cowboys, Cadillacs, denim, diners, drugstores and the like, all superbly framed and shot with intelligent, nordic eyes. 

Fare is a chunky, bookish-looking magazine that combines food and travel in order to provide a culinary portrait of an international city. It’s not only an interesting hybrid but one that makes an effort to put a number of non-standard destinations on its menu – places such as Tbilisi, Glasgow, Charleston, Lima and Kampala in addition to the likes of Copenhagen, Mexico City and Kyoto. People who’ve used Fare for their research have praised it.

Finally, Cartography also mixes lesser-known or wilder places (Uzbekistan, Galapagos, Swedish Lapland, Ethiopia, the Peruvian Amazon) with more-visited, popular destinations (Milan, New York, Venice). Each issue of this beautiful large format, Milan-based magazine visits three, often far-apart places, filming them in a documentary photography style, mixing articles and observation with and day-by-day itineraries. If you’re looking for something different and deep, this is it.

We should round off by quickly mentioning The Passenger and Petit Passport guides, both technically guide books but published in the same way as magazines and stocked by Magalleria. The former is vibe-driven rather than mapping, and the latter aimed at people who travel to seek the best in European design. Both offer new ways forward for travel writing and photography.

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