Have Guide, Will Travel
New travel publications shun convention to fulfill consumers’ wanderlust
Life / 16 Nov 2010
Airfares are skyrocketing, cruise ships are getting stranded at sea, and staycations are less than really satisfying, but there is one bright spot as the holiday travel season approaches: alternative travel guides. Whether in your mailbox, on the web, or on your mobile device, it’s never been easier to launch your own adventure…and get some help along the way.
You won’t find top 10 lists or tourism board-approved itineraries in this online-only publication. Rather, Nowhere is all about the experience of traveling, be it a co-pilot recounting an average day in the life, a writer videotaping a “voyage” to Home Depot, or an artist presenting his doodles from a tour through India. The e-journal is the brainchild of Porter Fox, a New York City-based writer who was inspired to start it after a particularly frustrating interaction with a travel editor. Although it does not accept unsolicited submissions, Nowhere boasts an all-star list of contributors, like street artist Swoon. And because it’s free, even those too broke to take a trip this December can enjoy it.
If you’ve ever wondered why a photo essay on the Namibian desert or Kashmir can’t run side-by-side with a piece on Lady Gaga’s fans, you’ll appreciate Trunk. This new print magazine is for people who “embrace travel as a lifestyle,” scouring the globe for the bold, the beautiful and the breathtaking. With its high-end fashion photo shoots and long-form stories, Trunk takes a decidedly chicer approach than, say, National Geographic Traveler. Its carefully curated roster of distributors, which includes Temperley boutiques and and Thompson Hotels, adds to the magazine's high style status. While it will no doubt look impressive sitting on your coffee table, Trunk’s primary goal is to spark readers’ adventures. Consider it required airplane reading.
Anyone who has ever relied on a travel guide only to realize that the “charming” out-of-the-way café the book raved about is now closed will take solace in LUXE City Guides’ new mobile editions. The digital directories offer lists of must-visit shops, museums, bars and hotels, with regular (and free) updates ensuring that its users will never be led astray. The 20 guides, which cover cities like Berlin, Los Angeles and Beijing, flaunt a GPS system that makes it easier to track down a celebrated hole-in-the-wall restaurant or buzzed-about boutique. With baggage fees a fact of modern-day travel, having one less thing to stow in your bags means one less headache—or, space for one more souvenir—come the holidays.
©The Intelligence Group