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The Best Travel Magazines/Publications and Websites?

I laugh hysterically everytime I receive the travel magazine to which I received a free subscription (and shall remain nameless--but it's one of the biggies). The photos are great and some of the stories are interesting, but it's not very helpful when it comes to finding hotels (for example)--most of the time the prices are astronomical. Then there's the "what to pack" sections where wealthy people tell you what they just can't live without when they travel (like $300 pairs of sandals, $1,200 bags, etc.). That said, it would be interesting to know what travel publications my fellow posters find most useful and, if you feel so inclined, the websites you visit most often--besides this one, of course!

Posted by
390 posts

I also subscribe to the magazine you're probably referring to - I'm almost positive it's the same one! $700/night hotels - yeah right! As soon as my subscription is up, I'm going to switch to Budget Travel magazine - their website has tons of great info on it as well. www.budgettravel.com

Posted by
91 posts

I like Transistions Abroad (www.transistionsabroad.com). It's primarily based around working, volunteering, and living abroad...but it also provides real advice for budget traveling. Rick writes a piece for almost every publication.

Other sites I enjoy:

www.guideforeurope.com (they have a fabulous message baord with lots of smart travelers ready to answer your questions)

www.slowtravel.com (although it seems to cater to the wealthy and retired, it does have some good information)

Posted by
9363 posts

I love Budget Travel... and I also like National Geographic Traveler.

Posted by
91 posts

You're welcome Kent!

Another good resource is www.travelblog.org. You can pick the exact region you are visiting and find others who have visited and are blogging about it. I've contacted a few people this way and gained some useful information.

Posted by
32202 posts

I've got a subscription to a few of those "high end" travel magazines also. I agree, the photos are awesome & some of the stories are interesting. However, there's no way I can afford to travel in five-star luxury, nor would I want to. I much prefer the "back door" style of travel. It's not only cheaper, but more authentic IMO.

I also receive the magazine from Hostelling International, and it also has some good articles and travel tips.

Travel sites I use:

www.guideforeurope.com - this is my MOST used travel site! There's a great group of very knowledgeable "regulars" there, some of whom live in Europe. It seems more like a family atmosphere at times.

Rick Steves (of course, although the message board isn't as flexible as the one above!)

Lonely Planet / ThornTree - this is undoubtedly the largest travel site, and again has some great people. However, there is more of a problem with "trolls" and "flaming".

www.backpackeurope.com - I try to visit when I can

Posted by
410 posts

I use slowtrav the most - it has fantastic vacation rental reviews for Europe and I think the most polite and helpful members. Fodors gets a lot of traffic and people are mostly helpful but it veers into flaming territory very quickly. Lonely Planet has a lot of traffic and can be great too.

Posted by
83 posts

Jeff,

I used to subscribe to National Geographic Traveler which I liked better than a lot of oter travel magazines. I eventually discontinued my subscription simply because I felt like I never had enough time to read it with everything else I was doing.

Like yourself, I found the articles interesting and the photos great. As far as magazines not being helpful for accomodations, well, that is probably true but I never really rely on magazines for my hotels anyway. A decent guidebook and the internet helps me find affordable places to stay.

Posted by
576 posts

Thanks for these suggestions.I'm trying to plan an independent travel trip to Egypt.Slow Travel and the Travelblog.org websites are both helpful sites that I hadn't seen.Several months ago I was excited to see an article devoted to Egyptian travel in my (free subscription)Conde Nast Traveler magazine...until I read the article.Waaayyy out of my budget and far from the Rick Steves travel style.Budget Travel is still my favorite travel magazine, but it seems to me that it isn't as budget friendly as it was in its early years.Tripadvisor is a site that I always look at when booking hotels.However, one must read many reviews and take them with a grain of salt.The biggest issue I see on Tripadvisor are low ratings for low priced hotels...unfavorably comparing a 1 star hotel with a 4 star.Some travelers are merely malcontents.With a large number of reviews, a more accurant sense of establishments can be formed, which has been exttemely helpful to me.

Posted by
800 posts

Jeff - I get Travel & Leisure too (is that the magazine you are referring to?). I enjoy looking at it as for my "wish list" of places to go, but not really for where to stay once I'm there. Other than that is seems that the magazines really have given way to websites, at least for me.

Tripadvisor is great as long as you know which reviews to take with that "grain of salt" that the previous poster mentions. For instance with lots of good reviews on a place I would not put as much weight to one poster who had a lost reservation. As painful as that can be sometimes these things do happen - I don't think they are deliberately trying to lose a potential customer.

I love Karen Brown (books & website) for small more upscale than Rick's type accomodations.

Fodors talk (i.e. graffiti wall) has been useful especially for places that Rick doesn't cover. Used them a lot for our trip to Sicily this summer. I don't even mind the flaming.

Posted by
389 posts

Wow! Great question and now I'm madly bookmarking all the answers. Here is a new one to me that I think has good info: http://www.iexplore.com/. Now back to copying all the answers here. Thanks

Posted by
1717 posts

I appreciate all the replies to Jeff's question. Jeff, if you plan to go to Egypt, this website will not be helpful to you, because this website pertains to travel in Europe. I suggest look at www.Frommers.com (Travel Talk). I do not like Frommers' travel guide books (and the maps in those books are very inferior), but at Frommers' website there are many good replies to questions about traveling in specific countries. And that website has other information for travelers, and links to other websites. And sometimes it has information of special travel deals.

Posted by
1717 posts

Now I see that the person, at this webpage, who wants to go to Egypt is Terry.
For Jeff, and everyone : during the past few years, at this website (Rick Steves.com/Travelers' Helpline) there were many wonderful replies to questions about traveling in Germany and Italy and France. To ask questions about traveling in other countries in Europe (Switzerland, Scandinavia, ...)I recommend look at www.Frommers.com/Travel Talk.
For travel guide books on countries in Europe, if you want your money to be well spent, read a travel guide book by Rick Steves, first. If you want to read more books, the Lonely Planet books are excellent, for Greece and most countries in Europe. And if you want to read beautiful descriptions and history of places in Europe, I like the ROUGH GUIDE books. And GREECE from Cadogans guides (2003). But in some of the ROUGH GUIDE books the slang words and obscure figures of speech and British colloquial language renders some sentances in the book difficult to understand.

Posted by
576 posts

Ron, thanks for the tip to look at Travel Talk on Frommers.com. They have lots of useful information and great forums on Egypt!!! The people on this site have a wealth of information to steer people in the right directions, even when not exactly Europe.

Posted by
157 posts

Also try Bootsnall for lots of information, including travel boards, blogs and deals.

Another interesting site is Hidden Europe

Virtual Tourist has a wealth of information, city guides and lots more.

site specific to France

Frommers

Posted by
956 posts

Budget Travel is the only travel magazine I've ever read that had reasonable travel advice for real middle class people who love to travel. I get so annoyed when TV/magazines say that a $200.00/night room is a good deal. I wish there were travel shows that were for real people!

Posted by
3428 posts

The travel magazines I really enjoy are "In Britian", "Scotland", and "Realm". Heavy on the UK, I know, but they are very informative. Haven't used their hotel recommendations, just look at pics and read about destinations.

Posted by
206 posts

Also check out intltravelnew.com. They have been around for eons. They have very helpful people on their message board, especially on non-european areas.

Posted by
3250 posts

I just discovered a dynamic online travel guide Schmap at www.schmap.com They upload (with permission)travel photos from Flikr.

My husband uses viamichelin.com to map routes and distances between cities. When planning I also use the raileurope.com site to determine the cost of train tickets and time to destination.