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The latest round of Mags for Miles subscription purchases, The Rapid Traveler’s favorite use of miles, produced an add-on offer to try up to six magazines for a $2/year each (just remember to cancel before auto-renewal!). Among the choices was AFAR Magazine, tagline ‘Where Travel Can Take You.’
Superficially, AFAR’s design resembles Conde Naste Traveler, which indulges in too much luxury idolatry but occasionally surprises with useful, detailed articles. AFAR, though, has a mellow, open-ended vibe. In place of hand-holding, AFAR leads each issue with ‘4 Destinations to Explore’ a smattering of hints on eclectic destinations, from Southwest Montana, USA to Hobart, Australia. Its feature articles are as often educational and cultural as purely travel. The travel articles focus on niche travel experiences of varying budgets, such as a profile on cruise ships organized by expeditions to remote regions like Antarctica, small ports like the Baltic States, and river cruises.
Socially and environmentally conscious travel is a major theme and the AFAR Foundation partners with Global Explorers in the Learning AFAR program to economically disadvantaged US schoolchildren to travel the world:
Learning AFAR integrates science, service, leadership, literacy and culture in a 3-phase program that includes pre-travel curriculum, a life-changing travel experience, and a follow-up service leadership project.
Destinations have included Cambodia, Costa Rica and Peru. Schools from Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Seattle will take trips in 2012. Those interested in using their travel passion to benefit deserving children should investigate further.
The magazine will appeal to those intellectually curious about the world and looking for offbeat travel destinations. It is as much anthropological as travel, and is a tool to inspire trips rather than to plan every detail of them.