The brand new age of journey guides

Never underestimate the temptation to escape, especially in difficult times. Road trips are on the rise. Local travel is more popular than ever. And bucket list planning is back in full swing.

Ready for the travel resurgence is a new class of tour guides aimed at travelers hungry for more meaningful trips in the future. While such publications celebrate goals, they also shed light on topics such as politics, history, culture, and race, and make readers the informed people we should be when we visit them.

Of a These five releases branching out in national parks to a new Kevin Costner-told app of forgotten stories from the west bring the act of travel into a whole new age.

The deep thinker: Wildsam National Parks Series

(Photo: Courtesy of Wildsam)

The idea: Why should an entire guide be based on one point of view when you can have up to 20 different perspectives covering everything from overlooked history to land rights? From the publisher of these popular city and road trip travel guides comes this new series on national parks (US $ 20 each). "I wanted a book that felt like the magic of a place," says founder and editor-in-chief Taylor Bruce. To that end, he sought to replace the "dry, exhaustive, and disposable" guidebooks with something that felt more in keeping with the holistic experiences of these popular American travel destinations.

The difference: The series reinterprets the genre with compact and beautifully bound titles that slow travel fans will love. Essential details and logistics are shared in advance, but interviews and stories turn any book from an information delivery system into fascinating read. Expect insights from locals who know the parks well and highlight their complexity.

The Grand Canyon issue, which came out in July, features interviews with people affected by the landscape: Environmentalist Jack Pongyesva talks about how tourism has often meant exclusion for the Hopi in the area. Landscape painter Bruce Aiken shares how he lives 16 miles from the South Rim. More than 30 years shaped his work, and cultural astronomer Bryan Bates shares his experience with the impact of constellations on indigenous culture. Essays and poems help create an intimate sense of place.

Need to have: Combine the national park guides with Wildsams road trip kit.

The modern remake: & # 39; The ABC Travel Green Book & # 39;

marty-green-guide-book_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy Martinique Lewis)

The idea: Between the 1930s and 1960s, Victor Hugo Green & # 39; s The Negro Traveler & # 39; s Green Book provided African Americans with safe walks through places where racist ideas and Jim Crow laws reigned. This new iteration, released in August, takes it one step further with the goal of connecting African diaspora travelers to black communities, businesses, and more around the world ($ 25 for the paperback; $ 10 for the e-book).

The difference: This comprehensive guide from Martinique Lewis, President of the Black Travel Alliance, has extensive deals on everything from black-owned hotels to black ski clubs. Expect comments on personal or reported insights into how Lewis felt as one of the few black visitors she encountered on a trip to Iceland and tips on how to get your hair braided in South Korea. From sharing information on Afro-Ecuadorian communities in South America to black expat groups in Amsterdam, the book also provides a avenue to connect and fill a void for an often overlooked segment of travelers.

"It connects us back to our roots," explains Lewis. In contrast to travel guides, which are all about a white discovery experience, the ABC Travel Green Book takes a different approach. "The Spanish and French weren't the only ones to explore the world. Africans were, too, and this book helps us celebrate that people are in places where people wouldn't normally believe they are blacks."

Next Up: Lewis is working on an app due out next year that will make it even easier to take the information with you when you're back out there.

The intuitive storyteller: Listen here

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The idea: Inspired by the joy that North Face co-founder and former president Bill Werlin had as a child traveling through Colorado while his grandfather narrated along the way, this GPS-generated audio guide tells stories in terms of where you are at any given time. Your phone's navigation system and a tailored list of interests bring the forgotten together Accounts of the places you'll travel through en route (starting at $ 7 for a week-long subscription).

The difference: Unlike audio guides, which focus solely on location, these are narrations About people and popular culture is likely to attract travelers who have not purchased a guide book in the past. "A guidebook tells you more about the place you are visiting. HearHere is about exploring the history and the land you are traveling through," said Woody Sears, Co-Founder and CEO. "Imagine HearHere bringing to life the historic markings you pass every day on the freeway." The Audio guides were released in August with entries for three states (California, Oregon, and Washington) but more than 10,000 stories. The release for all 50 states is planned for the summer of 2021.

Easily prioritize your favorite topics from a list of predefined interests (including history, sports, colorful characters, and natural wonders) in the app before heading out. Every time you arrive at a destination with a story When you match your settings, you will receive a notification on your phone. From former basketball legend Phil Jackson telling the story of the Beartooth Highway on your way to Yellowstone National Park, to a profile about pioneering Danish photographer Benedicte Wrensted and the Shoshone people she photographed in Idaho, the stories are both entertaining and informative.

Fun fact: Actor Kevin Costner is an investor and shares some of the entries.

The Community Connector: CrushGlobals road trip guides

great-baecation-guide-book_h.jpg(Photo: Courtesy of CrushGlobal)

The idea: Unlike a typical travel guide that includes recommendations by category, this new series of road trip guides (starting at $ 30) provides travelers with a fully delineated, researched, and planned route with directions and COVID-19 logs. It also highlights companies owned by blacks and coloreds.

The difference: "Travel guides I've read in the past often felt out of date and didn't speak the language that appealed to me or my travel interests," says founder Kristin Braswell. "Travel is not one size fits all and travel guides should reflect that." For Braswell, the coincidence of a surge in road trip interest this summer and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement were the driving forces behind these itineraries. “As the calls for more connectedness and visibility in both the travel industry and beyond grew louder this year, I decided to develop a business model that would allow people to support an initiative that will help drive revenue in putting the hands of black owner businesses across the country and turning one of America's oldest traditions, the road trip, into an inclusive travel experience for all, ”she says.

Ordered by region, the row has information on everything from sleeping (usually two explored options at each location along the route) to dining (like the best soul food in Atlanta). The aim is not only to take the guesswork out of travel, but also to bring revenue back into the hands of the tourism industry, from guides to chefs hit by the instability of 2020.

Book it: A bespoke tour is also available.

The underrepresented amplifier: Hello ranger community

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The idea: Last year Bradley and Matt Kirouac co-sponsored the Parklandia podcast, which documented their journey as full-time RVs traveling across the country to visit national parks. When this came to an end due to the pandemic, the couple decided to redirect their love for national parks in a new direction – more like three directions. In May, they launched the Hello Ranger website as a resource created by and for the national park loving community, with an emphasis on underrepresented voices and topics. By mid-June, they had also released a revised version of their original podcast. Then in September they added a social app that allows users to share stories, photos and memories, and connect with like-minded members.

The difference: What sets the Kirouacs apart is the diversity of their community: Often ignored voices are given megaphones on important people and topics, with stories ranging from non-binary on trails to how black outdoor executives attract more diversity through social networks Media. "NPS should help you find #FindYourPark. Our NPS should help you find #FindYourAmbassador," says the website. Contributors are these ambassadors and represent various areas of expertise, from service topics such as budget travel and mobile homes to important topics such as visiting parks with disabilities.

Additional reading: As a gay couple, after spending more than a decade in Chicago, traveling across the country came with some challenges, but it wasn't long before the Kirouacs found a sense of belonging.

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