As a magazine, AFAR is already well-loved and highly respected, especially in travel circles. The San Francisco-based team and its contributors put out some of the best travel writing and content out there, packaged beautifully in issues released seven times each year. The website—afar.com—takes the same in-depth approach to travel and makes it interactive. There are articles and city guides, but visitors also have the opportunity to add and review highlights from their own cities.
The free app—AFAR Travel Guide—takes the best aspects of both of these platforms and stuffs them into your pocket. With the latest update, the AFAR app gives you access to “45,000+ unique travel experiences around the world,” all searchable by location or viewed on an interactive map. With your destination in mind, you can read and view the best content and recommendations for the city/destination you’re in or want to visit from AFAR’s and local experts. You can sort by distance, by rating, by “Recommended,” and within a number of categories (like “Eat” and “Stay”). You can also add your own city/destination highlights to the map, which serves to help you track memorable places and improve the app experience for other users.
Another cool function allows you to build out a trip plan by joining together items already that already exist in the app. So, say you want to travel to Berlin. By simply selecting the restaurants, landmarks, hotels, etc. that you’d like to include on your future Berlin trip, you’ve immediately created a permanent guide for yourself that you can access whenever you begin planning, arrive in Berlin or anytime in between. You can even access your plans offline!
With beautiful images, genuine insight and an incredibly intuitive interface, the AFAR Travel Guide is actually fun to use, which is not the case with all guides in its category. It’s available for free on iOS and Android, so give it a shot and let me know what you think!