There is something particularly enjoyable about carelessly turning the pages of a magazine on a beach, or leaning forward in your seat as you fold the cover side back around a magazine and finish an engaging article. I love the sprawling beach shots in Islands magazine, the luxury villas in Condé Nast Traveler and the personal narratives from AFAR magazine. Content is rich, the photos are outstanding, and occasionally, I find something that I must be added to our “to-do list”. I read about the salt flats in Uruguay and the charming story of the journey to their high altitude, the beautiful flamingos waiting at the top and the strangeness of it all. We added a pin to our desired destination map after reading it.
Problems at Home and on the Road
The issue with magazines however, is in part the struggle at home. While the Sherpstress loves to thumb through a glossy travel magazine at the pool, we never have enough time for reading and relaxing as we like. The magazines pile up (in literal stacks around the house) and we have trouble throwing them out because there is always a story to share with each other or an article we want to read.
There is also an issue in getting dragging them around on vacation or business trips. Idle time in lounges, terminals, and when I am unable to use my laptop is the time where I read through these magazines. And I value that time. I catch up on world events or read detailed travelogues that I otherwise can’t seem to make time to do.
When the opportunity arises, I can read casually, flipping through the pages and really immerse myself in relevant, contemporary content that allows me to escape whatever else is going on in my life at the time. But carrying around the magazines (2-4 at least) adds weight to my bag and takes up space. In addition to my two laptops (when traveling for business), iPad, work documents, chargers, cords, paperwork, dopp kit… even just 2-3 pounds is a significant amount of weight to include in my bag.
Why I Use Texture
Texture, formerly called Next Issue, is a subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of magazine subscriptions for a monthly fee of $9.99 or $14.99 depending on what you want it to do. Personally, I trialled the $9.99/month plan for free for a few weeks and it worked out great so I kept it. The features that I love are:
- Saving articles for reading later
- Texture offers subscriptions to all magazines that I used to get in the mail
- I can quickly send articles to my wife or friends from the app
- I reduced the physical toll on my back
- My wife is happier without endless magazines arriving in the mailbox every day
- It’s more environmentally friendly to get digital magazines rather than paper even if you recycle
- There are more features available in digital magazines and click through links (I often end up looking up things I read in a magazine separately, so this is a huge benefit for me)
- Back issues are included in the subscription (even in the free trial)
- I can download issues to read on my iPad or phone which still allows me to use them in airplane mode, just like a physical magazine while we are taxiing and climbing out
If you haven’t tried Texture, I recommend trying it for free. Even if you don’t choose to end all of your paper subscriptions you get in the mail, adding Texture allows you to try new magazines without paying the newsstand price or committing to a subscription without knowing the content.
Disclosure: I am compensated for signing up for subscriptions to Texture. While I am compensated, I reached out to them to ask about trials for my readers because I love their product and it has made a positive impact on my travel experience. My opinions are my own, and Texture has not paid me to write any of the content here, I genuinely love the product.