National Geographic's Collectors Corner

Collaborative site for collectors, dealers, & anyone interested in our history.

National Geographic's TRAVELER Magazine ~ brief overview + all covers uploaded

Greetings Collector's Corner,

I've posted all the covers of Traveler magazine in 3 photo albums. That's 240 issues (241 covers). Here's the folders --->

Why 240 issues but 241 covers? The April 2019 issue was a "flip issue", meaning it was like 2-issues-in-1. You flipped the issue over and there was another cover w/ interior content in the back. 

A brief run-down of Traveler:

Ran from 1984 - 2020, just under 36 years.

Its first mission statement was:

Our Mission | National Geographic Traveler reports on destinations of distinction and character, and we strive to help keep them that way. We urge communities and travel businesses to adopt policies that prevent over-commercialization, and we support enterprises that sustain and enhance “sense of place” in the belief that patronizing them will benefit both travelers and the destinations they visit.

Traveler commenced with the Spring 1984 issue, and was billed as an "Educational Travel Resource". It was quarterly in the beginning. It was at its largest format during the first decade (width, height, thickness). 

It went bi-monthly with the Jan/Feb 1989 issue, and ran thus through Nov/Dec 1998. Starting with the Jan/Feb 1999 issue, it went to 8 times per year. It ran 8 issues/year through to Dec 2015/January 2016. 

In the 90's the height of the magazine was reduced. It was to be reduced again, height & width. Then for 2016-2020 the height was increased again. It was at its slimmest and smallest during the 2010 time-frame (thinner paper too). 

Traveler reverted to bi-monthly issues with the Feb/March 2016 issue, and remained so until its final issue, Dec 2019/Jan 2020. (It was printed on thicker paper again, during this stretch).

Now, it wouldn't be a discussion about a Nat Geo magazine without mentioning 2 things:  a yellow border, and map supplements!

  1. Traveler did not feature a yellow border for its first 18 years, until the July/Aug 2002 issue.
  2. There was a total of 3 map supplements. These were gummed onto a paper strip, to be pulled off and unfolded once loose from the magazine. These were in April 2005 (Appalachia), April 2008 (Appalachian drives), and April 2010 (Switzerland). 

Later, Traveler revised its mission statement to:

Our Mission | Inspire Curious travelers to see and preserve our world. Help readers journey wisely and well. Share travel experiences and cultural insights that can change us. And bring to our pages the emotional and photographic power of travel.

Traveler used several taglines or catchphrases over the years; these would be printed under the title on the front cover:

  • An Educational Travel Resource ~ 1984 - 1995
  • Where the Journey Begins ~ 1999 - 2002
  • The World's Most Widely Read Travel Magazine ~ 2002 - 2004
  • Nobody Knows this World Better ~ April 2002 - April 2005 ; Sept. 2011 - June/July 2014
  • All Travel, All the Time ~ May/June 2005 - July/Aug 2011

In 35+ years, Traveler had just 6 Editors (Editor in Chief):

  • Joan Tapper, 1984 - 1989
  • Richard Busch, 1989 - 1998
  • Keith Bellows, 1998 - 2015
  • *Nora Quintos, Acting Editor, 2015
  • Maggie Zackowitz, 2015 - 2016
  • George Stone, 2016 - 2020


Originally, when Traveler went to 8 issues per year, it was published as: 

  1. Jan/Feb
  2. March
  3. April
  4. May/June
  5. July/Aug
  6. Sept
  7. Oct
  8. Nov/Dec

However, they then decided to make it untidy by changing it at the end of 2012 to:

  1. Feb/March
  2. April
  3. May
  4. June/July
  5. Aug/Sept
  6. Oct
  7. Nov
  8. Dec/Jan

But this is detail that is really getting nitty-gritty, so with that I close my historical overview of National Geographic Traveler magazine. 

               ~ Scott S.


In the final issue, Editor George Stone announced the cessation of publication w/ a mix of regret, gratitude, and optimism. Traveler is still being published in 17 foreign-language editions. 

Views: 328

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Fantastic work, Scott !!!  You've been busy.  You will probably hit 2,000 photos before I reach 1,000.   ;- )

I wish I could do the same for "Adventure" magazine, 1999-2009/10. 

Isn't this the one that just recently got discontinued. If so then RIP. I also dug up some explorer Magazines.

yes, it has stopped being published. 

There's always the British version though.

Thanks for this info Scott. Is it possible to point me to your source(s)?


Actually, all the information I wrote up came from the magazine(s) itself. 



Legal notice about this site

Note: Any sales or trade arrangements are solely between users of this site; The National Geographic Society is not a party to and does not endorse or promote any particular sales or trade arrangements between collectors, dealers, or others. Due to the immediate nature of this medium, National Geographic Online also does not review, censor, approve, edit or endorse information placed on this forum. Discussion boards on National Geographic Online are intended to be appropriate for family members of all ages. Posting of indecent material is strictly prohibited. The placement of advertisements or solicitations unrelated to National Geographic also is prohibited. National Geographic Online shall review information placed on this forum from time to time and delete inappropriate material that comes to its attention as soon as it is practicable, but cannot guarantee that such material will not be found on the forum. By posting material on this discussion board you agree to adhere to this policy prohibiting indecent, offensive or extraneous advertising material, and to legally assume full and sole responsibility for your posting.

© 2024   Created by Cathy Hunter.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service