It’s easy to love travel. But travel can be complicated. Enter Unpacked by AFAR, our podcast that unpacks a tricky issue in travel each week. Now in our third season, we’re back with even more advice—plus a few surprises. Join me every Thursday as I talk with AFAR editors, industry experts, and other travel pros to answer your biggest travel questions.
We’ll tackle travel budgeting, meet a full-time eclipse-chaser, learn how to make better travel decisions, and so much more. Plus, we’re introducing a new segment called “Unpacking,” an exploration of some of our favorite destinations around the world. First up? Albuquerque: land of chiles, Breaking Bad and, of course, hot-air ballooning. Here is a taste of what’s already out this season.
Episode 1: The 25 Most Exciting Places to Travel in 2024
We’re a month into the new year. Maybe you’re a freshly minted, idealized version of yourself. Or maybe your New Year’s resolutions are as distant as the icebergs of Antarctica. But no matter what your life looks like, there’s one thing you can count on to offer excitement and adventure: travel. In this episode, we share the best places to explore this year, whether you want to chase eclipses, drink Uruguayan wine, or discover the coolest cities in Europe—all pulled from AFAR’s annual “Where to Go” list. The three editors who helped craft the list joined me to talk about how and why they chose these particular spots, which ones they have personally visited, and their predictions for the year ahead.
Episode 2: Where to Cruise This Year—Even if You Think You’re Not a Cruiser
There’s a special magic to being at sea. And this week’s episode is all about that magic, whether you would label yourself a “cruiser” or not. To get the scoop on the high seas, we’re hearing from Fran Golden, who covers the cruise world for AFAR. Fran is a bona fide cruise expert. She’s been on more than 170 ships (at times, she’s taken up to 12 cruises a year), she’s written several books on cruising, and she loves every minute of it. She shares her favorite itineraries for 2024 (including a sail along the western coast of Africa); the best cruise lines for every traveler (from small, casual sailboats to luxurious ocean liners); tricks for finding a good deal, even if you’re a solo traveler; and her tried-and-true tips for navigating seasickness.
Travel Loyalty Programs Are . . . Complicated. Let Us Uncomplicate Them.
In our latest episode, points and miles expert Paul Rubio unpacks the vast world of airline and hotel loyalty programs. We start by exploring why it’s worth joining these programs—and it definitely is, and it definitely doesn’t have to take up your whole life—and which programs are best for both airline and hotel points. Then we dive deeper into how to maximize them and how best to use them, including when you should buy points and when you should not. It’s a pretty complex topic, but Paul has done all the legwork so that you (and I) don’t have to.