A Review of Almost Fearless, The Travel Magazine for Parents
**UPDATE JULY 2018** The Almost Fearless Magazine is now shuttered. Subscribers will not be receiving refunds or additional magazine issues. Between the undelivered products, the unpaid writers and the $10,000 Kickstarter there’s been talk of this being a scam. If you are concerned about being charged for additional subscriptions or want information on how to ensure that Drew and Christine Gilbert can no longer continue to earn money from the travel community I encourage you to join the Facebook group Scammed by Almost Fearless & Christine Gilbert.
I’ve been following blogger Christine Gilbert for a few years, even taking her online blogging courses back when Travel Fearlessly was just getting started. So when she announced last summer that she was starting a travel magazine called Almost Fearless that was just for parents I immediately signed up. Since I’m a fan of print magazines I subscribed to the digital and print bundle which included 4 seasonal issues as well as numerous printed travel guides for $79. Unfortunately my subscription has so far fallen short of my expectations.
The magazine was off to a bad start with numerous delays in publishing. When I subscribed in August the first print issue (fall) was set to be released in September with the winter issue arriving in December. The fall digital issue came out in early October but there were delays in printing the hard copies. Like, A LOT of delays. In the private Facebook group created for subscribers there was frustration over the lack of communication regarding the magazine. Subscribers were panicking about Christmas gifts that likely wouldn’t arrive in time. Others were angry at the general disorganization. Some demanded refunds. Complaints became so numerous that the moderators of the group began deleting posts and comments en masse, further infuriating everyone.
Finally the print magazine came out. After Christmas. By then fall had come and gone but many of the articles were still somewhat relevant. Subscribers were satisfied and the editors promised the winter issue would be released in January along with the first of the travel guides.
It’s now March. I have no winter issue.
In February I emailed the support team at Almost Fearless to inquire about the status of the winter issue, which had not been released in digital or print form. I received no response. I inquired in the private Facebook group but by then the moderators had decided to approve all posts first. They never approved my post. I can’t say I’m surprised. I tried asking on the Almost Fearless Facebook page. Again, my post wasn’t approved and I received no private communication about my subscription.
To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement. This magazine wasn’t exactly cheap but it’s not even really the money that I’m angry about. I’m angry about the lack of communication and customer service by the editors. Delays happen, everyone knows that. And issues will surely crop up with the release of a new magazine. But to go dark and leave all your subscribers hanging is completely unacceptable.
What really takes the cake, though, was the magazine’s recent fundraiser. In the midst of all the delays during the fall issue the magazine editors decided to run a Kickstarter campaign in November. To get more subscribers and advertisers, they said. Would I, as a current subscriber, please help out? That was a little ballsy considering I hadn’t even received my first magazine, now two months late. In the end Almost Fearless exceeded their $10,000 fundraising goal for the campaign. So why are there STILL delays?
Whew. Now that I’ve finished my rant let’s move on to the actual magazine.
Almost Fearless is a beautiful magazine, well thought out with lists of festivals, books, and even houseswapping opportunities. However many of the articles are what I would consider extreme family adventure. Multiple pages were devoted to fearless families living out of RV’s or traveling around the world as nomads. It was an inspiring article but grouped with other pieces about hiking to Everest Base Camp or WWOOFing with your kids was a little much.
For parents who travel extensively with their children this magazine can provide valuable information to take the next step to family adventure travel. However parents who are just getting their feet wet with family travel won’t find many useful articles in this magazine. The Almost Fearless tagline is “An Adventure and Travel Magazine for Parents”. I just felt it was a LOT of adventure and not much of anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, so many kids love adventure. I was surprised at how much Stink enjoyed spending a month in Costa Rica. But she also really enjoys cultural activities, food, and amusement parks. I was hoping this magazine would have had a little bit of that, especially since those are the topics that are constantly being discussed in the private Facebook group.
The Verdict: The magazine is a perfect fit for very adventurous parents but due to the constant delays, lack of communication and hefty price I would not recommend this magazine.
Good to Know: If you’re still interested in subscribing you may want to do so soon. It looks like the pricing is going up at the beginning of April.
Child Friendly? Almost Fearless is a travel magazine geared toward adventurous families but it’s not a magazine that kids would find interesting to read.