Is Holiday the Greatest Travel Magazine?
In many ways, Holiday Magazine was ahead of its time. It brought together the finest writers, artists, and photographers and urged post-war Americans to expand themselves, to celebrate their relative wealth and as Vanity Fair said, “sold an ideal of travel as enrichment” (May, 2013). Indeed, travel was promoted as a means to personal “intellectual and spiritual growth.”
It also helped expose Americans to many places that they’d heard of as a result of World War II that were now peaceful and open for them to see in full color. The stories, written by people with names like Didion, Faulkner, Fleming, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Thurber took full advantage of the blossoming air travel industry and had an almost bohemian approach to life in a world dominated by the Saturday Evening Post. Perhaps most telling is that former advertising man, Mr. Ted Patrick, ran it during the majority of its first incarnation (it closed in 1977, but was relaunched recently).
Ted wanted to get America hooked on the idea that the world, and its experiences were there for us to discover. You just had to get out and see what was waiting for you. Holiday wasn’t counter culture, but it wasn’t mainstream either. It just reveled in idealized beauty, as its founding editor, J. Frank Beaman said in his dedication, “HOLIDAY is dedicated to the pursuit of happiness. For all of those who see ‘go’ signs on the horizon, for all of those who seek to get more sheer living out of life itself, HOLIDAY is created.” Amen.