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Famed budget travel guide celebrates fiftieth anniversary

Traveling with Frommer

Arthur Frommer on a Half-Century of Travel

Lonely Planet: Travel Stories


Fifty years ago, Americans traveling abroad in Europe wasn't anything new. Hemingway had done it with great panache thirty years prior with a host of literary companions. Even earlier, those with sufficient means would have embarked on their own version of the Grand Tour, complete with visits to prominent art collections and perhaps a moment of respite at Geneva. What changed in 1957 was that Arthur Frommer published his now famous "Europe on 5 Dollars a Day" for a new class of traveler, namely those who wished to travel on a modest budget. Frommer had first seen Europe in 1953 on his way to perform military service at a US base in Germany. As he found himself frequently traveling during his weekends off, he decided to put some of his thoughts on the subject of budget travel in a short guide. The book was immensely popular, and it provided inspiration (and practical advice) to those persons of average means who wished to see London, Paris, and Rome. In a recent interview, Frommer remarked that "You go to a party nowadays and people say 'Shall I go to Miami or London? Shall I go to San Francisco or Shanghai?' The whole emphasis has become international travel, which was not the case 50 years ago".

The first link will take users to a recent piece in the San Jose Mercury News about the world of Frommer's classic budget travel book, along with a few recent comments from the man himself. The second link will take users to another article from the Mercury News which offers some of the wit and wisdom from that first edition of Frommer's "Europe on 5 Dollars a Day". Moving on, the third link will take users to a podcast from the website which features an interview with Arthur Frommer and his daughter, Pauline Frommer. The fourth link leads to, which contains a trove of classic travel narratives and journals, including Charles Dickens' "Pictures from Italy", Oliver Wendell Holmes' "Our Hundred Days in Europe", and a number of musings from that unapologetic explorer and man about continents, Sir Richard Burton. The fifth link will whisk users away to the Lonely Planet's online collection of travel stories, which feature dozens of compelling travel narratives, such as "Barcelona By Bike" and "I (Almost) Ran Iran". The last link leads to the homepage of the Jetlag Travel Guides, which can accurately be described as funny parodies of the travel guidebook genre. The site includes samples from the actual books that may make readers wish that places like Molvania and Phaic Tan actually existed, or perhaps not.
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Alternate Title
Frommer brought Europe to everyone
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Date of Scout Publication
Date Of Record Creation
2007-05-11 10:11:33
Date Of Record Release
2007-05-13 21:21:17
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