The notion of traveling around Europe on $5 a day seems preposterous in 2017, but back in 1957 it was a reality for frugal savvy travelers. This year the guidebook, which came before Let’s Go Europe, Lonely Planet, or Rick Steves Guides, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first edition. At 87,the legendary travel guru Arthur Frommer is still involved in promoting affordable travel.
The original iconic guidebook, Europe on $5 a Day, evolved from Frommer’s experiences while traveling around the Continent during his time stationed in Europe with the U.S. Army. Frommer’s first effort at travel writing was a self-published little book called The GI’s Guide to Traveling in Europe, which became an underground classic. After returning to the United States, Frommer began returning to Europe on vacation trips to research the original $5 a Day guidebook. More than any other travel writer, Frommer helped to promote the idea that European travel wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for just the wealthy. His books demonstrated that inexpensive, independent travel was accessible to all.
These days, there are more than 100 Frommer guidebooks titles for destinations around the world and the Frommer brand is run by daughter Pauline, but the legendary travel writer is still encouraging Americans to travel abroad.