Wanderlust Whisperer: Wisdom from Travel Maven Pauline Frommer

June 13, 2023

Thank you Pauline Frommer for joining me on my podcast!

I was honored to speak at the Travel and Adventure Show in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles–just like my travel idol, Pauline Frommer! I loved having her on my podcast and I know you will learn so much from listening to her extensive travel knowledge! Want more? Listen to her podcast, The Frommers Travel Show! And BUY the brand new guidebooks she talked about from their website or at your favorite local bookstore.

Lisa Niver and Pauline Frommer both speakers at the New York Travel and Adventure Show Jan 2023

Watch our interview on Spotify, YouTube or your favorite PODCAST platform. Enjoy the transcript here:

Lisa Niver:

Good morning. I’m so excited to be here with one of the most impressive people in travel publishing. Pauline Frommer. Thank you, so much, for being here.

Pauline Frommer:

Well, it’s such a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.

Lisa Niver:

It was such an honor for me to speak at the Travel and Adventure show this year, and to see you in so many cities. And I can’t believe that, what started with you and your dad, The Frommer Travel Guides, that you’ve published, is it really true 75 million books?

Pauline Frommer:

Yes. It started well, before I was born. It started in 1957. My dad was drafted into the Korean War, and luckily, the day before he would have been sent to Korea, the powers that be discovered that he spoke Russian and German, because he was the son of immigrants. So, instead of being sent off to Korea, which was a very bloody war, he was sent to Berlin, and started traveling all over Europe. But this is after World War II, so, Europe was in rubble, and most of his fellow GIs just stayed on the base. They were too nervous to travel, because they thought if they couldn’t spend a lot of money, it wouldn’t be worthwhile, and when he came back to the base, they would pepper him with questions. And he thought, well, maybe I’ll write a little book for my fellow GIs. He called it the GIs guide to Europe, and he self-published it. The day it went on sale, it sold out at the PXs across Europe, and so when he got out of the army, he thought, well, maybe civilians would like this, too. And again, he self-published. He self-published a little book called Europe on $5 a day, which became the bestselling guidebook of all time when it came out in 1957. And so that was the start of it all. But I wasn’t born until well, after that.

Lisa Niver:

Wow. I had no idea. That’s such an incredible story.

Pauline Frommer:

He was very lucky, because the jet age was starting, and after World War II, Americans had a lot more money than people in Europe did, for the most part, and so, they were finally able to go out and see the world. If you ever go to the World War II Museum in New Orleans, the weight of that war, and the numbers involved, it was the bloodiest war in the history of humanity. Getting through the other side of that, there was this feeling of great possibilities, and joy and relief, and that’s what spurred travel.

I think it’s spurring travel, right now, getting out of that awful pandemic. Everybody wants to be on the road. So, even though inflation is high, travel numbers are higher still, because we came out of that pandemic, with the understanding that life is short, and that you have to grab life when you can, and there’s no better way to grab it, then through travel.

Pauline Frommer, Lisa Niver and Patricia Schultz at the New York Travel and Adventure Show 2023

READ the FULL INTERVIEW on We Said Go Travel

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

wildpixel/Getty Images

Politically Homeless

Although I used to just call myself a moderate, that’s never actually been accurate.

The Good German

Christian brothers and sisters, do your Jewish friends think of you as a person who will stand by them?

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.