Arthur Frommer's Talk at the BPL
“I would rather die than travel anywhere in a motor coach with 45 other people.”

This evening, as part of the Lowell Lecture Series at the Boston Public Library, I had the chance to hear Arthur Frommer talk about travel. Not really sure what to expect, I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation.

Basically, he talked about “the mechanics of travel” which included 10 or so positive developments in travel as well as some negative travel trends. To summarize, basically each of the positive travel trends dealt with the fact of the increasing evolution of the Internet. Using “the Google” travel has become easier & cheaper because there are so many good resources out there. If you’re really interested it’s all in his book Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter, though more pictures & the short lists are after the break.

Arthur Frommer’s best line from the evening: “I would rather die than travel anywhere in a motor coach with 45 other people.”

10 Positive Travel Trends (according to Arthur Frommer)

  1. Internet aggregate airfare searches
  2. Vacation home exchange programs through the Internet
  3. Small group adventure tour operators
  4. Hostels in every major city of the world
  5. Amtrak
  6. Budget buses
  7. Abolition of admission charges to attractions
  8. People offering free accommodation
  9. Budget airlines surviving the economy
  10. New technology (GPS, Kindle, etc)

6 Not-so-positive Travel Trends (according to Arthur Frommer)

  1. Low-cost cruise-lines turning into amusement parks
  2. Visa charges for tourists entering the U.S.
  3. Tourism becoming too popular at certain attractions (Italy)
  4. Limited amount of vacation days for U.S. employees
  5. Government restrictions on travel (Cuba)
  6. Corporate jets
Mr & Mrs Frommer
Arthur & Roberta Frommer were so friendly. When I (briefly) told them about my RTW travel plans, they both sounded so genuinely happy & excited for me. Mr Frommer said, "I envy you."

Other highlights from his discussion:

  • His favorite travel destination? Paris.
  • He suggested using the Australian and British government travel sites (not the U.S. State Department) for checking safety warnings.
  • Said that everyone has an obligation to visit China.
  • Suggested Holland America cruises (despite their tendency to cater to old people) rather than the low-cost cruise lines.
  • Mentioned Gap Adventures several times as a good travel company to book with.
  • Said that not a single state or federal statute guarantees a single day of paid vacation in the U.S.
  • He opposes “wet bikini swimsuit competitions” on cruise ships.


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